Rather Miserable Experience
HAYWARD -- I don't have much time, so I'll attempt to make a short story out of what was a long and frustrating experience.
I have a 1996 Buick Regal 2 door coupe. I've had it for about 2 years now and decided it was time to sell it and move on. Problem was, I bought the car with large paint chips mission on both the hood, driver door, and rear panel. If you've sold cars before, you know something like that can make for a very slow sale. I decided to repaint the car, did a little research, and figured an inexpensive ( $300-500 ) Maaco package would do the trick.
I picked up a friend and we headed down to National Ave. My buddy lives nearby and we planned to walk to his house in the case that I left my car with Maaco that afternoon, and he would then give me a ride home. When we arrived at the shop, a young lady helped us out. She took a look at the car, I told her what I wanted, and I was told "It'll be $229 for the Supreme prep. package and $249 for the Ambassador paint package, so it'll be..like...$600" The supreme prep. package states that the car will be sanded and any chips repaired. I was rather confused by the pricing, but carried on. She said that if I left it with them that evening( Monday ), that it would be ready on Wednesday, Thursday at the latest, which seemed suuuuper quick to me. Anyway, I said thank you and told her I'd be in touch. My friend and I went back to his house, and I decided that instead of talking myself out of it and procrastinating any longer that I was going to drop my car off at Maaco that evening and just get the show on the road, I was motivated to sell my car quickly.
We headED back to Maaco, my friend followed in his car behind me. The manager/owner David was there this time, so I spoke with him. I told him what I wanted, and the young lady that helped me earlier that afternoon blurted out "I told him $600." After a bunch of detailed explanations and instructions for the car, he wrote up a receipt that included a fee of $120 for 'extra sanding', which brought the total to a nice round $600 before tax. I started to get a little anxious, and eventually just left the car with them, and got a ride home from my buddy. Now I dropped the car off about 15 to 20 minutes before closing, that's when we finished negotiations and were physically leaving the shop. When I got home and thought things over, while looking at my receipt, I decided to call Maaco and leave a message, and ask them to postpone work on the car until I could come down and clear a few things up. I figured they would get the message early the next morning, and put the car aside until I could head down there and talk things out. I got a call that morning and was told they had already started working on the car. So... so much for clearing things up first.
After a few calls, I got ahold of David. He explained to me that the charge for extra sanding was for the chips in the paint, which I assumed would be included in the Supreme prep. package. Sigh.. OK. He told me that my car would be ready on Friday. I asked if I should give them a call Friday afternoon. He insisted that there was no need, and that they'd contact me as soon as it was ready. He was polite about the whole thing, so we ended the call peacefully.
Friday rolled around. I woke up. It was raining. Automatically I expected a call from Maaco informing me that they would need more time with the car, due to the moisture and what not. That wouldn't have bothered me, totally understandable, and I would actually appreciate that they would want to keep my car the extra couple days to ensure the job was done right. What bothered me, is that I never received a call/voicemail/anything from them on Friday. A bit aggravated, I decided that I would give them all of Saturday as well, a 2nd chance, if you will. Saturday drags by, no phone call. Sunday they are closed. I called and left a message for them explaining the situation, while emphasizing my concern. Once again, I figured they'd get the message Monday morning, and give me a call right away with some sort of status update. Monday afternoon rolls around, still no phone call. Screw this, I'm going to call them and see what the hell is going on.
I called, and talked to the receptionist. She was a nice lady. I told her the situation, and she seemed rather confused. She put me on hold and went to find out what was going on with my car. A minute later she got back on the phone and told me that my car was ready. I was a little caught off guard. I replied "Oh...I'm really sorry, am I late picking it up? I didn't know." My attempt was in hopes of tricking her into telling me how long the car had been ready for, without sounding aggressive and provoking her into lying to me. She said "Oh no it's OK don't worry, the car has been ready since Friday but don't even worry about it." Wow. So it was ready Friday, and I didn't get a call all weekend, AND didn't even get a call back after I had CALLED THEM to see if my car was ready or not, and having to call AGAIN to finally find out. I didn't get loud with her and was not impolite, I simply told her thank you and that I'd be there shortly to pick up my car.
My friend picked me up and we drove down to Maaco. When I asked for my car, she didn't know where the keys or the receipt were. She showed me the keybox, and asked "Are any of those yours?" None of them were. We waited in the lobby while she went in back to figure things out. A dude came out and asked me what type of car it was and then went around back to look for it. Nobody could find it, not to mention my keys were still missing. David the owner had taken off for the day. They decide my car might be in the storage area they have, which is locked up. After all of this and about 15 minutes of waiting, they finally found my car, and my keys. They take me in back to check my car out. It's still dusty, inside and out. There's overspray ALL over the place. Grille, weatherstripping, tires, panel lights, ANDDD they painted over the trunk lock. I was super frustrated, and although the proper way of handling it would be to leave my car there and wait to speak to David about the flaws in the work they did, I made my mind up that I was taking my car home that night. I needed transportation, and couldn't wait any longer. I took pictures of the flaws with my camera phone and left a note to David listing the errors, and that I intended on returning with the car tomorrow afternoon.
The next day, I head down to Maaco. David is there, he apologizes up and down and ensures me that they will correct their work and that the car would be done the next day by 11 AM. I ask "Are you sure about that? 11 AM seems kind of early, can you meet that deadline?" He insists that they've got it covered.
The next day, 11 AM passed and no phone call. I gave them until 2:30 that afternoon to call me and they never did. I had my buddy pick me up and we headed down to Maaco...again. Like deja vu, we got there and everybody seemed surprised. As if I showed up way too early, or as if they had no idea what car I was talking about. A man eventually came out and explained they needed more time to fix the flaws. Even more frustrated, I manage to politely say "OK. Thank you.", while my friend had to drop me back off at home. Before closing time, they called me and my car was ready. AGAIN, back to Maaco. We got there and the car was dusty inside and out, once again. On top of that, HALF the flaws weren't even fixed!!!! I was absolutely done with that place, I didn't even want the rest of the flaws fixed. S***, I didn't even want my car around them anymore.
Although the staff was overall friendly, they were sloppy, totally unprofessional, and did horrible work.