Auto & Home Repair Fraud
Your home and automobile are some of your most important investments. Protect your investments by choosing the RIGHT repair professional.
Auto Repair Fraud - Prevention Tips
|Home Repair Fraud - Prevention Tips
- Request a written estimate.
- Request to be notified by the shop if the repair exceeds written estimate.
- Check with your local or state consumer organization regarding the reputation of the shop.
- Call the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 1-800-HELP-FLA. Ask about the number of complaints, if any, and determine how the complaints were resolved.
- Start shopping for a repair shop before you need one.
- Feel free to ask for the names of some customers.
- All policies (rates, diagnostic fees, guarantees, methods of payments, etc) should be posted and/or explained to your satisfaction.
- Ask if the shop customarily handles your type of vehicle.
- Ask if the shop is familiar with the type of repair you need.
- If you are unsure you need a repair, get a second opinion—particularly if you don’t think there is anything wrong and the suggested repair is expensive.
- Ask friends and associates for their recommendations.
- The cheapest automobile repair is not always the least expensive repair.
- Compare estimates carefully; the lowest bid/price is not always the best one.
- Never agree to get your own permits; that will make you directly responsible for everything.
- Never be pressured into making hasty decisions.
- Never accept an offer to take you to the bank to withdraw money for any reason.
- Take photos of the damage.
- Get emergency repairs done.
- Keep all receipts for insurance purposes.
- Make sure that you know what damages are (or are not) covered by your homeowner’s policy.
- An unlicensed “handyman” cannot legally perform any work valued at more than $1,000 for the entire job. Seek the advice of your local government’s building department first.
- If you suspect anything is wrong, report it to the authorities immediately.
Motor vehicle repair shops in Florida are required to register with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For more information please call 1-800-435-7352 or visit Help Florida.