ED Magedson – Founder
America's Service Station1810 Mars HIll Road Acworth, Georgia United States of America
My estranged wife has been having troubles with her vehicle - coolant leak, no heat. She took it into America's Service Station in Acworth along with a $50 off coupon she got in the mail. They told her she needed a new radiator, and that for $797.00 they could have her on her way in a few hours.
She called and asked me if that sounded right. I told her to NOT sign or commit to anything before I got there. I went in and talked to the two in the office (Will Grant - Manager was one), and I asked them why on earth they thought a radiator change warranted $800. I asked for a copy of the itemized bill they'd written up so far. I must have went in there looking upset, Mr. Grant was videoing me on his phone for the first couple minutes...
On the way to this place (about 4-5 miles from my house) I called my local Advance Auto Parts store. They had a radiator for her van, in stock, and at $139.00. AMS was charging $300 for it - "comparable to OE" they said. They said Advance was not one of their parts sources. I think it should be.
Additional charges on this bill. $130 for a radiator flush and seal (seriously), 3 hours labor and a couple other things that I cannot recall. After me repeatedly asking why they felt this job should be so much, and why they would think she would just blindly pay this bill, the manager "graciously" knocked off $150. My wife said she was OK paying the new total. Her money, her call. I stopped arguing.
I gave her a ride to her house, as she was going to get picked up by their courtesy service when it was done. A few hours later she called me again, and she said AMS called her and said it was almost ready - except now it needed a new oil pan gasket. Now, I'm no mechanic, but I have been tinkering with cars for around 36 years, so I'm pretty sure the oil pan gasket isn't anywhere NEAR the radiator. She said they'd replace it for $200.00. I told her to say no thanks, and asked her to bring it by my place on the way back home and I'd look at it. I put it up on some ramps, crawled under it, and found no leaks, no loose bolts nor any sign of the need for a oil pan gasket. Oil level was fine - I'd changed it about five weeks beforehand. BTW - After she left, I went to Advance and bought the gasket ($11.99) 5 qts of synthetic and a filter. Out the door for $44.50. I'll do it myself this coming week.
I understand AMS is there to make money, and like one of the guys told me - they cannot compete with the backyard mechanics that "work for beer". I have a business degree - I understand how most of it works, but gouging people who do not know anything about their vehicle is not the way to make it. It's done through repeat business. Positive comments and favorable word of mouth. A feeling of "I got a good deal". Thats how it's done.
I've heard time and time again this same kind of story about AMS - just never thought it would happen this close to home - I'd usually had great experiences with them. I used to go there (same exact store) to get oil changed, and a few other small things done for convenience when I could not find time to do it myself. I will certainly find the time from now on - I'll never go back, and wanted to make sure as many people as possible would hear about this experience.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/14/2013 12:39 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Americas-Service-Station/Acworth-Georgia-/Americas-Service-Station-Overcharge-Price-gouging-Taking-advantage-Acworth-Georgia-1043177. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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