There isn’t an industry in the world without its cowboys – you know, those horrible people who take your money after doing a rubbish job or even no job at all, who then happen to vanish into thin air. Given how much you’ve paid for your car, it’s vital that you avoid these tuning cowboys like the plague if you’re thinking about getting your vehicle remapped. Not only because of the potential financial losses, but because you could end up with a vehicle that’ll blow a mechanical component or a vehicle that won’t even run at all.

Here’s our tip tips on how to spot the tuning cowboys:

Company online presence

This is the thing you need to look out for the most. The internet is now too accessible to be ignored in your search for a reputable tuning company, and the great thing about the internet is that cowboys can’t run away from it – if somebody has done a crap job, you can bet that the customer has vented their frustration online on a public forum.

The first thing to check is the company’s website. Has it been professionally designed? Does it have a wealth of contact information, including a registered address? Is the company an officially registered company in Great Britain? Does the company have social media? How active is the company online, as in how often does it reply to people on public forums?

But don’t be fooled by a glossy website and brand-published five-star reviews. Go deeper in your search by using Google. Try searching ‘company name + reviews’ and ‘company name + any good’ and see if anything shows up. This will uncover discussions that said company hasn’t got any control over – discussions that are from customers. If there are concerns surrounding the quality of services online, avoid that company like the plague and don’t give them the opportunity to take your money and damage your vehicle.

Who’s accountable?

Cowboys like to hide behind a brand and portray their business as something bigger than it actually is. If a tuning company is in no way personable, questions should be asked about who is going to be working on your car. At Hyperchips for example, everybody who’s going to be immediately involved in the tuning process is clearly shown on our about page. So you know who is going to be working with you and who’s accountable for the work.

Once you know who is accountable, you can search for that person on the internet as you did with their company. Use Google and search for ‘name + location + Twitter’ and ‘name + location + LinkedIn’ to see if that person is who they say they are. If there’s absolutely nothing on the internet about that person, alarm bells should start to ring.

Sure, it could be that the person you’re searching for simply isn’t invested online, but what business person in this day and age would choose to miss out on the largest business opportunity available – customers on the internet?

Avoid tuning outfits that have nobody accountable for their work. It’s often the case that such outfits are tuning cowboys that should be avoided at all costs.