The days of leafing through the phone book to find a mechanic may be coming to an end.
Finding a good mechanic can be headache. The stakes are high for anyone who depends on their car for basic transportation. But how do you which shops are good and which ones aren’t until you’ve tried them? Word of mouth, usually.
Openbay, a Cambridge, Mass.-based startup, aims to change all that. By creating an online platform for information about available services, reviews and – for each individual customer – service history, Openbay has begun streamlining the process of seeking out reliable automotive repair facilities.
“If I send out a request for an oil change or a brake job, I’ll get a quote in 20 minutes,” Valentine Oldham, a spokeswoman for Openbay, said, describing the company as a Lending Tree for auto repair. “You can pick a shop based on reviews, pricing and other parameters.”
The user pays for the repair through Openbay, which pulls its service fee from the final transaction price of the work performed. The web-based platform also maintains customers’ service records online, putting an end to the need for a fat folder full of repair receipts taking up space in the glove box or filing cabinet.
Another advantage of Openbay’s online orientation is that, in addition to eliminating the need for a repair file folder, it also allows customers to monitor a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics online to see firsthand what a mechanic is talking about during a repair description. A mechanic can also take a photo of a problem area with a smartphone and upload it to Openbay for the customer to see.
“As cars become more advanced and onboard diagnostics comes farther along, we can be more accurate about telling people what the problem is, and what the price of the repair will be,” Oldham said.
Photo Credit: Openbay
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Author: Digital Dealer
Digital Dealer exists to help dealers and their managers sell more vehicles more profitably by creating the best live events and media in the industry.