In 2010, nearly 650 people filed auto repair-related complaints with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. According to one Springfield, MO, shop owner who was interviewed by a KY3-TV reporter, it is important to keep customers updated on the status of repairs and to be sure all repairs are authorized by the vehicle owners.
Below is the article as it appeared on the KY3-TV website.
Woman from Springfield learns you should do homework before choosing auto mechanic
March 15, 2011
by Cara Restelli, KY3 News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Nearly 650 Missourians filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office last year for auto repair problems. Springfield resident Rita Huntoon has since added her name to the list following a costly repair that she says she never authorized.
Already on a fixed income, Huntoon says she knew to get a good estimate of how much it would cost to replace the transmission in her car.
"Three hundred dollars for a transmission, $200 to change them out and $40 for towing," she said.
That’s what she says the repair shop told her. So, when she found out after the work was done that it would cost more than $1,800, she was floored.
"They never called me. They never called me once. They never called to tell me $1,800," she said.
After expressing her frustration, the shop did lower the amount owed to just over $1,200 but Huntoon says she still doesn’t have the money to pay for it.
It’s a complaint that Rick Hughlett works day in and day out to avoid. Rick’s Automotive is not the shop that fixed Huntoon’s car and he says she should have known a lot sooner that the repair would cost so much.
"With cell phones, internet, email, there’s always a way to get a hold of the customer," he said.
He says his mechanics won’t move forward with any repair above and beyond what’s in the estimate until they get it authorized by the customer, often times in writing.
To read the entire article on the KY3-TV website, visit http://articles.ky3.com/2011-03-15/auto-mechanic_28693240.