It started with a busy signal.
John Formento, Jr. was trying to schedule a car inspection but he couldn’t get through to his repair shop. When he finally got through, he thought, wouldn’t it be easier if you could just do this online? You wouldn’t have to deal with a busy signal and mechanics wouldn’t need to stop working to pick up the ringing phone.
Launched this past April, it’s aiming to be exactly that.
You can schedule an appointment with any OnlineMechanix-affiliated repair shop. The startup is based in Oaks, Pa., where Formento and his father live, but Formento says it’s got member repair shops in 13 states and more than 10 cities, including Philadelphia.
Right now, many bigger name shops, like Pep Boys, allow you to schedule appointments online, but your neighborhood shop might not offer that feature, or even have a website.
OnlineMechanix will also store all your maintenance records if you create an account.
A former NextDocs intern, Formento grew up in the Philly suburbs. He graduated last year from Schreyer Honors College at Penn State with a degree in business administration and marketing. His father, John Formento, Sr., previously worked in business development for companies that sold software to the pharmaceutical industry.
And, we asked Formento, be honest: What it’s like working with your dad?
No dirt here. It’s great, he said, we’re more like best friends than father and son.
For more, check OnlineMechanix out on the Montgomery County Times Herald.
Previously on Technically Philly: YourMech.com: connecting car owners and mechanics for discounted repairs