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Grissom Auto Repair Complaint - One Upset/Frustrated Customer

Review by james.mendez on 2006-03-06
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- Update:

On March 7, 2006, I took my vehicle into Brake Check and they immediately found the problem that Grissom Auto Repair failed to resolve and fix. The Power Booster was bad. The mechanic who worked on my vehicle at Brake Check informed me that Grissom Auto Repair should have recommended replacing the Power Booster when they originally replaced the Master Cylinder.

I never threatened anybody and remained calm the first few visits. I expressed my frustration as anybody else would have after a number of repeat visits. I even apologized to the Manager and tried to make things right, shook his hand before I left the third time, and from that point on he was very condescending and rude towards me. I've NEVER been threatened/treated that way by any manager of any professional company EVER! For the owner of Grissom Auto Repair to condone such behavior and let those types of action(s) slide, doesn't say much for the reputation of their company. I've already filed to the BBB as well as followed up with AAA letting them know what type of service I received from an affiliate like Grissom...



--- Original Post ---

I initially took my vehicle in to Grissim Auto Repair on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 due to some issues with my brakes (i.e. brakes were grabbing while driving at moderate speeds intermittently.)

After doing diagnostics, Grissom Auto Repair called me with the results and also recommended the following services while my vehicle was in their shop to be repaired:

. 2 Front Calipers replaced
. Brake fluid replacement
. Transmission fluid flush
. Transmission kit
. Anti-Freeze coolant flush
. Cooling System flush
. Power Steering fluid flush

They completed the work along with the recommended services above, which costed $1286.83 (Paid using Master Card)

My vehicle was ready at approximately 10:00am the following day (February 22, 2006) which I picked up at 12:30pm. When I picked up my vehicle for the first time, I drove approximately 10 - 15 miles back to work. During that time, I noticed that the brakes were locking up very badly. I immediately drove my vehicle back to their shop with the brakes locking up and smoke coming from the wheel wells up front of the vehicle.
Instead of the brakes originally intermittently locking up, they stayed locked the entire drive back. During the time I drove back, I could smell what appeared to be burning rubber and fumes.

When I took my vehicle back to Grissom Auto Repair, the shop manager, Charles Hennesey, assured me that they would take care of the problems at no cost and that their parts and labor were warranted for one year. I also expressed the fact that although they “supposedly” flushed and filled my power steering fluid, it was low and I would need more due to the obvious sounds coming from my steering wheel while making turns.

After they checked the vehicle, they blamed the problem on a faulty Master Cylinder that was recently replaced prior to bringing my vehicle to them at another automotive repair shop. Instead of advising me to go back to the original repair shop for warranty support on the proclaimed bad Master Cylinder, AND without my consent, they took it upon themselves to replace this "Faulty" Master Cylinder with a Master Cylinder of their own, which they did not charge me. They gave me back the "Faulty" Master Cylinder and advised me to go back to the previous auto repair shop and demand a refund for the part and labor. Charles Hennesey informed me that as an automobile repair shop, it doesn’t cost them any time/money to return a faulty part back to their part distributor. This was on February 23, 2006 and would be the second time I picked up my vehicle from Grissom Auto Repair.

Later that same evening of the 23rd, I noticed that there was a leak in my driveway of what appeared to be anti-freeze. I took my vehicle back to Grissom Auto Repair for the third time on Friday, February 24 at approximately 8:15am, explained that fluid was leaking out and left it with them. Upon leaving my vehicle with Charles Hennesey I was very frustrated and informed him that I was not very with the quality of service I had received thus far and stated that it was an inconvenience for me to continue to bring back my vehicle to back and forth like this. I then asked Charles how many more times I would need to bring my vehicle back before they would refund my money for services not rendered or before I have to take my business elsewhere. As a paying customer, I felt frustrated and that I was being more than fair about it. I only wanted my vehicle to be fixed and nothing more. This angered Charles and from that day on, he was extremely arrogant, rude, aggressive, and condescending towards me on my future visits.

They supposedly looked at the problem and stated that whoever worked on the coolant system last did not tighten the clamps on the hose for the coolant tank and also noted that there was a small pinhole leak in the coolant tank. I found this interesting since Grissom were the last ones who worked on it when I originally brought my vehicle in and was charged for the cooling system flushing. So, they charged me an additional $78.24 on my Master Card for the replacement of the coolant tank and labor. This was the third time I picked up my vehicle from Grissom Auto Repair.

My vehicle appeared to be fine for exactly one week, until I was driving on the highway on March 3, 2006 at approximately 4:30pm and the same problem was happening again with the front brakes locking up. I drove it back to Grissom Auto Repair at approximately 5:30pm and informed the Service Advisor, Keith Lamunyon of my problems. He informed me that they would take care of the problem and not to worry about it. (I was still under warranty) I left my vehicle over the weekend and did not hear back from them all day on Monday, March 6, 2006, so I called their shop at 4:30pm to see where they were with my vehicle. At that time Charles Hennesey, the store manager, began to insinuate that I wasn’t telling the truth about my brakes locking up. He informed me that they had driven my vehicle 151 miles and did not encounter the problem!!! I was upset and frustrated. Charles is not only calling me a liar, but drove my vehicle over a150 miles burning up all of my fuel. At this point I asked Charles what I would need to do in order for them to witness the problem. I posed the question in quotes “What would I need to do to have you witness the problem?? Grab you and drive around in my vehicle to reproduce the problem?” Charles became belligerent at that point and stated, “Are you threatening me?!? Boy, if you lay one finger on me, I will kick your ass, you little punk!”
I asked him to calm down and told him that he was threatening me with physical violence and that I would report him. I asked for the business owner’s phone number but he consistently denied me the phone number or a way to contact him. He also told me that he would call the police if I were to come around the shop, even though I still needed to pick up my vehicle. He hung up on me several times while I attempted to call back in a calm manner to get the owner’s contact number.

I got over to Grissom Auto Repair to pick up my vehicle at approximately 5:30pm on March 6, 2006.

End Result:

Grissom Auto Repair charged me for work but did not remedy the problem, they also did not warranty the work/parts when warranty was supposed to be inclusive for one year, proclaimed that I lied about their services not being fulfilled, and drove my vehicle 151 miles to supposedly “Reproduce the problem” and threatened me with physical violence.

To top it all off; my brakes still continue to intermittently lock up. Since the problem has yet to be resolved, and Charles Hennesey refuses to warranty the work as advertised, I will now have to incur additional expenses (Plus time and hassle) and take my vehicle elsewhere to “actually” be repaired. Not only am I appalled at Grissom Auto Repair’s behavior and the treatment I received but, this is also a major safety hazard/concern.
Comments:6 Replies - Latest reply on 2006-11-29
Posted by C.H. on 2006-03-07:
"The other side"
We advised the customer that his recently installed brake master cylinder was defective. He refused to return to the installing shop. Due to our warranty on the brake work that we performed we replaced the master cylinder at NO CHARGE and gave the old part to the customer to return. States that brakes "lock up". We drove the car approx. 157 trying to duplicate the complaint with no indication of a problem. Customer threatened over the telephone. The Manager reacted - we apologize. We are members of the BBB. If there is a legitimate complaint we are obligated to submit to arbitration at no cost to the customer.
Posted by dsmith68 on 2006-03-07:
As annoying as it is to have to repeatedly return a vehicle to be fixed, you really need to control that frustration, anger and overall tone. The moment you show it, the company stops dealing with you. I find it best to remain calm until you decide to stop dealing with the company or it has been resolved. Then, you deal with the problems that were encounted.. either via small claims, or complaints to the BBB, state attorney, parent company etc.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-03-07:
Your problem started long before you even think it did. You took your car in for brake work and they called and recommended $1,286.83 worth of fluid flushes! RED FLAG RIGHT THERE. You needed a couple hundred dollars worth of brake work and they scammed you into services you probably didn't need and overcharged big time on those services. When I take a car somewhere and they recommend more work, I politely tell them thanks but since I don't have the money right now, I'll bring it back when I do. Then I either check out what they told me myself or get another mechanic to check it out.
Posted by tander on 2006-03-07:
Why is it whenever you take your car in to be serviced, they manage to find 3 other things wrong? But I don't let them get to me, they fix what I brought it in for and I take it somewhere else to see if the other stuff really is a problem.
Posted by Matt633 on 2006-06-28:
Very helpful information on Grissom Auto Repair. I had planned on taking my truck in for a tune up and basic maintenance this week, but after reading the last review, I may have just saved myself a lot of problems, money, and frustration. Thanks!
Posted by 7180grissom on 2006-11-29:
HI MY NAME IS TRACY GARZA OWNER OF GRISSOM "RD" AUTOMOTIVE ON 7180 GRISSOM ROAD. PLEASE, PLEASE, DO NOT MISTAKE US FOR GRISSOM AUTOMOTIVE ON FREDERICKSBURG WHERE COMPLAINT WAS FILED. WE HAVE NO AFFILIATION WITH EACH OTHER AND WE UNLIKE THEM TAKE PRIDE IN OUR REPAIRS. SORRY TO HEAR THAT MR.MENDEZ GOT ATTACKED BY THE STEREOTYPICAL REPAIR FACILITY. I HAVE BEEN IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY FOR 22 YEARS, THE INDUSTRY HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN GOOD TO IT. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS PLEASE CONTACT ME.
TRACY S GARZA, OWNER/OPERATOR 210-684-9040
www.grissomrdauto.com

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