Consumer Advocate

Sign up for newsletters and other news
Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > October 2016 > Know Your Consumer Rights – Repairs and Services

Consumer Advocate RSS feeds

Know Your Consumer Rights – Repairs and Services

If you own a home or motor vehicle, you likely have paid for repairs or services in the past, or you may be planning to pay for repairs or services in the future. To make the most of your money, understand your rights as a consumer.

Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act helps protect consumers from unfair and deceptive sales practices, including those involving repairs and services. Under Ohio’s Repairs and Services Rule, consumers have certain rights, such as:
  • Right to a verbal or written estimate. Upon request, Ohio consumers have the right to a verbal or written estimate for repairs and services that will cost more than $25 (or more than $50 for motor vehicles). The estimate must include a description of the work that will be done, the anticipated date of completion, and the expected cost.
  • Authorization for cost increases of more than 10 percent. In general, if a repair will cost more than 10 percent of the original estimate, the business must get the consumer’s authorization for the additional cost. Information concerning other related charges, such as pickup and delivery or diagnostic work, also should be made available to the consumer.
  • Itemized list of tasks performed. If the customer requests it, the business must provide an itemized list of the tasks it performed. Additionally, the business must return all replaced parts, unless there is an agreement with the consumer to reuse or rebuild them or to send them to the manufacturer according to the warranty.
Before you hire someone to perform repairs and services, ask family and friends for recommendations. Gather information about businesses and how they have handled consumer complaints from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau.

For vehicle repairs, verify that the repair shop is licensed with the Ohio Board of Motor Vehicle Repair. Before deciding which repair shop to use, consider getting at least three estimates from different repair shops to compare prices, services, and guarantees. Ask about guarantees up front and get all guarantees in writing. Remember: if a guarantee is not put in writing, it is not a guarantee.
Also, make sure the shop will honor any warranties and find out what the warranty will cover. Ask if the facility uses new, reconditioned, or spare parts, and keep copies of all estimates, invoices, work orders, receipts, guarantees, and warranties.
Be sure to read future issues of the “Consumer Advocate” for more articles in the “Know Your Consumer Rights” series. To report a scam or unfair business practice, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by visiting or call 800-282-0515.