Are you getting the mechanic runaround? - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Are you getting the mechanic runaround?

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

What happens if you dropped your car off at the shop and you can't get your mechanic to finish the job? Or your truck is ready, but not at the price you originally agreed to pay? Is there anything you can do?

The I-Team asked Consumer Ed about what your legal rights are after hearing a complaint: a person says he dropped off his car, and got an estimate of $400. Six weeks later, it was finally ready, but for $880.  

What does the law say? If the mechanic has worked on the car and you refuse to pay the bill, he can keep the car until you pay up.

If you think you are getting the "mechanic runaround," the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection says do three things before you leave the shop: put in writing that you are paying under protest. Have the shop put in writing why the work was either done without your authorization or why it went so far above the original estimate.  Also, leave the shop with your old parts in hand.

John Sours, the head of consumer protection and who runs the Ask Consumer Ed newsletter says you need to do a lot of work before your car is worked on.

"You need to investigate the mechanic you're dealing with. Many have experience ratings with the BBB. You can get that quickly cheaply. Do it. Ask for references, friend or neighbor. How'd it go? How close to the original estimate," said Sours.

It's not foolproof but it's a start. Before you leave your car with a mechanic, get an estimate in writing.  Also, get in writing an agreement the shop will call you before they begin repairs or if the repairs go beyond that estimate.

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Teaching your kids the value of money

    Teaching your kids the value of money

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-09-15 15:22:34 GMT
    We've all been tempted to buy that extra toy, or give those extra few dollars to our kids to buy something on impulse...but are those the best habits to pass along?
    We've all been tempted to buy that extra toy, or give those extra few dollars to our kids to buy something on impulse...but are those the best habits to pass along?
  • GA Lottery targets shadow winners

    GA Lottery targets shadow winners

    Sunday, September 14 2014 5:30 PM EDT2014-09-14 21:30:57 GMT
    The Georgia Lottery tells the Fox 5 I-Team it's launching a full-scale effort to crack down on so-called "shadow winners.
    The Georgia Lottery tells the Fox 5 I-Team it's launching a full-scale effort to crack down on so-called "shadow winners.
  • Graphic video of Forsyth Co. Courthouse shootout

    Graphic video of Forsyth Co. Courthouse shootout

    Thursday, September 11 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-09-11 20:43:06 GMT
    FOX 5 has an extended clip of the dramatic shootout at the Forsyth County Courthouse.
    FOX 5 has an extended clip of the dramatic shootout at the Forsyth County Courthouse in June.
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

Powered by WorldNow
Untitled

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices