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Drivers Share Repair Shop Gripes

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jeffgilbert Jeff Gilbert
Automotive reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS Radio News....
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YONKERS, NY — (WWJ) Price is the main reason that customers don’t return to vehicle repair shops. A study of Consumer Reports readers show the other main reason is repairs that weren’t done right the first time.

“People are finding that cars aren’t always repaired to their satisfaction,” said Jeff Bartlett, deputy online editor for Consumer Reports. “In fact, some have said they had to bring the car back because it didn’t hold up.”


INTERVIEW: Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports

The annual study showed that 73 percent of those surveyed were satisfied with their repairs. But, then they contacted those who weren’t satisfied, to find out why.

Price was the top reason, cited by 38 percent of those who weren’t satisfied. Just over a quarter of those studied said their repair wasn’t done right the first time.

Women customers had a special reason to express dissatisfaction with their repair experience. About 30 percent felt they weren’t treated properly.

“They felt they were being taken advantage of in some way because of their gender,” said Bartlett. “Perhaps they were perceived as being less expert in the repairs.”

Bartlett says people shouldn’t be afraid to speak up.

“You can get a second opinion,” he said. “You can also ask to be shown what is broken. Can I take the parts away with me.”

Consumer Reports also advised customers to get written estimates, and—if there’s confusion about the problem—take a test drive with the mechanic.

“Make sure you are involved in the process,” Bartlett said. “That will reduce a lot of the surprises.”

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