Auto Repair Complaints

Click to see original imageIf reports of auto repair mrrplaints in Utah are true, some repairrmn are not giving their indrstry a good name. Nor is the state’s reputation being enhanced among travelers who are victims of alleged poor work or over-charges. Asistant Attomey General Wiliam Evans gave a press asociation reporter these examplm; – A California woman driving through Utah is told by a rmchanic her sports car meds a new computer box, Sie pays for the replacement lu the car continues to rim rwgily and she subsequently lmms the box never was charged. – A 17-year-old boy’s car wastiedupbyamechanicfor dght to nine months with nothing done on it. The attorney generals office found the car sitting on blocks in bad oinlition, with the mechanic demanding payment of 50 per cent rmre than the price originallyquoted. ‘lhe Utah attorney generals ocrsumer protection division says aim repairs constitute the greatest source of ousurner complaints in the sate and nation, partly due to dmr numbers in relation to population and the complexity rftheproduct itself. in Salt lake City, the Better Bminess Bureau reports 2580 crsrplaints during 1974 and another 674 through the end of Nhythisyear. The consumer affairs division of the Utah Trade Commission heard 107 orrnplaints over auto repairs md sales from Jan. 1 through May30this year. Andthe Utah Automotive Trades Awociation, the independent repair industry organimtion, says it gets two or three mrrplaintsaday. The chief complaints are thom in which the cost of repairs exceed prior estimates or when more work is done than requested, officials say. .”That’s not always a black eye for the rrechanic,” says Dan Morris of- the Trade Commission’s consumer affairs division. “Obviously he can’t always detemiine how extasive a problem is until he gatsintoit.” Oft-times the fault comes what t.he mechanic doesn’t get back to the customer and say, “l-ley, I’ve fotmd this or that. what do you want me to do about it’?” the press association quotes Mr. Morris assaying. ‘lhe Herald believes most qaerators are reliable. But sime a problem obviously exists we suggwt more vigilant communication between customer and repair company; that the customer demand precise estimates imofar as possible; that he insist on being called before repairs are made if it appears they will exceed the estimates. ‘lhe Trade Commissions corsumer affairs division can take criminal action in cases rf obvious fraud or deception. Mr, Morris suggests direct ctdomer civil action in small clains court in otherwise wsolvable cases centering on quality of work, lack of julgment or incompetency. Consumer protection legislation may be a noxious subject. but unless the problem is dfectively solved otherwise, this route may be observing of close scrutiny,