By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACTION Magazine
Most readers don’t need to be reminded that the automotive repair and service industry always lands fairly high on lists of “least trusted businesses.” In spite of the great number of dedicated, smart, honest and talented shop owners and technicians in this business, a few losers always sour the soup and we get lumped in with insurance scams and used car dealers in plaid pants.
in Florida, it won’t get any better if certain recently proposed legislation passes.
One of the best explanations of the situation came through recently from ASA, the Automotive Service Association who oppose the measure. ASA says:
Florida House Bill 5005, “Deregulations of Professions and Occupations,” … includes provisions that would repeal Florida’s law requiring the registration of motor vehicle repair shops with the Motor Vehicle Repair Advisory Council and the regulation of motor vehicle repair.
The Florida Motor Vehicle Repair Act…was created to assist consumers with matters relating to motor vehicle repair shops. The Motor Vehicle Repair Advisory Council was created to advise and assist the Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services in carrying out and reviewing the rules. … The law applies to dealers of new and used cars, trucks and motorcycles; garages; service stations; self-employed persons; truck stops; and paint, body, brake, muffler, transmission, mobile repair and glass shops.
Registered shops must post, in a conspicuous location in the customer service area, the registration certificate and a sign advising consumers of their rights …. and give the department’s toll-free telephone number for assistance or information. Shops must also include i a statement advising consumers they are entitled to the return or inspection of replaced parts, if requested at the time the work order is placed. Finally, shops must include their registration number in any advertisements, announcements, or listings relating to motor vehicle repair in any newspaper, magazine or directory.
The Florida Motor Vehicle Repair Act is self-funded by the automotive service industry, and helps to offset much of the cost for the call center. There are more than 22,000 auto repair shops in Florida, and the annual cost of the program for 90 percent of shops is $50.”
ASA notes that prior to 1993, there were approximately 5,500 consumer complaints per year related to automotive repair, and many of them took two to three years to resolve through the court system. During fiscal year 2009-2010, there were only 1,743 complaints and the present program successfully arbitrated nearly 70 percent of all complaints within 60 days.
We add: Here’s a program that is funded by the industry, has proven successful at resolving and reducing complaints, and lets the bad guys know somebody is watching them. While the state may save some money by eliminating the program, what is the cost of not having it?
When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.
You can E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://bit.ly/cf7az8 to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit http://bit.ly/9FxwTh to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.
The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.