How to deal with Auto Shops
Title 2: How to deal with shops that charge without your permission
By: Charlyn and Eric Liechty
Have you ever taken your car to a mechanic shop for a minor repair only to walk out spending hundreds of dollars more than you planned on spending? If so, you are not alone. We have seen many cases where people have been charged for work they did not authorize or been talked into authorizing repairs they did not need. In fact, we have had so many complaints from our new customers who feel that they have been a victim of this practice, that we thought it would be a good idea to help educate people on their rights as a car owner and what and how to deal with mechanic shops. When I hear of people getting treated like this it makes me sick. Here are some things that you should be aware of when dealing with mechanic shops:
- You are the boss. What you say goes. If you don’t want a repair done the mechanic shop cannot do it. They do not own the car you do.
- They have my car so they have to do the work. FALSE. Just because they have the car does not authorize them to do any work. If they give you a quote on a repair job and it seems wrong or priced high you have the right to get a second opinion. If you do agree to work being done and sign an agreement for them to do the work make sure you read the fine print. They may have included a clause that gives them the right to do any job they think your car needs. If this is the case I would suggest not working with that shop.
- DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TELL THEM NO. Many mechanic/tire shops offer a special. For example, they may advertise $19.99 oil change or a sale on tires/shocks/struts, etc. They may be planning on getting you in the door and then increasing their profit by selling you repairs you don’t need. We have seen this happen many times. If they come out and tell you that you need a lot of additional repairs, don’t be afraid to tell them that you need to get a second opinion.
- Ask Questions!!! I cannot emphasize enough the importance of asking questions. Get all of your questions or concerns answered. There is no such thing as a stupid or dumb question. If you don’t understand what they are going to do ask them to explain it to you. If they won’t or don’t explain it to your liking Google it on the computer many makes and models of cars have the same issues and there is a lot of good information on the computer.
- Get educated. If you need a certain job done do not be afraid to do some research on the car repair so you know what to expect when you go talk to your mechanic. That way they cannot sell you parts you might not need because you are already educated on what the job should entail.
- Call around. Get price quotes from different shops to compare their prices and what the quote include.
There are fantastic mechanics out there that are willing to help and are good. I am not talking about these repair shops; I am talking about the shops that are taking advantage of people to make extra money on jobs. In summary, get educated on your repair need, get second opinions, and if it feels “wrong” it usually is. We, as a population, are not afraid to get a second opinion on medical problems so let’s not be afraid to get them for our cars “medical” issues either. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us, Monday—Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm or email us anytime. Eric Liechty has been a vehicle mechanic for 22 years and manages the shop and oversees all repairs; and Charlyn Liechty is the owner of Queen Bee Auto Repair in Springville where we specialize in all engine and transmission repairs on any make and model. Please contact us for any additional questions or help at firstname.lastname@example.org or (801) 396-7916.
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