You’ve likely heard stories about how women can become targets at auto repair shops. In fact, surveys have been conducted that reveal some auto repair businesses will take advantage of the situation and charge women far more than men for the exact same kind of repair. So, if you are a female, how do you protect yourself from this type of discrimination? At Payless Glass we treat all customers the same, but we can offer you some tips to guide you through the myths related to car repair shops.
1 – Learn About Your Vehicle
The majority of car repair shops who overcharge women do it simply because of one thing. There is a general feeling that a ‘girl’ knows little, if anything, about the vehicle she owns and drives. One way to get around this is to study up on basic repairs and operation of your vehicle. Some night school courses are designed with this purpose in mind. The more you know about your car and how it works, the less likely you will get ripped off.
2 – Leave Dad, Your Uncle, Your Boyfriend Or Male Friend At Home
You need to be aware of what some car repair shops look for when you are in need of a vehicle service. Asking a lot of questions is a good idea but if the questions are coming from a male companion and you are just standing there listening, you’ve tipped them off that you are not very knowledgeable about your vehicle. This puts you in a bad position the next time you arrive to book your repair appointment. Avoid doing this at all costs.
3 – Ask For Another Opinion
You are not obligated to have any service done to your vehicle at the first repair shop you visit. In fact, your male friends will likely tell you they shop around as well. What you may discover by going to different shops is not only a price difference but you may notice different treatment from one another. If you do not feel comfortable in one, trust your gut feeling. The cheapest price is not always the best deal, either.
4 – Don’t Be Afraid To ‘Out’ A Bad Service Centre
Thanks to the internet and social media, it is harder and harder for businesses to get away with stints that used to go unnoticed. If you feel that you have been ripped off in any way, challenge the car repair shop. Contact the Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce and post a complaint on their social media site and online review sites. If in fact you were taken advantage of, many car repair shops will offer to work with you to resolve the matter in order to clean up what could result in long term damage control. Customers have much more leverage because of the internet and therefore can flush out those who use poor business practices to get ahead.
The Other Side Of The Coin
Above all else, keep in mind that not all car service centres are cons looking to take advantage of someone who appears to be an easy target. However, the ones that do have made it difficult for reputable business operators at times. So, don’t expect all car repair shops to be the same and once you find one with people you trust who take care of your needs without hidden agendas, stay with them and tell your other girl friends that there is a good one out there!