Web site helps consumers find reliable auto repair

CHICAGO—The days of fretting about rampant rip-offs in the auto repair industry have come to a screeching halt. It seems almost everyone has a horror story when it comes to taking the car into the shop. Luckily, a Chicago-area company has been listening and developed a new way for people to find high-quality mechanics, even if they don’t know a muffler from an English muffin.

IanAuto.com is the world’s first Web site for drivers to compare information and auto service quotes without ever picking up a phone or leaving the driveway.

Jen S. from Wheaton doesn’t know how to replace her exhaust system, and she doesn’t want to. What she does want is the assurance that the shop she picks is doing a great job and won’t try to slide in hidden charges or push for fictitious repairs. She tried IanAuto and was impressed.

“I like this because, by the end of the day, I had estimates from several local shops,” she said. “They responded to my request quickly, and it was refreshing to make a choice based on real information rather than the ‘bring it in and we’ll take a look’ story I used to hear. The best part was, I didn’t have to make any calls.”

What makes IanAuto so great, according to founder Drew Turnbaugh, is the service is free and convenient.

Turnbaugh said, “We help people accomplish in minutes what used to take hours of calling and headaches.”

The scam artists are out of luck, because IanAuto only allows top-quality shops to give quotes.

“The auto repair industry has long suffered from a few bad apples spoiling the experience for everyone,” Turnbaugh said. “Now that the rotten shops are weeded out, customers and quality technicians win.”

Auto repair pros are also praising this new service.

Jim Draus of Warrenville Car Clinic said: “All I have to do is look at the screen and see the people we’ve been trying to get in front of. Now, we get to show them why we’ve been in business for so many years. We get to show people there are alternatives to the horror stories out there.”

Turnbaugh added: “It’s all about communication, trust and choice. IanAuto is a communication tool more than anything else. People need information before they can make a solid decision. We try to do everything possible to educate and inform. Then, we take it a step further and remove any chance of potential discrimination. There’s nothing in the service request to indicate age, race or sex. It’s about the car and the concern. Just the way it should be.”

Each participating shop is pre-selected based on years in business, BBB standing, and Customer Quality Reports. However, to remain as a preferred provider, each must maintain a minimum four out of five star ranking by IanAuto subscribers.

Visit IanAuto.com for availability and additional information.

from the Sept. 12 – 18, 2007, issue

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