Midas Informative - Midas Manager's Comments
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 and foremost, we are franchised. Just because one Midas may have given you bad service, please don't scratch out them all; I swear the MacDonald'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 their 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 responsiblity 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 heros.
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 cheapy 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.