|Steer Clear of Auto Repair Scams|
|News Releases - General Info|
|Written by Jason Alderman|
|Monday, 29 July 2013 13:56|
If you feel frustrated or intimidated whenever you take your car in for repairs, you're not alone. According to the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau, auto repair fraud consistently ranks among the top consumer complaints they receive.
Although most auto repair shops are legitimate, some unscrupulous operators will rip off inexperienced car owners by performing unnecessary or unauthorized repairs, substituting counterfeit or used replacement parts, or even doing such shoddy work that lives are endangered.
Here are tips for becoming a more informed consumer and a few common scams to avoid:
Try to have a trusted repair shop already lined up before you need one. Ask friends or your auto insurance company for recommendations, or search the Better Business Bureau's website (www.bbb.org) for accredited businesses. Also:
If your car needs major work, gather several estimates for comparison. Once you've chosen a shop, ask for a detailed estimate (with no sections left blank) before you authorize repairs. Specify that you must be called to grant permission before additional repairs. Make sure the work order clearly specifies:
Make sure the final repair bill contains itemizes all work completed and parts used. (Ask them to show you the work done and replaced parts.) Also have the bill spell out any guaranteed items (including exclusions), in case problems occur later and you need contractual proof.
Watch out for these common scams:
Just because you don't completely understand what goes on under the hood doesn't mean you can't protect yourself against auto repair scams. To learn more, visit the FTC's comprehensive Auto Repair Basics site at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/
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