Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Who dented that car? Colorado Springs pair develop app to curtail auto repair shop fraud

March 24, 2014 Updated: March 25, 2014 at 9:50 am
0
photo - James Bishop, left, and Jake Durfee, co-owners of The Ding Guy, have developed an application that helps auto repair shops eliminate paper work and cut the time needed to create repair estimates. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
James Bishop, left, and Jake Durfee, co-owners of The Ding Guy, have developed an application that helps auto repair shops eliminate paper work and cut the time needed to create repair estimates. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

Auto body repair folks will tell you that customer fraud occurs more often then you might think, as in this scenario:

The customer claims the repair technician dented or dinged his vehicle while fixing the original problem. The customer wants the dent/ding fixed for free - though it likely had been there for eons.

Tired of dealing with such false claims, the owner of a Colorado Springs auto body repair shop and his brother-in-law came up with a high-tech solution: an app.

James Bishop, 42, and Jake Durfee, 30, invented The Ding Stinger app as an easy way to let auto body repair and mechanic shops scan car or truck vehicle identification numbers, take photos of hail and other body damage, write estimates and share the information with customers and other auto repair companies. So if a customer comes back with a false claim - or takes it to another shop - the app can divulge the truth.

Bishop says such false claims happen a lot, and that's why he and Durfee came up with the idea.

But the app also has saved Bishop's company the time it took to fill out paperwork for orders and estimates.

"We are literally four times faster," he said. "Since we did this app, we have tracked where it has saved us 15 hours a week."

The app works on any Apple mobile device and can be downloaded and used for a limited time for free. After that, the app costs $30 a month to use, or $299 a year. So far, it's been downloaded more than 2,000 times in all 50 states and five countries, Bishop said. It has been purchased 226 times since it became available in July.

Durfee, a manager and repairman at Bishop's repair shop, "The Ding Guy," said he helped develop the app after the two men realized the flaws in their check-in procedures, such as transposed VIN numbers and triplicate paperwork. He said they created the app so it can be shared with repair and other auto service shops within the city and elsewhere.

A Springs native, Bishop started working in the auto body repair business in 1991 when he was 19. After attending trade school in Bentonville, Ark., he returned to the Springs in 1992 and opened his first shop. In 2006, he started "The Ding Guy" at 3001 East Platte Ave.

Durfee started working with Bishop the same year Bishop opened his shop, and Durfee's older brother, Matthew, coded the application.

When asked why someone should buy "The Ding Stinger" app instead of just having employees take photos of damaged vehicles, Bishop said: "Because the app organizes everything into an information package that can be attached to any other program, sent to customers, and it saves time."

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

Some news is free.
Exceptional journalism takes time, effort and your support.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.