The Pitch: "Say goodbye to expensive scratch repairs!"
April 2009. According to the TV infomercial, Simoniz Fix It scratch remover makes repairing damaged car finishes a simple three-step process: just apply Fix It to the scratch, buff and wipe off. But reviews say Fix It doesn't always work on surface scratches in the clear coat -- much less the deeper paint scratches. Some buyers say they were misled, assuming they'd be able to fix prominent scratches after seeing them disappear in the commercial.
Popular Mechanics tester Harry Sawyers concludes that Fix It is basically a tube of clear coat. He finds that it does indeed fill superficial scratches in a car's top clear coat, but it does nothing for noticeable scratches that affect the paint color -- the "ones that most of us would want to disappear." In fact, Fix It makes deeper scratches stand out, as if they had been "highlighted with clear fingernail polish."
A professional auto body repairman tests Fix It for a TV news station in Missouri. His kit comes with a battery-powered buffer that he says is useless. He finds that the pen doesn't even fix his clear-coat scratches.
Some people who buy Simoniz Fix It over the phone or online say they were charged for items they never ordered, and they couldn't get a refund from the company. Others complain that the Fix It pens arrived empty, or the tips broke, or the "free" car vacuum (which actually costs an extra $15 in shipping and handling, according to the fine print on the Fix It website) is small and weak. Some say they are surprised, because they had always thought Simoniz was a brand to trust.
Popular Mechanics' Home Journal blog tests many as-seen-on-TV products, including Simoniz Fix It scratch remover. A Missouri TV station, KFVS (Cape Girardeau), enlists a professional auto-body repairman to test Fix It. The Journal Sentinel in Milwaukee looks into complaints of unauthorized charges, which are also a common gripe on InfomercialRatings.com. User reviews for Fix It on Amazon.com are mostly negative as well.
Popular Mechanics tests Simoniz Fix It on both superficial and deep scratches on a SUV with its original silver paint. The tester concludes that the Fix It pen basically contains clear coat. It does a fine job smoothing out superficial scratches in the car's clear coat, but deep scratches in the paint are still visible.
Review: Does Fix-It Work?, Harry Sawyers, Feb. 19, 2009
2. KFVS (Cape Girardeau, Mo.)
An auto body repairman teams up with a reporter to test Simoniz Fix-It on a scratched black car -- just like in the commercial. The repairman gives Fix-It "a D-minus or an F" after it fails to fix tiny or large scratches. The video report is also available at this site.
Review: Simoniz Fix-it: Does it Work?, Lauren Keith, March 4, 2008
3. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Public Investigator blog looks into a complaint by a woman who says she was charged $75 for her $30 Simoniz Fix It order, a product that she says didn't work. Simoniz agrees to refund the woman's money after the newspaper calls. A Wisconsin consumer protection agency reports other complaints about Fix It, including billing errors and inflated shipping costs.
Review: Public Investigator Fields Complaint about Fix It Scratch Remover, Keegan Kyle, July 13, 2008
In the more than 50 reviews from people who decided to buy Simoniz Fix It, the product gets the lowest possible rating of one star. Several users say the product doesn't work, and they were sent and charged for items they didn't order.
Review: Fix It (by Simoniz) Reviews and Ratings, Contributors to InfomercialRatings.com
Like users at InfomercialRatings.com, most of the people who posted reviews for Simoniz Fix It on Amazon give it the lowest rating possible. Most users say it makes no difference in their scratches.
Review: Simoniz S11 Fix It Scratch Repair Kit, Contributors to Amazon.com