Checklist for Selecting the Right Auto Repair Shop
* Is the shop and customer waiting area clean and organized? Cleanliness and organization are signs of a well-run business.
* Are customers greeted and treated in a friendly and respectful manner? Many auto repair businesses excel in the area of customer service and satisfaction. A simple phone call to the shop to inquire about their services can give you a glimpse of how they treat customers.
* Does the business have its credentials on display, such as membership in the Better Business Bureau (BBB), certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and membership in various trade associations? Credentials and affiliations are indicators of professionalism and the management's commitment to training and education.
* Does the business provide a written estimate? The business should complete a written estimate and request your signature prior to starting any repairs on your car.
* Does the business offer a warranty? Most auto repair businesses offer a warranty on parts and labor and the warranty is usually in writing or posted in the waiting area.
* Does the business have a list of satisfied customers or references that it is willing to give you? Satisfied customers and recommendations from family, friends and neighbors are helpful in finding a good shop. Many auto repair facilities also have company Web sites that are worth checking out as they often include testimonials and additional information about the business.
"For most people, a vehicle is their second biggest investment next to a home. It makes sense to take the time to select an auto repair facility that will take the best care of your investment," says Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the "Be Car Care Aware" consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council's Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.
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