S & M Repair Informative - Highway Robbery off I-70 in Goodland, Kansas at S & M Repair
GOODLAND, KANSAS -- I broke down off of I-70 in Goodland, Kansas; hours from Denver and hours from Wichita, the closest cities with dealer or specialty shops. The car is a VW diesel Passat. The engine ran fine but when one pressed on the accelerator there was zero thrust, constant idle.
After a couple of calls to repair shops that said they were not familiar with foreign cars we called S & M repair shop. They said that they could fix the car. We had them tow the car to their shop. It was about 9:00 in the morning. We were not given an estimate.
First, S & M said the problem was the air filter. They did not have one so they had someone drive to Burlington, Colorado and back to get one. A couple of hours later, they changed the filter and the car was still not fixed.
Next, after a few more hours and more dismantling of the car, S & M said it was the throttle position sensor. S & M said it could not be express mailed overnight to Goodland, Kansas. I got on-line and found a dealer in Wichita that could express mail it overnight.
About an hour later, S & M tells us the throttle position sensor is good and it does not need to be changed. At this point we realize that S & M is unfamiliar with foreign cars and they have no idea what they are doing. However, we are stuck now.
The hours are ticking by and just prior to closing, coincidentally, I am asked if I can call a VW repair shop in Salt Lake City that I know. I did not know mechanics worked with each other.
If I had been told that right away I would have asked S & M to call them right when we entered the repair shop in the morning or S & M should have initiated it themselves. S & M knew common business practice among mechanics but I, as a lay person, did not.
After S & M speaks to the Salt Lake shop the problem is miraculously found. A tiny five dollar hose that goes to the car computer had a hole in it.
Problem fixed and S & M has us out by their 5:30 pm closing time. I have spent the entire day at S & M Repair.
The bill comes to $541.51. It is broken down into 7 hours of labor at $65/hr and then 5 dollars for the hose and $38.50 for the unnecessary filter. At the time, I just wanted to get out of there but I was shocked at the charges.
This was the worst stereotype of an auto shop come true. People stuck in the middle of an unfamiliar place and a repair shop taking advantage of them because stranded people have little choice.
We were kept at S & M all day so they could charge us- and then- right before closing they miraculously ask for some help and fix the car with a 5 dollar part?
We did break down a bit down the road again in Quinter, Kansas due to S & M's earlier "trouble shooting" which now caused new troubles. But this time, we had the car towed back to Denver as to not be taken advantage of again.
The mechanic in Denver told us that to change all the hoses in the car- the typical charge is 100 dollars. We are also told that to diagnose that problem is very easy and it does not take 7 hours of saying other things are the problem.
The following day, I called S & M Repair and I spoke with Drew. I told him that I was unhappy with the work he did and I felt that we were taken advantage of. I was calm and matter of fact and told him that I would like a partial refund. He proceeded to swear at me.
I filed with the BBB but S & M refused to resolve the complaint. I am currently disputing the charges with my credit card company.
S and M Repair in Goodland, Kansas is unethical and unprofessional and I want everyone to know it. The world is now very small due to technology and S & M may have taken advantage of me but at least I will be the last one.
If you break down on I-70 in Goodland, Kansas get towed out to either Denver or Wichita even if it is backtracking your route. If you live nearby do not patronize S & M Repair.
One thinks in a small town that people will be honest but unfortunately, if one is a traveler passing through Goodland, Kansas and breaks down on I-70, highway robbery is still alive and well at S & M Repair. Beware!