Most people will require collision repair at some point in their lives. However, it is not always certain that you will be able to find a reputable and high-quality collision repair center. If you find yourself in a situation where you need a good body shop and you don’t already know of a good one in your area, it’s important to be careful. Every business has at least a few crooks, and the collision repair business is no exception. Here are some tips that can help you to distinguish the good from the crooked.
This is usually the best place to begin. Once you have some basic info about the body shop, it will usually be possible to find some reviews and customer testimonials. Do not trust those that come from the company itself (i.e., customer testimonials on their web page). You cannot necessarily trust those, mostly because you have no way to verify them. Third-party review sites tend to be better since they have no particular bias.
When you look at reviews, you should realize that some businesses like to “review-bomb” their competitors. The concept is simple: They get people to leave a series of bad reviews, which of course will be false. You can often spot these kinds of reviews when you see criticisms that make no sense, or which are inconsistent. And so, you shouldn’t look so much at single reviews: Read a lot of reviews and evaluate them on a “big picture” kind of basis.
2. Word Of Mouth
You may not know of a good auto body shop in the area, but you might know someone who does. It might be a friend, a relative, a co-worker, or someone else that you know and like. This is why it pays to ask around and talk to the people you know well. There is a good chance that at least one of those people knows of a good option in your area.
When you do this, it is important that you don’t just go blindly with a recommendation. Use word-of-mouth as a starting point, and then do your homework on the company. Also, when someone recommends a shop to you, get as many details as you can from them. This will allow you to better evaluate the quality of their work and service.
3. Look Up BBB Information
If you really want to do a deep dive into a particular company, look them up on the website of the Better Business Bureau. This is an excellent way to verify basic information about the company. For instance, if someone says that they have been in business for decades, you can check that information on the BBB website and see it for yourself.
4. Use Customer Service As A Measuring Stick
A good auto body shop will tend to have good customer service, so this can be a good way to measure their quality. You want to find an auto body repair shop that offers responsiveness and high-quality work with minimal delay. When you ask them for information about what they need to do, how much it will cost, etc., they should be eager and willing to provide you with all the necessary information. If they are not forthcoming about details, rates, and other specific information, it can indicate shady business practices.
5. Get Multiple Price Quotes
Regardless of which body shop you are checking out, it pays to get estimates from all the auto body shops in your area. They often won’t be willing to give you an exact estimate over the phone, but you can probably get a rough estimate out of them without a lot of fuss. If you have pictures of the damage on your phone, you can send them by text message for better accuracy. The purpose of this is very simple: You need an approximate price range for your repair job. That way, if your chosen body shop tries to overcharge you, it won’t go unnoticed.
6. Call Your Auto Insurance Company
If you’ve been involved in a major collision, there is a good chance that your insurance company is already involved. And so, you might as well avail yourselves of their investigative resources. If you call them and ask them to give you some information about the body shop, they can probably find that information more easily than you can. Again, they are probably involved anyway, so they will certainly have enough of a vested interest to help you out.
Some insurance companies will insist that you have your car repaired by a shop that they have approved. Obviously, if that happens in your case, you won’t need to bother with this step.
How Can I Find A Trustworthy Auto Body Shop Near Me?
There are certain indicators of honesty that hold true for all human interactions. Even if you don’t know anything about auto repair, you can still learn to recognize the telltale signs of dishonesty. In general, you should always look for a company that offers prompt and helpful service, honest estimates and appraisals, fair prices when compared to others in the area, and a straightforward demeanor.
At this point, you might be wondering: “Where can I find that sort of auto body shop near me?” If you would like to know the answer to that question, and especially if you happen to live in South Jersey, you can call Elmer’s Auto Body at (856) 218-0202.