POINT LOMA, CALIFORNIA -- On 12 June 2008 I took my wife's 2001 Firebird into Midas for them to check a noise/rattle coming from the rear of her car. Was advised it was the inter baffle of the muffler that was bad. Gave them the go ahead to replace the muffler and to do an oil service (change oil and filter) since the car was there. I returned about an hour later and the car was still on the lift. The manager told me the car was all done but they lost power to the lift and could not lower the lift. Was asked if I could leave the car overnight, that they will give me a ride home. Left the car and had my wife pick me up.
While looking at the car on the lift, I then noticed 2 burn holes in the exhaust pipes and asked them to fix it. Was told they would have to redo the muffler. On 13 June 2008 I called the shop (spoke with the manager) and asked them if the 2001 Firebird was finished and off of the rack was told yes to come and pick it up. Midas drove the car out of the shop and parked it outside with no oil in it, left the keys in the ignition and the windows down.
My wife and I came in, picked up the car. When the wife was driving the car, the LOW OIL LIGHT CAME ON. My wife called me as I was still at Midas paying for the car. Told the shift manager at the time about the low oil light.
She returned and we had discovered the engine had NO OIL in it. The Midas tech added 4 and 1/2 quarts of oil to the car. Both I and the shift manager watched the tech add the oil. (She drove the car about 3 miles in stop and go traffic for about 15 minutes.)
I then had the shop manager to note how much oil was added on a statement from Midas. At no time did the Midas put the car on the lift and remove the drain plug to see what amount of oil was in the car. Also no oil showed on the dipstick. So the statement on Midas page D is false and I made the rewrite the page see page E. The drain all the oil out of the car when it was on the lift and never added oil to the engine until after the car was driven by Midas and my wife. I later found out that the Midas shop had told their insurance company that the car had 2 qts of oil in it. Found this out when talking with Mr **. I then said no.
They drained all the oil out of the car via the drain plug in the bottom of the oil pan and the shop manager and the tech and myself were there when he added 4 and ½ qts of oil. I even have a statement from the shop saying how much oil they added. At first they tried to give me a statement saying they added oil but I rejected that one and said, "No you put down how much oil you added." Shop also tried to give me a statement/invoice dated almost a year ago from 2007 again made them use the correct date.
After numerous calls to the shop and the regional manager over the course of about one week, I was contacted by the insurance company of Midas and was told nothing can or will be done until I pay for the car/engine to be inspected (was told by Mr. **, "we do not pay for what-if's or inspections"). But my claim is on file ** and if anything happens to the engine, we could re-open the claim.
Midas did not pay for the engine to be inspected. Or give me a letter saying they will cover the repairs if the engine should fail because they failed to put oil in it. Still trying to get Midas to pay for the repairs today is the 30th of June.
Hello. I am a manager with Midas and have been with the organization for about a year. I looked at this website about two months ago and frequently check back with it. The first time I read all the complaints about Midas, my feelings were genuinely hurt. I spend 12 hours a day doing my best to assure that each customer is advised to the best of my ability of how to take care of their vehicle.
In my automotive career, I have studied extensively, I have several training certifications and I am even ASE-certified as an automotive service manager. There are several factors I want to point out in response to these complaints. First, we are franchised. Just because one Midas may have given you bad service, please don't scratch out them all; I swear the McDonald's across town tastes much better than the one nearest to me. See the point? The organization I work for owns several locations across the country...actually I own part because we are an employee-owned company; every employee has a stake in how well we care for each customer.
We have several managers and technicians that have been with the company for 15, 20, or even 30 years. Everything we do is designed to take care of the customer's needs because our organization understands that is how you build a business and profit. This is what Midas International stands for even though a couple of locations in other organizations may lack leadership or experience.
One major complaint I would like to address is "my car is still not fixed". Unfortunately it happens that a misdiagnosis can happen for many reasons. Sometimes a vehicle may exhibit a symptom that is almost always caused by a certain failure yet that was not the cause. The main interface between the customer and Midas is the manager or service advisor; it is their job to relay the likelihood that a certain repair will fix the symptom. For example; a customer comes in with a poor idle, lack of performance and the check engine light on.
I will ask probing questions about previous repairs (or the lack thereof) that have been done to the vehicle. If the customer states that they have owned the vehicle for 5 years or 60,000 miles and they have never had a tune-up, I may recommend the tune-up because it is a needed repair and a likely cause of the problem but I will always suggest a diagnostic to find what is causing the customer's symptom.
Another example is a customer complaining of a knocking noise in the front end. The technician finds a bad upper ball joint. I consult the customer and they approve the repair. Once the upper ball joint is repair, we can see play in the lower ball joint and it may still make noise. If the upper ball joint had so much play in it, the lower ball joint with less play may have been not noticeable before the first repair.
Then the manager or service advisor must do the dreaded act of adding to a repair bill. We hate doing it and we know that auto repair facilities have a bad reputation but we must be honest and have the customer's best interest in mind. Keep in mind, even though the entire front-end problem was not fixed with the first repair, the vehicle definitely needed the first repair and the customer was not sold something they didn't need; they were just not sold enough.
Air conditioning repair is famous for running into things along the way. I have had to call a customer three times to get a larger amount approved to fix A/C. I hate that but sometimes you can't see a problem until the another part of the system is functioning but it makes me look like I'm just seeing how much I can get out of them. NOT TRUE. I don't want to make that call anymore than the customer wants it; it makes me look dishonest.
Another major issue with complaints is warranties. Understanding the lifetime warranty that Midas offers on brakes, certain shocks/struts, and mufflers is extremely important to customer satisfaction. I have gained the habit of fully explaining the warranty at the time of the sale of the job so there are no misunderstandings but I have noticed that often times customers will hear what they want.
The lifetime warranty on brakes and mufflers does not cover labor. We cannot weld or clamp a muffler onto rusted and rotted out pipe so at that time, we will require the pipe replaced. If it fell off, we would have to warranty it yet again and we want it to be fixed right so the customer does not write complaints on sites such as this. You must keep your warranty paperwork. The franchise must have certain numbers on it to get credit from Midas International for the warranted part; it is the customer's responsibility for just about all other products to keep their receipt.
Something else I have noticed about certain supposed customer complaints about Midas is that they involve other major companies names and are obviously written by an employee of the competition. I have noticed in only a few of the reviews that lingo is used that typically only someone in the industry would use or certain details are wrong or overlooked like a '95 Sunbird having a R134A conversion when it was R134A refrigerant from the manufacturer. Read them closely and you'll see, pay attention to the other shops named and portrayed as heroes.
Another of the primary complaints is time of completion. Every manager has an intense struggle when deciding what estimated time of completion to deliver to the customer. On one hand, you want the sale and want to give the most optimistic estimate possible. On another hand, you know that certain things can pop up, especially on large repairs such as a part not being in stock that the supplier told you was, a machine shop keeping a part longer than they told you.
Also you have to factor in whatever other repairs that technician has before it and the over-runs they may have. I've had problems such as putting on brand-new parts that were bad from the factory, finding another component is bad along the repair or during disassembly for the repair and getting the wrong part happens all too often. All of these factors and more can effect the completion time, but the manager does not want to lose the business by giving the most conservative completion time.
Again, it is up to the service manager to inform the customer of the possibilities. Another complaint to address- prices. You can always find a cheaper part, and in some cases a lot cheaper. That doesn't make it better. We buy quality parts that we can put our stamp of approval on and warranty for one year (varies for each organization). If the part goes bad in the warranty period, we may or may not get credit for the part but we won't get credit for the time and labor to replace it.
We assure we buy good parts and not cheap crap. The automotive parts industry is extremely competitive which has caused some of the national chains to start carrying cheap crap that fails often and sometimes when it is new or shortly afterwards. We avoid that. We do mark parts up a little, but not near as much as people obviously think. Small price to pay for a nationwide warranty. If we sold parts for what we bought them for, we wouldn't be in business long.
Midas employs ASE-certified technicians which are the top of the bunch and are expensive to keep but worth every penny. We pay these technicians more and charge more than "Joe's Tire Barn" because we offer quality work by quality technicians with excellent warranties. Take your car where you want, but I'm a believer in the organization I work for and I hope you will be also.
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- As I was leaving my house to go to work, Friday Oct 15, 2010, my car began to overheat. Midas is less than five minutes from my house, so I drove it there. It was about 7:40 am. I explained the problem I was having, they gave a couple different possible causes, but said that they would let me know for sure as soon as they got a diagnostic done. I left the shop and went to work and I made a few calls and talked to some people that I knew were knowledgeable about cars and I told them what they thought was wrong and they told me I would probably be looking to spend about $500.
They called me at about 8:40 am and told me that I would be needing a coolant flush, radiator and thermostat and it would close to $900. I explained I did not have that kind of money to spend and that I could probably get it done for around $500. He said well I will discount it and could you do $564. I agreed. He then asked would I like my oil changed, which I needed so I agreed to that also. They said it would be done today and they would call me when it was ready.
At around 3 pm I had not heard from them, so I called to check the status and they said it should be about an hour or an hour and a half. I got there at 4:15 pm, it still was not ready and they told me it would be about an hour or an hour and a half, but they close at 7 pm so it will be ready by then. At 6:30 I still had not received a call, so I go back up there and they said it was still not ready. My car was not finished until 9:15 pm. Almost 13 hours after I had dropped it off. I get my car and make sure everything that was supposed to be fixed is work properly.
As I get ready to pull out of the parking lot I turn the volume up on my stereo and the radio is playing. I only listen to CDs in my car, so I press the CD button and nothing happens. I press the eject button and nothing happens. I try to put a CD in and it won't take it because the CD that was in there when I dropped my car off is in there. I had just turned out of the parking lot and pulled into the store right next door, so I go right back to Midas and explain my problem. He tries to press the buttons and nothing happens, so he tells me to bring it back the following morning at 10 am and they will look at it.
That night and the following morning I could listen to the radio fine. I take it back to Midas at 10am and about an hour later they had removed the CD, but tell me that my CD player has just died and there was nothing they could do it just went bad. So I was upset because I just couldn't believe that after two years of owning this car the CD player would just die without warning, but I got in my car and prepared to leave.
Before I pulled out the parking lot, I tried to turn my radio on and now I have no sound coming out of my radio. I backed up and went back into Midas and said now I have nothing first my CD player goes out after bringing my car here now my radio.
Again they try to say it was not anything they did, it must have just died too. They tried to blame the problem on a bad system because my radio display was out and has been out since I bought the car two years ago and I have not had any problems with the radio or CD player because of it. There were no sign of a problem and when I had taken my car there earlier this year, they told me that my car was in very good condition.
I called the District Manager whose name and number was displayed on their window and he actually answered and he was extremely rude and did not help at all. He told me that the radio has nothing to do with the radiator, so it is not are problem and that they don't do work on radios or body work or stuff like that. So you just must have a bad system. I was very displeased with the service and customer service from everyone and I would never go back there again. The worst part of all was hearing all the "I told you so" from everyone that had told me not to take my car to Midas in the first place.
COLUMBIA, MISSOURI -- It sucks when you think or imagine that you trust the mechanic. I thought Midas in Columbia, Missouri are trustworthy. I took the car for all the repairs it needed based on a friend recommendation. Lately I took my 1998 Honda Accord to do coolant flush. I opened the driver door at 8 AM just fine, handle was firm and perfectly fine. I took the car to Midas and they pulled it in and did the flush and everything looked just fine.
Made the payment and head out to the car. Usually Midas mechanic will leave the driver window closed while performing the repair because they used to ask me to look at the car and they explain what needs to be repaired and so forth. So I know they usually leave the window closed.
Now when I went to my car, before I touch the handle, I noticed few things. The driver window was open, which means they probably left it open because they broke the door handle and could not open the door from outside. This way they reach to the handle from inside. Also, they always close the door when they pull the car outside and the repair is finished, but this time they left the door open. I looked and said that is very strange and I pulled the handle (without noticing it is broken, since the door was open) and drove the car to my house.
Later at that day, I went out in the evening, tried to open the door and the damn handle won't open the door. The handle is pulled up, but nothing happens, I thought something got loose inside the door. But closer inspection, I noticed the handle also moves left and right and it is not firm as it was in the morning. The only person who touched the car was the Midas mechanic and I can easily identify the guy.
This is totally wrong and disrespectful to your customer Midas. You did not even come to me and say, "hey sorry we broke your door handle". At the least is to acknowledge your mistake. Do not think you can deceive me by leaving the door open so I won't notice the broken door handle. BE SMART. I am not the first one to encounter this problem. They did not tighten the lug nuts on the one of the wheels on my friend's car. He drove the car and the wheel just flew off. He had to tow the car and fix it and Midas denies his accusation, but they are going to court.
Tomorrow I will be at Midas complaining and I am not giving up. I am 100% sure they did it and they are guilty. For sure, they lost a customer and never back again to Midas, never. I will keep you updated on what happen tomorrow. Please do not go to Midas, find somebody else who is more responsible and professional. Find somebody who fixes your car without breaking anything.
In response to the broken door handle ,if the windows roll down we roll the windows down because we've had doors lock on us,(2) the part of the door handle that was broken was inside the door panel and not accessible to get broken by us.In response to his friends car wheel falling off we have had no such complaints to us .We try to take care of customers complaints within a timely matter and if they are legitimate complaints we do not hesitate to take care of them right away.
ALDERGROVE -- I took my 1997 Saab 900s Turbo into the Midas service location in Aldergrove for a power steering leak. They told me that it would it would take a few days to get done and that I would have it back that week for sure. That was on July 9th. I also had the car in the shop for a performance exhaust to be installed. I called the shop on the Tuesday to see how everything was going and if it would actually be completed the next day, they had done the exhaust but they didn't even look at the power steering leak yet.
So my cousin and I went to the Dairy Queen across from the shop for a ice cream when I noticed that my car wasn't even being worked on. It was just sitting in the Dairy Queen parking lot, windows down and all. I walked over to the car to also notice that they had left the KEYS IN THE CAR! I had satellite radio, amplifier and woofer in the back, and aftermarket stereo in the car and they leave it all open with the keys in the car!
So I hopped in and started the car to hear the exhaust and tossed the keys back to the shop manager, **. Thursday rolls by and I finally get a call saying that they found the power steering leak on the car and that the hose would cost $282. Whatever, it's a Saab. So they call me Friday and tell me it's all done. I take it from the shop to my grandma's house (about 15k) and notice that my car really stinks of power steering fluid and the car was making a weird grumble noise. So I pop the hood to find power steering fluid all over the bottom of the hood, all over the engine, and some into my blow off valve on the other side of the car.
I called the shop right away and they asked me to drive it back so they can take a look at it again. Totally not taking any responsibility for what's going on. So I filled up the power steering again and took it back. When I showed up, it was empty again. The technician decided to clean off the engine so he could see where the leak is coming from. So he clean the entire side of the engine and sprayed break fluid on the serpentine belt! They then discovered that the power steering pump was shot also. A ring in it or something like that had burst.
But when I questioned them on the quality of the inspection on the car, they took extreme defense and argued and yelled at my auntie who came to pick me up from the shop. All he would say to me is that he's trying to work with me and such and such.
So anyway, the car had to stay for the weekend there to get the pump done now. When I picked the car up on Monday the 19th, the technician was going over everything they had done with the power steering problem. When he started the car, there was a horrible squeal with the serpentine belt. He told me that in a few days or engine hours that it would eventually go away. I took his word and I was off.
I drove home to the Okanagan, and soon after that I was on my way into town. When I stopped in my drive way to open the gate, I head a loud thump and snap sound. But the squealing was gone. I popped the hood again right away to notice that my serpentine belt had snapped. I turned off the car right away and started thinking. Squealing is friction, and that's what broke the belt. Break fluid created the squealing, and Midas sprayed it on the belt. So Midas is at fault.
I phoned the customer complaint line right away to try to get reimbursed for the new repair cost over this incident. But all they did was phone the Aldergrove repair shop and ask them if they were at fault. They told me that they were going to phone me back and never did. I had to phone 3 times to finally get an answer from them. But all they told me was to go over it with the service shop that worked on the car over the entire power steering problem, including the belt. I spent $761.00 without taxes at Midas and another $342.44 at another repair shop for the belt.
My point is that they should have never sprayed break fluid on the belt to clean it off. They should have just taken a rag a or a shammy and dried it out properly. My car sat in their shop for 11 days, and I was billed for 3 hours of labor!!! How productive was that! The other shop had the car from August 4th to 5th (1 day was waiting for the part) and I had it back that Thursday morning!
My point is that if you go to Midas, your car won't get worked on or properly inspected and the quality of the work is so poor that your better off taking your car out of their shops and paying for a tow into a different shop. When I walked into their shop to pick up my car for the last time, other people were in there waiting for their car to be serviced for a second time because they had messed up on something. My dad has had problems with them, my auntie has had problems with them, and I have had problems with them. The company is poorly run, and the technicians seem to not be trained for other tasks other than an oil change.
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.
BENTONVILLE -- On April 13th, 2007 I brought this van into you because I wanted a battery check as well as a lube and oil change. After a while I was told that my battery was no good and that was because of the alternator not charging my battery and was told that I also needed an alternator. I said well if that is causing the battery to go dead, then replace the alternator.
I waited for some time and was told that the alternator had to be ordered. I then suggested the alternator repair place in Springdale, so I took the alternator myself down to have it tested and the following Tuesday April 17th, was told that there was nothing wrong and brought it back to you. You stated that your testing gauges still stated my alternator was bad so I said fine, go ahead and order one.
After a few days more I was told that they sent the wrong alternator, and finally said there was no problem as I use the van for outings, only to go shopping, or just so we all can be together. I also stated that Saturdays are the only days that I have free in order to pick up the van. Again that was find with us both. I was promised that the van would be delivered to me after having to take a cab home as well paid over above the cost of touring the van back to Midas.
In short, a real hellish day with a granddaughter of two and a grandson of five and my older boys and others, totaling six of us. The expense as well as the promise to bring home the van was not done as you're very busy. I understand this after all I, myself am also busy during the week as well as trying to make a living so I again stated that I could only bring the van down on Saturday. I was told that you would provide another battery which we both knew would get me and the van back to your dealership.
After close to a month, I was called and told that there has to be a short and that you felt you have cured the problem and could not remember that you promised to bring the van home for me. I said then no problem, that I would pick it up on Saturday - with you to give me your word, certainly that it was running correctly.
You also stated that both gas tanks were working. Upon starting the van, I said that they were not. You stated that they may have stopped again. No problem, so I took off. As I said I use the van only for family, I didn't use it until the following Saturday as we all went shopping as well to Pea Ridge then to Rogers Walmart again. The only thing that was used was the air as it was pretty warm those two days that we used the van.
On Monday morning I also advised you that the radio was no longer working as before. I said I feel that the battery ran down and that is what I was running on those two weekends of use. On Sunday July 8th, I went out to start the van for family and darn, it would not start. Neither would the red light on the new switch turned red any more. I had my sister-in-law call you to contact me at a good time.
Around five pm that Monday, I called and asked what the problem was. "Just busy and to bring it back and we will try again". I stated it would be Saturday as that was only day that I had off. April 14th, 2007. Since I have a dead battery and can't afford another toll because I exhausted my usage on my insurance. Of course can't afford to pay another fifty or in this case a hundred dollars again. So, will remove the battery and drive to Midas and get another battery or have this one charged up and drive the van back whatever happens since I am distressed and it's only 3:30 AM Saturday morning.
I wish to let you know that I just want whatever has gone wrong with all that I have replaced. I was able to use van longer on dead battery and voltage regulator as well as alternator longer when I bought the van than I have been with using all the new goodies that I was told needed.
As I said, I am a grandpa and I understand things are hard for everyone, especially hard on grandpa having to raise his kids - kids. But very hard when counting ongoing some place and thinking that were all going to get home safe. Now since I am no way a mechanic as well as not rich and living paycheck to paycheck as most people. I only ask that this time whatever the problem be repaired and the van not kept close to thirty days this time.
When it is repaired and no one is able to bring it back to me, then please remember that I can get it on a weekend only except this next Saturday on July 28th. I will have to work as normally have to work one Saturday a month. I do have Monday the 20th off if it should be ready by then.
But, please there's plenty of gas in both tanks as I refilled both of them before leaving last time for home. Please run it with air on or anything to see if it is really charging or not and not just running on the battery as you stated before it was. But with over five hundred dollars in parts I feel it should be running long before now. I don't blame you as this must be something that you have never ran into. I never had such problems myself either. This is the first, but I just want to be able to go here and there and not worry about getting everyone home and broke as before and not having a pleasure of a family time.
Since this letter is going to be sitting here - and I know someone will read it as all my other personal papers have been removed - just don't waste time as before and repair whatever is needed so we both can get on with other important things in daily life. I do thank each and everyone of you for trying to find whatever started this problem.
But, as I said I am no mechanic and I never have been. I count on people like you as I did in California for many years.
My home number is xxxxxxxxxx and my cell number is xxxxxxxxxx. I again was told to pick up the van on Saturday, and met by another employee before getting out of the car with my keys in hand. He stated that ** said there is nothing wrong with the van, and to call him on Monday. I called and had no return call as promised. I went to the store twice and checked the battery after the trip from your shop as well from the store. The battery was low when I got home. I shut the van off, and tried to restart it again with of course no luck.
I took the battery out and took it to be charged again. After making a trip to Pea Ridge and back home, the battery again is low, and as I stated before this van does not have a short in it. But, the new alternator is not charging the battery or maintaining a full charge for some unknown reason. I was also told that the alternator may not be the correct one for charging this van.
The person that told me this said I best take it back as maybe the alternator is charging, but it's not maintaining the battery charge. You have kept my van for a period of two months over these last three months. The van has set out in your parking lot for weeks at a time and then maybe battery is fully charged in which I can drive it for maybe a day or two.
You have been told this many times and still do nothing but cause me a lot of grief as well as money to charge now the battery in order to drive it one time daily. I had to remove the battery and this last time charged up to bring the van back to you.
I also know that a piece of paper was offered that shows that the alternator you replaced as well as voltage regulator as well as battery were all working on each visit when I picked the van up. I also have told you that the alternator you have in there is not keeping the battery charged as the battery is being drained while driving on just the battery itself. The little trip switch or whatever you put in is nothing what so ever as it isn't keeping the battery charged either.
Again, I stress bring this van back to me when it is in running order and not keep it for weeks at a time in your parking lot and replacing the battery and saying it is done. I paid you for everything that you requested of me and I have not had any use of the van since you replaced all three of these items. The van was running fine when I brought it into you for just an oil change. I knew I may needed a battery, but was not going to do nothing as I charged it and was running for many days after buying it. I was told that I should replace the battery as it had a majority of the cells dead.
Since I didn't want to be stuck any place, I agreed. After a two in half hours of waiting, I was told the delay was because after you placed in the new battery it showed the alternator was not charging, and from this point on, we're back at the beginning of this letter. Please as I stated many times after the second visit, don't hold my van for a month or three weeks (or as this last time, two weeks). All this time could have at least had this van running long before now if anyone really looked into the problem.
After all, if a store can tell me it's the alternator then you also know it is the problem. I expect this van brought back to my home when done. And if it is still just running off the battery when brought back, then expect legal action the next time as you have cost me a lot of money as well as time performing from what I feel was repairs that never were needed in the first place. You have to understand how I feel at this point and I sure am not going to recharge the battery every day I wish to run the van.
My insurance rates are high enough with not being able to enjoy use of the van since your replacing everything in it and finding it was replaced with the wrong alternator or whatever it is you did. Again my phone numbers are listed above. If you can't do the job then it's up to you to replace all my old parts so that I can get it repaired correctly. As for the warranty of the parts, I have not had use of the van for two weeks let along ninety days. It has sat in your parting lot more than it has at my own home!