Improper repair &/or misdiagnosis leading to additional damage/repairs. Failure to honor agreement. Refusal to honor repair guarantee/ warranty.
After leaving a nearby grocery store, my vehicle was losing power & driving abnormally. The vehicle seemed to not go forward as it should. This was the first time ever I encountered this issue with my vehicle. I barely pulled into the nearest shop, Firestone Auto Complete. I parked the vehicle & observed a gurgling noise. I entered the shop, & explained what the vehicle was doing to shop manager, *****. He left the lobby area, & had the vehicle pulled into the shop. He promptly removed the radiator cap. The vehicle was still hot and fluid flowed heavily out of it. (Most of the time, one waits for the engine to cool first). But with no further testing, not even a block test to check for engine damage, he said that the radiator was cracked and that I needed a new one. I asked him to show me where the leak was coming out of the radiator. He said he couldn't say, but it was '**** all over the place' and it needed to be replaced. Without knowing what else to do, I had the repair work done and also I had to open a Firestone credit account to cover the large repair bill. Unfortunately, this was not the problem. The very next day after only driving the vehicle for 30mins or so, the exact problem(s) occurred. I returned to the shop, and spoke w/****** as****** was out that day. She couldn't schedule the vehicle that day. She said she'd note my account and the repair estimate of the continued problem. If the engine died, the repair was covered under the warranty/ guarantee. So, I had to wait for another visit to hopefully get correct the repair.
I scheduled an appt for as soon as possible. At the next visit, I spoke w/***** & his master tech. They remembered me, the vehicle problem, and they also were able to retrieve ******** documentation in the notes.****** had the vehicle pulled into the shop again. He had an engine block test done & it didn't pass. He was very concerned of possible engine damage, and told me to go to a dealer for a repair estimate. Once I got the dealer's repair estimate, he advised to bring it back to him & he would do the additional repair. Again, not knowing what to do, I took him at his word and went to the dealership. I paid an additional $110 to get an estimate. The dealer said the problem was not the radiator I still had the original part, it was actually a fan system that cools the engine while running. I took the estimate back and****** said he'd do the repairs at any additional charge. His new repair estimate was more than the first. He didn't offer a discount or reduction. I was surprised especially considering he misdiagnosed the repair/problem.
The dealer's repair estimate also recommended a smoke test.****** said his Firestone didn't have the equipment. He advised none of the area Firestone did. So, it was up to me yet again to find a another shop that did this test. I spent more time calling other shops and driving around to get this test down. In doing so, one shop advised was questioning why a local Firestone shop didn't do this test. I said there are none. He said they did. Puzzled, I found another Firestone & they offered the test. THe next day, I drove to another Firestone where I explained all that happened regarding this repair. This Firestone manager was shocked that****** did not cover this additional repair under the warranty & at no cost to me. He encouraged me to go back & demand that I have the first Firestone cover any additional repairs due to their obvious misdiagnosis. I didn't want a confrontation w/*****, but I agreed that I was being taken advantage of. I called & s/w ****** b/c****** was busy. She pulled up her notes again. I explained all that happened up to then. I said to convey my new info to****** & let me know what he wants to do. When****** called at the end of the day, he stated that he wanted to 'wash his hands of this', and he would not repair the vehicle. He was also very angry that another Firestone manager told me to confront him.
There are so many things wrong with how this was repair was handled that it is difficult to enumerate them. And there are several things that I find disturbing about this manager's conduct and way of doing business. For instance, never once did I raise my voice to ****** or any of Firestone's staff; nor did I act disrespectful or confrontational to them. Yet, with this matter, he quickly escalated to being angry towards me as if I did something wrong. When truthfully, his Firestone peer pointed out that ******'s actions were ethically wrong and against Firestone policy. That goodness for the other Firestone manager who helped me to deal with this expensive problem.
Here are the items that need to be addressed:
1. Repair my vehicle repair accurately and at no additional costs as stated under any & all warranties/ guarantees.
2. Any damage as a result to this repair is to be covered (example one:******'s shop failed to replace a cover/ splash guard correctly & it was damaged as documented by the following Firestone shop/ manager).
3. Retraining on customer service. I spent several days of my valuable time comparing prices and making additional appointments, etc. because this manager ****** was attempting to cover up what should have been addressed in the first place, i.e. a misdiagnosed repair. In addition, he specifically told me not to go to another Firestone to address these additional repairs. In my opinion, this was as an attempt to cover up the obvious. He also mislead me to believe that no other local Firestone shops offer to do a smoke test. Again, I suspect it was to avoid what exactly happened -- another Firestone manager caught and addressed ******'s failure to provide standard warranted Firestone service. The other manager also noted that ******'s shops has high sales for the area. Regional management should pay special attention to the number of misdiagnosed service repairs or returns for secondary repairs in comparison to sales. NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF SALES THIS UNIT MAY ACHIEVE, POOR MANAGEMENT AND SERVICE WILL CATCH UP W/IT.
4. He refused to repair the vehicle upon my request. AT NO TIME DID I REQUEST A REFUND FOR THE PREVIOUS REPAIRS. He documented a false statement that I requested a refund. I never even intimated that I wanted a refund to him nor anyone else at Firestone. Instead, I REQUESTED THAT HE STAND BY HIS SHOP'S WORK AND THE FIRESTONE POLICY.
5. Deletion of documented notes supporting the customer's assertions of returning to the shop with the same vehicle problem. One of his shop reps, ******, documented my return to the shop within 24 hours of this repair. In these notes, she cited the vehicle was exhibiting the same problem, and that due to shop's schedule, she advised to come back another time. According to the two other local Firestone facilities, those notes have been deleted from the system at the same time ****** advised he wanted to 'wash his hands of this'. (What a coincidence?)
6. New management:****** said that he would not do any future repairs on my vehicle at this shop. This entire problem was due to his failure to pay attention to the provide correct diagnosis of this repair. (Not the first time, and not an isolated issue per other previous customer reviews). How is it that I am going to pay with inconvenience for his mistakes? This is his mistake and now I have to find another repair facility. I ******'t think so. This is the closest Firestone repair facility to me. I have bringing my vehicle to this shop even before ****** was a employee there. I have lifetime programs that I purchased from Firestone. I have other repair work under warranty. In those contracts, it states that I can go to any national Firestone location. According to the other Firestone managers, this is against company policy and it is alone grounds for dismal. Not to mention, all the other additional offenses.
Business' Initial Response
I have been trying to reach ***** ****** multiple times and have to date not received a return call. ****** ******
Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The Firestone manager has invited me to have the vehicle looked at again. I have contacted the next nearest Firestone shop that has the equipment and availability to do the review/ test. This facility is about 30-40 miles. The vehicle must be assessed by an independent shop in order to have some resolution. I called the Firestone shop today to reconfirm a date. We should an update this upcoming week. Thank you.
Business' Final Response
We have been in contact with D ****** and awaiting her return from work to find what the issue is with her vehicle...Will update when we have done so...