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Auto shop scams: A two way street

Auto Shop Scams: A Two Way Street

GALESVILLE, Wis. (WKBT) - According to a new AAA survey, two out of three U.S. drivers don't trust auto repair shops.

From negative past experiences, to overcharges, many Americans feel they are getting scammed when bringing their car to an auto shop.

But Jeff Paulus, a local mechanic and owner of Jeff's Service, has been in the business for 40 years and he says the scams aren't just coming from the auto shops. In fact, he says his own auto shop has been scammed by drivers.

He says it's fair to compare mechanics to doctors, as they have to both diagnose and repair.

But if one thing holds true, the job comes with a few challenges.

"When people come in here and give us bad checks, and you can't get them collected anymore, it's getting harder and harder, D.A's are too busy so they don't want to get into a lot of this stuff so people are getting by with it and people that are paying their bills, are virtually covering people that are scamming us," Paulus said.

He said while it's fair for drivers to want to save money, it's the same for both mechanics and technicians.

"Their equipment is getting more expensive, the technician has to buy more tools so prices are not going to go down, so all of a sudden now we've got people not trusting us."

Paulus agrees not all shops are trustworthy, but he insists that it's not an industry standard.

"I'm not gonna say that every shop is perfect out there, there has been some shops that have had some scrupulous [unscrupulous] behavior but for the most part, shops are great and most shops have helped people out, they stay late, they do everything they can to make the customers comfortable."

Auto shop owners suggest finding and getting to know an auto shop before one is needed.

This way it minimizes the risk of being dissatisfied and maximizes the trust.

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