Have realistic expectations of the car and the car repair shop. why a conflict can arise between a vehicle owner and a car repair shop
One situation where it is quite common for dissatisfaction to occur is a visit to a car repair shop. Many car repair shops receive negative reviews from their customers and it is not uncommon for disputes to arise or for complaints to be received by the US Consumer Agency. It is often a matter of a misunderstanding between the customer and the workshop. Here we will go through what you can do to prevent problems before the visit to the car workshop.
Have realistic expectations of the car and the car repair shop
If you have chosen to buy a used car with a few years on its neck, which has travelled many miles, you can count on the fact that you will need to repair it. Nor will it be possible to do anything about the problem every time. Many people who buy a used car have unrealistic expectations when it comes to what it costs to own and repair an older car. This can lead to them making unreasonable demands on the workshop.
Another reason why a conflict can arise between a vehicle owner and a car repair shop is that the customer thinks they are paying to get a certain result. But it is rather the case that you buy service when you hand in the car to a car repair shop and that a perfect result cannot be guaranteed. If you go to the doctor, there is no guarantee that you will get rid of your problem. The doctor can do a good job without it helping. The same is true when you hand in your car to a mechanic. The mechanic's work can be done in a professional way, without it helping and then you still have to pay unless otherwise agreed.
The fact that the car cannot be repaired is often due to the wear being too great on one or some of the car's parts. The only way to solve the problem can then be to replace parts and replace them with new ones. It is not always possible to know that it is required before a mechanic has carried out his work. Therefore, it is good to start by doing troubleshooting and that the mechanic gives prices for various actions after it is performed. Then the risk of expensive work being carried out completely unnecessarily is not as great.
How do you know if the work has been carried out professionally?
Sometimes, of course, it happens that a customer is absolutely right in a dispute with a car repair shop. As a layman, however, it is difficult to know if your car has been repaired or troubleshooting in a professional way. You do not have the same knowledge in the subject as the mechanic who took care of the car and often has to trust his words. If you are dissatisfied with a car repair shop, you can always hand in the car at another workshop and have the work checked. It can be a way to get evidence in a possible dispute where it is obvious that a mechanic has been paid for a job that was not done correctly. You may have the right to get your money back if it turns out to be so.
A workshop may not repair a car unless it is useful
The Consumer Services Act contains sections that protect you as a customer when you hand in the car at the workshop and it is good to know these. The workshop should not carry out a repair if you do not benefit from it, but they are obliged to notify if a measure you asked them to carry out will not solve the problem. This also applies in cases where it can be assumed that you will very soon have to carry out the same repair again. Many car repair shops are lacking when it comes to this and then you have the law on your side. Another practice is that a repair may not cost you more than 50% of what the car is worth. In that case, the mechanic should notify and advise against repair.
The workshop may only carry out repairs you have agreed on
The customer decides which repair measures to carry out on a car. However, the workshop may, after carrying out an inspection, propose appropriate measures. Here, however, there is a risk that the communication will not work and that there will be ambiguity about which repairs will be carried out. To avoid this, it may be a good idea to save all communication between you and the workshop and ask for a written agreement on what to do with the car. You can also record calls to get black and white what is being said. If you get it back and more repairs have been carried out than you have agreed on, the workshop is not entitled to charge for these. The only exception is if something was so broken that the car could not be driven without danger to life and health.
If you have received a price statement for a repair, the final note must not be more than 15% higher than the estimated price. A price statement must always be given if a repair is expected to be more expensive than SEK 2,000. Even if a repair is carried out on an ongoing basis, the price must be reasonable. If you think it was expensive, you can ask for a specified invoice so that you can see exactly what the workshop has paid for. If the workshop can not specify the price in advance, you can in any case set a maximum price that must not be exceeded.
Check out the trade association and the "Black List"
Before you choose which workshop to hire, it can be a good idea to check if it belongs to an industry organization. If it does, the workshop has committed to following an agreement between the organization and the US Consumer Agency. You can find that agreement at konsumentverket.se. You can also check if the workshop is on Råd & Rön's "Blacklist" of companies that do not follow the General Complaints Board's decision.
You do not lose your rights just because you paid
Sometimes you may have to agree to the requirements of the workshop, just to be able to get the car out. However, this does not mean that you can not proceed with the case. Feel free to inform the workshop that you will proceed with the case, it may lead to them lowering their requirements. Try to keep all communication at a sensible level, even if you are angry.