Needing auto repair can be frustrating. It usually means time off work, inconvenience, and expense. But, whether something on your car has broken down, worn out over time, or you've been involved in an accident, you want to correct the issue quickly.
But what if the auto repair shop doesn't handle the job well? If you're overcharged, the work isn't done right, there are excessive delays, or you're mistreated somehow, you may want to file a complaint. Here's how to do that.
Work With the Shop Directly First
Sometimes, an auto repair shop will do something wrong and not realize it. Or perhaps one of the workers doesn't care about quality, but the owner or manager does. In those cases, you can get the support you need by reaching out to the manager or auto repair shop owner for resolution.
Make sure you're professional and direct to explain the problem as you see it and ask for a proper resolution to the concerns you have. An auto repair shop wants to keep you as a customer in most cases. The shop will also want to keep a good reputation, so they'll do what they can to make it right.
If that's not the case for you, though, or if your concerns are brushed off and not taken seriously, you may have to escalate the problem to get some help.
How To Report An Auto Repair Shop
Every state has some form of a consumer protection agency. It may be called that, or something similar. Reaching out to the one for your state of residence gives you an advocate to work with the auto repair shop. In many cases, reaching out to consumer protection is enough to get the auto repair shop to take your claim seriously and investigate the issue. Shops that don't do that know that a customer might sue, which can get expensive.
Suing the shop could also lead to discovering other problems that the shop might be hiding or other customers who are also unhappy with their treatment. Because of that, the auto repair shop will be more likely to address the issue and get it handled before it becomes a more significant problem for them. Still, some shops will insist they've done nothing wrong. If you still feel you have a case against them, taking them to court may be required.
Small Claims Court Can Help Resolve the Issue
One of the ways to resolve an issue with an auto repair shop is to sue in small claims court. When you make a claim, it's generally because other avenues haven't worked. If you've tried to work with the shop to address the problem and brought your complaint to the attention of your state's consumer protection agency, you may want to pursue small claims as your next step. In most (but not all) states, you can work with an attorney to have representation when you go to court.
How to Write a Demand Letter Against an Auto Repair Shop
A demand letter lets the defendant know how much money they owe you and gives them an opportunity to pay you back before you file in court. Strongly worded demand letters on professional letterhead have a better chance of resolving your dispute outside of court. With our tools, you can generate and mail a letter in minutes.
How to File Small Claims Against Your Mechanic
To file against your mechanic, you’ll need to find small claims paperwork. Some states have one form for filing small claims, but other counties have their own forms. So do your research and find the form that is relevant to your location.
When you fill out a form, you’ll need a few basic pieces of information. Some states require additional information, but here’s information you’ll need for sure.
- Plaintiff (your name)
- Plaintiff address
- Defendant name
- Defendant address
- Claim amount
- Courthouse county
Your state may require email addresses, phone numbers, or military status, or other pieces of information. You may find filling out these forms to be complicated. But Dispute simplifies the filing process and using our tools is much faster.
You won’t have to worry about tracking paperwork or going to the post office when you file with use. Nor will you need to navigate outdated or confusing websites. Find all the information you need on our site.
Sending Your Documents to the Court
- In person. You can give them your documents at their physical address. You would need to print multiple copies to file, find a payment method that they accept, and schedule a time in your day when the courts are open for you to give your paperwork to the court clerk.
- Mail File. Again, you would need to print multiple copies. But you’d also need to get a shipping label, and envelope, and payment method. Some courthouses require money orders, others require checks. So check your local courthouses’ guidelines on mail filing.
- E-Filing. Some courthouses accept e-filing, which you can do on the courthouse website.
- Fax Filing.
Every courthouse has different procedures and guidelines. It’s important to do research so that your case has the best chance of making it to court. With Dispute, we make the filing process simple. Sign into your dashboard and easily navigate the small claims process. We’ll take care of the filing for you. Once your paperwork is ready, you’ll just have to pay fees and Dispute will take care of the rest.
Case updates will be sent to your dashboard, and all paperwork will be nicely organized for you. Skip the hassle of research and document management. Let us prepare it for you.
How to Find a Lawyer For My Auto Repair Small Claims Case
You may find that you want legal advice or insight on your case. While there are many free legal resources available, sometimes you need a lawyer. Check out our guide on finding a lawyer. Although they’re not required for small claims court, you can still consult one if you’d like.