Confessions From the Auto Body Shop

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,138
edited December 2014 in General
imageConfessions From the Auto Body Shop

Body shop insiders reveal the tricks and secrets that might be used by predatory collision repair specialists to dupe consumers and make nice with insurance companies.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • autobodyownerautobodyowner Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2015
    I commend Craig on his articulate, and accurate in my opinion, comments.

    I too am owner of an auto body shop in Portland, OR [non-permissible content removed]. We are family-owned and operated, have been in business since 1946 and in my family since 1963.

    I encourage consumers needing auto body work to ask friends and family for recommendations. Then spend 10 minutes online checking out those referrals, including any from the insurer. I have seen many, many articles online with very inaccurate information.

    When you find a shop that looks good, give them a call, and go meet them. Nothing will take the place of a personal visit, even in these times of instant information. Whether a shop is on an insurance company DRP (Direct Repair Program) is NOT an indication of the quality, professionalism, training and dedication that shop has for their craft.

    Auto body repair work remains a skilled trade and requires craftspeople to perform it. These craftspeople will typically have I-CAR training and welding certifications. They may also have ASE certifications. A body shop committed to training will usually have the I-CAR Gold Professionals Designation. (Google these terms for more information.) Running a successful business requires dedication, commitment to providing your people with appropriate on-going training and certifications and adhering to a high-level code of ethics. Find a shop that is all of these things - they are out there, I interact with them every day.

    I highly discourage making a decision on price alone. If price is your primary concern, discuss this with the shop, a reputable shop will educate you on what your options are for a safe repair and will want to work with you to meet your needs.

    With regard to what type of parts will be put on your vehicle:

    * Oregon law requires disclosure.
    * If your insurance company is paying, it is the policy YOU purchased that will determine what the insurer will pay for.
    * If you are a claimant - meaning the policy of the other person is paying - you have different rights that are not always easily realized.
    * You can have the body shop use whatever kind of parts you want, but if an insurer will not pay for them, you may have to pay the difference and then look into collecting from the insurer.

    I encourage people to understand their policies, to purchase rental car coverage (NOT usually included in "full coverage" policies), do a little research to find a shop you trust. If you don't trust the people you interact with, don't do business with them.

    In the end, it's your vehicle and it's your choice where you have it repaired, choose wisely.

    Happy Motoring!
  • urbancowboy_urbancowboy_ Member Posts: 1
    After reading the third paragraph, who the heck has time to get chummy with a body shop owner. I just want them to fix my car/truck right and not rip me off.
  • rikki0212rikki0212 Member Posts: 1
    Being a auto body repair owner means you are there to help people with their vehicle and doing your best while doing this. Also charging people the right amount, not overcharging or undercharging. I, for one always look for a shop that is reliable, affordable and does the work great, with that you can get great reviews. Thanks for sharing the article.
  • julietwoodsjulietwoods Member Posts: 1
    Wow, this is very informative. Thank you so much for sharing! My car repair in Avon seems like it's pretty honest, so that's good. Thanks again for sharing!
  • fred_guntherfred_gunther Member Posts: 1
    Great article Craig.....on point...you nailed it. Working at Grand Sport Auto Body in Pennsylvania for the past 30 years, I have witnessed countless fly by night shops come and go. Just about all of them took part in most of the unethical practices you spoke about. The shops that provide honest estimates, make sure their technicians and shops are certified and truly care about the people they serve are the one's that last. Just like in life - taking short cuts may make a quicker buck, but in the long run, it's taking the high road that provides longevity to collision repair shops.

    Again - great article!
  • astannastann Member Posts: 1
    As a former second generation body shop owner in brooklyn, I can state my experience. Usually you ge what you pay for. if you have a very nice new car, and wish that the repair be indistinguishable from factory (BTW even the factory sometimes repairs minor dents before shipping the cars out) you can find it. It is more laborious so the price is going to be top notch as well. If you have a fleet of vans that are always getting dented, and you need for them to be just 'presentable' you can find a low cost shop , that will rush the job. there may be some overspray or sanding marks, or a paint that hasn't quite the depth of the original. Or if you live in brooklyn and park on the street, something in the middle both price and quality wise might be your choice.
  • raynman49raynman49 Member Posts: 1
    Would be great if Edmunds would put a page up for people to post warnings about shyster scamming auto repair shops, both mechanical and body shops. I want to alert readers to avoid RAAIL AUTO RESTORATION and a guy named MARK FIGLIOZZI aka MARK WEASE. IHe is excellent con man and I believe he also owns Maryland Attorney Gen. Assistant D.A. RICHARD WIESS, because RICHARD refuses to investigate criminal complaints against MARK,
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