Thursday, September 18, 2014

Complaints in Auto Repair -The Why and How | Joe & Tony's Service Inc.

Every couple of years the Better Business Bureau releases statistics on the inquiries and complaints that they receive from consumers. The latest figures are for 2012 and don't reflect well on the auto repair industry.

Background - The BBB fielded more than 1.75 million inquiries in the "Auto Repair & Service" category. It was the fourth most frequent request made by the the public. In 2012 there were over 117 million reports issued by the BBB. When complaints filed against auto repair facilities are compared to other businesses, repair shops ranked ninth with 14,002 complaints filed, of which 9284 were settled which is just about 2/3 of the complaints filed.

Reasons - There are numerous ways to disappoint consumers when it comes to their cars. Vehicles are not repaired competently ; they are misdiagnosed or maybe the repair isn't completed when promised. The stakes are high when the family vehicle is involved, because it can impact the ability to get to work or move family members to appointments some of which may incur monetary penalties when missed.

Why - The auto repair environment can easily lend itself to misunderstanding. Its nomenclature is full of acronyms which are difficult for the industry to keep up with and must seem like an alphabet soup of indiscriminate terms to consumers. The separation of job functions between the service writer and technician adds a level of interpretation before a description of the vehicle's problems is relayed to the owner and therefore is susceptible to misinterpretation.

Considerations - In the review driven retail world that prevails today it is important that all parties involved conduct themselves in a civil manner and avoid personalizing the dispute. Consumers should look for transparency in their interaction with the auto repair facility and the shop should attempt to identify with the feelings of vulnerability the customer perceives. Everyone should try to strip away any chance for misunderstanding and negotiate in good faith.   

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