The advice is all the same for auto repair scam prevention. You’ll be told to find an ASE certified shop. Ask around. Check out several different repair facilities first. Are they clean and neat? Do they provide written estimates? Check with the BBB. Is it AAA certified? Some will even advise to “ask for the parts back.”
Traditional tips and suggestions merely put a band-aid over an infected, gaping sore. Strong antibiotics are required to address the root source of the problems in the repair industry. To provide repair customers with the above advice is like sending a soldier into combat dressed in a pink tutu. We have to stop scratching at the surface.
There has not been any “new” advice in decades. More importantly, no one has answered why car repair scams have reached an estimated 40 billion dollars per year. Moreover, why is there still no solution to stop car repair scams?
The first hurdle to conquer is the perception of the frequency of auto repair scams. Many folks just don’t believe that car repair fraud is all that bad. Some even argue that the vast majority of repair shops do an honest day’s work, and that a few bad apples are making the rest look like crooks.
This is an interesting argument, and raises a number of questions.
- If it is only a few “bad apples,” where are they hiding the 40 billion?
- If most repair shops are honest, why does every state warn against car repair scams?
- Why are auto repair shops at the top of consumer complaint lists every single year, in every state?
- Why are repair scams spreading across the continents? For example, just last week Australia listed car repair scams at number 4 on their top 10 consumer complaint list.
The perception of frequency gets distorted because there are a number of levels to repair scams. There are the blatant rip-offs covered in the news. Then there are the common scams such as exorbitant prices and estimates, and aggressive scare tactics to get service customers to perform services. These occur every day.
The repair scams uncovered by RepairTrust not only found the tactics listed above and more, but a powerful undercurrent of scamming at the foundation of the automotive service industry. In reality, most car repair scams go unnoticed by the service consumer. Service customers just have no idea that they were ripped-off. This under-the-radar scamming occurs in dealerships, local shops, and franchises. Affiliation with ASE, AAA, BBB, NADA makes no difference.
An ASE patch on a technician’s arm, or an AAA or BBB sticker on the door of a service center means absolutely nothing in terms of a scam-free facility. Word of mouth recommendations can be just as devastating, as even shops that “seem” honest aren’t. Check out Car Repair Prices: There Are No Honest Mechanics @ EzineArticles or RepairTrust for further discussion on this. Also, for NEW and FREE scam prevention tips visit the Car Repair Scam Articles @ RepairTrust.
Traditional tips are ineffective in today’s service industry. Service facilities have found new and ingenious ways of ripping people off. In truth, many of the old tips and suggestions have actually become weapons allowing service centers to indulge in car repair scams more than ever.
The car repair playing field must be leveled. Service customers need solid answers, and they need to be equipped with information, understanding, tools, and an insider’s view of the who, what, when, where, why, and how of price-gouging. Navigating the dim underworld of today’s service centers with outdated information will cost a fortune.
For a great video visit “Repair Scams Caught on Video” @ http://www.repairtrust.com