Red River replaced a working A/C compressor when the actual problem was a loose wiring connection, scamming over $900 instead of a simple repair.
This complaint concerns Red River Chevrolet and their Service Department's improper repair of my vehicle and subsequent breach of warranty. I am the original owner of a 2002 Chevrolet Impala which I brought to RRC for service on 01/16/2013. The A/C was properly cooling but the compressor did not immediately engage after pressing the A/C button, but the A/C would engage after a brief delay. I explained this exact symptom to the service representative during the service intake. It should be noted that at the time I made the appointment, several employees overheard my problem description and blurted out, "you need a new compressor". After dropping off the car, I later received a call from a Red River Chevrolet representative who said there was no Freon in the system, this despite was cooling without a problem, as I had explained, other than the delay in the compressor engaging. At that time, the clerk that called only mentioned the leak, not replacing the compressor, nor did I authorize the compressor's replacement. Several days later when I went to pick up the car, only then did I learn they replaced the compressor and presented me with a $926 bill. There were no diagnostic work details listed on the service report and no one explained any diagnostic procedures performed to conclude a replacement compressor was necessary. Two days after picking up my car with a replacement rebuilt compressor, the original problem surfaced again: after turning on the A/C, the compressor would not engage immediately, but did after a few minutes. I returned the vehicle and after inspecting it they found a loose wiring connection that was the cause of the problem. I complained to the Service Manager they had unnecessarily replaced my original compressor when the actual issue was the loose connection. His response was that the rebuilt compressor installed had lifetime warranty and would not even consider the possibility they had erred. I have since noticed the car was not cooling and had an A/C repair shop perform a dye-based leak detection test that positively confirmed a leak. Once again, I returned to RRC and stated it was not cooling, and after allegedly testing the car, they reported it was in working order with no problems. To this day, I continue to have to regularly charge up the car with Freon to get proper cooling. I believe this business is completely inept or just simply dishonest and taking advantage of a senior citizen, or both. It was at this point that I decided to contact the BBB for help.
My expectation is that Red River Chevrolet completely refund the cost of invoice ****** ($926.97) and subsequently invoice for the loose connection repair that was the original problem. Additionally, the current compressor has a confirmed leak and should be replaced with a new compressor. It's important to mention the total lifetime service charges with Red River Chevrolet I have incurred exceeds $8,000, which is to say, I have been more than a regular and loyal service customer. But this specific situation is inexcusable and gone too far in taking advantage of my business with this service department.
December 17, 2014
Case # XXXXXXXX
To whom it may concern:
In reviewing the case information, I have found a few points of interest. On the original visit the repair order states" AC compressor is not kicking on". On inspection we found the A/C system had no refrigerant charge which would cause A/C compressor not to engage,(a pressure switch in system sensing low pressure keeps compressor from coming on). The tech had to add refrigerant to the system and find the leak. After testing, the results were a leak at the high side refrigerant fitting and the A/C compressor leaking around the case. (Have seen many of these type compressors leak at this area.) Service advisor contacted customer, advised of repairs needed, and customer approved repairs.
Ten days and 213 miles later the customer returned with complaint that "A/C is not coming on at times until minutes after switch is cut on". Inspected and found wire connection problems at the A/C compressor switch and relay. This problem could have been caused when compressor was replaced so this would be our fault and for that reason we did not charge the customer for the repair.
The lack of refrigerant on the first visit could not have been repaired by the electrical problem found on the second visit. The problem with the electrical could have been caused by the first repair.
In conclusion, I feel the customer was fairly charged for the first repair. He was inconvenienced for having to return for the second repair. I apologize for this inconvenience. In the interest of a valued customer I am open to any resolutions and will continue to work with the customer on any of his concerns. We strive to do what is correct, honest and fair.
Sincerely, ***** ****
Red River Chevrolet
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I do appreciate Mr. ******* apology for the inconvenience of having to return the vehicle for additional corrective action, for addressing me as a valued customer, and pledging that Red River Chevrolet will be open to any resolution to address my concerns. Thank you.
Mr. ******* response could have also addressed, but didn't, the fact that I returned for a third time to complain that the AC they replaced was not properly cooling the vehicle. In my original BBB filing, I stated that on that third visit, Red River Chevrolet inspected the vehicle and stated no problem was found. Since then, I have incurred even more expense to have an independent mechanic perform a UV dye test on the AC system which confirmed the compressor Red River replaced is in fact leaking. I realize Mr. **** is relying on what he's been told, but I do respectfully challenge the conclusion Mr. **** offers in his response that my original compressor was leaking, which he says was determined by a diagnostic test their service technician performed. There is actually no evidence in the business records I have been provided documenting the diagnostic findings or measurements those tests yielded. Regardless, even if we hypothetically assume that the original AC compressor was leaking, which I contend it was not, and we assume a leak was the cause of the original problem (delay in kicking on from restriction by a pressure sensor), as of today, we are full circle back to where we started with a leaky compressor in the vehicle, but there is one major difference: Red River Chevrolet has the $926.97 they billed me to replace the compressor, while I have received absolutely no benefit while being stuck with a defective compressor, and in the process, I have wasted considerable time and money to be no better off.
Red River Chevrolet's business processes have in part created this situation, and at the very least, I think Red River has to concede it has an opportunity for improvement in this area of their business. To start with, I should have been provided a work order with either a price estimate range, or an approval threshold for any repair cost, but neither of these were provided. In the drop-off area while I was waiting on my service advisor, an employee named ****, who said he rebuilds motors, struck up a conversation with me, in which I demonstrated the compressor delay issue by turning on the vehicle and he witnessed it was minute or so before the AC compressor kicked on. I never complained the AC was not cooling or not coming on, rather just delayed. I have a thermometer in the air vent and religiously monitor the emitted air temperature, which has always cooled properly. The point here being this specific aspect about the delay itself in the AC engaging was fundamentally central to the information I provided, including to my service advisor, just like I demonstrated to ****. It's inexplicable after my specific problem description why Ms. ***'s failed to accurately document that in any work order. Again, since customers aren't actually provided with a copy of the work order containing the customer's description of symptoms, there is no opportunity to confirm or provide feedback that may help the service techs.
What happened was that a Red River representative telephoned me at 4:24 PM on January 16, 2013, which is also documented on my cell phone bill, and was 49 minutes after I dropped off my car at 3:35 PM on January 16, 2013, as indicated on the invoice. The call was two (2) minutes, and it was not actually from my Service Advisor, ****** ***, but rather a female from the front office. That two minute phone call consisted of an introduction, followed by that she was informed to communicate," my car did not have Freon", and that was it. She had no further details. Absolutely nothing was discussed concerning any specific diagnostic test results or measurement values. I was not informed of any repair work being recommended, let alone the cost. I absolutely, and positively did not authorize the AC compressor's replacement with a rebuilt model, or any parts or labor totaling $926.97. Red River Chevrolet would have to be extraordinarily world class in efficiency to accomplish getting a car to the service bay, where a service tech added refrigerant, performed a leak test and determined the a high side refrigerant fitting as the cause, then priced the repair and communicated that to the representative who subsequently would place a call to the me for approval. I'm being asked to believe all of this took place in the span of 49 minutes. My experience with Red River Chevrolet is that nothing happens that fast. It may be physically possible in theory but it's certainly not probable, and no reasonable person would be convinced this is what happened. Bottom line, I was not informed on the specifics of the problem, or offered alternatives, or the diagnostic test and measurement results to support the repair as performed, and I unequivocally did not, and would not, have authorized my compressor that had been cooling just fine to be swapped with a rebuilt compressor without a discussion of the diagnostic findings. In my opinion, a Red River service tech performed unauthorized repairs they determined was best for me without the opportunity for me to have a discussion about that in advance, even though they may have relied on the front office to get the customer's approval, which as I have stated was not provided. Instead, I got surprised and put in a bad place when I came to collect my car.
The only remedy Red River could take at this juncture that I will outright accept is a complete refund of the $926.97 so that I may have a new AC compressor installed from another business, or alternatively, I will accept Red River installing a new (not rebuilt) AC compressor at absolutely no additional cost. To be clear, I do not want a rebuilt compressor and would have never agreed to that in the first place had I known that was the repair being performed. My AC was cooling fine which I know because I regularly monitor the emitted air temperature, so from where I sit, a replacement compressor was unnecessary and could have been more thoroughly discussed with me first.
Final Business Response
January X XXXX
I will honor ether remedy the customer chooses. I can refund him the $926.97 or I can replace the A/C compressor at no charge to him.
I would like to keep as a valued customer and do the repairs here at Red River Chevrolet. We would replace the compressor with GM part number XXXXXXXX. This is a new, not remanufactured compressor. I again apologize for the trouble.
Red River Chevrolet