So a discussion started about the level of skill & how car mechanics in Panama run their business & provide customer service.

The following happened to just ONE guy (he wrote this):

This is a list of some recent car jobs / results.  Different firms used each time including two main dealers:

Job: Change transmission oil
Result:  Wrong grade of oil used that resulted in transmission damage and bill for FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Job: Replace power steering pump:
Result:  Power steering that doesn’t work.   Leaving cap off power steering reservoir, power steering fluid all over engine and various parts of Panama.   Three visits to mechanic later, still not fixed.  Car currently undrivable until I can summon the strength for a fourth attempt.

Job:  Replace brake light bulb
Result:  Picked up car one day later, told job had been done, discovered brake light bulb had not been replaced.

Job:  Replace electronic key fob
Result:  car off the road for days, parts lost, parts re-discovered, fob fitted.  Doesn’t open all the doors, only some of them.

This is the best one:

Job:  Fitt ‘papel ahumado’  (dark window film) to passenger door window.
Result:  Somewhat improbably, this ended up with a broken window and a crushed door.  New door required that, when fitted, didn’t close properly and was a slightly different colour.

In none of the cases was there any admission of less than outstanding customer service or a hint of an apology.

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