| Added On September 7, 2012
If you have a mechanic you trust and like, hold on to him/her with your life. As we all know, body shops – car, truck and motorcycle repair concerns – are notorious for shading the truth, over-charging or flat out ripping us off. Here are few things to beware of when you bring your beloved vehicle in for some work:
JACKING UP THE PRICE: Body shops are notorious for quoting one price, then presenting you with a much higher bill after the work is complete. This is the oldest one in the book, and probably why they try it over and over again.
UNNECESSARY REPAIRS: It’s called “bill padding” – when they try to charge you for work that doesn’t even need to be done – and it’s illegal in some states. It’s a grotesque practice and some do it because they think the customer knows so little about the repairs that they won’t know the difference.
BOGUS PARTS: Some repair shops will use cheap, used or even broken parts as replacement parts for your vehicle and then charge you the cost of an expensive item. This has been documented over and over again and in some cases has even caused horrible accidents and even death when the parts failed.
SLOPPY WORK OR WORSE, NO WORK AT ALL: There have been outlandish stories of mechanics doing incredibly subpar work or even no work at all. Imagine that – you bring your car in for some work, pay them for the work, get it back and drive off, only to find that the same problem persists. Now, imagine if that happened and you or a loved one were injured because of the sloppy work? It happens.
CHEAP REPAIR SPECIALS THAT TURN INTO EXPENSIVE SCAMS: This happens in every single town from San Diego to San Francisco. A repair shop – or a big name franchise – advertises a super cheap oil-change-and-lube, tire rotation or something like that; then when they have customers in there for the simple, cheap advertised special, they tell them that they need $1,000′s of work done. It’s a scam.
DAMAGING YOUR CAR EVEN MORE THAN WHEN IT’S BROUGHT IN: The extent to which some unethical shops will go to increase business never ceases to amaze. Some shops have been known to actually do more damage to vehicles then when they arrived – they may do things like damage carburetors, filters, fuel lines, electrical boxes or any host of other parts.
Now, not all repair shops of mechanics are like this – there are some great professionals who do good, honest work. Try your hardest to make sure that they treat you the way you deserve to be treated. And, of course, if you think an accident or injury has been caused by shoddy or fraudulent work, feel free to speak to an attorney about your legal and financial rights.