Avoid These Five Auto Body Shop Scams.
If you live in Florida you should not be surprised to hear of some kind of scam taking place. Florida has been reported by the Federal Trade Commission to host 18 out of 50 cities for fraud in the whole country.
Top 10 Cities in Florida for Fraud.
Orlando Metro Area
Daytona Beach Metro area
Port St. Lucie
Fraud can be done in almost every industry so, we want to share with you what scams to avoid when dealing with an auto body shop. Yes Even auto body shops owners or people affiliated with them can commit fraud, and not just any kind of fraud, insurance fraud which is a very serious felony.
Here are 5 Auto Body Shop Scams to avoid.
Special Promotion hook schemes.- Shady auto body shop owners advertise super-low prices on specific repairs or check-ups, then use these specials to bill customers. A simple oil-change-and-lube job can turn into expensive and unneeded repairs.
Shoddy Work or none- A body shop may cut corners. Sometimes the body shop does not work at all, but bills you and your insurer for a full repair job. You may have to return multiple times wasting your time.
Counterfeit or used parts. A dishonest auto body shop owner will install parts that are counterfeit or used but charge you for expensive new parts. These parts can give out when you’re on the road, putting you and your family at risk. Used parts are viable for some repairs, scam body shops will bill you for new parts but install used ones.
Unnecessary Repairs- A shop may add onto your bill by “repairing” mechanical problems and damage that never existed.
Padding charges- A auto body shops may offer “fair” verbal repair estimates, but present final bills that are far beyond the estimates. Or a body shop may leave the estimated amount blank when you sign a repair authorization, then secretly fill in a larger amount.
How it affects you.
Fraudulent body shops cost you more than you think:
Safety Concern- You’re’ putting yourself in harm’s way every time you drive in a poorly repaired vehicle.
Mental Stress/Wasted Time- What’s more frustrating than getting repairs repaired. Avoid the headaches and wasted time. Get it done right, and safely, the first time.
Higher insurance premiums- Padded charges and unnecessary repairs can raise your auto premium also premiums of every honest driver, fraud affects every other policyholder as well.
What can you do?
To avoid being a target of fraudulent auto body shops here are five things you can do to protect your time and health from unreputable auto body shops. Develop a relationship with your local auto body shop, you’ll discover that you will find fair prices and surety that you will be safe when you’re driving your vehicle. Here are four other ways you can protect yourself.
Look for reviews. Your insurer has a list of preferred body shops in your area. Ask friends and relatives. When checking out a shop, ask management for references and see if the local Better Business Bureau has complaints on file. The best-preferred way is to search for reviews from other customers through search engines like Google and listing sites like Yelp.
Get a written out estimate. This includes parts and labour also get the estimate before you authorize repairs. Make sure the shop agrees, in writing, to contact you for approval before performing work that exceeds a certain amount.
Ask to see repairs. Have the shop point out what parts were replaced or repaired, also see the old parts that were replaced.
Is the final bill higher? Ask the shop to explain the extra charges. And make sure the invoice itemizes all work done, including parts, repairs and guarantees. If a problem occurs later, you can prove that service guarantees covered the repairs.
Not all auto body shops are owned by unreputable people preying on your hard earn money, but to make sure you never have to experience such things we have created this list for you and hope you've found it useful. If you need a professional auto body shop to help with the repairs of your car give us a call Click Here to get in contact with our business to help you get back on the road.