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Figuring Out Trust Revisited

Posted by on Sep 26, 2011

I’ve written about this concept of trust quite a few times on two of my blogs, which includes this one. The last couple of times I’ve specifically addressed the topic here here was when I wondered why we don’t trust sales people and then when I wrote about why it’s sometimes hard to trust people in general. Now I have another tale for you.

by Thomas Nes Myhre

For about six weeks my brakes had been squealing. I thought it was related to the brake job I’d had 3 weeks earlier at Midas (yes, I’m naming names). I waited 3 weeks, then took it back to them to take a look at the work they’d done. After 10 minutes the mechanic comes to me and takes me into the back to look at my back brakes, as I’d replaced the front brakes. He tells me that they’re metal on metal and that they’re in real bad shape. He also tells me that I need brand new tires. Then he gives me an estimated cost; I’m thinking “are you out of your mind?”

I decide not to do the work there, mainly because as I was sitting in the chair waiting for them to take a look, I started thinking that I’d just had my back brakes done last year, and remembered that I’d actually had them done at Goodyear. My thinking was that if it were the pads, I’d take it back to them and that should be that.

At the same time I started thinking about a few other things. I’d just had my car inspection in July and passed with flying colors. They had mentioned that at some point in the next year I should look at my tires, but there were no red flags. I wondered if my bad brakes were so bad why didn’t the inspection catch it, since that’s one of their checks. Then I wondered why these guys hadn’t said anything about my back brakes when I’d brought the car there weeks earlier. Frankly, things didn’t add up.

So I waited until one day this week and finally took it to Goodyear. Everything was still squeaking, but all I asked them to do was take a look at my brakes overall.

Less than 30 minutes later I got a call at home. The guy said they had taken a look at both my front and back brakes and that there were no problems with either of them. He said they weren’t sure why there was a squeak (more like a squeal), but that the brakes were fine. He then said I would need to replace some tires before winter and that there was a tire sale coming in October and that I should wait for that.

Wow, what to do? Who to trust? The Goodyear guy tells me my brakes are fine, but are they if they’re still squealing? I mean, since they’d have to replace the pads for free, are they pushing me back until something else goes wrong? And what about the Midas people? I’m still feeling insecure about them as well. At least I don’t owe any money.

Move the story ahead to yesterday. My wife’s brakes were also squealing, and she’d had her brakes done last year at Midas a week before I’d had mine done. She decided to take her car to Goodyear after hearing my story about Midas. I figured we’d see what they had to say about her car.

She calls them back after a couple of hours, as we’d gone out for awhile. They tell her they can’t find anything wrong with her brakes and aren’t sure what’s causing it. She’d also had her car inspected in July, and she had no red flags about anything, including her tires. So they didn’t charge her for taking a look and all is as it was.

Wow, talk about major differences. My trust level has gone way up with Goodyear and way down with Midas. I used to always go to Midas whenever I needed brakes, and that particular Midas for nearly 25 years. Of course it’s changed hands often, which means you never really know about the people running things after awhile. But there’s a major difference in $450 and zero, and zero twice against the possibility of close to a thousand dollars means a big deal to me. Guess who’s going to be taking care of my car from now on.

We don’t always get a chance to find out whether we’re being lied to or not. I got a major break this time around because I got to test the truthfulness and reliability of one company versus another company. I’m not going to say that all Midas stores are dishonest, but I’ve certainly just run into one that I don’t trust all that much.

With any business you provide, including your blog posts, are you always making sure you’re being as honest as possible? Have you visited blogs that make you feel like they’re lying to you, or being dishonest? Do you call out dishonesty when you see it? Would you have had the guts to write a post like this one? Go ahead, share your thoughts and your tales.

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It’s kind-of like doctors and second opinions. You know you’re body doesn’t feel right but you can’t self diagnose.

The same is true with Internet marketing. Most every business knows they need an Internet presence but they feel they can’t do it without expertise. They trust guys like you to help them improve.

September 26th, 2011 | 9:59 AM

Thanks Levi. That doctor analogy is a good one because sometimes even that second opinion is wrong if the doctor hasn’t kept up with the latest changes. And I also think it’s hard to keep up with everything in any industry… except fraud.

September 26th, 2011 | 10:22 AM

I guess I had a similar experience once when a mechanic insisted that they had only one level of service and charged premium rates for it. I was about to walk out when they agreed that they had other service levels as well. Of course, I did not give my vehicle there.

I guess we can easily make out (with experience) as to who is lying and who is not. People who are too salesy and try to influence you/ tempt you with things that are too good to be true are always lying.

September 26th, 2011 | 10:45 AM

You got it right, Raj. I wrote on this blog a very long time ago how this window guy went through our house and gave us an estimate of $36,000 to replace the windows in our house. Less than a week later that same company said they could do them all for $9,000. We didn’t trust them either.

September 26th, 2011 | 11:26 AM

Hi, Mitch!
I understand people can get frustrated when being lied to, especially when the lie is so obvious that you feel a person is making a donkey out of you right in the face. I tend to react in such cases and “fight for my rights” as much as I can. Sometimes I get good results out of making my voice heard, sometimes I don’t. But, what is important to me is that I warn the person I know I am being lied to. Dishonesty is to be met on many places, so we better learn how to deal with it and how to fight back.

September 26th, 2011 | 3:53 PM

Good stuff Kristina. I tend to be skeptical many times, but at other times I find that I’m trusting the wrong person or entity, and that never feels good.

September 26th, 2011 | 4:23 PM

It is good that you have checked 2nd opinion. I am not an expert, but I have similar problem for several years, not with my car, but with my bike, my brakes were checked and they said that humidity is the reason. Actually I didn’t trust them and replaced the brakes, a month after that sound was the same as we went straight into rainy season.

September 26th, 2011 | 10:33 PM

Hi there Mitch.
As usual, thanks for sharing this. Hm.. well, yes, I also not a type of person that trust someone right away after I met him/her. Especially for sales person. No offense, but sometimes, they lied just to get better sales,for their own benefit.

September 27th, 2011 | 12:49 AM

It’s true Andrew; I hate that.

September 27th, 2011 | 10:40 AM
Mitchell Allen:

Mitch, here is a longish comment: though I focus on auto mechanics, I think it applies to blogs, as well.

Mechanics, roofers, doctors, lawyers. Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy. Trust and understanding go hand in hand. If a truthful person tells us something about a topic we have little or no knowledge of, there is no way to assess trust.

In lieu of trust, we “go with our instincts” or “follow the herd” or “hope for the best”. Each of these, statistically speaking, may be acceptable replacements – depending on the importance of whatever is at stake.

I had an experience with the owner of a garage. His shop did inspections. He “looked over” my van and then invited me to accompany him into the garage to discuss his “findings”. Unbeknownst to him, one of his mechanics was a friend of mine. My friend gave me a silent signal to disregard the owner’s report. He was emphatic.

With my “spidey senses” tingling, I listened to the owner rattle off nearly $1,000 in repairs – including replacing the windshield, due to a quarter-sized crack. He tried to pressure me into signing off on the work but I pleaded lack of funds and got out of there.

Later, I called my friend. He explained that the owner “does that crap all the time.” He gave me another mechanic’s address. I went there and – surprise! – no work needed to be done. Now, he did mention the crack, but said it was too small to cause an automatic fail.

If that were all, this would not be a story. Here’s the rest: the second mechanic was recommended because he was “easy”, meaning he overlooked things that another mechanic might not.

Now, I ask you: WHERE’S THE TRUST?

Was the first mechanic sleazy? Was my friend sneaky? Was the second mechanic really that slovenly? What about my own motivations? That’s right – could I trust myself to do the right thing?

There are so many variables to consider. In the absence of knowledge, I will never know if those repairs were absolutely necessary. It turns out that, two years later, I went to a third mechanic. He acted like Mr. Goodwrench – strictly by the book! He refused to pass my van because of the windshield, in addition to a rusted exhaust pipe.
Yet, none of the first mechanic’s other “needed repairs” were cited.

Armed with new knowledge? Not really. But, my gut instinct told me that the third mechanic was more trustworthy than the other two.

In the blogging world, this lack of understanding – coupled with our inability to trust ourselves to do the right thing (to heed the warnings of “buyer beware” and “if it sounds too good to be true…”), we become ripe for exploitation.



September 27th, 2011 | 10:22 AM

Great comment Mitch, and you’ve captured just how I feel. While I know I don’t trust Midas, at least that one particular shop, having Goodyear tell me and my wife that everything’s fine and blaming the squealing on “rust” isn’t necessarily comforting either. But knowing overall that my brakes aren’t down to metal is imminently more important to me; after all, that saves at least $250. But you just never really know.

September 27th, 2011 | 10:44 AM

Hi Mitch, Please pardon my late intervention, I feel like a school child sneaking into the class room late. Of course the teacher needs an explanation. So here I go. First let me thank you for the information on how to prevent the spam problem on my site. I have taken your advice and have already seen wonderful results. To date it has blocked over 300 incoming spam comments not to mention the comments that were awaiting approval. Hence my reason for my not being in class! You see Mitch, after installing the spam blocker I tried to install another program to prevent spam email and it looks as if something was not compatible. I am now unable to get back into the comments section on the dashboard whenever I try to access it, I am prompted with a message “WordPress error.> you do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.” for the past 5 days I have been trying to have this problem resolve without any success.

Notwithstanding my mishap, I have read with great interests this article and the wonderful comments from others. I said with great interest because the matter of ripping-off-people or dishonesty seems to be big business and you are right it looks as though you can’t trust anyone in today’s world. In both your case and Mitchell Allen comment it was mechanics but I had an experience 8 years ago where a doctor, after doing a regular examination, recommended that I see a heart specialist.

The heart specialist did his test found nothing but recommended that I have an operation the cost, $10,000.00! In other words, open me up to be sure my heart was alright. Of course I had a second opinion and later found out that both the regular doctor and the heart specialist were friends and this was their way of make big bucks. Eight years later the old heart is still pumping. Who can you trust? It seems as if exploitation will always be with us the Psalmist warned us not to put our trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. His spirit goes out; he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish. – Mitch, thanks my friend for your time and do have a nice day.

September 27th, 2011 | 12:19 PM

William, what a horrible story! I’m glad you didn’t end up having the surgery, and I can tell you that if I’d heard something like that I wouldn’t have had it either. I hope someone went to jail, or at least eventually got fined.

September 27th, 2011 | 7:19 PM

William, that’s horrible. I’m glad you didn’t go through with it; I know I wouldn’t have. I hope someone ended up going to jail eventually, or at least got fined.

As to your other problem, my recommendation would be to get into your account via the FTP and delete the last plugin you added. That should bring things back to normal; I had to do something similar last night.

September 27th, 2011 | 7:21 PM

Hi Mitch, First let me express my sincere THANKS to you for your always eagerness to share your knowledge and experience to help. As I said earlier I spent the better part of 5 days sitting on the outside of my site unable to get into the comment section and several hours searching the net for suggestions, viewing a number of YouTube videos, to no avail. As soon as I followed your advice and deleted the last plug-in, Boooooooom that did it I was allowed to enter the site again. Thanks it feels good to be back in control. I felt so helpless sitting on the outside. Thanks Mitch you are truly a genius.

September 28th, 2011 | 11:53 AM

No problem William. Glad that worked for you; I guess when stuff like this happens looking at plugins is always one of the first things to do.

September 28th, 2011 | 10:56 PM

I get good results out of making my voice heard, sometimes I don’t. But, what is important to me is that I warn the person I know I am being lied to. Dishonesty is to be met on many places, so we better learn how to deal with it and how to fight back.
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November 12th, 2011 | 4:51 AM

I’d agree with that Apple. Trust is tough to give up when we see so much dishonesty, and many of us put up with it because it’s the easy thing to do.

November 12th, 2011 | 11:20 AM