Coxco Transmission Complaint - Clutch Kit Price Gouging

Review by tbennoni on 2009-01-27
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- Needing to find a shop to replace the clutch in my daughters 2005 Toyota Scion tc, I found Coxco Transmissions website and had my husband contact them. The manager told my husband that they would tow the car to the shop for free and that the repair cost would be $389.00 labor plus the price of the clutch kit. Having already researched the price of clutch kits we knew that they could cost anywhere from $147.00 to $319.00, we decided to let Coxco begin the repair. The next day I called to see how the repair was going and to get a price. The manager told me that he had to get the part and that once he had it, the job would take a couple of hours but that it should be done that day. Less than an hour later, my daughter called me and told me that the manager called her and said the total repair cost was going to be $1500.00. She told him that she had to call me. When I questioned the manager as to why I was paying over $1100.00 for a part that shouldn't cost more than $319.00, he told me that it was the only clutch kit in the state of Texas. I told him to stop work on the car, that I would have a tow truck take it to the dealership. He told me it was too late, that the part was already in. He then told me that he would 'discount' the the job to $1275.00 making the price of ' the only clutch kit in the state of Texas' a little over $800.00. When I got to the shop and asked the manager to see a receipt showing he paid that much for a clutch kit, he refused. When I asked him the name of the parts place he bought it from, he again refused to tell me. I wasn't yelling, or being rude or cussing the man. I was just asking him to justify the price to my satisfaction. He finally told me this: "Thats not the price I paid for the clutch kit, thats the price YOUR paying for it."

I plan on filing complaints to the BBB as well as the Federal Trade Commission and take this issue to small claims court if I have to.
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-01-29
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-27:
You're not going to like this. You did your research about the price of the parts and then assumed Coxco would charge the same. You should have asked about Coxco's parts prices BEFORE letting them start the work. In your case, your assumptions let the repair shop drive the price bus for the parts.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2009-01-27:
Doc's right.
I would report it to the BBB so it's on record.
FTC and small claims are not going to do you any good but waste time and money.
Hard lesson learned, just don't repeat it.
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-01-27:
It is a lesson learned. You got a range of prices on the kit from everywhere but who you were buying it from. Mechanics do mark up parts, but this was excessive. He clearly didn't disclose the part price on purpose and although you must take blame for not making him commit to the total bill estimate, this post still is valuable. It does let others know this shop will pound you if you aren't careful. And yes, if this kit was at a premium because it was the only one around (unlikely), the shop should have called you first. I vote this helpful.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-27:
Many states have laws on the books to prevent this and I believe Texas is one of them. I can't remember the name of the law but it basically states that anyone who provides an estimate for work being done cannot deviat more than 10% of the estimate without expressed permission from the customer. If this case gets to court, the poster wins.
Posted by tbennoni on 2009-01-29:
In Texas price gouging is illegal and courts can award up to 3 times the price of the gouge in punitive damages. The mechanic stating that it was the last clutch kit in the state of Texas gives relevence to the case of price gouging. Plus, here in Texas, mechanics are not to begin work on the car until they get the owners expressed permission, something this one didn't do. When I found out what he was charging me I told him to stop work on the car and I would have it towed to another shop. He said he couldn't that because the part was already in. I agree with everyone and yes, it's a lesson well learned for me. I will be filing complaints with the BBB and The Federal Trade Commission as well as The Attorney General. Thanks for the comments.

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