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?


  • +1 vote

    I notice one of the local dealer services places here ask you to remove cameras when you service the vehicle.

    • +1 vote

      My local doesn't ask, they just unplug it. I'm not even mad, I generally have audio recording off but I wouldn't want to inadvertently record them either, and I trust them enough to not need to.


        Yeah I unplug mine when I pull up in their car park and pull the card out and take it. It goes back in when I pick up the car.

  • +1 vote

    What are you hoping to achieve? What outcome do you want?

    Why would you pay rather than complain? You paid for a service. Tell them you aren't happy with the service and to complete it as originally requested. Acting like you've acted will just allow shit businesses walk all over you forever.

    What would you do?

    Tell them the alignment was done poorly. In the first place.

  • +5 votes

    the mechanic made super nasty comments about the tissue boxes using "choice language"

    Move on. People make super nasty comments about things all the time.

    abusing other drivers

    See above.

    doing 72km/h in residential zones

    Maybe worth saying something, but nothing's going to come of it to benefit you.

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

    You needed to deal with this at the time. You seem to suggest you were "going" to do something about this, but decided against it because you were frightened of the confrontation. That's fine, but that's an issue that needs to be dealt with then and there. Issues with a wheel alignment some days or weeks after the service was performed will be written off as something that happened after the service.

    What would you do?

    Given the above, nothing.


    When I was on the tools I had a potty mouth and put crap on my customers cars. It helped de-stress a long and busy day and relieved the tension in the workshop. Some of the guys would get a bit tense when a car wouldn't behave as expected and it was better than having them crack it and throw tools around the shop.

    I also gave the cars a hammering because that was part of my job. Too make sure you've got the right amount of camber correction you need to do ~80kph on a street with just the right amount of camber (Woids Avenue Hurstville was perfect).

    OTOH, if a customer complained I wouldn't bother tracking down the complainant. I probably would call you a soft**** for not complaining directly to me. i know my boss wouldn't sack me because I was a good mechanic and my cars drove straight after i aligned them.

    If you did complain directly to me I would listen, let you say your piece and probably get someone else in the workshop to fix your car next time because I had enough customers to keep me busy… or I'd simply recommend you find a different workshop because I was dong 60 hour weeks and booked 2-3 weeks in advance.

    I'm thinking I wouldn't last very long in this day and age of having to abide by all the rules.

    edit: Some of the gorillas i worked with would have made use of your tissues then put them back in the box. Times have certainly changed for the better

    • +2 votes

      Even if you have to test the car at 80km/h that isn't the issue here. The fact is that person was speeding and last time I checked your requirement to test at 80km/h doesn't give you a right to speed. (Not trying to say you have, just about OPs case)

      • -1 vote

        Guilty as charged. I know I didn't have "the right" but I used to speed all the time to get the job done. I even got a severe talking to by the local HWP Commander because I gave a HWP Falcon a 3 figure squirt in a 60 zone but you can get away with it (only once) when you do the tyres and alignments on all the local police cars and you are the best aligner in the area. That was the 80s and a different world. Too many people with video available immediately.

        Customers get really annoyed when they complain of an issue above any of the local speed limits and you tell them you can't test it. The worst was a Lotus owner complaining about a dash rattle at 120kph. He went bananas.


          Man you talk like you're proud of breaking the law and only getting a slap on the wrist.

          You know the saying about how nobody has common sense any more, people like you are proof that it never existed.

          • +2 votes

            @Yawhae: I don't cover up what I've done in my life and I don't need your approval. I doubt you were around in Australia in the 70s & 80s and it was quite different to today.

            "people like me" … whereas people like you are the ones discreetly videoing people going about there business and getting upset at disparaging remarks about tissue boxes. LOL


              @brad1-8tsi: Honestly mate, I couldn't care less about what you did in the past, and no I'm not the kind of person who gets upset over people's comments.

              It just find it unusual for someone to talk so nonchalantly about breaking the law. Almost like your trying to sound cool to a bunch of internet strangers.


          Still happens these days, we had a back road in the industrial estate that you can get 80-100.

          Sometimes you need back streets, you can't just jump on the brakes or swerve across the road to check for noises/vibrations.

          As for the alignment, there are definetly some people who shouldn't be touching cars. Rarely does a simple front adjustment fix a problem. As stated earlier tyres may need rotation, pressures checked, rear alignment checked.
          That being said the people who can do it don't get paid enough and end up moving to other jobs. So your left with a person lucky to be earning $18 an hour with 4 or more cars to get done within the hour.


          Lol best aligner in the area… as measured by yourself… That HWP (me too) thought you were an arrogant toss.

          • +1 vote

            @jackary: As measured by the number of repeat customers I had; the other alignment shops that sent me their problem cars; the tyre place that offered me a 30% pay rise and a cash-in-hand commission on each alignment to come and work for them and eventually the customer that offered me a job fixing aircraft.

            As another measure, the absolute truckload of money I made doing alignments in my 20s that set me up for life.

            Most other aspects of motor mechanics I was below average but brakes, suspension and alignments made sense to me from day 1.

            There's no shame in being good at something and knowing it.

            edit: One of my mentors in the early days was Doug Heaseman. You might have heard of him. Ray Selby gave me a lot of advice too.


      What in the hell? The only soft cock is you, for using a mechanics workshop and vehicles that weren’t your own to play out some sort of bizarre macho power trip. I’m a nurse - when I have a bad day I don’t go into a residents room and yell at them. Like in your scenario, would that be a good de-stress technique? Probably… but I don’t, because its not acceptable professional behaviour in my workplace, nor yours, to do so. It hasn’t been for some time.

      I’m sorry your attitude is poor and I’m sorry you seem to think that has anything to do with anyone else.

      You wouldn’t last long. And that is a good thing.

  • +1 vote

    I don't understand, what exactly do you want to get from naming shaming and/or releasing the footage?

    And how would that directly impact on a mechanic of 1000s in Australia. Unless they thrased your car around or damaged something why do you care what someone thinks about your tissue box or language they choose to use without you being around?


    The focus for you should be on how well the job that you brought your car in for was done. Complain about that if it wasn't done properly.

    What the mechanic says in private should stay that way.

  • +2 votes

    My mechanic provides tissues after a service… (and jellybeans and an air freshener)

  • +2 votes

    Last time i complained about a bob jane store the owner called me back to abuse me and tell me i was lying.


      Ignore the Bob Jane in Watergarden Victoria. Very bad manners, un professional

    • +4 votes

      Same thing happened to me after they took a massive chunk out of my mag wheel fitting new tyres. Fortunately I took photos of each wheel in their car park before the new tyres were fitted, and got the duty manager to do a walk around the car with me noting the mags were damage free (though later he claimed he probably missed the damage because they were dirty! They weren’t…).

      Emailed head office and the deputy store manager rang back nice as pie after that. Still stuffed me around for weeks on approving the repair though - definitely won’t be using Bob Jane again. They stuffed up and made it as hard as possible to get rectified. If I didn’t have photos they would have simply denied it forevermore.


    I've got dashcam. Subaru sometimes disconnect my dashcam when they service. I've got no problems with this but it took a couple of services before I spotted their sign and was annoyed that they don't at least return the car in the same condition they got it (ie with a functioning dashcam). The first time they disconnected it I didn't realise until the wire dropped down going over a bump. Would have been fantastic if someone had crashed into me and then lied about it like they usually do - Subaru may be exposing themselves to legal action in that scenario. But I did review the service footage for the first time - well run shop, car got a wash, guy who drove the car around was having a good little sing to himself, I'd say staff attitudes at that dealership are good. I'd only look at the dashcam footage in future if there was something that warranted it (eg damage)

  • +1 vote

    just go back to the shop, talk to the guy in person, tell him he did a shit job and you want it done again, and remind him that you've got dashcam footage of his behaviour, inappropriate comments, plus the fact he was doing 75 in a residential zone abusing other drivers, and suggest that having a vehicle returned to him with the correct work done will somehow magically make the footage disappear.

    the abusing other drivers and doing 75 may seem like a small detail, but what would happen if he got caught on a speeding camera? You really think he's going to cop that fine on your behalf? Or what if he abuses someone on the drive back and the other driver remembers the car and license plate and thinks "next time i see that car, i'm gonna bash his head in"

  • +2 votes

    Did the mechanic assume the tissue boxes gender ?


    Take it to the cops…. you have the footage.

    Ask for a refund…. never go back

  • +2 votes

    Other than the poor wheel alignment - and as others have said, you should have complained at the time - delete the dashcam footage and move on.


    1 vote its Beaurepaires.


    Someone insulted your tissue box?

    • +1 vote

      Pretty sure it's their business to know everything that goes on with their personal property.

      That being said OP does need to take a chill pill.


    Post link to footage please.

  • +5 votes

    this has to be the most stupidest thing to be offended about. people really are turning into snow flakes these days.


    I guess, if they are driving your vehicle above the speed limit, that will be a legitimate concern to complain about.

  • +1 vote

    Move on… I make super nasty comments about every moron on here all the time. Who cares. As to exceeding the speed limit, as long as you're not getting a ticket, again who gives a crap.
    NewsFlash: Large number of people you meet in person would have nasty thoughts about you. Same thing.


    Anyone else finding this whole thing super weird?

    Forget about the mechanic's comment on napkins, if he was polite to you in person, it shouldn't matter to you what he was saying about your napkins or hayfever. I cannot believe you are even bothered enough to bring this up here. Nobody cares about your napkins, hayfever, or the mechanic's opinion on those matters, whatsoever.

    As to the shoddy work, I assume you did not approach them and ask them to fix before going elsewhere and paying $$ on your own accord? In that case, forget about any compensation. If you're not happy to do that, the only avenue would be to go to the place that fixed it and get something from them in written, and use that to pursue a refund, but good luck doing that.

    You should however definitely report the speeding to the police with evidence. Just in case a speed camera nabbed that, you'd have lodged a formal complaint and could have the police pass the fine on to this mechanic.


    Sounds like OPs first time dealing with a mechanic. Can't really see anything wrong with what they did other than not do the alignment correctly (assuming they actually stuffed it up).


    Probably wouldn't have thought much of it if I hadn't of read this post yesterday, but I picked up my car from the mechanics after lunch time today. I noticed my dashcam had been unplugged from the cigarette lighter. Reckon they took my car for a drive for non work related reason? I can't figure out why else they would have unplugged it.

    • +2 votes


      A: You need their consent to record their conversations, if any.
      B: It is considered surveillance when you are not in the vehicle, and under most state laws, it's considered as surveillance by their employer, even if it is by proxy, and that is a huge no-no.
      C: It films possible private or secure areas of the dealership they might not want filmed.
      D: Because of threads like this…

      • +1 vote

        So it's most likely that they didn't do it to insult my tissues?


          Oh, it was definitely to insult your tissues and to question people’s sexuality over their choice of seat positioning…

      • -2 votes

        A. If you receive a phone call telling you it's been recorded you don't exactly answer back "Yes, I understand". If the dash cam announces that a recording has been started is that sufficient to gain consent. If not why is it okay on a phone call.

        B. So if it's considered surveillance by the employer then the employer is liable?

        C. This is true, but dash cams exist and customers will have them. If businesses didn't want their innards recorded they need to make it a policy to tell customers to remove their dash cams prior to service. This also goes for D.

        • +1 vote

          A: Sure, if a dash cam starts up and gives you the same warning as a phone call, I cant see why not. Most dash cams do not make any sound or they just make a chime sound. But sure, if it boots up and says something like "Please be aware that video, audio and GPS recording has started". If it just boots up and says "Starting", then no.

          B: The onus would be to prove that the dealer/employer "knowingly" allowed the install, use or maintenance of the device. Added to that, if the dealer/employer go on to try and use any of this dash cam footage, the act says;

          a person must not knowingly communicate or publish a record or report of a private conversation or private activity that has been made as a direct or indirect result of the use of a listening device, an optical surveillance device or a tracking device.

          C: It is policy. It's called the "Surveillance Devices Act". If an employee/employer does not want to be recorded when they drive your car, they can opt out by turning the device off. A few dealerships I have been to recently have a warning up on their service desk telling customers to disable or remove their dash cam. That being said, not all places have caught on and some just don't care.

          D: This thread is exactly why most dealerships turn dash cams off. Because people say stupid shit when they think no one can hear them and other people can take a comment and have it completely out of context.

    • +1 vote

      Nah they didn't take it for a ride, but they did ride some ho in it.


    I would contact the HQ as it's likely you're not the only customer. Explain your concerns (privacy, etc) but don't reveal full hand yet. Give them the chance, they may not only take it seriously, but handle it professionally.

  • +1 vote

    There was a news story a while ago of a Tv host mouthing off about coworkers in an Uber, uber driver had the footage and was going to release it. Until it was pointed out that it was illegal to have the footage. Then it turned into the Uber driver “overheard a conversation”.


    Move on with your life… if you hadn't spied on the mechanic you would never have known….

  • +3 votes

    Where is the MS Paint of tissue box?


    im in vietnam and i told my wife they talk like nam nam nam is that racism? man up growup dont be snow flakes.


      Is nam nam nam the same as nom nom nom? Mmmmm food. 🍜

    • +1 vote

      Yes. It is racist. Because when you say ‘they’ you mean ‘all Vietnamese people’ and when you say ‘nam nam nam’ you are saying that all Vietnamese people talk in a simple, less sophisticated way.

      A less lazy thing would have been to say, “I’ve only been here a short time and all I hear is nam nam nam when I hear them talk”

  • +2 votes

    I can see a complaint being lodged for the speeding and poor workmanship, but the language? Yeesh, get a grip mate, I think you're being a bit too sensitive. It was more than likely nothing personal and just workmates talking a bit of shit at work.

  • -2 votes

    Assuming that the dashcam wasn’t hidden, its not reasonable to assume privacy thus you’ll be right. If there is a dashcam in the car it’s reasonable to assume there isn’t privacy. Lets face it a local mechanic isn’t going to take you to court lol.

    I reckon the OP would feel much better by just naming and shaming and posting the video.

    • +1 vote

      Again, and for the people who don't read, recording conversations isn't about "privacy" it's about "consent". Having a dash cam visible does not give the owner the right to record anyone by default. You need to either be a part of the conversation OR you need that persons "consent" to record them (at least in OP's state).

      And let's face it, if OP started posting this video online and making negative comments about it, the business would most likely take it up with a lawyer if they felt it was harming their business. One of the first questions would be "did you give consent for this video/audio to be recorded?"

        • +2 votes

          You are not comparing similar situations/locations. You are comparing apples and oranges.

          And I'm being black and white about it, because the law is pretty black and white about it.

          A bank lobby would be considered a public space (as in "open to and filled by the public" not "owned by"). There would also be warnings up before you enter the bank stating that there are cameras in operation. If you enter the bank, you have given them implied consent to record what you are doing because you saw the signs and still entered the property anyway.

          Also, entering a bank to shoot it up is not even in the same category as a mechanic talking smack about someone's tissues. So, if you are going to make stupid comparisons about completely different scenarios, I'm not going to indulge you any further.

            • +1 vote


              We aren't talking about the legality of what is happening

              That is exactly what we are talking about…

              We are talking about consent and recordings.

              This is covered in the "legality" of it. *smh*

              How exactly is a bank a public place? If a bank is a public place then almost any building is a public place.

              Bingo. Now you are catching on. If a business is open and allows the general public to enter, then the lobby would indeed be a public space. Now, the managers office is a different story. If you can freely enter, say, somewhere like a shopping mall or, say, a bank, this area is open to the public and should be treated as such. There is no expectation of privacy where anyone from the public is allowed to freely enter.

              The OP also stated that there is a written warning on the dash

              That is NOT what OP said. What OP said was that the "camera" is "clearly displayed on the dash." Displaying a recording device is not "implied consent." The occupant does not know if it records audio, video, GPS or all three. They also don't know if it is on and/or operating.

              You like stupid analogies, here is a stupid one for you about how consent doesn't work…

              A girl comes home with me, in my bedroom, there are condoms on the bedside table. The next day I am at the police station answering questions about sexual assault, my defence is; "But officer, I left condoms out for her to see, she knows why she was there… because condoms were visible."

              Now, replace "A girl" with "the mechanic" and "comes home with me" with "took my car for a test drive", "bedroom" with "car" and "condoms" with "dash cam", "bedside table" with "dash" and "sexual assault" with "mouthing off about tissues".

              Anyway, you're going to believe what you want to believe, so anything after this is pointless. All I can say is, I am glad you are not my lawyer…

        • +1 vote

          If you look into the laws carefully (or at all), there are different requirements for recording video and audio. Recording audio is much stricter than video, which is why you'd fine surveillance videos to be soundless.

          • +1 vote

            @ronnknee: Yes. I only just finished a TAFE module on security and surveillance systems, and I was surprised what you could get away with filming, provided it had no sound. I can film people in a park, but I can’t walk up to them, stand there and record what they are saying.

            We did a little bit on dash cams and that was covered under surveillance of employees and why most dealerships unplug the dash cams in cars while their employees test drive them. It was hard to get my head around what we needed to know about installing cameras in a workplace. And one thing that was repeated over and over again was “do not turn on any voice/sound recording functionality, even if the owner asks you to.”

      • -2 votes

        Again for the people who don't comprehend, and ignore the private part, the keyword in that act is "private" conversation. Here is a summary

        The definition of private from YOUR link.

        "private conversation" means a conversation
        carried on in circumstances that may
        reasonably be taken to indicate that the
        parties to it desire it to be heard only by
        themselves, but does not include a
        conversation made in any circumstances in
        which the parties to it ought reasonably to
        expect that it may be overheard by someone

        If you are in a customers car with a half-visible dashcam you'd be an idiot to think you are in a private area.

        • +2 votes


          Owing to the nature of dash cams, some will record sound, some will not. Some have it turned off, some do not. It is not up to the driver to know every available model on the market and if it records audio or not. There is no label or sticker telling the driver that they are being voice recorded, nor were they asked by anyone if it was ok to record them. There has been no consent given by the driver, and that is evident from what they were saying. Having a "half-visible" dash cam is not automatic consent. And from your description (half-visible), there is a 50:50 chance that the driver didn't see it, hence the making of stupid comments.

          The driver of a car has a reasonable expectation that they are private and are not being recorded due to the nature of how cars are constructed. Cars are sealed from the outside noise, so inherently are also sealed from inside noise. It would be a reasonable expectation that anything that is said inside a car would be for the occupants of the car only.

          The link YOU posted up goes on to say…

          When can a listening device be used
          A person can use a listening device to record a private conversation that he or she is a party to

          OP was not party to the conversation. OP was not in the car nor did OP have a warrant. Ergo, OP illegally recorded the conversation.

          Furthermore, if OP tells anyone what was in the recording or posts it up anywhere, then they have committed an offence.

          When is it an offence to share a private conversation or recordings of activities
          It is an offence for a person to knowingly communicate or publish a record or report of a private conversation or private activity that has been made as a direct or indirect result of the use of a listening device, an optical surveillance device or a tracking device.

          So, seeing a dash cam in what would otherwise be a private area does not automatically equal consent. Was the mechanic an idiot? Absolutely. Does that give OP the right to record the mechanic when they thought they were making a private comment, no. The comment, stupid. Recording and then making public this recording, stupid AND illegal.

          From the relevant act;

          6. Regulation of installation, use and maintenance of listening devices
          (1) Subject to sub-section (2), a person must not knowingly install, use or maintain a listening device to overhear, record, monitor or listen to a private conversation to which the person is not a party, without the express or implied consent of each party to the conversation.

          InB4: "ErRrRr iMpLiEd CoNsEnT!!11!!1!!1!"

          A dash camera with unknown recording functions that is "half-hidden" is not "expressed or implied consent".

          A letter, a sticker/sign (think business, taxi or bus warning stickers about being recorded) or a verbal exchange explaining they would be recorded is "implied consent". "Express consent" is asking if it would be "ok to record them" and them accepting verbally or a signed contract stating that they accept they are being recorded.

  • +2 votes

    I think it's par for the course for mechanics to speed in residential streets, and I believe police generally look the other way. The "Brake Testa" print-out I get from pink slip inspections has often recorded a speed in excess of 80km/h in a 50 zone.


    As to the poor alignment, this sadly appears to be quite commonplace now too. I've taken to doing my own alignment, as I'm lucky if I can find a place that can get the steering wheel straight, much less understand the difference between toe in and toe out!


    So much talk about the privacy and recording. That's not even really relevant because OP would be silly to try take action over the verbal part of his post.
    Talking like an ass is not a crime.
    Driving like one is though that's the bit I'd be taking up with the authorities, especially if you could be the one copping a fine for it.


    My local dealership requested I disconnect my dashcam.

  • +2 votes

    I hate to think what my dealership say about me. The servicing includes a free car wash so of course the car is filthy whenever I send it in. >:)


    so what can I do?

    a) Ask for the work to be done correctly.
    b) Act as if your dashcam was never on - and next time, make sure it's not - you'll never even know about the rest.


  • +1 vote

    Tissue boxES? Like multiple? I'd probably comment on that too.


    Offended about tissue box? Wow….

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