COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA -- My name is ** and I am writing to you concerning my recent service at Midas in Columbia, SC on October 25th. I called Midas and asked them if I towed my car in if they would look at it and fix it. The manager said yes. My car had no power whatsoever. A few days later ** called and said they found that the main wiring harness wires were bad and needed to be replaced. HE also told me that the fuse between the starter and wiring harness was blown so they changed it. Due to trusting Midas, I took it to an electrical place called southern armature in Columbia.
This is the second tow fee of 60.00. Southern armature calls two days later and says your electronics are fixed but now it isn't starting but it is turning over. Tow it back to Midas; third time. ** says he will look at it. A couple days later he calls and says we found the problem, it was the distributor. Come pick it up. I was charged 403.00 for labor and the distributor. I drove to Lexington and something was wrong.
I popped the hood and found the distributor not tightened down and so the timing was jumping due to Midas not tightening the bolt. Now I was getting upset due to being stuck again and calling another tow truck. It takes two minutes to tighten the distributor bolt down and this time wasn't taken to make sure the service I just paid for was quality. So I took it back to Midas to fix what they didn't do in the first place. By now I'm in the money pit - 240.00 for towing, 272.00 for wiring harness and coil, 403.00 at Midas and it still isn't fixed.
They call me the next day and tell me it is running and the alternator is bad(?). Now, pay attention because this is where it really gets interesting, or as I call it, the second phase of me being really pissed. So I pick the car up and drive to my apartment and change the alternator. Drive it the next day to Lexington and guess what, it freaking breaks down AGAIN. So now I go to another mechanic. Within 2 hours he calls me and tells me what he finds.
The reason the car was shutting off was because somebody didn't hook a wire backup to the starter. That is the first thing Midas checked due to the fuse being blown from the starter to the wiring harness. The positive battery cable off the battery was fried on about 2 inches of it in plain site. Next, Southern Armature replaced a coil on my car and the wire plug that went into it had the clip broke and it fell off with the use of a fingertip accidentally touching it. Car doesn't do nothing without that plug being hooked up. So, was the replacement of my distributor or alternator necessary? Myself and my other mechanic don't think so.
He also found two bare wires right beside the coil that should have been found and repaired. When the car broke down, the battery was checked first by me and Advance Auto Parts and it was good. If the alternator was bad before, all this it would not have been charging the battery. So was the alternator bad before this? NO. Was the distributor bad? Probably not, but no one really knows. Was the last two tow jobs necessary? Most likely not. I question whether the tow from Southern Armature and any tow job after that was necessary at all if somebody would've hooked the wire back up from the start.
I went two weeks without a car and because that I'm a FT student with two internships, a job, two kids. Think about the BIG inconvenience all this is, even typing this letter has taken time that I don't have but I want the owner and the corporate people to know what happened to me. My dad has been going to Midas for a long time, I go every once in a while, but no more. I work too hard for the money that I have spent due to trusting the Midas Corporation.
Here's another bad Midas representation: I was going to get rid of the car so I called ** and asked about getting the money back out the distributor. He said he couldn't because he didn't have the original box due to the core being sent to the store he bought it from.
I called some auto parts stores to ask about whether I could return the distributor or the alternator and they said yes if I had the receipt. He didn't say anything except that It was too bad. Not "I'll check into it", or anything else. What a freaking great reply. I was just trying to get some money back out the car and recover some losses but that's TOO BAD for me because I don't have the receipt for the distributor that cost 236.20. I know Midas has it but I don't.
Even though I kept the car because the other mechanic fixed it and I have no longer have had any problems out of the car, this was still the biggest aggravation I have ever received from any auto service place in my life. My question to the Midas Corporation is this: how are they going to fix this situation before I take this matter any further. I would like to tell people that Midas did the right thing by me but that is up to the corporate office because I know the local shop don't care or think a little person like myself doesn't matter.
I do know this, some of the problems and costs couldn't have been avoided due to the problems with the car, but I know some of the costs and issues could have been avoided if somebody would have taken the time to look over my car. The towing fees, what Midas charged me, the Southern Armature bill, the alternator, some of this could have been avoided if somebody hooked the starter wire back up in the first place.
I don't want to post this on telephone poles, or make any t-shirts, or posts this problem on the bulletin board all over USC campus, but my advertising skills will come in handy with all the news stations and the e-mail contacts I have. I don't want somebody else going through this. I will go this length if somebody don't acknowledge this as a major problem in your company.
If the manager said we are not capable of fixing this problem it would have worked out fine, but no he said yes, and because Midas is a well known corporation I took my dad's suggestion and the fact that Midas has a sign on the front of their buildings that reads "Auto Service Experts", I trusted the company. To resolve this matter, I can be reached on my cell phone and hopefully someone will let me know that the corporate people care more about the customers than the local shops, or at the least the owner of the shops in Columbia because that he owns the one in Columbia and West Columbia. Please call.
TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- At the end of June 2008 I took my Mitsibushi Mirage 2000 into a local Midas shop in Tulsa, OK for a repair concerning fluid or water leaking into my driver and passenger side floors. Upon picking the vehicle up I was given an invoice that stated they had unplugged an a/c drainage line. One week later the engine overheated and burned up due to the radiator cap being left off. To make a long story short, I complained to them in person, to the Better Business Bureau, hired an attorney and took them to small claims court. The new engine cost around $3400.00. All this to no avail. They lied, lied, and lied some more about their negligence in this matter.
Their insurance company and the Midas corporation have a policy of never paying for any damages they cause, especially in a case where it is your word against their word, circumstantial. The judge in the case was a conservative corporate supporter and of course ruled in their favor due to my attorney not preparing a thorough enough case and to the judge's bias toward the female consumer. The court system is totally corrupt. I will now tell you what you should do to win a case against Midas. First of all, hire a really good attorney who does his homework. Secondly, line up every expert witness you can.
Written statements are not admissible, and most evidence, even photographs needs to be explained by an expert witness, not a lay person or yourself. The expert witnesses should include consumers who have had similar complaints, ex Midas employees, mechanical engineers, auto mechanic experts, and any mechanic who was involved in repairing the damages they caused. Know that the judge and the system will try to side with the corporation and as a plaintiff you have to prove their negligence. They don't have to do anything but come and lie about the entire repair job and if you can't prove they're lying, the judge will rule in their favor.
To find expert witnesses one might run ads in the newspaper or internet asking for help. One might search court records to find out who else has filed complaints against them and seek those people out as possible witnesses. Yes, one could end up having to pay someone's travel expenses, etc. to be your witness, but this is how the system works. It will cost a lot of money to beat them and this is what they depend on the most. They are aware that it is hard to prove negligence, even if you have a receipt proving you were at their shop, because they will lie and say the damage was caused by some other factor, by some other entity, even by you.
In my case, they took the stance that they never even opened my hood, therefore, they didn't take the radiator cap off. Believe me, they had this statement rehearsed from the very beginning. It is a tactic used, and they got away with it. Midas will deny all responsibility unless you have a witness that saw them do it, or a video recording. My advice to anyone who goes to any mechanic is this...do not leave your car with them and vacate the premises. Watch what they do every minute, every second that they have your vehicle. If possible video record the entire event.
Always check under your hood for problems, like the radiator cap being off, before you leave their parking lot. If you do go to court, research the subject matter thoroughly and have a witness to back up every theory and evidence you present. If you don't have an expert witness to explain and verify what you say, the judge will draw his own conclusions however he pleases.
Just know that the court system is not your friend, nor is the judge, and that the legal system is set up to protect the guilty at all costs. Please contact me if you ever need a consumer witness to testify against Midas. I will be happy, happy, happy to testify against these lying, thieving, corporate criminals.
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA -- I had gone to this Midas car repair shop in Costa Mesa on 6/28/08 to get the oil leaks in my car fixed. After an initial inspection I was told I was shown where the leaks are and given a copy of the estimate. There were four items on the estimate which added up to $517. I told him I can't afford to spend so much at this time to which he suggested that I could just get the first two items done which were absolutely necessary to get fixed now and then I could get the other two items fixed at a later date. I agreed two get the first two items fixed for $173.
While I was waiting for my wife to pick me up he came back in 15 minutes and said he can bring the total price down to $450 for all the four items on the estimate. I reluctantly agreed because it would be a lot of strain on my monthly budget. I got a call from him at 4 pm saying that the car has been fixed and ready for pickup and that he had replaced two more parts which would cost me an additional $63 and that he was giving me a discount on that part of work.
I asked him why did he not ask me before going ahead and replacing those parts to which he got angry and started shouting over the phone on how he tried to do a favor on me and that if I did not want those parts he will put the old parts (which I had no way of telling those belonged to my car) back in.
Since he was not listening to anything I was saying I hung up the phone and headed to pick up the car. Upon reaching there he showed me the new installed parts and the old parts (no way I could tell those belonged to my car). I asked him again why he did not get an authorization from me before replacing those parts. He again started saying the same thing as how he tried to do favor and how he was giving me a discount and if I did not want it he will replace the parts back again.
I did not have too much of an option and time to think and had to decide to pay for the additional parts and seek redressal from Midas Management and Better Business Bureau later. I felt completely cheated and taken for a ride. I was shown the new invoice which conveniently added up to $516, $1 less than the original estimate suggesting that he had somehow tried to get back to his original estimate somehow.
After I signed the invoice he said that I should write on the invoice that I had authorized and agreed to replace the two additional parts. I was really shocked and annoyed and refused to write any such thing and asked him would he write that he had replaced the two parts without my consent. He just snatched the invoice back and insisted that I write it or he will put the old parts back in. I argued that in spite of him treating me like this I was willing to pay and top of all this he wanted me to write this disclaimer.
By this time two other customers were waiting behind me and realizing this he changed his tone and "gave in" and I
reluctantly paid for the invoice, just in the hope that I will be able to get some redressal with the Midas management and Better Business Bureau. I really hope someone else does not get cheated in a similar way from this guy. And that is why I am writing this in so much detail. I was contemplating calling the cops right there and then but thought let me try addressing this with Midas Management first and then if I do not get a response only then consider other options.
MADISON, TENNESSEE -- In November 2007 we noted an indicator light (check engine) on our 2001 VW Jetta. I used an OBD to review the issue and noted fault codes for cylinder 1 & 2 (misfire). We took the Jetta to the Midas Auto Service Experts at 1211 S Gallatin Road in Madison, TN 37115 for a tune-up (plugs, wires, filter, oil, etc). The work was completed on 11/10/07 and did not include the plugs and wires. The fuel filter was replaced; cooling system was drained and filled; oil change done; engine and cabin air filters replaced. Total cost was $337.47 (invoice # **).
The manager told us he cleared the fault codes, but the VW plugs would need to be ordered. Additionally he said the codes may or may not return - if they did, they would have the plugs and wires to replace the old ones and it would fix the indicator light (clear the codes).
On 11/11/07 we noted the indicator light returned. I used the OBD and noted the same codes - fault codes for cylinder 1 & 2 (misfire). We took the Jetta back to the Midas Auto Service Experts at 1211 S Gallatin to have the wires and plugs installed. The installation was completed on 11/13/07 for a total cost of $285.46 (Invoice # 5103425). The manager told us he cleared the codes and the car was ready to go.
We were out of town for the holidays and did not use the car for a while. When we did use the Jetta, my wife noted the indicator light came on again. I used the OBD to review the issue and noted fault codes for cylinder 1 & 2 (misfire). This was the third time we had the issue and we had already spent $622.93 at Midas for the same issue. We decided to take our Jetta to the dealership - Hallmark VW/Hyundai at 2431 Gallatin Road in Madison, TN 37115 on 01/15/08.
I received a call from the VW dealer in the morning on 01/16/08 and they noted the same fault codes I saw using the OBD - cylinder 1 & 2 (misfire). They said this indicated the Jetta required a tune-up. I explained to them that I have the car recently serviced at a shop recently and I need the old parts. I called my wife and she contacted the Midas shop manager and told him of the issues. She also reviewed the process for a Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaint. The BBB noted a request / requirement to contact Midas at 615.327.0722 before filing a complaint.
When I picked-up the Jetta later that day, the VW dealer noted the wiring for the cylinders were done incorrectly ("wires routed incorrectly") rand the plugs were "hand tight" (as noted on my VW dealer invoice). Also, the shop (Midas) did not use the OEM plugs or engine filter. The cost for the repairs (replaced the wires, plugs, and engine air filter) was $377.04 (Invoice or "RO" #: **). I stopped at the Midas shop and spoke to the manager.
He told me it was unlikely the cylinders were wired incorrectly and that the work had a warranty - that I should have returned to his shop. I explained that I brought the Jetta to his shop twice, for the same issue, and still had that issue after each visit. That the total cost for the tune-up (just at Midas) had cost me over $600 and a third visit, for the same issue, would be an act of stupidity on my part. It was a judgment call and a reasonable person would not return for a third visits.
I asked what Midas intended to do regarding the issue and he told me he had received a call from my wife earlier in the day and contacted his manager; who would call me the next day (01/17/08). I asked him to call his manager and ensure I was contacted as early as possible. I also provided my cell number **. On 01/17/08, I did not receive a call as of 3 PM and called the number noted via BBB above. I asked to speak to someone regarding this issue - gave the shop location and the make / model of the vehicle and cell number. As of this note (01/18/08 at 9AM), no one has contacted my wife or I about this problem.
On 01/22/08, ** called our home phone and left a message. I returned his call on 01/23/08 and we discussed the VW. ** was adamant that no diagnostic was done on the car at the Midas Auto Service Experts at 1211 S Gallatin Road and questioned the time frame. He was concerned we brought the car in the second time on 11/13/07 and did not report another problem until 01/15/08. I explained that we were out of town for the holidays and did not use the car until the New Year.
** stated that we did not give them an opportunity to fix the issues and I explained to him that the total cost for the tune-up (just at Midas) had cost me over $600 and a third visit, for the same issue, a prudent person would not return a third time for the same issue to the same place. It was a judgment call and I believe a reasonable person would have done the same thing.
** stated that the car should have been returned to the shop per the warranty and I explained that the car was at the same shop twice for the same issue and each time the manager told us the codes were clear. The second time the manager was adamant the car was fine and the codes were clear. I explained that the car indicator light was on after the second visit and I did not feel a third trip to the same shop was a good idea. He again said no diagnostic was done on the car but could not tell me how his shop managers knew what the problem was if they did not do a diagnostic -since I never told him I used the OBD.
I suggested we use the BBB process because he was not listening to what I had to say. ** stated that the car should have been returned to the shop per the warranty and asked again why it took two months to notice the problem. I explained that he was repeating himself and not listening to me. We were on vacation and the second time the manager was adamant the car was fine and the codes were clear. I explained that the car indicator light was on after the second visit and I did not feel a third trip to the same shop was a good idea.
** insisted we should have taken the car to the same shop for warranty work… I thanked him and said we use the BBB process because he was not interested n solving the issue, just arguing the same points. He said, “Well, you should have brought it back.” I thanked him one more time and said we should let the BBB run its course. ** said, “You should have brought it to us sooner, why didn't you?” At that point I knew he was being resistant to the conversation and understood his goal was not resolution. I thanked him and said goodbye.
DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS -- I had a problem with my GMC it would stop driving suddenly. First they charge me 200 and they said battery was bad!!! A week later I still have a problem with my car. They said was the alternator and they change it and the problem was still there!!! So that tells you they're bunch of stupid idiots. They're charging people money and they don't know how to do oil change. I advise all people to not go there. Because they don't know what the hell they're doing.
GURNEE, ILLINOIS -- My American car died while I was on the tollway. I had it towed to the next exit where I knew there was a Midas. Midas tested the alternator and told me it was bad. I asked them to replace it, which they did in less than 2 hours. American car alternators are known to be inexpensive. Midas charged me $350 FOR A REFURBISHED alternator and $100 for labor for a total of $450! I'll never go to a Midas again.
SPRINGFIELD, OHIO -- Midas Springfield, Ohio owned by Ian ** was contracted to do a tune-up on our pickup. When we received the bill we found that Midas overcharged for part by 400% compared to Auto Zone and NAPA. They also broke a spark plug and charged us $300 to fix the damage they caused. Thanks Midas for giving a disabled Vet the shaft...
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- Took my pregnant wife's car in for a catalytic converter. Manager said car had oil leak and needed to be fixed and would cost $1,300 total. I said "Yes" but needed to make sure car was safe since wife was pregnant. Well a week after work was done car leaked out oil. So I took it back and manager said maybe they didn't tighten up bolts enough and said it would be fine now and assured it was safe. Well a week later car leaked out oil and blew engine. Now Midas refuses to take responsibility.
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- I took my car to Midas because I couldn't get in to my regular trusted mechanic for a couple weeks (probably because they are great guys and extremely honest about what you do and don't need). The customer service was fine and they were friendly. That part I have no complaints about.
I was told that I needed a new battery, serpentine belts replaced, cabin filter (you don't even really need this, btw unless you have really bad allergies) and an air filter. I knew I absolutely needed the battery and an oil change so I had them do this. I should have questioned the price but I was at work and in the middle of a million things and wasn't thinking clearly.
I was charged $189.95 for a 25-60 CARQUEST battery plus $15.99 to install it. After getting my serpentine belts and air filter replaced at my regular mechanic today, I asked about the battery price for a comparison. My mechanic showed me where the product number was on the battery so I could look up the CARQUEST price and told me that they get the batteries for $115 and charge $10 to install it. He was right on the money. The battery on the CARQUEST website was $114.99. I can understand a small markup, but Midas is putting a 65% markup on the battery.
I know this is my problem for not being a more informed consumer, and I also know they can charge whatever they want as long as people agree to it. However, I don't appreciate the price gouging and do not plan to take my car back to Midas again. Do yourself a favor and look up the price of parts that they say you need! I will stick with my mechanic from now on. Lesson learned.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- I took my vehicle to the location of 3819 Fredericksburg Rd in San Antonio, Texas. Oooh my gosh, what a big mistake. I asked them for an estimate for the brakes and the exhaust leak. They had no problem dropping me off in my OWN CAR, no shuttle, they drove my car that needed repairs, to a friend's house. Before I left, I specifically said "DO NOT DO ANY WORK WITHOUT SPEAKING WITH ME". They said "ooh, no problem, we won't".
My boyfriend called and the man said "can I call you back, I am on the line with someone". We received no call back. An hour later we called again and the same man said "you're ready to go, its all fixed". We got a ride to the shop and said "we did not authorize any work". He said "your boyfriend authorized the work". My boyfriend said "I did not, you were supposed to call us back". He said "well the work is done". I explained we did not have the funds to have all the work done. He stated they had a payment plan they could put us on, but only with a check. We do not have checks. He explained a check from anyone, he didn't care whose check it was.
They would not let me have my car until a portion was paid. I called San Antonio Police and they came out to the location. They explained this was a civil matter, I would have to take them to court to get my car back. Keep in mind, I never signed anything. We agreed to pay a portion of the work, I needed my car for work, we share 1 vehicle.
We got a check from a friend and picked up my car. Apparently the check bounced and 3 months later they towed my car in the middle of the night. We paid the remaining balance, but the owner would not release the car until an $800 towing fee was paid. He kept my vehicle at one of the Midas shops.
The car was parked outside the shop, off their property. I took my car back. They never had a mechanics lein on the car, they just took it without any lawful means. I called the owner 2 weeks after and he explained he just processed the lien with the county clerk. I had already called the county clerk to give them a heads-up, they said they will not approve the lien. This owner claims he is an ex-police officer (I wonder why). He is crooked and he will not work with you. BEWARE OF THIS SHOP...THEY ARE A NIGHTMARE.