Dash cam footage of mechanic

I have a dilemma and thought I seek out some opinions here.
The family 4x4 was booked in at our a local Auto service center ( a national chain) for wheel alignment after a new suspension was fitted.

Upon reviewing the dashcam footage we saw that the mechanic made super nasty comments about the tissue boxes using "choice language", abusing other drivers and worst of all doing 72km/h in residential zones.

The alignment done so poorly that we had to bring it to another place and $$ again. I was back at the shop and after seeing how the manager dealt with staff I decided to cancel the booking (to get it fixed) and rather pay than complain, which I was planning on doing once they got the job right.

I guess the guy would easily have access to our address/phone details if I complained at the store directly. Same applies if I went via their HQ. I am sure this would not be an isolated incident so what can I do?
Given the mechanics language and attitude on the road as seen and heard on the dashcam I would worry about retaliation.

What would you do?


  • +11 votes

    Firstly, Do you want to name and shame this chain?

    • +2 votes

      We had really good experiences with 2 of their stores. And one mechanic at that particular place did a great job with the wheel alignment for the off-roader, which is hard to find. Unfortunately he left and we took a chance. I don't think I want to name and shame the entire chain. But they do need to know what their staff are up to. Speeding in neighborhood zones is not ok neither is making derogatory comments about people's belonging in cars.

      • Give the footage to the police, that might be enough for a speeding fine at least

      • +4 votes

        making derogatory comments about people's belonging in cars

        This doesn't really harm anyone (unless you listen to a recording of him in the car). You've never thought to yourself "wow, that person is an idiot" ? This is the same thing, you just happened to record his thoughts. He thought he was alone, it's not like he said it to your face…

        The speeding is a fair enough thing to complain about though.

        The shoddy workmanship too. Leave a bad review on Google or something to warn others :)

      • show it to their boss or the parent company and use it to request a refund. You are probably not the only victim and i wouldnt want to employ this sort of person so i'd be happy to know.

        I wonder what they could say about a tissue box, i guess that boils down to some people are idiots

  • Not sure about the ethics/legalities of recording private conversations without their consent.

    the mechanic made super nasty comments about the tissue boxes using "choice language", abusing other drivers

    Unless you were lip reading, I would omit this. However, feel free to complain about speeding in residential zone. I feel that's a valid point.

    • Don't you think OP has a voice recording or is that too smart thinking ?

      • Of course, but owning up to it could get OP in legal trouble.

        • Should be common knowledge for mechanics that a lot of cars these days have dash cams

          • @k-rokfm: That doesn't make it okay to record private conversations.

            • @ronnknee: You come into my house or property for cleaning you don't ask if there are security cameras or throw a house party when I'm not home. In this case my car and what happens in it is my business?

              • @queer dog geyfrog: Unfortunately that's irrelevant to the law, and that's a terrible analogy. A more accurate analogy is I come over your place (car workshop) and drop off my laptop (car) for you to fix. My laptop (car) is secretly recording your conversations. Even though the camera and microphone are visible, that does not make it okay on two levels:

                1. The person recording is not part of the conversation.
                2. None of the parties are informed or provided consent.

                Here is some reading material to keep yourself informed.

                • @ronnknee: my bad so can;t do much on verbal side. Only physical damages.

                  Reminds me of the time that Indian guy on MAFS recorded his "wife" complaining about the marriage ehhe

                • @ronnknee: Your analogy is not correct. Dropping off a laptop and recording on private property is illegal.

                  The recording happened in a public place and inside a vehicle that the OP Owns.

                  The correct analogy would be you saw an open laptop in someones garden, walked past it on a sidewalk where you were video and voice recorded. It is not illegal.

                  • @MrMoo: Is a workshop a public space? Is inside a car a public place? Do random people normally walk in an out?

                    • @ronnknee: No a workshop is not a public place. It is not a social space where people are welcome to hang out. It is private property.

                      A car is a vehicle…

                      I don't understand the point here?

                      A road is a public place. Which is where the recording took place I believe?

                      • @MrMoo: I don't think you understand the issue at all. The law has nothing to do with public space. A private conversation can be taken in public space. In this case, inside an enclosed vehicle where there's a reasonable expectation of privacy, even on the road which is a public space.

                        You all are arguing against me with your opinions but are you able to substantiate by making references to the law?

                        • @ronnknee: Lol dash cam is not same as video camera facing by person to another while doing something wrong, its security footage like build at home. You can use dash cam car or security camera at home.
                          Car is belong owner he can do what he like in his car. It not hidden camera in car, it's for safety purpose if crime commit by driver and file report that evidence can be use, as far swearing happen and there is no complain against him that that recording is useless.

                          • @Zonty: You should do research on laws recording video and audio.

                            • @ronnknee: I did lol , u need learn law.

                              Is it illegal owner put dash cam in his own car for recoding? Is owner put intentionally so can record mechanic conversation? No, so recording is for security purposes and can be use if crime happen.
                              If mechanic says he did not do job and charge full money for job then yes recording can be use against him,
                              Swearing is not.
                              lucky you not lawyer I would not go to you lol.

                              • @Zonty:

                                Is it illegal owner put dash cam in his own car for recoding?

                                No one said this was illegal.

                                Is owner put intentionally so can record mechanic conversation?

                                Owner's intent is irrelevant. I quote the following:

                                A listening device is any device that can be used to overhear, record, monitor or listen to a private conversation, or to the words spoken to or by any person in a private conversation.

                                Even if your intention is to listen to something other than a private conversation, your device may still be a listening device if it is capable of being used to listen to a private conversation.

                                I did lol , u need learn law.

                                Did you even read what you linked?

                                • @ronnknee: It is a criminal offence for a person to knowingly install, use, or to maintain or repair a listening device used to: it was not any purspose of listening conversation of mechanic.

                                  Knowingly is term of law. So mate why not u start go to law school.

                                  • @Zonty: How does one “unknowingly install” a dash cam?

                                    And if it has an audio record function, it is a “listening device”. And since people usually “knowing install” dash cams, it is a criminal offence to “use” it to record conversations that the owner is not a party to. It was 100% used to record the mechanic’s conversation. The whole purpose of this audio recording device is to record conversations inside the vehicle.

                                    If anyone needs to read the law, it’s you, Zonty.

                                    • @pegaxs: Dash cam people not taking out when service car. You must be mechanic. Also was it invisible hidden to spy mechanic ? What a stupid argument by you.

                                      • @Zonty: Huh?

                                        I'm not sure what you are saying or asking, but I'm going to have a long shot guess at it…

                                        A listening device does not have to be concealed to be classed as a listening device. Also, the fact it is visible does not automatically give consent to be recorded.

                                        The only way this recording would be legal would be if OP was in the vehicle at the time OR the mechanic gave consent. And based on the mechanic's stupid comments, I'm pretty sure he didn't give consent to be recorded.

                                        Please, don't give up your day job to become a lawyer…

                                        And don't forget, you only get 5 negs a day. ;)

                • @ronnknee: what if the dashcam is part of the car, it cant be compared to the laptop - maybe a solution is to have a huge sign over it so the mechanic is aware and gets the job done properly

      • +7 votes

        Our dash cam may have voice recordings and it's clearly displayed on the dash.

        • Okay sure. There's no need to convince me. Only making sure you're aware or at least considering the law. The retaliation that you're concerned about may not be physical.

          Is it illegal to make negative/offensive comments about people privately? No.

          Is it illegal to record private conversations of people? Depends on the state, but generally yes.

          Anyway, best wishes on your endeavours.

          • @ronnknee: Most shops disconnect the dash cam. It isnt like theyre hidden so the tech must have known it was there…

            • @ATangk: A lot of you are missing the point. A listening device in plain sight or the highly likelihood of a listening device in presence do not mean automatic consent.

              Try understanding this instead.

              A girl knows a guy has a penis, but does that mean she automatically gives consent?

          • @ronnknee: Edit: Why beat a dead horse? Deleted comment

        • Depends on if you want to roll the dice on that constituting consent under the various illegal eavesdropping/recording laws.

    • It is an offence to communicate or publish anything about a private conversation or a private activity, if that information has been gained as a result of the use of a surveillance device, including a listening device.

      Source: https://www.gotocourt.com.au/criminal-law/vic/use-of-listeni...

    • it's illegal to record people without their knowledge

      • not in public space…

        • and in a public space, they have knowledge because they can see you.

          If this guy went further with this and produced the recording, he'd be in trouble.

          • @snook: …no, pretty sure it's free for all in public spaces, irrespective if the recording device, be it audio, video or both, is visibly present or inconspicuously hidden on your person….

            • @Zachary: But we weren't talking about a public space, we were talking about a private conversation and it's illegal. I know, i do compliance stuff where everything is to the letter of the law or useless as evidence.

              IF you gain a recording of someone and they didn't know, you can't use that recording. He was in a private car and did not give consent to be recorded. It is therefore illegal to use that information in any formal proceedings. This could be used informally but you couldn't play it or if you did, you could not do it in a formal manner or let anyone copy it.

              It's so dramatic and blah man ok, but it's true. You walk a line with this stuff and if you cross it, it is not only useless but you are in trouble. This is just how the law is right now.

              • @snook: i see….well then I guess say a disclaimer saying that the conversation may be recorded and that if you don't say anything about it, it is automatically assume that you consent to it. Hah!

      • Roads are public land. You have no expectation of privacy in public areas. Dashcams are legal as long as it is used properly like not use it to record girls undressing lol.

  • Post the footage here or PM the link. I would complain. I don't trust anyone working on my car and try to do as much as I can myself, people have no morals these days and will try and get away with anything.

  • Given the mechanics language and attitude on the road as seen and heard on the dashcam I would worry about retaliation.

    Why start a post if concerned about retaliation ?

  • I thought the whole reason why they had a waiting rooms is keep customers away from mechanics swearing at cars. When I work my own cars, bikes, computers etc.. I curse them, if its a seized bolt, 44 gallon drum swear jar…

    On a serious note, ask a refund on alignment, just go elsewhere and be done with it. I'm sure the tissue box can deal with it.

  • complained about the "tissue box"? is that code for something?

  • Ignore the "choice language", they're mechanics talking to other mechanics, what do you expect?

    The speeding and the poor work is something you can raise a complaint about.

  • Pretty sure the law says you can not record conversations you are not a part of. You certainly cant make them open for public consumption.

    • The law varies state by state. However is that for all recordings or only recordings where you have an expectation to privacy.

      Does the mechanic have a expectation and further more a right to privacy whilst conducting work in a customer's car. I would expect the answer to be no.

      Best advise though is to talk a lawyer before using that recording.

      • In Victoria, it is against the law for use of a device to record, monitor or listen to the private conversation of another without their permission if you are not a part of the conversation.

        You know, there is that. And I would say that a conversation that a mechanic has with himself or anyone else in that car is a private conversation. There would absolutely be the expectation of privacy being inside a car when it comes to conversations. (and the "reasonable expectation of privacy" is about taking photos or videos, not about recording someone on a listening device.)

        Unless OP was directly involved in the conversation, they do not have the right to record it.

        It all comes under the "Surveillance Devices Act 1999 (Vic)." (It's a bit of heavy reading, so here is a much more reader friendly version.)

        And before OP uploads or disseminates any of that video, even before they bring it up with the manager of the person on the recording, they need to seek legal advice, because that person would then have the rights to get the police involved if they were recorded without their consent. OP even mentioning that it was recorded could blow up in OP's face…

        • I somewhat disagree. It would not be unreasonable for a customer to have a dash cam in their personal car and as such a mechanic working in that car should know that dash cams exist and therefore they should not have an expectation of pricacy.

          Additionally because of those factors you can not reasonably expect to have a private conversation. (If you were wanting to have a private conversation a customer car is not the right place)

          As per the article you sent.
          "A private conversation is any conversation that is carried out in circumstances where it may reasonably be assumed that the parties to that conversation only want the words heard by the other people in that conversation. It does not include a conversation where the parties ought reasonably to expect that they may be overheard by someone else.

          Conversations conducted in public areas where it can be reasonably expected the conversation would be overheard are not considered to be private."

          Now that this technology has outpaced the current laws it would probably take a high court decision before they are clear, but yes the best advice would be lawyers advice.

          • @Yawhae:

            It would not be unreasonable for a customer to have a dash cam in their personal car

            Correct. Lots of people do.

            as such a mechanic working in that car should know that dash cams exist

            "Should"… Dash cams are often hidden or tucked up out of sight and with the range of models out there, some record audio, some do not. What "isn't" up to the mechanic is to know what models have what features…

            therefore they should not have an expectation of pricacy.

            That is where you are wrong…

            It's not all about privacy, it's about consent. The law says that you cannot use a device to record or listen into a conversation that you are not a part of without the consent of that party. (unless of course, you have a warrant.)

            Conversations conducted in public areas…

            Inside a car is NOT a "public space". It's a near air tight bubble. And 100%, if I am in a car, with the windows up and the door closed and driving down the road, I would absolutely consider that a "private space". Your car is your property. I cannot just get into anyone's car (as they are not "public spaces"), nor would you willingly allow me to put a listening device in your car to record all your conversations. OP's situation is no different.

            I somewhat disagree

            You can "disagree" all you like, but you're still wrong.

            OP had an audio recording device that recorded a conversation that they were not a part of without getting the consent of the people involved in the conversation. So, unless OP says he was given consent by these people to record them, or was in the car with them at the time, the fact the dash cam was in the car does not automatically default to people giving their consent nor does it make it a "public space".

        • I agree with pegaxs.

          A workshop is a private area, the public are not allowed in. Most workshops will have signs about this.

          In a private area like a workshop and place of work, a reasonable person would expect to have privacy there.

          I don't see it vastly different from putting a hidden mic in an office meeting room.

  • All driving and comments said on video etc, not much you can do about that. Its not worth the 'hassle' and what do you want from it? Unless you get a speeding fine from them driving, this is the end of it.

    As for the work not being done correctly, that ship has sailed as well, as you went to another place to have it fixed. You should have taken it back to them to correct.

    Live and learn, don't go back to them again.

  • The alignment done so poorly that we had to bring it to another place and $$ again.

    Focus on only this. Mentioning any of the other stuff would just make you look petty and cheapen any complaint you make to HQ for a possible refund.

    • Focus on only this

      Pushing up hill as you have someone else fix the issue without giving them a chance to correct the issue.

  • Can you upload an image of the tissue box's so we can see if the vulgar comments are justified.

    • +2 votes

      The box is one of the brightly colored cheap homebrand ones. Did he expect Kleenex with Aloe Vera? Maybe that was the issue. LOL.

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