Napa, Solano & Sonoma County Buyers Beware! Avoid the Dent Gypsies’ Curse

Buyers Beware! Recent Rash of Dent Gypsies Conning Consumers in Napa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties.

Most of you are probably wondering, “What the heck is a dent gypsy?” Well, so were we when we first heard about this. We decided it was time to raise public awareness about this disheartening crime wave plaguing Napa and surrounding counties in recent weeks. Dent gypsies are laborers who move from place to place as demanded by employment, claiming to be able to use a technique called Paintless Dent Repair, or PDR to fix dents and dings on the body of your car while you wait. They intentionally perform bad work, knowing they will be long gone by the time you notice it, covering up their poor workmanship with wax or other concealers to hide or mask their work. In our 20 years of Paintless Dent Repair experience, we have never seen a true repair fished with applying wax. Unfortunately, the victims end up spending two and three times more than if they had just had it done by a reputable < a href="">Paintless Dent Repair Company.

These con men literally travel the country and set up shop in towns that have reputable Dent Repair Companies and either misrepresent themselves or pray on the reputable companies’ name. They convince the poor locals who aren’t familiar with this particular brand of con to get their dent or ding “fixed.” They approach people in movie theater and shopping mall parking lots, pointing out dents in their cars and claiming to be able to “fix” them while they shop or enjoy a movie. They rush through as many cars as quickly as possible and then head on out of town or move on to the next victim. They’re often in too big of a hurry to take the time to correctly access a dent and use questionable techniques like drilling. And how can their work have any guarantee when they’ll be in a new town or even a new state next week? Now, I’m not saying all PDR specialists who approach you in a parking lot do bad work. Some are legitimately good techs who just enjoy “the sale.” On the other hand, a great deal of these guys are in it for the quick money. It’s the “Dent Gypsies” who’ve given PDR a bad name when, in actuality, it’s one of the best kept secrets in the automotive industry.
It’s estimated that only 20% of people are aware that dents can be removed without painting. Paintless Dent Repair was first developed in the 1940’s on the assembly line of Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart, Germany. Line workers noticed dents and dings on panels created during manufacturing and a process was created to massage them out. These early techs were known as “ding men.” PDR made its way to the United States in the 1980s. And while it took a little while to gain its foothold as an industry recognized process, it’s now actually one of the favorite repair methods of car manufacturers and insurance companies alike. Today’s vehicles have contributed to the success of PDR with thinner metal and better quality, more flexible paints which allow technicians to restore the vehicle to like-new condition without cracking paint or leaving marks.

Good PDR takes a trained professional who truly understands vehicles, is willing to work patiently, and has a good eye. There’s no banging, hammering, or rushed work done at a professional PDR establishment. And a technician from a reputable Paintless Dent Repair Company should be able to show you a true business card, proof of insurance, business license or a name on their shirt. Some other things to watch out for are so called “dent repair men” who put wax or other concealing agents over their work and tell you to remove or polish it when you get home. An actual dent company will never do this.

Would you put your trust in someone who approached you in a parking lot, claiming to be a mobile dentist and offering to give you a quick root canal at a great price? No! Of course not… you do your homework and find a reputable, licensed and insured dentist with good references and a solid standing with the ADA (American Dental Association) to be sure your mouth is in the best hands possible. All I’m saying is, do the same for your car. Find a Paintless Dent Repair company that’s established in your area by asking other proprietors in your community. Make sure they are licensed, insured and listed with the Better Business Bureau and the B.A.R. (Bureau of Automotive Repair). Demand referrals and testimonials and make sure they guarantee their work. You take your vehicle in to have the engine serviced. You get your oil changed regularly. You even get it detailed. With good research, you can avoid being taken advantage of by these “dent gypsies” and, rather than something to wary of, Paintless Dent Repair can be just another weapon in your arsenal to keep your car looking great for years to come.

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