B&B Automotive & Truck Endeavors Complaint - Distressed Over Mechanics Lies

Review by Anonymous on 2003-06-07
NEWTON, NORTH CAROLINA -- Hopefully this will shed light for many other individuals (especially women) who have incurred the same problems with B & B. Auto & Truck Endeavors, 1507 NW Blvd., Newton, NC 28658. Business phone (828) 465-5464

The nightmare began April 13, 2003, when my 1994 Dodge Van (only means of transportation) broke down approximately 1 1/2 miles from my house. After waiting 3 hours for a wrecker that did not show I decided to drive and coast home. Having some mechanical skills and knowledge in regard to my vehicles, I pretty much knew it was transmission related. A young man followed me home and although I did not know him, he confirmed my thoughts and referred me to B & B. Auto in which during that time period was also employed as a mechanic. He stated he would get me a good price as though I was a family member. Although the owner of (B & B) Mike Benfield was on vacation, the mechanic maintained contact with him by cell phone. B&B arranged for my van to be towed the following day after my being told they could find and install a low mileage transmission within a couple of days for approximately $450.00 to $550.00 plus $300.00 Labor with a 90 Day Warranty. Hmm this is just the previews of the nightmare.

The first one was in the shop (B&B) with high mileage and 450.00 which I refused. Several days and calls later after declining a couple other ones with high mileage and more money I was finally told a low mi (31,000 mi) transmission was located for 600.00. My roommate (male friend & Long Haul Truck Driver, was home on medical leave) and he told them to go ahead and he would help me pay for it. The next day upon checking on the status, we found out the transmission was a 1997 and wouldn't fit my van. Finally one was found with (36,000 mi) but (Thomas) the mechanic said it was 650.00. I said is this how you treat family? He then informed me he would see what he could do but Mike would make the final decision. He called me back and stated he was able to get that one for 600.00 and would pick it up at lunch and the van would be done by noon the next day. After not hearing from them we decided to go check on it in person. The next couple days not only was there no one answering the phones nor in the shop but it was pouring down rain, my van outside, with my hood up, no transmission, no battery and my electric windows open. The interior was soaked.

That Monday, I called to be told the mechanic wasn't there nor going to be in that day. The day after was told by (Thomas) that he would call me at home that evening to explain everything. Having gone through enough, I took the next day off and went up there at which point, met Mike in person and told him this was ridiculous. He assured me they would have the transmission in that evening as he was unaware of all this (which turned out to be a lie) and compensate me the differential in cost and give me a 6 month warranty. I informed him that I don't hesitate to follow up with research or investigative work if necessary.

Feeling as though we could trust Mike's word, we talked about finding another vehicle as a second means of transportation as a back up for in the future. Mike called the next day to meet him at G&G to look at a 1995 Grand Am and told us he would sell it for 1800.00, had a new transmission for it and would fix anything else needed before our purchasing it although would require a deposit. My roommate agreed and wrote him a check for the deposit.

The evening when arriving to pick the van up, it was up on the racks and the tires looked bowed. My 16 yr. old daughter made a remark to that effect and Mike said it was because it was in the racks and would be ok after they brought it down. We were also told it needed the ignition sensor as well and would be ready to go. My Roommate went to the auto store beside the shop and paid for the part $30.00, brought it over and they installed it. We drove it home that evening and started having problem with it once again which we were told by Mike it needed another part (PCM) $200.00 more.

We informed them that we had to take my roommate back to pick up his truck in Atlanta and wanted to ensure it wouldn't break down and would be safe to drive that upcoming Friday. We were told it will make it with no problem. Wednesday night we picked the van up and it was acting sluggish. A few adjustments were made and we were told if it continued the transmission might have to be flushed out from debris that may be clogging up the filter and it needed a front end alignment. Thomas said he felt it was the torch convertor but Mike insisted on the filter and fluid needed to be changed again and should resolve the problem. Thomas at this point was no longer employed by B&B, had quit a few days prior but as a favor to Mike agreed to check it out. Mike was supposively in Charlotte sitting with his new Secretary whom was involved in a work related accident and in a coma. Once again they were corresponding over the phone. Thursday morning we had no alternative but to take the van to have the transmission flushed $160.00 and a front-end alignment $49.95 since Mike was unavailable to be reached and Thomas (no longer employed by B&B) had no cash flow. It was reiterated once again, the van should be fine to make the trip and we could call Thomas or Mike if we broke down.

The van did ok the first part of the trip and broke down in Anderson, SC We called Mike on his cell phone and he said to change the fluid and filter and it would get us back to his shop so he could put a new transmission in it. The mechanic that pulled off to assist told us "no way." Mike insisted once again so the other gentleman gave us the number of a towing service and also said they were Transmission Specialists. Upon being towed ($60.00) into Browns Auto in Anderson, SC the mechanic there also said it will be a waste of money but another call to Mike, he insisted. With it being under warranty, we had no alternative but to abide by his decision ($60.00). We called Mike back again and said they changed the fluid and filter but still had to manually push it off the lift. I told Mike he may want to find someone to tow it back to the shop locally as Browns Auto said $460.00.
He said he would call us back and after an hour and a half not hearing from him, we called his cell. He had cut his cell phone off. The owner of Browns then told me he would charge me 260.00 if I needed it towed back. By then it was late, we were tired and got a hotel room continuing to call Mike's cell throughout the night. Needless to say the next morning we had Browns tow the van back, my son had to borrow his fathers truck to come get us (my daughter, her b/f, my roommate and myself) as one way rentals with drop off don't exist anymore. Rainy and cold with a couple blankets, 3 of us riding in the back of the truck were froze when we got back to Conover. Every excuse in the world being used to try and cover his rear. A lot of investigative work has uncovered a whole new story in itself and although there is much more depth to this story, he has connived my roomy into basically paying the Grand Am off before any work was done. B&B lights were shut off while my roommate was there one day and Mike asked him pay to have them cut back on for him and he would write the other 200.00 off as the car paid in full. That is another story and joke! Upon checking with Bethleham Salvage where the transmission was purchased, I found out they only paid (400.00) and sold it to me 50% markup, plus the transmission was road tested prior to selling it to B&B. Also the check B&B wrote them bounced and has yet made restitution for it.

The van is still in the shop untouched and my cash flow is limited now. Mike told me to get a rental in my name and he would pay for it. Fool once, shame on you, fool twice, shame on me....loll! He came up with the brilliant idea of me driving the Grand Am and with 2 days max, the van would be done. Hmmm The Grand Am broke down and it took 4 days for them to tow it in and the van hasn't been touched in weeks. Parts still sitting on the floor and in various places. Over all expenditures is well over 3800.00 and nothing but broken promises from Mike, if and when he is there. I have been so frustrated that I have sat in his office various days and said I would sit all night if need be. Others have come in as well, while Mike wasn't there complaining of the same problems or people calling. There are other individuals who have incurred the same problems. He is robbing Peter to pay Paul in money and old car parts and it is time someone sets this guy straight or shut him down. For me, I have walked 6 miles home from work and/or have to rely on someone else to transport me back and forth for the time being.

Frustrated is beyond my feelings at this point and would appreciate either my van fixed correctly within a week as well as an extended warranty. Also a full refund for the money on the Grand Am in the amount of $1800.00. plus $680.00 out of pocket money spent for repairs, towing etc in Anderson S.C. Any and all assistance you may be able to offer will be greatly appreciated.

Two months in the shop and parts in various areas as well as all over the floor, promises with no results, BEWARE! Not a good sign.

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