There has been some recent media interest focusing on consumer complaints within the automotive repair sector.
The tune goes a little like this. They [the mechanic] wanted to charge me X amount more than my friend recently paid or said I needed something that I actually didn’t.
I am often called upon for commentary on what is believed to be emerging consumer trends of discontent.
There is nothing new here as opportunists exist in all service industries.
I don’t believe automotive is over-represented here, any more than your plumber, sparkie, removalist, or hairdresser is.
You can avoid becoming financially wounded by unruly operators by considering the following tactics to find your next mechanic.
Word of mouth speaks volumes for finding the right service provider and ones to stay away from.
Online word of mouth is an invaluable resource as well in the form of Google reviews. It’s impossible these days to manipulate false reviews.
Good operators take notice and respond to comments and questions from customers.
Taking a closer look into a business online is easy with the army of local contributors freely having their say.
Look for the warning signs of negative reviews and comments.
Facebook local community groups are another invaluable source of intel.
I know people who have been going to the same mechanic for decades.
They have built a level of trust with each other, like the rapport and trust you have with your family doctor.
Knowing what you want from your mechanic is key to getting the best advice and a reasonable price. Knowing where to go though is a good start.
There is also another more colourful way to find a trusted local mechanic. Look for the orange and blue VACC sign out the front. VACC provides its members with important services and information that help them run better businesses.
Words: Geoff Gwilym. As published in the Herald Sun 10 November 2023