Barry Volkswagen Complaint - Charge 1200% More Than Needed To Fix Car

Review by sherri_m on 2008-01-20
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS -- On 1/3/08, my ‘05 VW Passat had a burning smell and began to smoke from the rear. I had it towed to Barry VW. Service Manager Carl had me sign a form to have the car diagnosed and arranged a courtesy ride to Enterprise car rental.

The next day, Carl called with the results of the diagnosis: $1700 and 4-5 days, as the car needed “a new turbo line and turbo charger,” coming to $970 in parts and $670 in labor. I asked him to be more specific about the parts, to break it down by item. He said the $970 included the turbo line, charger and any necessary gaskets. I requested a written estimate. He said it’s not written down; he could just tell me over the phone. I said I wanted to stop by and pick up a written estimate; he said they don’t write them down.

A $1700 repair, plus accruing rental car costs, put me in a financial crisis. I called Carl and asked if Barry would do any financing or payment arrangements for a repair that costly. He said no, but to try VW credit. I applied online at VWcredit.com in an attempt to get enough money to cover the repair bill. I considered not fixing the car and trading it in at the dealership there for an older car for my daughter in college. I asked friends and family for help. I sweated it out.

Meanwhile, I had the car towed to another garage for a second opinion. As I paid the $100 diagnosis charge at Barry to get the key back, Carl told me again, “It needs a new turbo. Let me know if you decide to get it fixed.” The second opinion at Village Garage was radically different, resulting in a $147, hour-long repair. The diagnosis was a plugged breather screen. The mechanic cleared the screen and replaced the air filter and the problem was solved. This was nearly $1600 less than the repairs needed as stated by Barry VW.

As a result of Barry’s deceptive practices, I incurred over $500 in car rental expenses, missed two days of work, tried to secure a credit line to cover the high repair cost, and had a week of extreme duress handling all this. When presented with the opportunity to take responsibility for the situation and make it right, Barry’s “powers that be” would consent to only one thing: refunding the $100 diagnosis fee.
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-02-04
Posted by HKong on 2008-01-21:
I would have taken the car elsewhere as soon as they would not provide a written estimate. Very shady.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2008-01-21:
good job HK, at least you got some of the money back.
Posted by Principissa on 2008-01-21:
That is very shady. The fact that they refused to provide a written estimate detailing the work that needed to be done would have set off the alarms. I'm not going to dish out 1700.00 because you say so.
Posted by S. on 2008-01-21:
Good thing you stuck to your guns and said thanks but no thanks. If they do this to many more customers, I don't think they'll enjoy much business in the future.
Posted by mydogbozo on 2008-02-04:
Geez sherri, there is about a $ 1500.00 difference. I have never heard of a repair shop not willing to give a written estimate. This is illegal where I live. I don't think it is the big dealer alone, they are crooks as a whole. Personally, I think it is due to the fact that most dealers pay their employees on commission, which creates a "vulture" type mentality, causing them to rip you off, so that they may "financially breathe". I feel for you.

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