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I had my car serviced by a local shop. I ultimately picked them because they were close and didn't really research their online reputation. Suffice it to say I was less than pleased. The car broke down the first day out of the shop.

I returned the car to the shop and asked for the repairs to be made whole. When I took my car to a different service shop for a second opinion, it was explained to me that the repairs were done incorrectly, parts where missing and installed backwards. (They even used caulking to stop an oil leak.)

I had the second shop repair the car and the original problem for $1800 USD and I disputed the original $1400 USD with my credit card provider. Today I found out I won.

I have heard stories of unscrupulous businesses, and I am worried the first shop will send me to collections for $1400. While I have pictures, written documentation from the second shop and the victory from the credit card dispute, what do I do if a collection agency comes calling? I clearly don't owe the money according to Visa, but how does the law see it?

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I wouldn't lose any sleep on it until it actually happens. I believe generally the agreement of the merchant with the credit card company says they must submit to the company's arbitration. If they come back to you, I would definitely get in touch with Visa to complain.

Here's some great advice on dealing with unscrupulous debt collection, the main points being

  • it does exist
  • don't ignore it; do respond or show up in court
  • in most states you can tell them to cease contact
  • complain to your state AG, or talk to a consumer advocate lawyer

It's actually you that should be threatening to sue them if the repairs were incompetent or dangerous!

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