FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY -- This is one way of warning people about a company (MIDAS), I had to have a alternator replace on my car today and I went to Midas, they had to get one from Advance auto parts and they told me it would be $413.26, well I told them to go ahead, I had to have a car. My oldest grand daughter came and picked me up, she threw a fit. She said alternators were not that high and she called Advance to see how much they charged Midas for the part, get this, Midas only paid 119.95 for the part. When I went to pay the bill the labor was only $39.98 the part cost was $329.95 supply charge (whatever that was) was $22.20 tax was $21.13. I told the tech guy that I was letting anyone that would listen about their business. If you can help it I wouldn't go to Midas unless you got money to give away.
ENFIELD, CONNECTICUT -- I got my Oil Change on 5/19/2010 at MIDAS, the Enfield location. Then on 5/20 morning when I'm driving to work, the engine stops working the car stops on the Highway I91-N. I tow the car and take it to Firestone. They say that there is not Oil Filter, oil leaked and locked the motor and now the motor needs to be replaced.
I spoke to the owner of the store - Jack Mandro. He refused to take any responsibility and started swearing. I have the bill which clearly states that the Oil Filter was replaced.
I didn't even drive the car for over 40 miles since the oil change and my motor died.
MESA, ARIZONA -- My wife got a coupon for free oil change from Midas. We live in Mesa so she went to Michael Jasko (Midas) on 2964 East Main Street, 85213.
She called saying we needed new tires (we didn't, but I hadn't looked at them in a while, so talked to owner). Owner (Michael Jasko) assured me they were dangerous (a lie). I assumed tires would be about $400 for 4 new tires, installed as I'd seen various advertisements. He said $500, because they were special tires. I reluctantly agreed but only after getting him to confirm verbally there would be no other charges.
He proceeded to upsell my wife on everything after we hung up. Nitro fill (an utter waste), road warranty (another waste, covered by insurance already), and he tacked on $193 in labor. Again, he confirmed there were absolutely no other charges on the phone when we spoke. So when I spoke to my wife I told her go ahead and do what he is suggesting...
He of course suggested every thing possible to upsell an additional $300 on top of the already fraudulent order of new tires on a FREE oil change coupon.
I attempted to work things out, assuming that it was a mistake on my wife's part. He didn't tell her anything about additional charges until the work was done and he brought a final bill. What could be done? he can put a lien on the vehicle. We just paid and left as my infant was already waiting a few hours and I knew he could make this horrible.
Bottom line: He lied directly to me, refused to return my calls and emails (until I threatened BBB complaint). I also tried to work out a trade deal with him for the $300, because I thought maybe my wife had simply not heard him say there would be extra charges. He dodged me for 2 months of phone calls and emails, never returning my calls and telling me he was busy when I called. I was polite until my last email to him when I explained what I would do if he didn't refund the $300 he ripped us off for.
I would suggest you go to a mechanic you can trust. One that I've found and trust is: College Automotive (480) 655-7699. They repaired my neon and helped me to decide if I needed to fix things or wait until its worse. I totally felt like they were on my side and trying to help me get the best deal, while still being safe. If you want honest service, stay away from MIDAS!
NEW LONDON, CONNECTICUT -- Midas will screw you over with no remorse. With the price of life in this harsh and unforgiving economy this particular business place is taking advantage of its most loyal customers. Anyway this is my story I brought my truck to Midas in New London to check a noise from the front wheels, it turned out it was a broken spring they charged me over $900. I took the car to work and the noise was back, on my way back from work everything started to fall apart, screws and nuts were being dropped on the road and smoke stared coming out of my passenger side wheel, my hudcap melted and fell off, the stirring wheel kept locking on me and I could barely brake. Somehow in the grace of God I managed to make it to town between putting the gear on neutral going downhill and releasing the gas to slow down. I drove the truck straight to the Midas shop and the next day dropped by to state my case. They decided that they would not fix my truck and that I would have to pay another $900. After two days of going back and forth with these people I finally got a hold of their general manager Carlos Cortinas and he decided that even though the problems seem related they were not the same. He finally concluded that he would do the work with a discounted labor but I would still have to pay for the parts. I called AutoZone I went online and also called Ford Parts and their prices were less than half the prices Midas is asking me for the new parts. The general public should be informed not to go to Midas because they will scam you and screw you over with no shame ! My friend's neighbor, one of Midas' previous technician admitted that they always double their parts prices!
RANDOLPH, NEW JERSEY -- Dropped off my vehicle at the Midas in Randolph, NJ to have it aligned. Went back to pick it up and said that additional work needed to be done including replacement of the wheel bearing to the tune of $1200. Midas person even showed me where the problem was. He said that the car was not safe to drive until the work was done. Was very skeptical. Took the car home and noticed the car was shakier than before. Had another mechanic check it and said that the wheel axle nut was retracted and loosened making the wheel unstable and unsafe to drive.
Can't believe that Midas would go to extra lengths of tampering with my car just to make $$$. These people can not be trusted.
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.
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 ge 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 4pm 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 angrgy and started shouting over the phone on how he tried to do a favour 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 my 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 suggsesting that he had somehow tried to get back to his original estimate somehow.
After I signed the invioce he said that I should write on the invoice that I had authorised 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 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 waiiting 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.
LAKELAND, FLORIDA -- 04/18/06
My mom took her car in to a local Midas center to have an alternator replaced. After installing the alternator, the car was still not performing right when she went to pick it up. Midas insisted there was something wrong with her car's battery, which we had just replaced with a brand-new one the day before after the old alternator killed it. They convinced her to go to Advance Auto Parts and exchange the battery.
The person at Advance told her there was nothing wrong with the battery, and he was not sure why Midas would tell her such a thing. He said he would exchange it if she'd take the car back to Midas and have them test this 2nd brand-new battery to see what they would find. Midas then told her there was a problem with this 2nd battery, too, to which my mother (who is 70 years old) told them that was simply not possible.
After she balked at their "findings", the shop owner inspected the car and found they failed to connect the main electrical cable to the alternator when they installed it. She said he hooked up and told her the problem was solved. The total bill came out to $328.69, of which $277 was charged for a "reman (remanufactured) alternator" as well as $62.40 in labor and $17.39 in "shop supply" fees.
When she told me about this, I looked over the bill and immediately called Advance Auto Parts to find out the price of a new alternator for her car, and they informed me a Brand-New Alternator for her exact make and model is only $128.00.
I immediately called Midas corporate and told them about the problem. The initial gentleman who took the call was very friendly and acted very upset with what I told him. He promised me the District Manager for this region would contact me in 72 hours and if they did not to please call them back and report it. One week later I called them back again because I had not heard anything at all, not even a voicemail. I was promised by another person I would receive a call from the District Manager.
Two and a half weeks later, I call a 3rd time, now very upset and I am told by the person who answers that they will call the District Manager's cell phone immediately. Twenty minutes later, I get a call from the owner of the local franchise my mother took the car to, telling me he received a call from corporate about a customer complaint and would like to work it out. He says his district manager has been on vacation for the last three days and therefore can't call me.
I question him about everything on the invoice. He says that not only remembers my mother, but was the one who corrected the problem on the car. I tell him I have called an auto parts store and they sell the part for $100 less than he charged her. He asks me who I called, and then says that they paid $180 for the part, and that Advance's price is so low because "they sell lower quality parts". I ask him where he got the part and he says Autozone. He also tells me that even though my invoice says "remanufactured", that it was a brand-new part, and that must be a typo on the invoice.
I point out to him that I am very upset because my mother had not made mention of someone even aplogizing to her or offering to correct the cost of labor. He says that he did indeed cut the cost of labor from $120 down to $60, but that he didn't tell her he did so because he's "not out for a reward".
I tell him this is the 3rd time she has been to her location, and we had suspicions in the past they had been price gouging her, but this was the first thing that was just black and white concrete proof. He looks back over her repair invoices from the previous times and says that back in December, they did double-charge her for labor on two procedures that took place four days apart.
That time was for brake work, and two days later her brake pads developed cracks in them, making her return the car to Midas, who swore it was nothing they'd done. He then offered to refund the double-charged labor, which came out to $60, but offered no solution to the complaint at hand other than that he hoped they didn't lose a customer.
For the refund, he said the normal time was 3-5 weeks, but that he would put it through quickly and try to expedite it. That was 2 1/2 weeks ago, and she has yet to see any check come from Midas. She also has no resolution to the current problem regarding the alternator. I am also upset that I was promised that the district manager would call me, but failed to do so, and then was informed he'd went on vacation just a few days before, and could not be bothered.
Though I have not informed Midas directly, I will presently be contacting various media outlets about this, specifically their Consumer Lawyer departments.