I spent $361.45 on two back-to-back repair visits. Twice I complained of hard start once I complained that a belt kept popping off.
On invoice dated 6/10/13 I complained that my riding mower had a hard start problem. McHenry performed a tune-up and I paid $323.65 for services but the tune-up did nothing about the hard start problem, which continued. On invoice dated 6/24/13 I complained that the hard start problem continued so McHenry did not charge me for pick-up or delivery on my second repair. I probably need a new carburetor, but to my chagrin McHenry still did nothing at all about this problem and to this day the hard start problem continues. I also complained of a new problem, a belt suddenly started popping off, and I was charged $37.80 but the two belts were not replaced, so the belt popping off problem continued and I told them so. On tuesday July 2 while mowing a belt popped off and my mower stopped just as McHenry's employee **** drove by and personally witnessed my belt popping off problem and assisted me in replacing one old stretched out belt. However I resorted to buying and installing both belts on my mower on my own at a total cost of $28.03 and that fixed the belt popping off problem.
I am seeking $28.03 for the new belts that I purchased myself for repairing the belt popping off problem plus $37.80 for the second repair visit which resulted in an ineffective repair that repaired nothing. I seek a total of $65.83. My hard start problem continues and I need a new carburetor but I will seek repair for that elsewhere.
On ***** *******' first visit this year was dated June 6th, 2013 the complaints were as follows: Hard to start, Left rear wheel is going flat, price out a new seat, call with estimate. When the unit was in our shop we inspected it and determined that it needed tubes in both rear tires, carburetor cleaned out due to bad gas that was in the unit. We replaced the carburetor for him in July of 2012, so there would be no need for a replacement carburetor, it would just need a cleaning. We gave an estimate to ***** and discussed the repairs that were needed for his equipment. We agreed on putting tubes in both the rear tires, fixing the oil leak, a general service, and cleaning out the carburetor. After all of the repairs were finished the unit was starting correctly, and performing as the unit should. Two weeks after we delivered the mower back to ***** called and said that the unit was hard to start and a belt kept slipping off. The date for this complaint was on June 24th, 2013. When our employee went to go pick up his mower ***** was present at his house. ***** went to start the mower and our employee noticed that ***** was not using the choke feature which is required to start most small engines (in this case his is one of them) Our employee then tried to start it after ***** could not and it started right up when using the choke feature. We then took the machine back to our shop to inspect the unit to make sure that everything is working properly. The hard to start issue was not apparent for us and we were not able to duplicate it. When that happens there is no problem so there would be no fix for it if nothing is wrong to the machine. The belt issue was determined to be by a faulty belt guard. None of his belts were stretched all of them were within proper specs. We installed a new belt guard onto the unit and tested the unit to make sure that it would not malfunction. After 20 minutes of testing the unit it did not malfunction anymore. After all the repairs were made the unit was ready to be delivered back to *****. We delivered it and about a week later ***** called back complaining that the belt kept slipping off. Our employee went out to *****'s house and at the point in time ***** was outside working on his mower. ***** was complaining about the belt coming off so instead of us trying to fix it he tried to do it himself. Also a belt can be damaged by improper installation which since ***** is not a certified mechanic his install that he did could have made it so that the belt became damaged due to improper installation. ***** insisted that we take the unit back and install a new belt for no charge. Our response to that was no we will not do that, what we offered him was to put the belt on for him as long as he pays for the belt. *****'s response was no he will order the belt himself and continue on with installing it on his own time.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Better Business Bureau: I do not accept and I remain unsatisfied with McHenry Small Engine's explanations and McHenry Small Engine and I remain at an impasse. I am reporting to you that my experience with McHenry Small Engine Repair was negative on two levels: on a technical level and on a customer service level. I further report that I requested and was denied what I maintain was a reasonable and modest refund of only a small portion of the two payments they received from me, a small refund to which I feel entitled, and McHenry Small Engine has steadfastly refused. I assert that my negative concerns and my request for a modest refund are neither frivolous nor capricious. I maintain that I have no ulterior motive and therefore nothing to gain from my woes; I simply had a mower that needed repair and I took it to a repair shop with the expectation that it would be repaired, but I encountered a frustrating and negative experience instead.
To summarize, as a customer, it is bewildering to me that I complained twice that my mower had a hard to start problem and twice the mechanics at McHenry Small Engine were unwilling to perform the repair that I requested, even though they received and accepted payment. Am I not the customer and was it not my mower? What was that all about? That unresponsive technical experience was followed by a customer service department that decided to steadfastly remain on the side of their mechanics at all costs instead of providing a friendly customer service that would help a customer instead of holding firm against him. I also complained once that I had a belt that would slip off its track, causing the mower operations to stop, but once again the mechanics misdiagnosed the problem, and the belt slipping problem continued afterwards, even though they received and accepted payment for the repair from me. That unsuccessful repair visit was the source for my small refund request. Note the undisputable proof that the belt slipping problem was witnessed by a McHenry Small Engine employee as he drove past my home shortly after the unsuccessful second repair visit. He stopped at my home and witnessed and acknowledged that a belt had indeed slipped off its track, and then assisted me, and then reported the continuing belt slipping problem to his office manager. Nevertheless the customer service department once again decided to steadfastly remain on the side of their mechanics instead of acknowledging their mistake in a customer friendly manner and providing me the small refund that I requested in lieu of a third repair visit. At that point I no longer trusted the personnel in McHenry Small Engine, so I did not want my riding mower in their shop again for any reason. Last Sunday 8/4/2013 I attempted mowing operations and my hard to start problem grew worse and then my mower stopped operating and would not re-start after only a few minutes of mowing. McHenry Small Engine had my riding mower in their shop twice and I spent $361.45 in services at McHenry Small Engine, yet by their own admission they refused to acknowledge and therefore did not address the repairs that I requested for my hard to start problem. I cannot afford additional mower repairs for a third repair visit elsewhere for a problem that I have already attempted to resolve twice, so with regret I will undertake the hard to start engine problem diagnosis and repair on my own. That self-initiative is what I ended up doing with the belt slipping off its track problem; I ended up repairing the belt slipping problem successfully on my own and at my additional expense.
Final Business Response
The reasoning for us stating that the mower was not being started correctly is due to one of our employees, personally watching ***** trying to start the mower without trying to use the choke feature to help start it. Whenever one of our employees started the machine there was no hard to start problem that was present. It would start up right away and with not problems at all. We replaced the carburetor on *****'s mower last year; there is no reason why it would need a new carburetor. All it would need is to be cleaned if there was a problem with it but there was not due to it starting up for us every single time with NO hard to start issues. On *****'s second visit this year he complained about a hard to start issue still and the belt slipping off problem. I would like to state once again that there was no hard to start problem that was a concern because it would start up every time nice and easy for us. As far as the belt slipping off a belt guard was added due to it slipping out. When we were test driving it everything was functioning properly and no belts were slipping off at all. When the mower was returned to ***** after he used it the belt slipped off. He then proceeded to call back and complain that the belt slipped off again. We then told him that we would pick it up and put the belt's on at NO labor charge due to the fact that it was not fixed the first time. Also we said that we would come pick it up again for him. All he would have to do is pay for the parts which would be the belts. ***** insisted that he did not want us to pick up his mower and that he would take his business elsewhere. Therefore with that being said there is no reason that we should be held responsible to pay for the belts that he purchased online. That was his decision to go and buy them when we stated that we would put them on for no labor charge just the cost of the belts.