Maaco - Hayward, Ca Complaint - Lied Repeatedly And Did Not Do Repairs Or Paint As Contracted, Gross Negligence, Damaged Vehicle, Manager Yelled Abusively
HAYWARD, CALIFORNIA -- I got an estimate for painting a vehicle from MAACO in Hayward on National Ave (email M2142@maaco.com ). They later called me, offered 1/2 off that price. I came in to discuss terms, I got them to write into the contract that they would remove the exterior rust and would not charge me more even if it took a longer time than expected to remove the rust from the exterior of the vehicle. In addition the contract specified charges for "rust removal on entire exterior of vehicle". MAACO employees stated they understood that removal or all rust was my primary concern, that looks were secondary, my only purpose in bringing in the vehicle was to prevent further rust damage (we all agreed that there was surface rust on the majority of the vehicle, and not much deeper rust, but they agreed to remove all rust on the exterior of the vehicle), to that end all rust needed to be stripped from the vehicle before painting. The contract specified their third level "supreme" which is a single stage polyurethane with sealer to be applied in their booth and baked on. They measured the vehicle and assured me that it could be painted within their booth. I stated that (and they understood) paint booth was essential to the quality of this paint job, and that I was choosing this shop because they had such a large booth and my vehicle would fit inside.
I stated that I had another option of another shop that had a large booth that my vehicle could fit in (MAACO in Vacaville has this as well as shops that specialize in RVs and large vehicles). My vehicle was safe to move on city streets, (recently inspected by a certified mechanic, all tires inspected and 2 tires replaced) and all parts were working well when I moved it to MAACO in early Dec 2008. When I dropped it off I paid $1000 towards the $1100 total (this included the rust removal prep work). MAACO employees then damaged the safety mechanism on the vehicle, making it unsafe for movement on streets (this vehicle weights 5000 lbs and this is part of the reason it needs to be in safe working order. If it were a moped it would be less likely to kill all the occupants of another car if it went out of control.
When I dropped it off it has the legally required safety measure functioning correctly that prevented it from going out of control. MAACO broke this). I repeatedly asked MAACO to repair this to make the vehicle safe to move on city streets so that I could pick it up. They did not do so. I drove to the facility at some expense 3 times and each time found it not ready (unsafe due to damage caused by MAAACO and 2 flat tires) to remove.
This was a simple repair requiring 2 bolts to be replaced (that MAACO had broken and damaged negligently while the vehicle was in their care) in a backup safety measure to keep the vehicle from going completely out of control. I kept calling and trying to get them to make the vehicle safe to move on streets. In February David (the manager) began calling me, belligerently yelling, threatening to try to charge me storage fees, refusing to repair the damage done by the MAACO employees, his tone was loud, abusive, he didn't listen to my valid concerns, lost his temper repeatedly and simply screamed into the phone. He seemed to be obsessed with keeping me on the phone, refusing to allow me to talk to other people who had the information that I needed. I felt sexually harassed. He just kept calling and trying to keep me on the phone, it was truly creepy. I explained that I didn't feel that way towards him, that keeping me on the phone was just making me uncomfortable and I did not want him calling me unless he had relevant business information. When I asked to speak to someone else who had the information about my vehicle that I needed (and David didn't have) he yelled as if he were drunk. David lied and said that he had repaired the safety measure on the vehicle. I drove down and found out David had lied and the safety measure was not fixed and the vehicle was not safe to move (in addition 2 out of 4 tires were flat and they refused to take the time to inflate them (although they had the ability to do so easily)). For those two reasons the vehicle could not be removed from MAACO. This went on for several months. The tires on one side may have been flattened because the employees sat on my vehicle to eat their lunch, drink, smoke etc. I found numerous items on and next to my vehicle when I went to MAACO and evidence that it had been sat on.
The side of the vehicle were cracked and separated from the main vehicle where the vehicle had been sat on leaving a gap caused by the metal pulling away under their weight. I talked to 9 employees who all said that my vehicle was not painted in the paint booth but instead had been painted in a cold warehouse and then placed outside where it was sometimes exposed to rain. They also admitted sitting on it. The temperatures in these winter months were very low and nowhere near the constant 70 degrees, and 150 degrees needed to 'cure' or 'bake' the paint as I was promised when I made the contract. When I had the estimate done there was an open body panel on the roof that needed to be replaced. I brought the part from the manufacturer; it was already cut to size and an exact fit. MAACO's initial estimate was that the repair would take at most 2 hours. David (the manager) agreed to only charge me for the actual additional time. MAACO promised to keep the vehicle indoors until the roof was fixed. I asked for a written estimate on the roof repair.
David attempted to start the repair without a written estimate. David then lied and said the roof repair "came to $1600, how would you like to pay for that?" as if it had already been done. I said "thank you for the estimate but I do not approve that repair. I choose not to have that repair done at your facility if that is the cost" (MAACO had not done the repair already, and without a signed estimate authorizing that repair I wouldn't have to pay for that anyways. I suspect David was just trying to lie and see if he could get away with that scam). David became upset, loud and verbally abusive. When I first brought the vehicle in for the first estimate, the second and when I dropped it off to be repaired employees repeatedly agreed to store it inside to keep it from being damaged by rain through open roof panel. Later employees agreed to cover up the open roof immediately to protect it from rain and to then immediately move the vehicle back inside but repeatedly failed to do so.
MAACO left the vehicle roof open and rain poured in, molding and destroying the vehicle interior and the carpet which now needs to be replaced. In mid February 2009 I came to MAACO and tried to help them fix the safety measure, (I have a physical disability and limited ability to make repairs and other physical tasks), requested again that they inflate the tires so that the vehicle could be moved. This took 4 hours at that time, I talked to employees about MAACO's failure to fulfill the contract, not painting the vehicle in the booth, not heating or 'curing' or 'baking' the paint as promised, that there was rust visible on every side of the vehicle (and this was originally present, this was not new rust, this was the rust they had been contracted to remove in their prep work) and 4 inch patches where rust was flaking off under the paint and simply flaking the paint job off. MAACO failed to remove the original rust that was present on the vehicle when I dropped it off as they promised to do, they just failed to do the rust removal prep work as contracted, they just skipped large areas of the vehicle. MAACO negligently painted over the VIN number and other identifying information on the VIN sticker.
The DMV and California law required a sticker on the side of the vehicle to contain this information (look in your door jamb). Painting over this sticker is against MAACO policy and the standards of practice in the industry (possibly a violation of CA law). I removed the vehicle in Feb. David the manager attempted to prevent this. National MAACO customer relations made false statements, and their entire goal seemed to be to dismiss all customer complaints and to make customers feel helpless (some angry female employee nasally barked into the phone "Yous can't do nuthin!" (yes she really said "yous", Thanks for the legal advice from the receptionist but I'll check with the courts for that). MAACO National customer relations lied about what legal remedies customers have available, lied about the company's liability and misstated customer's rights.
I suggest sending both the franchise and MAACO National a (demand) letter but be prepared that they will continue to be negligent in handling your complaint and violate the law and lie to you. SUE in small claims, make a complaint to the Bureau of Automotive Repair and the Better Business Bureau, join a class action lawsuit if you can. MAACO routinely violates the law, consumer's rights and valid contracts. The courts and regulatory agencies are here to protect you against this kind of illegal action by a business (both National and the local business). Do not trust the claims made by anyone in this company as to your rights and the remedies available in the law. You can say your TRUE claims about this company anywhere you want. Truth is a defense against their claims that you cost them business, libeled or slandered them. Just tell the truth and you can tell anyone about what MAACO did that damaged your car, cost you time, violated their promises and contracts, and cost you money.