Do you feel businesses are taking advantage of you, trying to convince you to spend more than you intended? You are not alone. A recent survey showed 83 percent of women felt ripped off by mechanics. Here are some ways to protect yourself from overcharging.
Car Mechanics and Women
Many women are hesitant when it comes to getting their car fixed. In fact, taking your car in for service ranks right up there with going to the dentist. But preparing yourself before going to the mechanic can help save you money.
Most women do not take the interest in cars the same way men do and as a result, they are not well versed in the way a car works. Take time to study your owner’s manual. Know when items need maintenance so when the mechanic says you need an oil change, you will know exactly when your car is due for that.
Over 45 percent of car owners admit to not keeping up with preventative maintenance. If you had a leak in your roof, would you wait until the roof caved in to fix it? By following the recommended timeline for maintenance, you will save yourself money in the long run. Learning to do some of the simple things yourself will also save you money.
Getting quotes from at least three local garages before you decide where to take your car can also lead to savings. Listen to your car as well. When talking to the mechanic, be descriptive about what you hear, what you smell, or what you see. Write it down if you need to. The more information you can offer means fewer labor charges from the mechanic as he searches for the problem.
Prepare Yourself Psychologically
Ripping someone off requires a person convincing you that you need to spend money that isn’t in your best interest. Many times, salespeople try to guilt you into buying unnecessary extended warranties. The clerk makes it seem you will regret it later if you don’t buy the warranty. You are told to buy this warranty now or risk a power surge damaging that new television. In this case, a good power cord protector makes better sense. Remember, extended warranties or product insurance plans are pure profit for the store so don’t be intimated into buying something you don’t need.
Do Your Research
An effective way to prevent yourself from an overcharge is to check out the company before you hire them. Ask friends or relatives if they are familiar with the business. Online reviews are an excellent way to find out a company’s reputation. Maintenance agreements can also save you costly repairs and have less fine print that extended warranties. These agreements call for a technician to come at regular intervals to check appliances or HVAC systems. By inspecting the equipment, a trained technician can show you a potential problem and take care of it before a complete breakdown occurs.
The best prevention against rip-offs is education. Know what you are talking about before speaking with a repair person and you will save money, time, and aggravation.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)