Joined: Nov 2016
You're never going to win in an argument with a dealer or shop over labor. Ever.
They go by listed rates. If their guys are good, of course they will spend less time with R&R than what's listed, and that helps them make more money! They'll know tricks and shortcuts.
But they'll still charge X number of hours labor, because that's what it shows in the dealer's info when they quote you. A dealer will almost always charge the listed rate, whether they have Fred the Wonder Mechanic do it (who knows his stuff and takes less than the rated time for every job) or Joebob the Moron (who takes longer than quoted). It's nothing personal. It averages out to be about what the listed rates show, when spread across all the customer cars they fix.
If you take your car to a Mom and Pop mechanic, they have a lot more discretion. If they're good, the labor costs will be low, and they earn repeat business because they're competent. Of course, there are plenty of shysters too, who will work just like the dealer, charging a listed rate, or even padding it a bit.
Your other option is to do the job yourself! Then you never have to fuss about labor rates. Of course, you do have to worry about voiding your warranty...
I smile a lot. It makes people wonder what I'm up to...