Sunday, January 6, 2008


. . . . .
I, uncle jim, am an ‘in-the-shop’ working and managing partner in an automotive specialty repair shop. I am commenting here on this my blog as an addendum, if you will, to a series of posts at by the writer of that blog. You may go to that site and read the whole piece.
. . . . . . . . . .

Myth #1 -
Women get "taken" every time they go to a shop because they don't know anything about cars, and the shops know this so they take advantage.

MY VIEW of the reality - [concurs greatly with Adoro – see her post of 1/4/08]
IF the individual shop is one who tries to take advantage of people, they will TRY to take advantage no matter whether it is a man or a woman. IF there are more women who are less knowledgeable or are less able to project an air of self-confidence in the conversation than men, then more women will be taken advantage of than men.

IF the individual shop is honest and forthright, they are that way to all comers, not just to men or just to women – and not just to the knowledgeable and self-confident.

IF the customer doesn’t present themselves in a “Hey, I know a lot about cars, so don’t try to snow me” manner, in other words as a ‘know-it-all’, they’ll get a lot farther down the road to a good repair [even if they really do know a lot] a lot faster.

Myth #2 –
If a man handles a dispute with the insurance company or repair shop, it will be resolved.

MY VIEW of the reality - [concurs with Adoro – see her post of 1/4/08]

Myth #3 –
Insurance companies are out to screw everybody.

MY VIEW of the reality - [concurs greatly with Adoro – see her post of 1/4/08]
Insurance companies are out to make a profit – that is the nature of business. They do not usually function differently because the insured is male, or is female. They do try to protect their stockholders’ and owners’ interest. They do try to provide good service to their customers based on the terms of the contract. Individuals within the insurance company, who may be graded or rewarded based on performance [translated as ‘more profit’ or ‘lower payouts’] may make it harder for the insured to collect monies actually due them. But, that will eventually catch up with most of them because the company does not want a reputation as one who reneges on their obligations.

Caveat Emptor – read the terms of your contract. The area I’ve seen the closest to being rip-offs are some extended coverage ‘warranty insurance’ contracts. The car dealers who push these products sell these contracts, take their commission, and are off the financial hook. SOME of these products make it very difficult for the policy holder / car owner to collect for what were thought to be covered items. Read the fine print. Some of these documents are ingenious in the ways they keep you from collecting. In dealing with these companies, the repair facility then becomes an innocent by-stander in the ensuing war between the car owner and the extended coverage carrier.

Myth #4 –
Repair shops are out to screw everybody.

MY VIEW of the reality - [concurs with Adoro – see her post of 1/4/08]
Also read item #3 above. Additionally, where I work, we do sometimes see and hear horror stories about issues customers have with another repair facility. We can only give our opinion as to the needed repairs and our pricing, and have often times saved the people a bundle of money over what the other guy diagnosed and quoted. Sometimes, there are those who try to take advantage … see #3 above. Word of mouth referrals go a long way. Ask a friend who they trust. Most of our first time customers come by word-of-mouth referrals.

Myth #5 –
Men have no respect for the capacity of women to understand mechanical things

MY VIEW of the reality - [concurs with Adoro – see her post of 1/4/08]

Myth #6 –
If my car has a warranty, I have to get it fixed at the dealership.

MY VIEW of the reality - [concurs with Adoro – see her post of 1/4/08]

Myth #7 –
What about aftermarket parts? Used parts? Remanufactured parts?

MY VIEW of the reality - [which concurs greatly with Adoro – see her post of 1/4/08]
Additionally, there are actually some aftermarket parts that exceed the quality of the OEM part. Some specific parts become known in the repair industry as being deficient in design. The result is that some aftermarket company then ‘builds a better mousetrap’. Savvy repair shops use these parts whenever they can.

I will continue to follow additional posts on these topics at Adoro Te Devote’s blog and I will comment appropriately when I can.

. . . . .
uncle jim

1 comment:

Adoro said...

Uncle Jim, we are SO on the same page. Thanks for your clarifications and some of the issues you brought the warranty contracts.

One thing I'm going to have to bring up, too, is the issue of "estimates". 5 people can look at the same car and write 5 different sheets.

Another post for another day...


You'd be great to work with.