Cost Guide Certified Shop FAQ

Below are answers to the questions we’re asked by our Certified Shops.

Have a question or concern that isn’t answered?
Email us at and we’ll be happy to help you out!


How are leads sent to me?

We send leads to you by phone and email. Text message notifications are also available and highly recommended. To sign up for text message notications, send your cell phone number to

Our phone number to watch for is 415-630-6722. Our email address is

What information does each lead contain?

Each lead email notification includes the lead’s zip code, their car’s year, make, model, problem as well as their email address, first name and phone number.

You can test it out yourself any time by visiting but make sure you submit a different phone number than the one we have on file for your shop.

How many shops is a lead sent to?

We only accept two transmission shops per 15 mile radius, so each lead can be sent to a maximum of 2 Certified Shops.

When are automated calls sent?

We send an automated call to your shop for each lead that is generated between the hours of 8AM and 8PM your local time based on the timezone.

Note: Emails and text message notifications are sent around the clock instantly after the lead submits the get estimate form.

How can I get lead notifications by text message?

Email your cell phone number to and we’ll set it up for you 🙂

Should I text the lead?

At this time, we don’t recommend texting the leads as we haven’t explicitly warned/informed the leads that they will receive a text message. If this is something a lot of shops are interested in, we can update the form to state that they may receive a text.

How do I get the most out of this program?

The goal is to connect you with the lead within minutes so that they’re still on the Cost Guide website or your shop’s website when they get the call. That way they’re still actively looking to get their transmission problem resolved. This instant follow-up is a major key to this program converting and if the leads are not called within minutes, we’ve found the chances of reaching them are considerably lower.

When a lead comes through during business hours I’d advise using the automated telephone system to press #1 as soon as each lead is received, for best results. After a few hours most leads “go cold”, IE, they aren’t available to talk or have potentially found another solution. You can also try a quick e-mail to follow up.

I’m getting leads with wrong/bad phone numbers?

We have implemented a phone number lookup feature that is now detecting and eliminating the most obvious bad numbers and you won’t receive any notifications relating to these leads. Unfortunately, a small percentage of people will put in a bad phone number, either intentionally or unintentionally.

We do encourage people to enter their correct telephone number and remind them that this service is for connecting them to the local Certified Shop. However, people who put in an active number that isn’t their own may still squeak through the filter.

Leads are not answering the phone when I call?

Unfortunately, a large percentage of people will never answer unrecognized phone numbers. This is a common problem with online lead generation across every industry. According to a Hello Operator survey, Only 28 percent of participants said they’re likely to answer a call from an unknown number with a local area code. Since most people use cell phones nowadays, a decent percentage of people will not answer their phone from an unknown caller/number and let it go to voicemail to screen it first.

In the case that you don’t get an answer, we’d encourage you to ideally leave a friendly voicemail and follow up with a quick email as well.

Since transmission repair/auto repair is a telephone sale, there is not a simple fix to either of the above. Text and e-mail communication do not get the customer into the shop but I’m always open to any feedback on other ways we could try.

Direct call-ins from the “locate a shop” map to the main telephone lines are going to be the best leads of course.

Leads are cost conscious or only interested in getting a price?

Era of the Internet price shopper, unfortunately. RepairPal is based around transparent pricing. OpenBay is based around price shopping. AutoMD – comparing price quotes. YourMechanic is based on price savings and convenience vs. shops. All of the working online auto repair “disruptors” are based around pricing/cost. Offering a free check/diagnosis on price shopping leads isn’t going to be as effective as offering a fair, reasonable, realistic rebuild or replacement range based on the transmission model.

We encourage Certified Shops to provide leads with a realistic price range.

People are in all stages of the buying process when they hit the site, many are just starting to experience problems, many might have work done in the near future, some are shopping prices and some will go the used or trade-in route.

As for leads that are only looking for a low cost fix, the only solution to that problem is first traditional financing, second in-house financing with 50% down and automated CC weekly payments for 4-6 months, when necessary. Otherwise you may lose leads to a used unit install at a general repair shop or a trade-in. In our opinion, it’s better to chance a default and lose some labor $$ than to lose the job entirely.

Leads are too far away?

If you’re finding that leads are too far away, let us know and we can adjust the radius for your shop. The system uses zip code to zip code distance to determine where a lead is located, but since we don’t know customer’s exact address, the distance is only approximate.

So let us know and we’ll adjust your shop’s radius to find the sweet spot.

Who do you allow to become a Certified Shop?

We have very specific requirements of who can be listed as a Certified Shop. All shops must meet the following requirements:

  • Have been in business for 2 years or more.
  • Have a Better Business Bureau “B” or higher rating.
  • Offer free transmission diagnostics.
  • Offer free towing with repairs.
  • Offer at least one form of financing.
  • Provide quality transmission repair and charge fair prices.
  • Provide a minimum 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty.
  • If we get a number of complaints, shop is removed.

Have a question or concern that isn’t answered?
Email us at and we’ll be happy to help you out!