Taking a car in for repairs leaves you at the whim of mechanics. Most motorists haven’t got a clue about any vehicular issues and that render them defenceless. It is a challenge to find a decent garage that is fairly priced and do honest work. Most of them are fair. But there are shady ones who may contribute to automobile insurance crime that affect premiums for everyone. Carriers have a habit of passing any losses they suffer due to fraud and criminal activities to policyholders.
You may be able to avoid some of the problems discussed below if you check the company and look for referrals, especially from auto insurers or claim adjusters. To earn extra money, some mechanics carry out unnecessary work. Make sure to be on the lookout for these common car repair rip offs.
Some shops may not use the parts they say they will. Or they bill the car insurance firm for the new but use old. Others may use counterfeit parts, which wear out faster than the original. Unless you are in the business, you will not be able to notice the difference.
The best thing to do is to find a company you can trust. Otherwise, you will not stand in the shop and see every part they change. There is hardly any way of telling unless you get it inspected independently. Maybe an adjuster will have a way of inspecting it but they can still get away with a lot of the cons.
Some can tell lies to get you buy service deals and they can bulk up the costs. They may tell you it is time to replace shocks and struts at the fifty thousand mile mark. Those parts should get replaced when they wear out, not every fifty thousand miles. Look at the instruction manual and know which components need upkeep based mostly on mileage and which don’t.
It can even be an outright cheating when they charge for things they haven’t done. The vehicle insurance may cover damages to the transmission. But the shop changes the transmission liquid and filters, adjusts the shift points (for shifting to another gear) and charges over two thousand dollars for the work.
What can you possibly do about it? Ask for their paperwork because each work order should include the “three C’s”, complaint, cause and correction. The “complaint” is done in the primary write-up and points out the difficulty, for example, a rattling noise.
The “cause” and “correction” include the outcome of testing on the automobile, with suggestions for “correcting” the difficulty. A consumer sees the last 2 “C’s” on the final invoice. It shows why they went and did what they actually did.
Often service firms pull a “bait and switch.” where a price is too good to be true. If a garage publicizes a $9.99 oil replacement, it is a method to get you through the doors. You are not able to buy the oil for that price. The store will honor that price, but may overcharge you for an oil filter to make up the difference, as an example. You should be careful when the price advertised appears to be too cheap too. A “bargain” may turn out to cost you more in the end.
Some garages will try and get the business by offering to waive the deductible on your repair estimate, sending the insurance firm a fraudulent bill. If you have $5,000 worth of damages and you carry a $500 deductible, the insurer should pay $4,500 difference. But a mechanic may suggest estimating the damages at $5,500 so that the carrier pays for the whole of the $5,000 damages and somehow you get your $500 deductible back. This is a clear sign that you are dealing with a crook.
You have to realize this practice is not legal and steer clear. Some may even offer to give you an extra couple of hundred dollars if you do find out about the fraudulent bill. The best thing to do is to stay away from such dodgy practices.
The next thing may be to report the incident to the adjuster. This way, they may drop this particular business and look for other reputable body shops. But often people will not do that because it is too much of a responsibility to cause them losses even though they clearly don’t care about others.