CHICAGO, IL – June 16, 2011 – After the initial shock of a car accident, people often find themselves facing stress and confusion over how to get damage fixed. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests drivers know the proper way to handle towing and repair claims after an accident.
“It’s difficult to think clearly after an accident, but it’s vital to get all the facts before saying ‘yes’,” commented Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “When you allow a tow operator to carry your vehicle, you become responsible for the costs. Be mindful that the costs could exceed your coverage.”
The Better Business Bureau offers these towing and repair suggestions to help drivers make sound decisions following an accident:
- Call your insurance company from the accident scene.
- Never give permission to a tow operator who arrives unsolicited to take your vehicle.
- Do not provide a tow truck operator with personal lien holder information.
- Ensure that the tow truck signage matches the name that you called and is identical to any documentation the tow truck operator provides.
- If the truck is not marked, ask for identification.
- If in doubt, call the company back to ensure the operator is with the company.
- Check the repair shop's complaint records with your Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org The shop you select should have a good track record of resolving any complaints.
- Get recommendations. Talk to friends and family for recommendations. Ask your auto insurance agent, auto parts salesperson, or other business people you know.
- Do not pay in full until the repairs are complete.
- Look for a mechanic with experience working on the same automobile model and make as yours. Seek out a mechanic with good credentials, updated knowledge and skill. Some shops display ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certification, which indicates the mechanic has met basic standards in a specific technical area. You can also check for shops that participate in the AAA auto service program. But be careful; an ASE test or other certification is not an indication of ethics and integrity.
- Interview mechanics. Are they willing to answer your questions? Do they convey a positive, professional image? Ask if the technician or shop has experience working on the same model vehicle as yours.
- Ask the shop for the names of customer references. Then call those references.
- Look for a shop with a clean and well maintained repair area.
For more information on finding a tow or car repair service you can trust, visit www.bbb.org