Trick or Treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat. If you don’t, I don’t care…
Like the children’s rhyme auto repair can, unfortunately, be like a game of Russian Roulette. Trick or Treat? Will I walk away a satisfied customer who paid appropriate prices? Or will I walk away wondering if I got the repairs I need and spent too much?
With a week of horror movies, costumes and ghost stories told around flashlights under tents made of couch cushions I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight a recent story (with a happy ending) we received from a member of Women Auto Know.
Dear Women Auto Know,
Recently I was involved in a minor motor vehicle collision where a vehicle rear ended me and I subsequently hit a SUV in front of me. After the initial shock of the accident and ensuring that I and passengers had not sustained any life threatening juries, my first thought was gosh, how’s my car going to get fixed?
I called into my insurance company to report the accident and I called into report the accident to the insurance company of the man who hit me. After speaking to an adjuster I was told that I needed to bring my car into one of their “approved auto claims centers” Unknowingly I agreed to meet with an adjuster to view the damages sustained to my vehicle. Something seemed a little fishy, why did I have to bring my car to one of their centers? Why couldn’t I choose who I wanted to do my repairs? Everything I’d overhead my dad and uncles talking about regarding accidents and how to handle them went out of the window. I felt pressured and rushed speaking to the insurance representative, I was clueless.
I spoke to someone I trusted wouldn’t steer me in to the wrong direction. She told me that I had the right to bring my car to any auto repair shop of my choosing. She explained to me that the insurance companies and these auto repair shops have a relationship and that I needed to go to somewhere where my best interest would be served. I didn’t want to get low-balled. I got schooled. Thanks Audra!
With my new-found confidence I called my adjuster and informed him that I couldn’t make our appointment and that I would be taking my car to a shop I knew and trusted. Immediately I was told that if they were paying for repairs they had the right to view the damages and make their own quote and that if I wanted to take my car to a shop outside of their network I had to go through my insurance and they would reimburse them. I emphatically asserted i knew this wasn’t the case and I could take my car for an independent inspection. The adjuster changed his tune, conceded that I was in fact correct and I could choose to do so if I wished. This just goes to show that a little knowledge goes a long way!
There are still many skeptics, but the following may illustrate the widespread distrust of car repair?
Auto Repair – Just How Much Fraud Is There?
RepairTrust studies show that 98% of all car repair shops are charging excessively in one form or another. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that automotive service consumers are scammed tens of billions of dollars every year. And repair shops—dealerships, local shops, and franchises—are repeatedly at the top of consumer complaint lists every year.
RepairTrust Consumer Surveys indicate the following…
•86% of repair customers stated car repair prices are either too high or outrageous
•78% of car repair customers suspect that they pay too much for car repair
•70% are concerned about getting overcharged for car repair
•40% stated that they knew they were overcharged for car repair
•73% want a resource to determine fair car repair prices
•78% want information that will help them avoid car repair scams
•69% want information that would allow them to advocate for themselves•62% want information that will help lower car repair costs
With numbers like those, anyone would be afraid. That’s what we’re working to helping the public with, here at Women Auto Know.
Do you have a horror story that you would like to share? We want to hear from you. Comment on here or Facebook us.