Minnesota’s “Truth in Repairs Act” (Minn. Stat. §325F.56 through §325F.65) spells out the rights and obligations of repair shops and their customers for repairs costing more than $100 and less than $7,500.
Here are some basic highlights of your rights as a customer:
a). You have the right to receive a written estimate for repair work, if you request one.
b). Generally, once you receive this estimate, the repair shop may not charge more than ten percent above the estimated cost. If the customer is told about an additional charge before the estimate is issued, however, a shop may impose an additional charge for disassembly, diagnosis and reassembly of the item in order to make the estimate.
c). The shop is required to provide you with an invoice if the repairs cost more than $50, and/or the work is done under a manufacturer’s warranty, service contract or an insurance policy. Special statutory requirements apply with respect to what the invoice should contain.
d). The shop cannot perform any unnecessary or unauthorized repairs. If, after repairs are begun, a shop determines that additional work needs to be done, the shop may exceed the price of the written estimate, but only after it has informed you and provided you with a revised estimate. In this case, if you authorize the additional work, the shop may not charge more than ten percent above the revised estimate.
e). Prior to commencement of the repairs, you have the right to ask for and receive replaced parts, unless those parts are under warranty or other restrictions. In that case, they must be returned by the shop to the manufacturer, distributor or other person. You may pay an additional charge for retrieving parts because the shop usually can sell them. Even if you are not allowed to keep the old parts, you should have an opportunity to examine them for up to five days after the repair.
f). A shop may impose a towing, minimum, or other service charge for making a call at a place other than the shop. However, upon the request of the customer, the shop shall inform the customer before making a service call that a service charge will be imposed and the basis on which the charge will be calculated.
It is very important to keep proper written records. If a dispute arises between you and the repair shop, these records are likely to be an indispensable proof of what the parties agreed to and what provision, if any, of the agreement was violated.
If you have any questions with respect to the Minnesota’s “Truth in Repair Act”, contact an experienced Minnesota contract litigation lawyer at Sherayzen Law Office.