I'm echoing the Scout Motto: Be Prepared

One of our viewers had to learn a lesson the hard way. I want to help you be ready...like a good scout!

I just received an email from a frustrated viewer who had trouble with a local repair shop.  Alma of Colorado Springs contacted me, saying she had learned a valuable, but costly lesson.  I thought I could add a few pieces of advice and pass it on to you... so you'll be prepared like a good scout!

  Here's one tip:  Always carry the name, address, and phone number of a trusted mechanic or repair shop in your wallet.  That way when you need it... you've got it.

  Tip #2:  When giving someone approval to work on your car......  ask him or her to save those faulty parts and give them to you once they're removed.

  Here's why.  Alma was running errands when two caution lights appeared on her dashboard.  She drove her car into the nearest shop and trusted the word of a stranger.  After spending more than a thousand dollars there, her car broke down.  She later learned the initial problem had never been addressed.  It wound up costing her even more money.  Had she carried the name of a trusted shop... she could've called someone there.  If that shop was too far away... its workers might have been able to recommend a course of action... or send her to another, nearby mechanic.

  If she had asked for the so-called defective parts upfront...  the shop might not have been so ready to make those repairs.  The bottom line... those parts might proven those repairs really weren't necessary.  At the least, she would have had something for another mechanic to examine.

  One place I always go before hiring anyone... is the Better Business Bureau's website, www.bbb.com   Click on "check out a business" and type in the kind of business ... in this case .."auto repair and service."  The list includes BBB and non-BBB members.   You can find out how many complaints have been filed and how they were handled.  That gives you an idea how you will be treated as a customer.   And while you're there... jot down the name of a towing service... under "towing-automotive."  You never know when your vehicle will break down and you'll need to find someone fast.  Like a good scout... it always pays to be ready!

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