Friday, July 22, 2011

AAA Repair Shops May Be Over Inflating Prices

AAA Review
AAA Care Repair Might Not Be Your Best Bet
Car repairs can really break your budget, especially unexpected ones.  You can often be frugal and do your own oil changes and routine maintenance but when it comes to the bigger things, most of us are at the mercy of a mechanic and finding an honest one can be really tough.

As my husband and I recently found out, word of mouth is still the best way to find a good mechanic.  When we needed some more pricey repairs done on our jeep we did our homework and determined that a local AAA Service Center would be a reputable way to go.  They have several ethics awards and they have been around for years.  Wasn't their business built on reputation?  Well, buyer beware!

Over a six month period we were given three clearly trumped up estimates at a local AAA repair shop (owned and operated by AAA).  Each time we took our jeep or van to AAA for a repair we would come out with a list of things that they said needed to be "addressed" and each time the grand total was somewhere just under $2000!  I understand the art of the 'up sale' but it became exhausting. 

My elderly mother took her car into the very same shop and received a very similar estimate for repairs which she took to a different mechanic and compared service for service, AAA over had inflated the estimate by more than $1500.

Are all AAA Service Centers dishonest?  We should hope not, but the point here is that when it comes to a large purchase or repair, old fashioned word of mouth recommendations cannot be replaced by the web.

One final note, if your car is not worth repairing, then you may consider donating your car for a tax credit. Organizations like Goodwill will allow you to donate your car for a tax credit and then they will repair it and sell it at a discounted rate to someone in need.

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

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While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.

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"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8