AAMCO of Zephyrhills Florida uses Deceptive business practices, misuses personal information and uses price gouging.
On 10/1/12 we had our 2008 Scion Xb towed to the AAMCO in Zephyrhills, Florida. Inside the AAMCO, **** assisted us. He stated that in order to inspect the transmission, he would need our birth date and last four digits of our social security number. We gave **** the information, and left our keys with him.
10/2/12: **** calls us and informs us that the clutch is definitely destroyed. He then says that he is going to prepare a quote for us and then call us back. I should note here that after this until the car was finished, I had to initiate each contact. They never made the effort to call us back. Each time I called and spoke with them the parts needed for the repair changed. They never had a clear story as to actions they were going to take to repair the vehicle.
10/3/12: I had to call AAMCO to find out what exactly is going on. We had not heard from **** at this time. After talking to several different people who said **** was not available, we got a hold of ****. **** then gave us an oral quote of $1,000.69 plus tax for the total repair. We tell **** that we have to make a decision and that we will be down at the AAMCO the next morning.
Mid morning on 10/4/12: We call the AAMCO to let **** know we would be in today. **** informed us that our car was ready to be picked up. I informed **** that we had not yet been given a written estimate. **** informed me that he did not need the written estimate, because we had already given him our birth date and the last four digits of my social security number. I reminded **** that this information was for the initial breakdown. He disagrees.
Upon arriving at the AAMCO, **** explains the situation. He tells us that total price for repair is now $1,700.21. I was obviously shocked and became upset quickly. This price was drastically higher than the oral quote I received over the phone. Not to mention I never agreed to the oral estimate to begin with. After an hour-and-a-half of debating the price back and forth, **** offered a total price of $1,461.21. I then said that this was still higher than the original quote still.
It is now 6:00pm, and we've been squabbling all evening. It is now one hour past closing, and **** offers a total price of $1,100 even, plus tax, but that he has to get the price authorized by the owner, ******. So, **** calls ****** and ****** refuses the whole offer, and then asks to speak with me personally. ****** explains to me that they are in their legal rights to repair the car and demand full payment because they had our birth date and last four digits of my social as proof of authorization. ****** stated that this overwrites the need for a written estimate. In the end they have lied about the parts replaced, resurface and amount of time used.
During this whole conversation, ****** was extremely rude and hostile.
It should be noted that AAMCO states in their Customers Bill Of Rights that hangs on the wall of all AAMCO, that each repair shall include a written estimate given to the customer to be authorized by the customer before any repairs are made. This obviously was not the case this time.
I am seeking the oral estimate of $1069.00 that I was quoted on the phone. This would include all taxes and shop fees. No written estimate was given and the work was performed without proper authorization and notification. This was a fraudulent repair.
Business' Initial Response
After reading this complaint it is totally different then the way it was recorded at our location, 1st of all Mr. ****** had his car towed in to us because it did not move after our inspection we confirmed that the clutch was not in working order. We called Mr. ****** and explained to him that it would need a clutch kit with the possibility of a new fly wheel and the hydraulics that operate the clutch. He then proceeded to authorize us to remove the clutch and inspect the fly wheel. After we finished this procedure we then call Mr. ****** back and gave him a final quote of around $1,500 plus tax at which point he authorized us to finish the repair. Only at the time of pick up did he become completely rude and uncompromising demanding that we let him have his car back for far less than the original quote. Oddly enough this occurred very late on Friday afternoon when he knew we were closed for the weekend and in my opinion thought he could wear our store Manager down to a point of giving into his ridiculous behavior. After an hour and a half well past 6pm we finally came to a price which was almost $300 less than the original bill. So at this point I am of the firm belief that Mr. ****** owes me money and not the other way around.
Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I will respond to this copy and paste response form Aamco. The images and invoices sent tell the full story. The Aamco owner is a thief. Ever statement above is not true and distorted.
They are a company with no good faith. They never did the unauthorized repair properly. Period. Aamco did not honor the warrant for the already improper repair.
The industry standard for a clutch repair is to onstall the parts you charge a customer for. A throw out bearing is part of a clutch repair. You can not reuse a throw out bearing. You can not damage a flywheel when you machine it and still use that part. The Aamco owner has lied multiple times. He has made not effort to remedy this issue.
So I still was full reimbursment for all expenses incurred due to the dishonest actions of the owner of the Zephyrhills Aamco and the N. Dale Mabry Aamco. Such as thge rental car, new transmission seals, the new flywheel I had to pay for due to Aamco damaging it, and a refund for the original Aamco charges.
Business' Final Response
This response was taken verbally by BBB:
The vehicle was towed in from Brooksville with a suspected clutch problem. Upon our initial inspection we confirmed that there was a clutch issue. We proceeded with the first stage of the repair to examine the clutch and determine the price. We have to remove it, inspect it isolate items that can be conditioned or re-used and items that are broken and need to be replaced. We communicated by phone and obtained his authorization to proceed with the set labor rate to do that. He gave his date of birth to confirm that part of the process. Once we removed the transmission from the vehicle we itemized an invoice including labor, fluid, slave cylinder, clutch disk, pressure plate, pilot bearing and reconditioning the original flywheel because it did not need to be replaced. We called him to give the total cost of repair and approved it over the phone. To confirm that conversation we asked for a secondary authorization, the last 4 of his social security. We went ahead and did the repair. At some point during this process he did come in to check on the progress of the vehicle. We informed him of the status and traditionally we would have him sign the authorization form or waive the right to written estimate because we already did it over the phone. We will check to see if we have that for this customer but he did authorize the repair over the phone with his date of birth and then social.
After the customers BBB complaint he came in and met with the manager.
As far as the customers new complaint about parts. He did notify us that he brought his vehicle to another Aamco location about 45 days later and they said his clutch went bad due to possible abuse, they removed the transmission and confirmed the damage. They notified me and we contacted him to advised per the warranty he had to bring the vehicle back to the original repair location or another location within 50 miles. We offered to allow him to bring it to our other location in Tampa and we would repair under warranty. He had it towed in with the parts removed. We confirmed the damage, took the worn and damaged components that were covered under warranty: the clutch disk , pressure plate and flywheel. Brought the parts to a company who specializes in clutch and break repair (a machine shop). That company confirmed that parts had definitely been abused. We repaired the parts under warranty. On the original repair not all components were brand new, some of the parts were able to be reconditioned and resurfaced and that is what he was charged for. Replacing all of the parts brand new would have been much more expensive and was not what we originally did.
We were prepared to install the repaired parts on Monday morning. When we came to the shop he had his vehicle on a tow truck ready to take it out of there. He said the warranty repair was taking too long, it had only been 2 days. It took that amount of time to inspect the problem and make the proper repairs. We explained this to him and he said it was fine. He was with the tow truck driver on Monday and took the vehicle. He came back later in the day and we gave him the parts that were ready to be installed. As far as the customers comment that Wesley Chapel Toyota said the parts were not machined properly, we have no way to verify that. All I know is we had the parts redone by a professional machine shop per OEM specifications. The throw out bearing was used and was never part of the original repair. The flywheel was the original and had just been resurfaced twice by the machine shop. We would have completed the warranty repair but the customer did not allow us to do so.