Every so often we’ll have a customer come in with a Jeep full of parts that they just ordered online and ask us how much it will cost to have it all installed. We are excited that people continue to take an interest in modifying their Jeeps and that our reputation for quality workmanship has spread throughout the Jeep community. We don’t like to turn away opportunities to work on Jeeps, but several years ago we adopted a fairly standard industry policy regarding parts installation. Our installation policy, in its most basic form, is this:
We do not install customer supplied parts.
Regardless if you purchased your parts direct from Jeep or through Quadratec, e-bay, Amazon or Craigslist, we simply don’t install customer supplied parts. For those interested in knowing the “why” behind this policy, we offer a general explanation below.
Installing Customer Supplied Parts is Bad for Business.
We’re not saying that the stuff customers find online is cheap or low quality or that it won’t work. Plenty of people buy stuff online, install it in their garage and are perfectly happy. We are happy for these folks and enjoy spending time on the trails with them.
But the reasons we don’t install customer supplied parts are both legal and business in nature. In terms of legality, the state of Missouri holds shops (like Axleboy) responsible for all aspects of a job, including parts and labor, regardless of where the parts originate. So, even if we, as a shop, were to install a customer’s parts as specified by the manufacturer, if the part itself failed, legally, we would be held liable. It sounds ridiculous…until it happens.
From the business perspective, Axleboy and other professional shops exist because there is some element of profitability that allows us to purchase specific tools, pay certified technicians and maintain a brick and mortar location. Remove marginal profitability and reputable off-road shops will quickly disappear. That doesn’t sound like a very good business plan to us.
Our Reputation is Based on Quality. Quality People. Quality Parts. Quality Service.
At Axleboy, we work hard to build and maintain quality working-relationships with several aftermarket manufacturers, so that when parts don’t fit right or packages arrive with damaged or incomplete sets, we can still get the job done right and in a timely manner. Our sights are focused on total quality and customer satisfaction. When customers go to online vendors to save a couple of bucks, they unknowingly limit our ability to guarantee quality. This is a reputational risk that we are simply unwilling to accept.
We want you to know, that we don’t think anything less of people or Jeepers for purchasing parts online. But, please understand when we politely decline to install them.