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Online Surveys and the He-Man Women Haters Club

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Before we get too far, I want to make it clear that I don’t dislike women. So please, don’t email or call me. I cannot help that on the same day two separate groups issued press releases about how car-inept women are.

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Eighty-three percent of consumers “rank the experience of going to the repair shop or car dealer to get their car repaired on par with going to the dentist (with women preferring the dentist),” said AutoMD.com.

Eighty-three percent of consumers “rank the experience of going to the repair shop or car dealer to get their car repaired on par with going to the dentist (with women preferring the dentist),” said AutoMD.com.

Supposedly. Based on their “research.” According to them.

AutoMD.com, that Internet purveyor of DIY vehicle diagnosis help, noted that the vast majority of consumers – especially women – feel over charged when it comes to vehicle maintenance and repair, and demand “pricing transparency,” “apples-to-apples comparative job quotes” and, most of all, a good technician.

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Eighty-three percent of consumers “rank the experience of going to the repair shop or car dealer to get their car repaired on par with going to the dentist (with women preferring the dentist),” said AutoMD.com.

Some 44% of women have a negative view of the repair shop experience, according to the survey; only 12% viewed it positively.

Stating that they want greater “pricing transparency,” survey respondents ranked “not knowing what a job will cost” as the top concern in the repair process. “Eighty-six percent said that a more transparent experience, i.e. ‘knowing exactly what I will be paying up front for the job I need done, before I go to the repair shop,’ would improve the process, vastly trumping better customer service and speedier repairs,” said AutoMD.com.

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And because they want pricing transparency, more consumers are doing front-end research, not surprisingly by “going online to research pricing and to look at consumer reviews before going to a repair shop.” AutoMD.com referred to that process as consumers “empowering themselves;” most people would call that “common sense.”

Because every brake job on every vehicle is exactly the same every time, 84% of survey respondents said “getting the same kind of apples-to-apples repair price quotes usually available for most goods online is either ‘important’ or a ‘must have’ in the auto repair process. And an even greater percentage, 91%, said that knowing the specific part to be used in the repair – and its price – was either ‘important’ or a ‘must have.’”

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Because getting your vehicle repaired is exactly like buying other goods online. Or even apples.

Apparently missing the consumer’s responsibility in obtaining reasonably priced vehicle service, the folks at AutoMD.com glossed past this finding: “Even though more than half of those surveyed have more than 100,000 miles on their primary vehicle, only 55% of those who normally go to a repair shop to get their vehicle serviced follow a maintenance schedule, the survey indicates, with 45% only taking their vehicle in when something is really wrong.”

You don’t say!

“We know that there are excellent repair shops and service centers in every city in the U.S., but, as this study shows, a persistent perception problem plagues the industry: consumers simply don’t trust that they are paying an appropriate price for a repair and their view of the whole experience is, generally, not a positive one,” said Brian Hafer, vice president of marketing at AutoMD.com.

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“But there is good news. Consumers are going online to check price quotes and repair shop reviews and are craving apples-to-apples actual job quotes,” said Hafer. “So, for shops that are pricing fairly, offering real quotes and keeping up a good digital presence, there is a real chance to improve perception – and, with it, their business.”

Unfortunately, Hafer offered no explanation as to how repair shops or car dealers could, in real terms, “price fairly” or offer “real quotes” or provide “pricing transparency.” Hafer also would not say what his annual salary was or how much AutoMD.com paid for this survey.

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So much for transparency.

Over at Insurance.com, another survey shows that 50% of women drivers have never changed a tire and a third have no idea how to do so.

The survey covered 2,000 men and women, all married homeowners with children, about their abilities to deal with car-related maintenance and problems.

Some highlights:

  • 63% said they had purposely ignored a dashboard warning light
  • 60% said they had imitated car noises for a mechanic
  • 93% of men have checked their car’s oil; 4% have no idea how to do so
  • 78% of women have checked their oil; 13% admit having no idea how to accomplish that
  • 93% of men have checked tire pressures; 4% claim they don’t know how
  • 76% of women have checked tire pressures; 15% don’t know how
  • 88% of men have jump-started a car; 7% are clueless on this
  • 65% of women claimed to have jump started a car; 26% don’t know how
  • 88% of men have changed a tire; 6% have no idea
  • 47% of women have changed a tire; 33% claim to not know how

“There was a time before cell phones when you had to know how to do these things,” Insurance.com said. “Even now, knowing how to change a tire rather than call emergency road service could keep you from making an auto insurance claim.”

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When a roadside crisis hits, men call AAA, and women call their husbands, the survey found. Fifty-eight percent of women say they would call their spouses; 31% of men would. But 38% of men would call roadside assistance, whereas only 27% of women would.

And for those of you who remember this, check out:

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