Let’s face it – entrepreneurs only start a business for one reason – to make money. Why would someone go through all the expense, risk, and pain of starting a company if there wasn’t hope of significant reward? I’m not saying that everyone is money hungry or greedy, but I am saying that a business is there to make money.
An automotive service shop is a business. In order to keep running, they need to make money. Most shops employ a salesman, also known as a service writer whose primary duties include writing up customers, communicating between the customer and the mechanic, some even inspect vehicles with the technicians, and most importantly, selling service to ensure company profitability. Like any good salesman should, they will befriend you and recommend services to “help” you out.
Here’s what most people don’t know about service advisors – they are paid in commissions. Like any other salesman, the more they sell, the more they get paid. Thankfully there are a lot of good people out there who truly want to do you right and keep your business. However, for every honest automotive service representative that’s out there today, there are 9 more that only care for their paycheck.
The U.S. Economy has seen better days. Unfortunately, as money becomes scarce, more people will result to any means in order to make a buck. Look at the rise in scams taking place today. A prime example is the lottery scams where you receive an e-mail or telephone call saying you have received a large sum of money, but you must send money first to receive your fake “winnings”. Or the latest “loan scam” where a company says they can loan you around $5,000 with bad or no credit, but you must pay the first few payments up front.
The BBB (Better Business Bureau) was developed to protect consumers from businesses that have repeatedly done customers wrong. Also, some states such as California took it a step further and developed the BAR (Bureau of Automotive Repair), to protect consumers from shady shops. Unfortunately, these services usually only catch the worst of the worst, and a lot of shops still get away with bad business.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Find a shop you are familiar with or that has a good rapport with their customers. Even though it can be time-consuming, shop around for pricing to keep them honest. Research and come up with a service plan that suites your needs. Lastly, always get second or even third-party opinions, even when it comes to that mechanic you have known for years. Or if you would prefer a professional to protect you when it comes to maintaining and repairing your vehicle, seek out a company like Auto Service Security. Spending a little extra time, may save you a lot of money and hassle.