Complaint: I, ****** ** *****- **** ****** ***** ****** ****** ****** ***** FL XXXXX-XXXX do hereby le a
complaint against the following Panama City, FL Individual and Company.
Owner, ****** ** ****** of MR. TRANSMISSION #293 - 9 East 15th Street, Panama City, FL XXXXX.
I own a 2002 Mercedes E320, 4 Matic (4 wheel Drive), and it was experiencing transmission slippage that
I needed to have evaluated. This was done on October 11, 2013 by **** ****** Co-Owner of Import
Motors. Located at *** **** *** ****** ***** *** Mr. ***** had done some work on my car in the
past. After an examination I was advised my transmission would need to be replaced.
Mr. ***** advised they don't do transmission work, but recommended a company located within six block 1
that would do a good job for me at a fair price. That company was MRTRANSMISSION owned and
operated by Mr. ****** ******. Based on the close proximity of MR. TRANSMISSION to Import Motors
and Mr. ******** recommendation, I decided to take my car to Mr. ******.
****** (Mr. ******) told me he's been in business for 26 years and has a clean reputation with the Better
Business Bureau. He was constantly spouting his BBB affiliation, using it as a real sales tool, and it was a
signicant factor in my decision to use him for the repair. He claimed a prociency in repairing all type of
vehicles, especially those like mine.
The rst question I asked was, 'What would be the cost to repair my transmission?" He told me there
were too many variables involved to provide even a range as to how much the repair would cost. He told
me that they could do an inspection to determine what work would be required for a fee of $859. This fee
would be applicable against the transmission replacement cost if they did the work. Because my car could
not be driven I nally decided I had no recourse but to use their services.
On XX-XX-XXXX they tore my transmission apart. They were then nally able to quote me a cost of $7,579
to repair my transmission. I complained about this outlandish price to no avail. l determined I should get
another quote before going any further with MR. TRANSMISSION. ****** agreed with me doing this, but -
reminded me they would have to put the transmission back together again and pay the inspection Fee of
$859.00 before they would release my car to me. I then realized the position they had me in.
In my 83 years I have never been in such a situation. I never would have authorized Mr. ****** to
perform the inspection if he had told me upfront that I was looking at a repair that could cost $8000. After
considerable soul searching I felt there was no other option available to me except to move forward with
this less than honorable individual. Otherwise, I would have to throw away almost $1000. Mr. ******
assured me that all transmission parts would be available the next day and that the repairs would be done
promptly. We proceeded on that basis.
Over the next few days, I would stop in MR. TRANSMISSION frequently to inquire how they were
progressing. ****** always came up with some additional reason why they were being delayed. Usually
transmission parts were delayed or lost in shipping. He obviously had been lying to me when he said that
all of the parts would be available the day after I agreed to have him do the work.
Finally the car was ready. The warranty was for one year, but he gave me a two year warranty. I test
drove the car before accepting delivery. Since it appeared to drive well I paid the $7,579 demanded. I felt
that I had been taken advantage of but was happy to have this unfortunate incident behind me. _
I drove the car approximately 500 miles after picking it up before I started having problems. The
transmission started slipping and I returned it to MR. TRANSMISSIONS. They test drove the car and
claimed it was ok. They said it may have been a burr in the transmission that had worked its way out.
They said to bring my car in again if I had any more problems.
On Friday Dec.13, 2013 my wife and I were going to a reception when the car's transmission began
slipping severely. (This was about 10 days after the previous transmission slippage.) I had to pull off the
road, tum off the motor, let it cool for about 5 minutes and then drive for another 112 mile. The reception
was nearby so I used this procedure to hobble in. I then used the same procedure to return the car to
MR. TRANSMISSIONS. It took me over two hours.
When I pulled in to MR. TRANSMISSIONS ****** asked me what was wrong. I explained my problem.
****** went out, started my car, and it wouldn't move. He yelled to his brother that I had "FRIED" the car.
He then proceeded to berate me, saying that I should have called them and they would have come after
the car. This was the rst that I had heard of their providing this service. After calming down it was
agreed the car was under warranty.
During the next several days I would stop by to determine how they were proceeding. They seemed to be '
progressing. During one stop I asked what was wrong. ****** said "a bearing went out in the
transmission." He said "it shouldn't have, but it did." He further acknowledged that "it was their fault".
After a week had passed. I advised ****** we were leaving town on Dec. 21st for Christmas. We planned
to be gone for two weeks. I said we assumed the transmission would be complete when we got back.
****** agreed and claimed it was on their "Front Burner."
We returned on January 1, 2014. The repairs had still not been completed. ****** blamed it on the
inclement weather, an employee having retired, more parts missing (now available). ****** tried to
assure me they weren't purposely delaying my transmission repair. I told him I was having a hard time
believing that. . .
On Monday, Jan.10th, 2014, I received a phone call from ****** stating they had run into another
problem. The converter running to the transmission was leaking oil and they were unable to test drive the
car. ****** advised I had to replace the converter before they could complete the repairs. He said the
converter was not covered by the warranty and therefore was my responsibility. ****** suggested I
contact **** ***** with Import Motors as he's the "best Mercedes Man" in the area. The cost would be
$1,700. (This is the same man who recommended MR. TRANSMISSION in the rst place.)
I found it strange that a converter problem suddenly developed when they were repairing the
transmission. I suspected they were responsible for the damage, but of course they didn't accept
responsibility. I needed to be done with both MR. TRANSMISSION and his cohorts at Import-Motors.
On January 13, 2014 I stopped at MR. TRANSMISSION and advised ****** I had arranged with AAA to
pick up my car. He asked where 1 was taking it. and I would not say. He said I would have to sign a
release, which I refused to do.
I moved the car to *****'s ****** ****** where I had the converter repaired for $845.98 not the $1,700.
as quoted by ****** ****** of MR. TRANSMISSION and **** ***** of Import Motors. *****'s bill
included checking the transmission and test driving the car. '
This has been an incredibly stressful, prolonged and expensive experience. I am a senior citizen living on
a xed income. While I always give people the benet of the doubt, I have come away from this
experience with a strong belief that Mr, ****** is a dishonest businessman who saw easy prey in a
senior citizen who is not conversant with the ins and outs of auto mechanics. He lied to me repeatedly
and failed to take responsibility for his actions, all the while hiding behind his "endorsement" from the
Better Business Bureau. After speaking with other people, I have anecdotal evidence that the price he
charged to repair my transmission is at least $3000 more than it should have been. While I accept
responsibility for the poor decisions that I made along the way, I feel strongly that Mr. Drucker had me
over a barrel from the moment my non-functioning vehicle was in his shop and that he took advantage of
the opportunity to make an exorbitant prot on the repair.
Initial Business Response
On or about October 11, the customer had come to us to check his car out from the recommendation of another shop. We are in no way involved with this shop. Many shops recommend our shop and we recommend other shops also.
The customer came to our shop after several days with a complaint. Our technician rode with the customer and a computer diagnostic was done on his vehicle.
He was told that his vehicle was expensive automobile. Mr. ****** recommended that he check with other shops to get a price quote. The BBB is a good place to start. They could not recommend anyone for him to take his vehicle to but that they are there to protect the consumer. Mr. ****** also recommended that he get an internal inspection done on his vehicle due to his vehicle does not have a common transmission and Mr. ****** could not tell him what was wrong with his vehicle without looking inside the transmission. These vehicles are complicated.
The customer was also informed that the $859, the inspection fee, would not be charged to him unless they could not come to an agreement. If they could not come to an agreement then the $859 would be charged to him for reassembling the transmissions. He was told if we did the inspection but did not fix his car that he would be responsible for the inspection fee. He was also informed that a price quote could not be given to him until the inspection was completed. In fact this is the purpose of our inspections.
This shop went down many different avenues for transmissions and fixing transmissions. One of the price quotes was as high as $11,000. The customer was given many opportunities to go with a different company for the work. He, in fact, left this shop and checked with many other shops. He did, after four days, bring his vehicle to this shop to have the work completed. There was no one that "twisted his arm" to make him come to us. We did not seek this customer out to come to us. He could have gone to someone else but he chose us. We believe it was due to our reputation for working on transmissions.
The customer came in on several different occasions. On one occasion when the customer came into the shop Mr. ****** told him that he was having difficulties getting the parts to the shop. On vehicles like these that are not common vehicles there are times that it is difficult to get parts in.
After completing the work to his vehicle, the vehicle was driven and the technicians and Mr. ****** did not experience and problems with the vehicle.
To help satisfy the customer, Mr. ****** gave the customer an additional year on the warranty, which is usually a one year warranty.
The customer brought the vehicle back in because he was having difficulties with it. They did not find any problems with the vehicle.
On a third occasion the customer brought the vehicle into this shop complaining about the transmission and that he had driven it after having difficulties. After every time that the customer brought his vehicle in, he was told that should he have any problems with his vehicle and could not get it to us right away to stop the vehicle and give us a call and we would do everything that we could to help him out.
When the technicians inspected the vehicle they found that there was fluid inside the harness. Mr. ****** informed the customer that there was fluid running through the transmission on the inside of the harness to the computer and it was full of fluid. There is a technical bulletin that we might be able to provide. Mr. ****** informed the customer that his vehicle would never shift properly again due to the fluid getting into the harness; that there was nothing else we could do to the transmission. Mercedes are known to have one problem one day and another problem the next. The technician cleaned it out and cleaned the fluid but the damage was already done.
It was not the converter that was bad in the vehicle. Had it been the converter then the car would not have moved. We do not know what has been done to the vehicle since it has left the shop the last time. There are many types of converter, catalytic, torque, etc.
At this time, we do not believe that there should be any further action on this issue. We have tried to do everything that we could to help this customer out.
I have attached the technical bulletin on the problem with the fluid.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
We request that the case be reopened. We are not in agreement with Mr. Transmission's version of events. We continue to feel that Mr. Drucker of Mr. Transmission charged an exorbitant price for repairing the vehicle (in, I note, a manner that required me to return on two separate occasions for additional work). In addition, I believe that his "repair" led to additional problems with the vehicle that required me to incur even more expenses from a third party vendor. I feel strongly that I was taken advantage of due to my age and lack of knowledge about car mechanics. I request continued review of this matter.