MIDAS Complaint - Midas cheated my mother and lied to me.
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 recieve 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 recieved 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.