Thursday, March 08, 2007
Car Care Rip Off
Yesterday, I took my van to Meineke Car Care in Fort Smith because of the ABS warning light was lit on my dashboard . I'm heading out of town in a few days so I decided it was best to get things looked at. I agreed to a $50 fee to hook up my van to a diagnotic machine, but the machine didn't work. One of the mechanics then accused me in front of another customer of rigging something in my van so their machine didn't work. So the mechanics had to manually locate the problem and identified it as bad brake cylinders on the rear wheels.
Well, $127 later the ABS light is still on and the brakes don't feel any better than they were before I brought it in. Did I really need new cylinders or was this just a convenient way to make a fast buck off me? At least they waived the $50 diagnostic fee since their machine didn't work.
Since then, my van has developed a new problem: it makes groaning noises everytime I make a sharp turn. I brought it back to the shop immediately, but was told it wasn't related to the brake work. I was told that maybe it was the power steering so they topped off the power steering fluid. But that didn't fix the problem.
So not only did Meineke not fix my original problem, but it looks like something else may have got messed up in the process.
I contacted their (so called) Customer Service Department and received the following response:
Thank you for contacting us with your concerns. At Meineke our goal is to provide all customers with quality parts and professional service at a reasonable cost. We are truly sorry to learn that our service did not meet your expectations.
As Meineke is a franchise system made up of individual business owners we will forward a copy of your correspondence to the owner of the shop involved for immediate attention.
We apologize for any problems you experienced with Meineke and hope this matter is resolved quickly.
Thank you again for writing,
Translation: It's not OUR problem. Talk to the local shop.