Things to Watch For: Is Your Auto Service Provider Being Totally Honest?

Unfortunately, many people are constantly scammed by their auto service providers. This is easy for mechanics to do as cars are very complex and not everyone is knowledgeable of them.  Customers hand their car over to specialists trusting them to do the right thing, but that is not always the case. Below Jiffy Lube will explain some of the most common scams, as well as tips that even the least knowledgeable car owner can use to avoid being taken advantage of. 

Sneaky Fees

 Some mechanics will advertise a hard-to-believe low price on a service and add “fees” to the cost, making the final price way more expensive than the customer expected. A common fee is the shop supply fee, which charges customers for the supplies used to fix up their vehicle; this may be something as simple as shop towels and cleaning products. Another fee is the environmental waste fee, which charges customers for whatever supplies the auto service provider used on their vehicle and threw away or recycled, this is usually explained as a cost for disposing of used fluids such as oil or antifreeze.  Don’t fall for these fees. How would you react if you went out for dinner and found an upcharge on your bill of $1 per person for a “napkin laundry fee”?  The cost of washing napkins is no different than the cost of washing shop towels – it’s all a cost of doing business and the customer should not be surprised when they get the final bill.

 Are Parts and Labor included in the price quote?

 When you are quoted a price, make sure you ask if it includes both parts and labor as well as whether there are additional fees on the part or service.  Some service facilities will quote an “all-in-one” price that includes both parts and labor.  Others will quote just the part and add on labor after the fact. In either case, make sure the quoted price includes everything you will pay for when the job is done.

 Before you authorize any vehicle service, ask your service provider if there will be any additional fees on top of what was quoted.  If they say yes and you are told about anything other than sales tax, make sure they explain exactly what you are paying for.  Remember –If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Scare tactics

 Saying something like “I wouldn’t drive this another mile” is a good indication that you’re not getting the best service possible. Your auto provider shouldn’t be trying to scare you into using their service. They are advertising through fear by pressuring you to make a quick decision to purchase based on an emotional reaction rather than on sound reasoning. Ask a lot of questions, if it is that serious of a problem your provider should be able to describe it. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.  If an issue is really that serious and the mechanic is being honest, you will hear the same information somewhere else.

 Comparing Old and New Fluids

 Providers shouldn’t be showing their customers what new fluid looks like compared to the fluid from their vehicle. If they show you the problem first-hand and compare it to how it should look they are trying to force you to make a judgment call. Instead you should be given information regarding what your vehicle manufacturer recommends at your current mileage, no pressure or fuss.

 If you suspect your auto service provider is being dishonest collect all of the paperwork, receipts, work orders, written estimates and warranty information that you have from their shop. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be; and go to any Fargo Jiffy Lube for honest service, recommendations based on your vehicle manufacturers guidelines and quality car care, every time.

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