One thing I have trouble with as a consumer is auto repair. Let's be honest- I know almost nothing about cars, and it's immediately apparent to mechanics that I know almost nothing about cars. Which makes me paranoid that they are going to take advantage of me, because, hey, easy mark and all. For many years, I went to Emerson Auto Service near my old apartment, and they seemed to do a fine job for a decent price. However, when I moved, I decided to try out another garage that was closer to my work- Mike's Auto Repair. I went in there for an oil change, and the mechanic called me up with dire news and a laundry list of repairs that needed to be done- thousands of dollars worth of work (keep in mind that I drive a 14 year old minivan that is probably worth around 2K at best.). He told me that I had a broken axle that needed to be repaired immediately because it was extremely dangerous and I was lucky I hadn't totally given way yet. I agreed to the axle job and tire rotation and was unplesantly surprised when the bill came to $500. I gave him the benefit of the doubt but didn't like the pressured upsell, so when I got my car inspected today I went back to Emerson. Nice and easy, $29, no problems. Since I was in the old neighborhood, I stopped by to visit Ern and Pat and told them The Tale of Two Garages. Turns out Pat had tried Mike's once and the EXACT SAME THING happened to him! He went in there for an inspection and was told that he had a broken axle in need to immediate replacement. Suspicions confirmed, I was miffed! I decided to join Yelp to give Mike's a bad review, and looks like I wasn't the first. I also showed Emerson some love (or at least, strong like). Emerson Auto Service, my minivan will stay loyal to you for the rest of its road-worthy days.
Previously, I hadn't been too sold on Yelp (I've heard some shady claims that they delete negative reviews) but now it's growing on me. Just wondering...do any of you use Yelp? Any positives or negatives about the site you'd care to share?