How to Deal with a Repairer
The best way to avoid unpleasant surprises in the form of a higher than expected vehicle repair bill is to have good communication between you and the repairer.
Even though 'Menu style' pricing has becomes popular because the costs seem to be up front, there are still some services that are advertised at extremely low prices and you need to be cautious that all of the work is actually done for the quoted price.
Repairers often find more work that needs to be carried out, much to the frustration of the budget-conscious car owner who thought they were getting a bargain.
Here are some useful hints for how to deal with a repairer so that you minimise those surprises.
- Describe the symptoms to the repairer and let the experts diagnose the fault – avoid making your own assessment about what needs to be done.
- Get a quote or estimate for the work to be done, preferably in writing, to avoid confusion later.
- Tell the repairer of any budget limits you have if the work cannot be fully quoted.
- Confirm the methods of payment accepted by the repairer.
- Make sure the repairer has your contact details or instructions if additional work is needed.
- If additional work is needed, ask for an explanation of the fault. If unsure, visit the repairer for a demonstration of the fault or to be shown the problem prior to work continuing. A second opinion may provide peace of mind.
- Ask to see any parts that have been removed, and if not convinced of the need to have them replaced, arrange to take them away if possible for an expert opinion.
- When the account is prepared, make sure it is itemised. Ask for an explanation of each item and don’t be afraid to challenge any costs that you consider excessive.
Asking the right questions and stating the level of service you require is a good starting point.
Choose to deal with an RAA Approved Repairer. They are obliged to comply with certain conditions and will therefore minimise the risk of these problems.
Motoring & Road Safety