SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 8, 2014) - RepairPal, the #1 automotive repair website in the United States, asked "secret shoppers" to spot-check the company's network of certified auto repair shops for gender bias and overcharging and found nothing but goodness. With shops now in all 50 states that guarantee fair pricing and quality service, RepairPal provides a much-awaited antidote to the gender imbalance that has been a black mark on the industry for so long.
The secret shopper experiment stemmed from disquieting results of gender discrimination published in a 2013 paper by The Kellogg School of Management. As a company who arms consumers with a free estimator tool that provides fair price guidelines for specific auto repairs, RepairPal was a bit concerned. A male and female caller were enlisted to collect quotes for the same service and confirmed that gender bias is nonexistent in RepairPal's Certified Shop network that currently serves roughly two-thirds of US consumers in need of automotive repair.
The callers also collected quotes from shops outside of the network and reported unsettling results:
- Major metros are the worst offenders: Women were quoted up to 72% more than men in big cities like San Francisco, L.A., and NYC compared to overcharging as low as 1.6% in smaller cities
- But Beware, Men: Men were the victims of significant overcharging in Boston, Austin and Chicago
- Predatory Patterns: While some cities were undeniably better than others, the sampling still revealed women to be charged 8% more than men on average.
"The Kellogg study proved what most people fear, that they can be taken advantage of when getting their car repaired," said RepairPal CEO Art Shaw. "Fortunately, the facts confirmed our highest purpose -- that shops in our network offer fair pricing and quality service for everyone regardless of gender. Only RepairPal Certified Shops are guaranteed to provide excellent work at fair prices to everyone."
"I take the Certification process very personally since I talk to each of our shop owners," said ASE-certified technician and Certification Manager for RepairPal Jill Trotta. "As a woman in this business for over 24 years, I wanted concrete evidence that this gross mis-practice does not occur in our shops. With these results, we are more excited than ever to grow our network and create a culture of fairness that consumers can trust."
With more shops being certified every day, RepairPal hopes to increase transparency in the industry and further establish a nationwide benchmark of quality service and fair pricing. In fact, RepairPal guarantees that all certified auto repair shops in its network must abide by the fair pricing standards set by the company's estimator tool.
About the Study
RepairPal enlisted a male and female caller to target certified and non-certified shops in cities across the country and procure quotes for a specific auto service. The results independently verified zero discrepancy in the way men and women are charged in the RepairPal Certified Shop network.
RepairPal is the definitive source for trusted information on auto repair and service. RepairPal Certified shops are independently and rigorously screened for quality, skill, parts, pricing, and a proven track record of customer satisfaction -- well beyond traditional consumer reviews. There are 1000 RepairPal Certified Shops across all 50 states that guarantee the quality of their work with a minimum warranty, commit to charging fair prices within the range of RepairPal's RepairPrice Estimator™, pass a comprehensive assessment by RepairPal's team of ASE-certified master technicians, and consistently deliver world-class service, which RepairPal verifies through personal interviews with customers of every shop. RepairPal's RepairPrice Estimator is licensed by respected brands, including NAPA, Consumer Reports, and AOL Autos. This commitment to quality, unbiased information, and integrity brings unprecedented transparency to the auto repair industry, ensures that consumers get quality work done at fair prices, and rewards the auto repair shops that are doing excellent work for their customers.