Having qualified technicians in auto repair facilities is the most important consideration to Californians when choosing a shop, according to the results of the 2007 Consumer Opinion Survey conducted by the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). The survey included responses from 1,000 Californians.
The survey asked respondents about the importance of different considerations when deciding where to take their vehicles for repair. The most important consideration was that a shop has qualified technicians 92 percent felt it was a “very” important factor. Respondents also rated the following as “very” important: licensing of the shop (77 percent), convenience of business hours (62 percent) and convenience of the location (56 percent).
The survey reported that 68 percent of respondent households had vehicle repairs in the last year. The most frequent repairs involved brakes (41 percent of repairs), followed by auto body repairs (17 percent of repairs).
The majority (80 percent) of respondents who took their vehicles to an auto repair shop had a positive experience, rating it as “good” or “excellent.” Excellent experiences were those that focused on quality, reliability, timeliness, value for the money and courtesy.
Of the 1,000 respondents, 9 percent personally experienced a problem with a repair shop within the past year. The most common complaint was that the repairs were not properly performed or completed, often necessitating repeat visits. Other problems included overcharging/cost issues, poor customer service and outright rudeness, repairs that took too long, warranty disputes and the shop doing work that wasn’t asked for or was unnecessary. The overwhelming majority of Californians (96 percent) who had problems with auto repair shops didn’t file a complaint with BAR.
The complete report is available at www.smogcheck.ca.gov.