Sunday, June 16, 2024

Denton auto repair company aims to build trust, offer convenience

A new Denton company wants to bring change to, and build trust in, the automotive industry by offering more transparency and convenience for customers.

Erick King, 27, said when he was a kid, his mom’s vehicle wouldn’t turn on so she sought the help of an auto technician.

“The guy said it was going to be a very expensive repair,” King said. “My mom couldn’t afford it, and she ended up losing her job and we had to live in that vehicle for about a month.”

Eventually, King said his mom was able to find another job and she went back to the auto shop owner, who tried to reprogram her vehicle’s keys, and it worked.

“It cost about $100,” King said. “All that for something that was not so expensive. Stuff like that should not be happening. That made me want to make sure people didn’t have that sort of thing happen.”

King says that everyone has had a bad experience at an auto repair shop.

“My main goal is to rebuild trust,” he said. “People have been burned … I don’t know anybody that hasn’t been screwed over.”

The Consumer Federation of America’s Consumer Complaint Survey has consistently ranked the entire automotive industry in the bottom three in terms of the number of complaints for the past 20 years, with the industry finishing last for the past 16 years. Consumer Reports outlines the reasons for customer dissatisfaction, including pricing, improper repairs, repair duration, and unsuccessful repairs.

“All things considered, the fact that the 50 largest firms own less than 10% of the market share combined, comes as no surprise,” King said. “Loyalty hasn’t been earned so fragmentation prevails.”

Photo by Lynn Seeden

King’s brother, Timothy, now 31, is a mechanic, and a few years ago he wanted to work on cars for rental car companies, Erick said. Erick tried to help Timothy get his foot in the door, and it eventually led him to try to improve the industry. They came to a solution where they could start a company employing independent technicians who could meet customers where they are. There’s no shop, and without that overhead cost, TinMan Made-to-Order can offer higher pay to technicians and lower cost to customers. The company started serving the community in April 2023.

“I knew it wouldn’t work if it’s too expensive, because customers will just keep going to shops, so I worked to find solutions that worked for customers and technicians,” he said.

Erick said TinMan technicians wear body cams so customers can have a firsthand account of the work being done on their vehicle. They can do pretty much any job, big or small, wherever your vehicle is. One exception is getting a vehicle alignment, Erick said that’s essentially the only thing TinMan can’t do for less than the customer would pay at a shop.

TinMan services all of North Texas and also has technicians in Austin, Houston and San Antonio. Customers request work through the TinMan website, and an appointment will be scheduled with a technician. Simpler jobs could be done same-day, but bigger repairs may take a bit more time to schedule.

Click here for more information.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

Related Articles

Popular This Week