Image Credit: Mr. Music - stock.adobe.com
“Why do many auto repair shops treat women so poorly?” This was the question Julie, a newer customer, asked me during our first phone call. She found out about my shop from her colleague Suzzie, a long-time customer, after going through some fairly rough experiences with other automobile repair garages.
Suzzie also mentioned to her that we were a woman- and LBGT-friendly shop. What this boils down to is that EVERYONE is treated respectfully and equally at AutoAid.
I invited Julie to visit the shop and see for herself what we offer. I told her she would never see a repair place cleaner than ours, or one with better trained techs.
A few days later, she arrived at our doorstep. The first thing Julie said when she came into my shop was, "It's so clean." But what she was most impressed with is that we LISTEN to our customers. AutoAid is a one-stop shop specializing in automotive repair: brakes, tune-ups, oil changes, and tires, among other things.
Her car was a relatively new model I'm familiar with. It typically performs well, with few repairs, if properly maintained. When I asked the reason she took her car into the other shops, she said factory maintenance was recommended. However, their prices were so outrageous that she decided not to leave her vehicle with them.
"One time, I was standing behind this guy, who also brought his car in for maintenance. He had the same car I did, the same year, the same EVERYTHING. So, I heard the guy quote him, and I thought it was reasonable. I don't know if the repairperson knew I overheard or not, but he gave me a more than 50% higher price within five minutes of that conversation. When I confronted him and asked why he charged the man before me less for maintenance, he told me I had misheard the conversation and that my car had more problems than his. I'm still boiling just telling you about it, Jack."
I shared with Julie that there may have been a combination of factors involved. Being female was certainly one trigger, but it could have also been about how much or little she knew about her vehicle, and who owned the shop. Company culture comes from the top down. Some shops will take advantage of anyone unfamiliar with the basics of their car, male or female.
While we were speaking, my techs put her car through our free 38-point visual check, the first step in our testing process. Everything checked out, no visible leaks or disconnected wires. I came back to Julie with an estimate for her maintenance. She was happy with the price we quoted—the same price we would have quoted anyone, with the exact same car in the same condition. Just saying. That's when she gave me the thumbs up to work on her car.
Our highly-trained staff, including multiple ASE-Certified techs, put her car through the factory-recommended maintenance, including changing out the oil and air filter, belt replacement, fluid checks, and wheel and tire checks. After the maintenance, her vehicle was given a clean bill of health.
That was several months ago, and she's referred others to me as well. Julie was also impressed by our over 35-year AAA-Approved Auto Repair and Customer Service awards. "If AAA is behind you, so am I, Jack."
I love sharing this kind of story to educate people on their cars and what to expect in automotive repair.
AutoAid services many Domestic, Asian and European vehicles and is also used by small and large companies for their fleet automobiles. We invite you to visit our 5,000 square-foot facility in Van Nuys either in person or at www.autoaidrescue.com. If you go to our website, you can also make an appointment on our Appointments page, Appointments for AutoAid - Van Nuys, CA | AutoAid (autoaidrescue.com), or call us at 818-305-6632. We are also here if you have any questions about your vehicle or just need some sound advice.