The Canadian Independent Automotive Association (CIAA) is calling aftermarket professionals – members or not – to a town hall meeting over controversial proposed amendments to Alberta’s Fair Trade Act.
Bill 203, a private member’s bill introduced by Edmonton-Meadowlark MLA Jon Carson, proposes a number of changes to the way auto repair shops would have to operate in the province. The bill has already gone through first reading. Second reading could happen as early as April 11 or 18.
Among other things, it would require shops to provide an estimate before they can charge anything (unless the customer declines an estimate or authorizes a maximum amount they’re willing to pay), offer warranties of 90 days or 5,000 km on all work done, and prohibit shops from charging for estimates if customers agree to have the work done at the facility.
The meeting wil be held on Thursday April 7 at 6:30 p.m. at:
9298 Horton Rd SW
A link to the association’s position on Bill 203 can be found on the publications page of the CIAA website .
Are they also having a meeting in Edmonton? I can’t make it to a 6:30 pm meeting in Calgary.
If you go to see your dentist, orthodontist, periodontist or plastic surgeon, they can and will charge a consultation fee, just for walking through their door. Why? Because they are white collar, medical professionals who have invested a considerable amount of time and money obtaining their careers of choice? Do tradespeople or blue collar workers invest any less time or money training for their careers? It would seem so, as we are considered to be a necessary yet untrustworthy part of society, we are of lower importance than anyone else in the working world, and apparently we charge too much for the “easy” work we do. The automobile industry has quickly become one of the most technologically advanced industries in the world, with technology changing at least on a yearly basis. When was the last time the human body changed or advanced, or needed a software update? Literally thousands of dollars are having to spent every year, in all shops, just to keep up with information. This doesn’t include the cost of tools to fix the technology or the wages that need to be paid to decipher the information and write up the required estimates. People keep demanding that the technology be there at their fingertips, but they don’t want to pay to repair it. Let’s face it, it we can’t drive down the road watching a movie on Netflix and microwaving popcorn to go with it, is it really worth going on the trip at all?! There are over 30,000 parts in today’s vehicles, fixes are much more complex and intensive. How many people are even aware that it takes a computer to tell their brakes how to operate? Mechanics ( whoops, I mean service technicians) are already underpaid for the job they do. In my opinion, it is one of the most important and stressful jobs there is, after all, how do you think your doctor got to work this morning, if not for the technician who keeps his car in pristine mechanical condition? When your pay is based on a flat rate system, you must keep busy with paying jobs or there won’t be a job to go to tomorrow. I guess being a politician and making money from everybody else going to work that would be of little importance. If people don’t want to pay for the repairs on the technology driven cars that they own, they should take it up with the automakers and engineers who charged them $80,000 for said vehicle in the first place. There are already too few skilled tradespeople, do we need to “drive” more of them away?