Carissa Anne (missxtravesty) wrote in bad_service,
Carissa Anne

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Here's the back story: A few weeks ago, my car broke down, and we had it towed to the shop that my boyfriend's dad's friend owns. After waiting a week, the owner, Scott, called us back and told us that he'd fixed a part on the engine, but he also needed to fix the blown head gasket to make the car run again. In short, it would cost more to fix the car then it is worth.

I called him back to tell him that we weren't able to pay the money for it, so he could move it out of the shop into his extensive back lot to keep it out of the way while we found out who we could sell it to in order to get the most amount of money back from it. He seemed fine with that. When he started calling repeatedly the next week, we knew he wasn't.

Two and a half weeks ago, my Grandma got put into Hospice. My whole family had been taking care of her for the last nine months, so it was very hard on us and the first and foremost priority on our mind. When Scott called me a few days later, I told him what was happening, and told him again that we were figuring out what to do with the car, and that we'd be contacting him soon. By the end of the week, he began calling again, and I'm sorry to say, I ignored him. I recognize that I should have responded, but I'd told him the deal, and I had more things to worry about.

At the beginning of last week, my Grandma passed away. Besides our grief, there were a lot of different things we had to deal with. Throughout this, Scott had called three times and left messages in a very rude tone, telling me that I need to call him back, because we needed to get the car out of there. In the last, he told me to bring in my car's title so I could just sell it to him, and he could take care of it. This put me on edge, since we hadn't spoken about him taking my car at all, and since he was acting so rudely toward me, I had a feeling he wouldn't give me the best deal. I wasn't intending on selling the car to him at all.

Well, the funeral was on Saturday, and the shop is closed on weekends, so we were ready bright and early today to go clean out the car and arrange calls to places we could sell it to. My boyfriend wanted me to call Scott to tell him we were coming to clean it out, and I obliged. As soon as Scott got on the phone, he gave me the worst attitude I've ever been on the receiving end of. When I told him we were coming within the hour to clean it out, and he just started in on me - saying he's been trying to get a hold of me by calling every day for the last two weeks (lie), and that we need to get the car out of there, and to bring in the title so he could sell it and pay off the bill. Well, I froze at the "bill" part, because the only thing I should have to pay for is the inspection to find out what was wrong - which most people do for free. He tells me I owe $164 for, I find out later, the tow to get the car there, the labor to put a piece into the car that I didn't approve, and the piece itself.

It hadn't been explained to me at the time, though, and I knew that $164 was too much for an inspection, and he had to have been charging me for that piece. What he had done was inspected the car, put that piece into it, and only then called us to tell us that he'd done that, but the head gasket would need repaired as well - the portion that would cost more to fix than the car was worth. If he had called me first, after the inspection, to tell me that piece needed to be fixed besides the head gasket, I would've told him then and there that I didn't want ANY of it done, because if it's not going to run without either and I don't have the money for it, that's the end.

Back to the phone call. He told me to bring in the car's title so we can sign it over to him and he can sell it, since we don't want to repair it. This is the second time he'd brought that up. I told him I'd be bringing the title, but I didn't know who I'm selling it to yet, since I need to find the best deal. He launched into telling me that the resale value on the car is terrible because it's only a '92 Olds Achieva and blahblah, and I responded, "Yes, I know. That's why I'm not fixing it. I just don't know who I'll be selling it to yet." He decided to go back to how we've taken so long to get a hold of him, and I informed him about my Grandma and how busy we've been with the situation. That finally shut him up.

We got to the shop to clean the car out, and he once again made snide remarks about how we took so long to get there. He asked again if I brought the title. I said I brought it, but repeated - again - that I don't know who I'm selling it to, since I have to call around and find out where I want to sell it to. He proceeded to stare at me for a solid thirty seconds (no exaggeration), only broken when I asked if we can clean it out. He then took us out to show us the bill, telling us that he'll sell back the part he put in but we still have to pay the labor, and this is how much the tow will be, blahblah. Only after a promise from my boyfriend that his mother will call later to pay did he let us go clean it out.

I'm sorry, but I don't feel that I should have to pay for labor or the piece that he put into my car before even calling us to tell us what was wrong with it. I've had a lot of experience taking this car to repair shops, and in the past, every one of them has called me after an inspection to tell me what has to be repaired, so I can approve it. I would not have approved the replacement of the piece or the repair of the head gasket, since I don't have the money for any of it at the moment, and the car won't run without either. Besides the repair, he is also trying to charge us for a tow to the shop, which is invalid, as we used my AAA membership to have it towed there, which is free. He likely thinks that the tow company that is linked to his shop is the one that did it, but he should check with them for each car before adding this onto the bill for customers. If someone doesn't catch it, or doesn't realize it, they're paying an extra $50 for no reason. I'm calling him within the hour (he was on lunch break when I tried a moment ago) to inform him of this and ask the new total. Who knows if I'll get more attitude from that.

In short, I feel cheated and extremely agitated, and I will never deal with this automotive shop again in my life.

TL;DR: Repair shop fixes a piece on my car without approval, when the car won't run anyway, then comes close to harrassing us until we come to pay the bill that is too high, with an added charge from his tow company that we didn't get a tow from.

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