Desert Heat Auto views the trust between drivers and their chosen Auto Repair Shop Mesa professionals as sacred. Not all of our colleagues necessarily feel likewise profitability in our industry flows from a genuine commitment to keeping Phoenix’s cars and trucks safely on the road.
We also understand that, as much as we’d love it to be otherwise, not every driver in the Valley of the Sun will grace our Automotive Shop Mesa with four more wheels to care after. That being said, if you must lend your patronage elsewhere, we urge you to shop wisely. Some Auto Repair Shop Mesa owners and operators perceive a desperate automobile owner as little more than an inflated estimate that walks and talks.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims consumer losses worth “tens of billions of dollars each year due to faulty or unnecessary car repairs,” according to The Huffington Post. To be fair, performing or recommending tacked-on, unnecessary work isn’t always a malicious choice on the Auto Repair Shop Mesa management or mechanic’s part. Sometimes, the Automotive Shop Mesa technician mistakenly believes he or she has found the vehicle problem and properly swapped out the offending part. If it consequently turns out that the switch left the same problem behind, some Automotive Shops Mesa quietly add the extraneous labor and replacement parts to the customer’s tab instead of admitting to the mistake and foregoing any extra charges.
So many owners of every make, model and class of cars and trucks ultimately part ways needlessly with so much money because the scams prey upon everything vehicle owners don’t know that can still hurt them. Whether covering up unnecessary work based on mistaken diagnoses or consciously overselling the need for and importance of unneeded services, these scams take advantage of the (never entirely unfounded) assumption that the Automotive Shop Mesa management and technician understand automobile inner workings better than the customer.
We define ourselves by delivering the greatest lasting automotive repair value for the most reasonable possible price. We’d want you to find the same even if you chose another Auto Repair Shop Mesa for your next repair or scheduled service. Allow us to provide a basic “spotter’s guide” to the most commonly run cons unethical shops still sadly get away with running.
- BLACK AND WHITE
When initially engaging any Automotive Shop Mesa to examine your vehicle, our leading advice never changes: insist upon an itemized, detailed written estimate before approving any work whatsoever — then find a second Auto Repair Shop Mesa that will provide a second one.
Request that your estimate specifically indicates your car’s make, model and year, as well as the Automotive Shop Mesa’s labor rate, parts being replaced, and the exact manufacturer and identifiers of parts being installed. While you’re at it, insist that the Auto Repair Shop Mesa notify you directly if anything in the course of repairs alters the estimated amount or if the mechanic recommends additional work.
Finally, never pay cash for repairs. If you eventually must dispute repairs, verifying how much you paid and when compared with the estimate is much easier with the help of a credit card company’s recordkeeping of your account.
- “Hey, look what we found during your oil-change…”
In addition to billing customers for services that no one performed, rigged computer-diagnostic results and other games, this is one of the “time-tested” wicked little games that a four-month 2013 NBC News 4 undercover investigation revealed at seven out of 11 spotlighted Jiffy Lube locations.
In all possibility, your vehicle may have nothing hinky about it at all. Oil-change technicians count on customers paying no attention to their vehicles through the conveniently placed windows that typically look out into the bays. After all, many drivers probably couldn’t be less enraptured by anything than they are by watching someone tinker with their vehicles from beneath a lift.
They also bet on the assumption that most customers who do keep an eye out won’t really have any idea what they’re doing, anyway.
Consequently, it’s easy to “finish” servicing a car or truck and claim several services that were never actually delivered, “necessary” services performed that actually aren’t needed at all, or perhaps both. To circumvent this one, mark any parts you plan to have serviced before hand in some way that’s recognizable to you but innocuous to the Automotive Shop Mesa technician. Meanwhile, keep an eye on your vehicle once it enters the bay and ask afterward to see any parts that technicians claim they swapped out.
- “Your brakes are in dangerous shape…”
There isn’t much of a “secret” to guarding against brake-repair scams. Nothing defends against these ripoffs quite like educating yourself, being attentive, and asking insistent questions.
Dateline NBC carried out an admirable undercover expose several years ago that highlighted how easily many all-purpose Auto Repair Shops Mesa and brake specialists alike sell their unsuspecting customers reasonably benign but otherwise mostly unnecessary procedures.
Think of it as being a little bit like visiting a smooth-talking plastic surgeon: they can be artists in planting seeds of subtle doubt that manufacture and re-enforce a “need” to “fix” something that’s already in fine working order.
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Remember what we said at the top, about how cons aren’t always so much maliciously planned scams as covers for incorrectly performed work? Well, such is the case when it comes to some brake repair and service centers. It’s actually considerably easier to teach many technicians the ins and outs of brake repair than many other techniques, regardless of experience.
Unfortunately, that training ultimately throws many technicians into the fire without extensive enough knowledge to really know what to do when something goes wrong during a repair.
Read up on the repair beforehand. If you can, be there when the mechanics service your vehicle. Whether you can or not, at least ask for a brief, personal explanation of what the repair or service entails and ask questions. A shady mechanic may not exactly be ready for a customer armed with some prior knowledge.
- “Forget gas! This device powers your car with clean, efficient, all-natural WATER! Go on, ask me how…”
You can stop laughing now. This enduring homage to the placebo effect actually works.
The scam in general, that is. The actual product is certified rubbish.
And yet, this scam persists for a reason: people will gladly buy — and numerous affiliates will actively, enthusiastically promote — various devices claiming to use an automobile’s electrical system to produce “HHO” or “Brown’s gas” that will fuel a vehicle via water.
Among other entirely unsubstantiated claims, the snake-oil evangelists of these devices will proclaim that these easily installed after-market components can improve fuel efficiency by up to 40% and save an average $110 or so per month in fuel costs by converting any automobile into a practically emission-free hybrid for a one-time $150 purchase price. As Consumer Affairs points out, science bears out precisely none of these claims. The devices aren’t notoriously harmful, but instead, the expensive automotive cousin to a sugar pill.
Simply put, the scam itself is powered by complicit affiliates, ridiculous sales pitches, and obviously manufactured “testimonials”. Nevertheless, if some people read enough praise — even without independent research validating the manufacturer claims — they’ll become true believers themselves.
- OTHER PREDATORS
Check in with our blog again soon. In the very near future, we’ll spotlight several more sadly common scams that unethical Automotive Shops Mesa employ to squeeze more money from Phoenix’s motorists.
In the meantime, remember that Desert Heat Auto is here to serve you and protect your automobile. If you have questions or doubts about a previous estimate you’ve received or work you’ve paid for, contact us today. We’ll be glad to examine your car or truck and provide an honest second opinion.