Left car for a diagnostic determination, presented a $430 bill upon pick up.
I left my car, and signed for a $45 diagnostic determination for a check engine light that had come on. I never received a phone call with communication in regards to what might be the cause. I called at one point (the same day) and was told "Right now we are pouring baking soda and water on the battery because we found corrosion, but we don't know if this is the cause for the light." Never received another call back. Called the next day to see what was going on, and was told "Oh it's done, no one has called you?" To which I replied "No". Unfortunately due to working, I had my father pick up the vehicle since I could not get there before they closed. He swiped his credit card for $430.00 upon picking it up, unaware that I had only authorized a $45 diagnostic charge and had received no communication thereafter with what the cost may be. Not even once was I given a ball park figure, nor any phone calls. I called the owner, ***, about the situation, and he offered me $100 to basically be quiet and go away, after speaking horribly to me on the phone and hanging up on me. What poor treatment and service provided by a business owner. He said he would mail the refund prior to hanging up on me. I still have yet to receive any kind of refund, and have attempted to contact *** many times, even stopped by the garage, but he is never in the shop and does not return my calls. It has been several weeks. I do not think any business that operates on such terms should be allowed to be apart of the BBB. Also, on the slip I signed when I dropped off the vehicle authorizing the $45 charge, it has a notice that says anything over $100 requires a written estimate by law. Not only did Tartan break the law, they have continued to treat me poorly. I will seek further restitution if Tartan is unable to resolve this case.
A refund of the $430.00 less the $45 diagnostic charge, which I authorized. $430 for "Labor" to pour baking soda on my battery is absurd. I could have done this myself had I received a written estimate of the cost and determined what my options would be.
Our rst contact with this customer was by her phone call asking if we could help with a problem with
her 2005 Nissan Murano that would lose power and barely I111). In addition she said that she had been
told that she had a computer trouble code U-1000. I said that I was not familiar with that "trouble
code" and suggested that she take the car to the Nissan dealer for repair. She said that she did not want
to go to the dealer and that someone had recommended that she come to us for help. I responded that I
would ask my mechanics if any of them knew about this "code". While she was still on the phone one
of our mechanics described his understanding of the code; and the customer agreed that her experience
was just as he described it She asked how much we would charge to x this problem. I told her that
there was no way I could estimate a repair (on a car that I had not even seen) but that the basic charge
for attaching our computer scanning equipment to her car was $45.00. For this we could verify that the
"code" was present in her car's computer and see if there was a connection to the "drive-ability" issues
she had experienced.
She said she would bring the car to us. Alter the phone call I looked up a description of the causes and
symptoms of code U-1000 in preparation for her visit. The code applies to a problem with the circuits
related to the computer itself: specifically the "ground connections" at the computer and between the
wiring and the chassis of the car. I printed out schematic diagrams of the locations of the computer
ground connections throughout the car.
Shortly, she arrived at our shop and we pulled out a repair order. She did not ask for a written estimate,
but I told her I would be in touch to discuss what we might do, if anything. She mentioned that the
only problem she had experienced prior to this episode was having to have the battery replaced.
After she left we plugged in our computer scanner to the car's diagnostic port and saw that the code
U-1000 was in fact present. Then we looked under the hood and saw that the engine compartment was
covered in battery acid corrosion. This would most certainly cause bad electrical connections. We
were in the process of removing the battery, battery tray, and air cleaner assembly so that we could
assess the extent of the damage of the corrosion when she called me to ask what I had found. I told her
about the scope of the problem while our mechanic continued to clean each part with a baking soda
solution in order to stop the chemical reaction that was still in progress. I told her that the engine
compartment was a complete mess and that it would take hours and hours to clean it all up, stop the
chemical corrosion and repaint all of the damaged metal. In addition we would disassemble all of the
computer wiring "ground" connections and prepare them to make good electrical connections again. I
said that all of this process would be required to attempt to make her car run reliably again.
I asked if she wanted us to continue and she said yes.
Our mechanic took pictures of the entire process of repairing her car. He also talked to her about the
problems her car presented. At the end of the day I talked to her again to say that the process of
painting the metal parts that had been damaged by the corrosion was taking longer than we wished,
even though the mechanic had spent the entire afternoon working on her car. She understood that we
would let the paint dry overnight and reassemble the car the next morning. She agreed to see us the
I spent the next morning preparing the camping gear to take my grandson to Cub Scout Family
weekend at the Boy Scout Camp near Defuniak Springs. We were gone from Friday afternoon through
Sunday afternoon. I was not present when the customer picked up the car. When I got back to the shop
Sunday evening I saw that we had charge 3 hours labor for cleaning the corrosion, 1 hour for painting,
$45.00 for the computer interface, and $15.00 to check the alternator charging rate to see if the battery
had overowed due to overheating because of charging at too high a voltage. (Please see the copy of
the repair order attached.)
Our emphasis had been to live up to the recommendation that we had been given, and to repair the car
Later the next week the customer called to ask me howl was "going to make this right"? I asked her if
the car was working properly and she said that it was. I said that then in fact we had "made it right".
She said that she had never agreed to our proposed repair. She exclaimed: "So that's the way you do
business?" I told her that I thought that she had been treated fairly and that after almost thirty years in
business we were accustomed to our customers trusting that we would do the right thing. And that
since she had come on a referral from her own father that she would trust us. Apparently I was wrong.
She never stated what she wanted but she was so impolite and spoke in such an offensive manner that I
carried the phone outside to where I could talk privately to her. However, we had other customers who
followed me outside to ask for help with their cars and I had to interrupt my conversation a couple of
times. I finally asked if I wrote her a check for $100.00 would she be happy. She said it was "better
than nothing!" but that she could not make it down to our shop before closing time and would I mail
her the check. I said I would. Then I had to attend to my other customers and I hung up. Later that
afternoon I had to leave the shop for a few hours to attend a meeting downtown. While I was gone a
man whom we had never previously met came in to the shop requesting that our ofce manager give
him a check for $100.00. He said that he wanted to talk to the owner about how "badly he had talked
to my wife!" Our office manager told him to leave.
When I came back from my meeting the office manager told me of the incident. l thought to myself:
they took the benefit of our skills for which we had charged for about half of the hours we actually
spent repairing the car. We gave them essentially 24 hour service. Then when they complained about
the price, they accepted our charity in offering to refund $100.00. Then they wanted to "tell me off' on
top of it all.
l don't believe I have to accept being treated like that.