Consumer Reports car repair survey finds customers happy with repairs

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Auto repair

A Consumer Reports survey found most people are happy with car repairs, but a sizable number aren't thrilled with the price. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Consumer Reports magazine releases an annual survey of its readers concerning their satisfaction with car repair services. This year’s car report survey found, among other things, that most people were satisfied with the work, but many weren’t happy with the price.

Virtuous local shopping its own reward

A lot of people as well as a recent television commercial by American Express extoll the virtues of “keeping it local,” shopping at locally owned and operated businesses, rather than at multinational franchises. Some ancient Greeks believed virtue was its own reward, but in the case of auto repair shops, virtue has other rewards.

For instance, according to CBS, going to an independent auto shop can save up to $300 per year. Also, according to Life Inc., frequenters of independent auto repair surveys tend to be more satisfied with the work performed on their cars, or at least that’s what people told Consumer Reports.

[Find out how easy it is to buy a car online]

Consumer Reports is releasing its annual auto repair satisfaction survey and, among other findings, CR found that of the 38 percent of people who complained of high prices, most were directed at dealership repair shops.

Most happy with the work

Overall, Consumer Reports found 73 percent of the 5,400 respondents were “completely” or “very satisfied” with the work done on their cars. Of the 27 percent not satisfied with the repairs, it was split evenly among independent, dealership and chain repair shops like Jiffy Lube and Midas.

Of the unsatisfied, 21 percent reported being unhappy with how long it took, and 18 percent reported having to take the car back to the repair shop because the repairs didn’t solve the problem.

Nearly a quarter of unhappy respondents switched repair shops in the past five years because they were unhappy with their repair shops. Sexism seems to have played a part in it, as 30 percent of women who had switched repair shops did so because the repair shops were trying to take advantage of their gender.

However, of the shops that did not treat customers well overall, 8 percent were dealerships compared to 4 percent independent, according to Consumer Reports.

Good help can be hard to find

It isn’t easy to find a mechanic one can build a relationship with and trust implicitly, which is why many people will keep going back if they find one. That is also why the Federal Trade Commission, according to SmartMoney, receives more than 2,000 annual complaints about car parts or car repairs.

There are a few good tips about taking one’s car into a shop. According to Consumer Reports, it is a good idea to always ask for an estimate before approving repairs. Never, according to MSN, say how much or how little you are willing to spend. Also, if a shop reports a suspicious repair has to be done, ask to see the evidence for it.

Sources

Life Inc.

Consumer Reports

CBS

SmartMoney: http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/autos/10-things-your-mechanic-wont-tell-you/

MSN: http://money.msn.com/car-buying/what-mechanics-hope-you-do-not-know-marketwatch.aspx


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