Have you ever been to a repair shop and the estimator told you it would cost $2,000 to do the repairs? But then at the end it was double or even triple and you are still scratching your head as to why?
Here are a few rights you need to know before getting your car repaired at a body shop...
If the repairs to be performed exceed the original estimate due to additional damages that are found after teardown, which is common in the industry, then the customer must be made aware and must authorize the additional work before it is started by the repair shop.
The best tool for any consumer to protect themselves is knowledge. You can find more information using the links below. If you have been deceived you can file a complaint with the BAR below as well. For those of you reading this who are outside of California, your complaint form is accessible on your state's website.
B.A.R. Complaints: https://www.dca.ca.gov/webapps/bar/complaints.php
Helpful Guide for Auto Repair Shops: https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/WriteItRight.pdf
Training Center (Appraiser Skill Development): http://tbt.autoestimators.com
Once at the shop the estimator may ask you to sign a repair authorization form, but as a customer it is your right to ask for a preliminary estimate breakdown of the repairs that are going to be performed. The duty of the auto body shop, per the Bureau of Automotive Repair or BAR, is to keep the customer informed, perform only the repairs authorized by the customer, maintain a written record of all work performed and parts supplied. The shop must also give copies of the estimates and the final invoice to the customer.
About The Author - Sam Sarkisian is an Expert Auto Collision Estimator. You can find him training those looking to break into the profession as well as providing professional development for Advanced Damage Appraisers from all over North America at EstimatorSchool.com