Dents from hail can be highly inconvenient. You may not want to take time off from work to deal with them, but if you don’t, the resale value of your car will be lowered and the insurance company may pay you less on any future claims. However, you need to make sure you take the time to carefully choose a quality dent repair company. Here’s why.
The Parking Lot Scam
One of the most common paintless dent repair scams is from on the fly repairmen who approach car owners in parking lots. They look for cars with minor body damage and then offer to fix it. Often, the story is that they’ve just finished another repair and have left over materials. The offer is usually sweetened by the promise of a discount as well as a money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with the work.
If you accept the offer, they will usually try to talk you into going somewhere else while they do the work. If you stay to watch, they then keep you distracted as much as possible. When you aren’t looking, they first forcibly push the dent out as much as possible.
They then cover the “repaired” area with wax. The wax is supposed to be to restore and protect the paint, and they’ll tell you it can’t be removed for several hours. Its real job is to hide the poor quality of their work.
If you realize that the work is bad before they leave and ask them to honor their money back guarantee, a heated confrontation will usually follow and some scammers have been known to follow car owners home or worse. If you follow their advice and don’t remove the wax until later, you won’t have any way to track them down even if they’ve given you their business card (always a fake).
What to Watch Out For With Dent Repair Companies
Going to an established shop greatly lessens your chance at getting scammed, but that doesn’t mean their work is going to be great. Here some of the common issues that come up:
Lowball offers. If you shop around for quotes, you might get one that’s far below the rest. While price competition is good for consumers, ask yourself how the shop can charge far less than the others and stay in business. Usually it’s a combination of poor work and surprise charges.
Overstating the work needed. Some shops go in the opposite direction. They’ll take a minor fix and tell you you need an entirely new paint job or have to replace your entire bumper. Only the worst hailstorms will cause this much damage, so get a second, third, and fourth opinion if a shop tells you this.
Not matching the paint. Before you take your car in, check the dent to see if the hail has damaged the paint. If it has, the area won’t feel smooth and you may see metal. A paintless dent repair shop may try to repair this damage and smooth over any scratches, but the area needs new paint and protective coating applied to protect your car from rust. If the shop will paint over the area, make sure they’re using paint that’s an exact match and not generic paints that are “close enough.”
Are you looking for a quality dent repair company? Contact Colorado Auto Body for an estimate today.