was at the local auto zone today picking up some spark plugs, when a guy approached me in the parking lot as I was pulling out. he noticed a dent in my lower quarter panel, it was there before I bought the car, and i hardly notice it anymore. It was about the size of a dinner plate but very shallow and on a black car it is not too noticible. he offered to fix it for me for $50.00 as he had just come off another job and had his tools with him. I am a bit familiar with the paintless dent removal process and at seemed a fair price, plus he said if I was not satisfied I didn't have to pay. I asked what he could about some paint chips and he said for another $70.00 he could take care of those too. when pressed about how he would take care of the rust at the bottom of the chips he said that he would put a "solution" on it and would fill it in with some touch up paint (I happened to have the proper paint handy), "rust is only a problem if it goes all the way through, so don't worry about it" he said. He followed me back to my house and proceeded to wipe down the affected area with his "metal softning liquid" which looked suspiciously like cleaning fluid, and pulled out the dent with a big orange suction cup. he didn't get it all but it was a noticible improvement, (I didn't let him touch the paint chips). Then he put on a 1/4 inch layer of turtle wax (to re harden the metal) ( and I think to cover up the minor crease that was left behind) I asked how much the charge would be since the was not 100% fixed and he said (with a perfectly straight face) I'll knock off a bit since I didn't get it all, how about $75.00? I was expecting this and I let him know I was having none of it. He guessed that I "misunderstood" his initial offer and we stood there deep in thought for a minute or two. I didn't back down and offered him $40.00 for his time and effort (ten minutes of work and a tug or two on a suction cup) I think we both got a fair deal on this as the car does look a lot better, but it just goes to show you that you have to stand up for yourself, and don't let someone try to screw you over. the whole issue mildly amused me more than anything, but I will get a quote on paper next time to avoid any possible "misunderstandings" in the future.
thanks for listening