Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lesson Learned

Last fall I took my bimini to the local canvas repair shop to have the window replaced. This is the 14"X24" plastic that is used to look up at the masthead while sailing. It was less than 5 years old and starting to get UV damage as well as some scratches from accidentally having the boom too close.

A week ago my dear wife Ruth picked it up at the shop, expecting to pay less than $200. Guess again. The price was $400. She brought it home and presented the small cash register receipt to me. I hit the roof. $400 to replace a window? That's outrageous.

I went to the shop a few days later and asked for a copy of the work order. They replaced the window with 40G plastic, made a Sunbrella cover with Velcro on 4-sides, Repaired a binding and zipper, and installed a leather chafe patch where the boom had rubbed a bit. Material cost was $74. Labor charged was $371 for 4.25 hours at $70 per hour. Tax was $30. They had reduced the labor from 5.5 hours to 4.25 and didn't charge for the leather since I had not requested it (I suppose).

I told Tony that I was very unhappy at the charge. $400 TO REPLACE A WINDOW!!!

I tried to maintain cool, but was stone-walled by Tony, shrugging his shoulders saying that it is normal to spend half a day on that type of a job. I walked out of the shop very unhappy but with a lesson learned....Get a quote before having the job done. In my defense though, who would have thought that it would be so expensive?

I am willing to share the name of the shop with anybody that asks. Just send an e-mail to and I will give you the name of the place not to go to.