2016.10 Part 1
We have all experienced this at some point, whether it be a refrigerator, washing machine or your vehicle. And often due to the costly nature of these repairs, disputes can arise.
RACQ said “In our experience many disputes are due to simple misunderstandings or poor communication on the part of one or both parties. But on occasions there can also be genuine deficiencies in the work that will need to be corrected.”
Here are some tips on helping you choose a repairer, understanding issues and snags you may come across and how to deal with a dispute if it arises.
1. Find a mechanic you feel comfortable with and can trust.
This will go a long way in avoiding disputes or to resolve them quickly and painlessly!
Look and ask for personal recommendations from friends and family to start with. Don’t be afraid to ask your mechanic if they have the necessary tools, information and experience to repair your vehicle. Also enquire and understand any warranties requirements as to not affect any cover they might have.
And of course, look for an RACQ Approved Repairer – while this will not prevent disputes arising, as an RACQ Approved Repairer ourselves, we have a code of practice to abide by. RACQ will also help to assist any disputes that may arise.
2. Get a quote/estimate before committing yourself.
Major repairs can stretch any budget pretty quickly. It could also exceed the value of your older vehicle. So it is important you get a repair quote so you know how much the repair/s will cost not just to be able to budget, but to help you make a better/easier decision.
Now there is a difference between a “Quote” and an “Estimate”….. Estimates are usual approximate and can change in price, depending on the repair. Quotes are a fixed price and binding unless otherwise agreed between the 2 parties involved. Quotes can also be “NOT FREE”….. If parts have had to be dismantled/removed, then repairers are entitled to charge for their time. This is why it is important to confirm with your mechanic before any work is carried out.
At Ipswich City Mechanical, we will not carry out any work until we have had your authorisation to do so. We will always explain what the costs involve and if you don’t understand we will do our best to explain it to you.
If you are still concerned then I recommend to go and get a 2nd opinion. BUT make sure that you are comparing apples with apples! Just because a quote is cheaper somewhere else, there could be a reason for that… get a quote/estimate in writing.
3. Describe your issue as best a possible.
Be very clear in your description in the issue with your vehicle, particularly if the issue is intermittent and you are unable to replicate it with your mechanic. The more information you can give to your mechanic the easier it will be to find and fix, which will save you money in the long run.
So a little handy hint with intermittent faults – keep notes of what happens when the issue arises. Make note of things like the speed, how long you have been driving for, does it only happen when the car is hot or cold, in hot or cold weather, on start up, etc, etc. Keep a note pad in your car; the more information you can give your mechanic the better for you and your hip pocket!
You also need to have realistic expectations – a mechanic who has not been able to replicate the issue can’t be expected to diagnosis the first time let alone the correct diagnosis.
But also remember, if you diagnose the issue yourself or request specific repairs to be done based on your diagnosis and it doesn’t resolve the issue, the misdiagnosis and costs will be your responsibility, not the mechanic who carried out the repairs. It is always best to accurately describe the symptoms and let the professional make the final diagnosis.
Part 2 will be continued in next week’s Tuesday Tips.
Have a terrific Tuesday!