Car mechanics often try to take advantage of their customers. If you suspect that you are overcharged for your auto repairs, you have to handle the situation very wisely. Direct bargaining may lead to unwanted consequences. In this post, you will learn what to do if a mechanic overcharges you.
How to know if you are overcharged
If you have a shop, you must have a trip to the service shop. You may be able to fix some simple issues, but you must go to a mechanic if the issue is complex. When it comes to paying the mechanic, you must notice whether the mechanic is overcharging you.
But how do you know if you are being overcharged? First, if the mechanic does not show you the old part, may be the reason is that there is no damage in the old part.
If notice that the mechanic is fixing something unrelated to the initial problem, may be there is something wrong with the mechanic. He is doing this just to increase the amount of the bill.
If you are an average Joe who does not know the ins and out of automotive parts, your mechanic may convince you that your vehicle may need such and such parts when there is no need of those parts. A mechanic may exploit your ignorance of the replacement parts.
In some cases you may be bullied into using a particular service garage. It is not necessary to choose the first servicing shop you come across. Do not let a mechanic make you believe that you are putting your family in danger by not getting a particular part installed on your car.
If you are a bit careful, you can know whether you are being overcharged. But it is also important to know what to do if a mechanic overcharges you. Below are some tips that will help you deal with such a situation.
Remaining calm is not easy when a mechanic overcharges you. But, if you get upset at the charges, do not overreact. Your irritation will only make things worse and you will find it hard to handle the situation.
Do not put the mechanic on the defensive. Use your emotional intelligence and try to analyze the situation. Do not go directly into the issue. Take a step back and try to be easy with the mechanic before you start talking about the issue. The worst thing you can do is to get angry.
Ask for an explanation, politely
Politely ask the mechanic why he is charging so much for the work performed. Let him know that the charged amount is higher than what was quoted beforehand. Explain the discrepancy and politely ask for a reason.
To prove that the original estimate was lower, you can show the documentation if you have that. Make sure that the price was originally quoted by the same person. If not, ask them if that person is available.
Read about it online
You can learn about that particular repair cost if you do some research online. If the power window of your Honda stops working, you can find relevant information with just a simple Google search. Just type the model name and the problems. Tons of results will appear in seconds.
It has two benefits. You can get some fair price idea and you can get some advice that may help you fix it yourself. And if you know exactly what it is, no mechanic will be able to deceive you. Yes, knowledge is power.
Read the manual
Extensive operations like engine work and transmission require costly parts. So car mechanics do not make a lot of money fixing these problems. Therefore, even if you pay a fairly good amount of money, mechanics do not make much money because the profit is not much.
But your mechanic may overcharge you with operations such as brake change, oil change, tire rotation etc. when you suspect that you are being overcharged, read both the dealer’s manual and the owner’s manual and compare them.
Learn as much as possible about your car. If you are well-informed, you will know when you are being overcharged. Read about your car and try to know the prices of its parts. This is basically what to do if a mechanic overcharges you.
Remain in the store until the repairing is done
If possible, do not leave the store unless the repairing is done. If you are present there throughout the time, most probably you will get a satisfactory resolution. It is not a good idea to put some distance between you and the issue.
If you do not know the mechanic well, he may overcharge you. But that does not mean that you have to refuse to leave the area if necessary. If you feel that the shop owner needs some privacy, do not hesitate to give him the privacy.
Good behaviors can do wonders wherein negotiations fail. Make sure you do not cause the mechanic irritation when you remain in the store. Be engaged in a conversation with the mechanic. Try to be friendly.
Ask them how much the parts cost
Ask the mechanic how much the parts cost, but do it politely. In most cases, if you want to buy the same parts from Amazon or eBay, you will have to pay cheaper rates. Mechanics can also tell you which brands are good and which are not.
But if you notice that the mechanic is quoting a higher price, feel free to shop online if you have time. But obviously it will not be possible if you are in an emergency situation. But if you have enough time, this is what to do if a mechanic overcharges you.
If you buy a part and ask a mechanic to install it, chances are that you will not be overcharged. The mechanic will assume that you are well-aware of the stuff, and will not dare overcharging you.
Contact the Better Business Bureau
If things go out of control, you can file a complaint against the mechanic’s business. This complaint does not guarantee that your money will be returned to you, but BBB will ask the shop to make the right decision. In most cases, the Better Business Bureau can settle such problems amicably.
Check the reviews
Now you know what to do if a mechanic overcharges you. But you can prevent such a thing from happening in the first place if you check the reviews of the particular mechanic or service. If you have not done it and run into a complex argument, try to resolve the issue with your commonsense and patience.
If the issue is not settled yet, you can Google their personal name or their business name. if you find too many negative reviews, you should tell the mechanic why you are unwilling to pay such a high price for the job performed. However, you can receive good service even if the reviews are not in your favor.
The best way to deal with an overcharging mechanic is to learn as much as you can about your vehicle. If you do so, you will be able to avoid unwanted situations. As a car owner, you should never let a mechanic exploit your ignorance of automobile repairing. A little bit of awareness can help you save some money.