contributed by Dorothy George
So, you’ve made an appointment to have your car serviced. What key information do you want to make sure you cover with your auto service advisor, or conversely, to make sure that your auto repair shop communicates to you?
New customers tell us that bad experiences elsewhere send them hunting for a new auto repair shop to perform their vehicle maintenance and repairs. As can occur with many relationships, communication issues are often a factor in contributing to those bad experiences. A shop may over-sell what’s actually needed, causing extra expense. Or, a shop may provide too little information for a customer to make a well-informed decision about whether or when to invest in a needed repair.
So, what key information should you receive when your vehicle is in for service or repair?
- The Preliminary Estimate - This should address any issues or concerns you discuss with your auto service manager or technician. It should include a discussion of items that you authorize to be performed or items you may want postponed.
- A Confirmed Initial Authorization Amount – This is to make sure you’re on the same page with your service technician. If it’s going to be difficult to reach you during the day, you may want to allow some additional leeway for your shop to perform needed repairs and still have your car ready at the agreed upon time.
- Service Updates - While your vehicle is in the shop, you should expect to be advised of any delays or unexpected issues. Sometimes a needed part may not be available, and your auto repair shop should let you know about this type of issue right away.
- Additional Authorization Totals - If needed, your auto service advisor should be sure to let you know of any additional expenses ahead of time. This avoids payment surprises when picking up your vehicle.
- A Completion Notification – Your shop should let you know when your vehicle is completed and ready for pickup.
If you haven’t checked out the rest of our website, we have a “Services” section that gives a diagram of appointment expectations for your visit. Do you have other questions? Just use our “Contact Us” section or look for common questions we’ve answered under our “Resources & FAQs” section.