By the end of this crazy winter, your car might need a little tender loving care. Everything from road salt to ice-induced collisions might have taken their toll. If you dread getting estimates for car repair work, then I highly recommend using Consumers' Checkbook. With your library card, you can get free ratings and advice to make your money spending simpler.
Ratings and reviews are helpful when you're ready to make a purchasing decision, but I often find myself turning to buying guides first. Consumers' Checkbook offers really useful "advice" articles that walk you through the process of making a smart purchasing decision. When you read these advice articles, you feel like you have a trusted pro by your side helping you along.
When you first try out Consumers' Checkbook from home, you'll have to put in your library card and set up an account. From there, just select "Automobiles" to see information about a wide range of car related services. When I click on "Auto Body Shops" and click on "Advice", I get a complete write-up detailing how to choose a good auto body shop.
"Auto bodywork is difficult to do well. Since any blemish shows on the smooth skin of a car, even ordinary tasks like patching rust spots or blending paint are challenges."
I really like this write up because it tells you not only how to decipher an estimate, but also how to tell if you're getting good work. So, the authors condition your expectations too.
But wait, there's ratings too!
The advice you'll get through Consumer's Checkbook is incredibly helpful. Like I said, it's one of my favorite features. But there are ratings too! From the auto body advice article, there's a handy link to a list of over 150 ratings of Chicago-area body shops.
Stress on the Chicago-area. The list includes locations in Chicago and suburbs. It's easy to limit your results to a smaller area around Des Plaines. The default is 75 miles, but if your car looks anything like the one at the top of the post, you might need something closer.
When you select a particular company, you'll see ratings for things like:
- "Doing work properly"
- "Starting and completing work promptly"
- "Letting you know costs early"
You can see comments too, which can be helpful to capture a more individual take on the service a particular company offers.
Simple money saving with your library card
Spend some time looking around Consumers' Checkbook. Read those helpful advice columns. I think you'll be amazed at how useful at is. Saving money really can be simple! Then reflect on how free it is! And all because you made a smart choice and got a library card!