RepairPal has been live for 6 full days now and we've had a terrific response from the press and our many users. We've collected a ton of useful feedback from you and ask that you keep it coming because it's guiding where we're focusing our efforts. In the coming days, we’ll be posting responses to some of the most common feedback as well as a list of frequently asked questions, so please register so we can keep you in the loop!
Many folks are wondering why we don't have data for their specific model and year. It's really simple - we cover over 500 models and built as many as we could by launch date, with the most popular being built first. Building a specific model takes a considerable effort - we've got to acquire and structure all the labor and parts data, then get one of our technicians (who knows that brand really well) to spend several hours to put all the pieces together. Thanks to the early users of our feedback system, we know there are many Oldsmobile Aurora owners wanting to use our service. Use our feedback links to let us know if you have a model that's not included and we'll try to build it. In some cases we don't have a specific year built yet, often a 2007 or 2008, and this is because we are waiting for the necessary data to become available. As soon as we get it, we'll build 'em.
After a year and a half in the making, RepairPal is finally live! Had I known how tough it would be to solve this problem, giving consumers the information they need to feel confident about the prices they’re paying to keep their cars running, I’d have long ago tossed it into the dustbin of great but unworkable ideas. Yet with some luck and a fantastic team (and many long weeks and weekends), we’ve created something truly amazing. The list of people who have contributed to its creation is too long to post here, but I am indebted to you all. Thank you!
Why has building RepairPal been so tough in an era when ‘information wants to be free’? Chris Anderson’s notion of the Long Tail provides a starting point – there are billions of combinations of car brand, model, year, repair and geography to accommodate – but computers could put the data together if this was easily done. It’s not. The data in this huge industry is not structured for computers to combine in a way that’s usable by consumers. Hence we’ve had to put dozens of experienced mechanics in front of our computers to put the data together, model by model, procedure by procedure. It’s not a coincidence that every time you bring your car in to the shop, even for a simple oil change, the service writer creates a custom estimate for you.