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LELAND, NC (WWAY) — A common complaint we hear from viewers concerns mechanics and the work they do. One couple contacted us about a repair job they claim they never authorized, but had to pay for anyway.

James Mills and his wife Elnora own a 1993 Chevy Corsica. When it started sputtering, they took it to Wayne’s World of Tires in Leland.

“He told us how much it would cost,” Elnora said. “$250.”

But that quickly changed when body shop owner Wayne Smalls told them it needed a new head.

“So he went on, got another head,” Elnora said. “I approved for that, but the other stuff he bought for the car we did not approve.”

The bill tallied $650. The Millses say they were shocked. They claim they were never told repairs would cost that much.

We called Wayne’s World of Tires. Smalls did not want to go on camera. He says he told the couple how much it cost. He also said the bill should have been even higher, but he gave them a deal.

Elnora Mills paid the bill, but she says the car still isn’t fixed.

“When we stop, we’ve got to put it in neutral to where we can go with it, but it’s so dangerous for us to be on the road with that car right now,” she said.

Smalls claims he’s looked at the car since then and has fixed some things free of charge, but the issues the car has now have nothing to do with his repairs.

It’s a sticky situation when both parties claim they’re right. That’s why if you ever drop off your car for repairs, it’s always a good idea to understand the Motor Vehicle Repair Act:

•The repair shop should give you a written estimate and ask you to sign an authorization for the repair.
•The repair shop may not exceed the cost you authorized by more than 10 percent without first getting your permission.
•If the problem is unknown, the repair shop must tell you how much it will cost to diagnose the problem. Once they’ve diagnosed the problem, the shop must contact you with an estimate and to get authorization to do the work.

As for the Millses, they have contacted the Better Business Bureau.

Smalls still claims he’s right. No word on whether he’s going to respond to the letter he received from the BBB.


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