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15. IdeaSpark*: Honest Abe’s Mechanics November 3, 2006

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Service.

MechanicTo me, going to the mechanic (which I did last week) feels like I am going to a fortune teller. For a $70 diagnostic palm-reading, they can tell me anything they want to, like I have bad spirits in my carburator gasket that needs to be purged for another $500. Unless I am mechanic/psychic, I am completely at their mercy.

So this got me thinking: Is there a way, other then having a mechanic who is an Abe Lincoln-cloned Priest hooked up to a polygraph machine, to reassure me that I am not being bamboozled?

IdeaSpark*: At Honest Abe’s Mechanics, You Won’t Get Screwed. Why? Because they video tape all the work done on your car. Continue on…

One video feed will be an interior shot of the actual garage, with a time stamp of when your car comes in and when it leaves. The other is a camera strapped to the head of the mechanic, who actually explains what he sees and what he is doing as he is doing it.

Why this should work: With car repairs, the cost of labor is the primary area where you are going to get gipped. It can take only 15 min to change the gasket, but they can charge an hour. Regarding parts, you can always reference invoices (Honest Abe’s will have a website that shows you where they ordered the parts and the costs).

So, these videos are uploaded to the web for free (to their website, or Youtube, even), for you to access and watch if you are having your doubts. Because of the video explanation format of the repairs, Honest Abe’s is also a lucrative training clinic for junior-mechanics, and even curious weekend warriors. It can be franchised, like Jiffy Lube, and would be the name you can trust to not get screwed.

Another potential IdeaSpark* along these lines (though I am sure it is being done): Honest Abe’s Daycare, Where you can be sure your kid isn’t being abused.


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