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.
CONNECTICUT -- Juan told me to come in and he would check. He did - and then educated me to the computer system and what it told me. No need to worry - and he was as pleasant and helpful as could be! He didn't charge me either! This is why I keep going to Midas in Farmington. Please communicate this to Juan. Thank you!
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.
IRVING, TEXAS -- I took my car to one of the Midas car shop about a month ago to fix muffler. They told me it has the exhaust leakage and since there is no check engine sign on, they don't know anything else. They fixed the exhaust leakage, now my car has Check Engine sign on and my car shakes like hell. So I took it back to them second time they said I have to change spark plugs. I did that too but the problem is still the same. Third time I took it back to them, they said now something else is wrong with the engine they have to look at at it.
They kept my car for 15 days then they said third cylinder has low compression and it costs $1500 to fix it. When I asked why my car is shaking so bad and check engine sign is on, mechanic told me check engine was on from the beginning. And the manager kept adding problems after problems. My car was drivable and used to run smoothly but right after they fixed whatever they told the problem is, it is in its worst condition.
The store manager did not know how to talk to the customer. He yelled at me and instead of fixing my car, he told me my car is too old and I can take it somewhere else to fix my car. He ask money to fix my car and if I don't pay him, he will not give my car key. I called their customer service no one responded me. Finally I got their shops owners no. and called him. At first he was unaware of the issue and when I was trying to explain my problem, he hung up on me.
This is the worst car shop ever. If there is any kind of issue, they tell you to go to court. They just don't know how to fix the car. Bottom line is: DON'T EVER TAKE YOUR CAR TO MIDAS TO FIX IF YOU LOVE YOUR CAR. IT IS THE WORST EXPERIENCE EVER.
After reading these experiences, I felt compelled to add my own insights. I've been a ASE certified mechanic for most of my adult life, from Arizona to Alaska to Spain. I also spent a few months working at a Midas. While there are some excellent techs employed at Midas there are also a lot of kids, 19 to 23 or so, who make 11-15 dollars an hour. We had one who test drove a customer's Porsche and spun it sideways into a snow bank. The shop paid to fix it, but the car was uncrashed when brought in.
Midas specializes in undercar, brakes and suspension, because it is more lucrative than engine or transmission diagnostics. Brake work in shops is viewed as gravy--quick, easy money. Therefore, Midas can hire guys without a lot of experience and still make profits. A chain has a monthly goal ($) and towards the end of the month the pressure to meet that goal extends from corporate office to franchise owner to foreman to mechanic. Guys are told they must increase the amount they're billing each month or face a pay cut. Calipers are the easiest thing to add to a ticket, and rarely need replacing.
Another scam is the GM brake hardware kits--a set of rubber dust boots and o-rings for the brake caliper bolts. Midas pays around 2.00 for these and lists them at 24.99. Those lifetime brake pads? Be ready to have your rotors resurfaced every time you go in for your free replacements--that's about 80$ a visit, plus after 3-4 visits your rotors will be too thin and have to be replaced. Don't want to do that? You'll get your brake pads in a box.
While there are some fine techs at Midas, the business model is flawed, focusing on the ledger line. It is not a business run by competent automotive professionals, but by corporate penny pinchers. Find a honest, independent and competent shop and stick with them through thick and thin. Every shop and mechanic makes mistakes, but what I saw in Midas leads me to question their honesty and motives and that is not a dynamic that should exist with any repair shop.