- Report: #624466
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: COTTMAN TRANSMISSION OF RICHMOND VA
COTTMAN TRANSMISSION OF RICHMOND VA5432 Glenside Drive RICHMOND, Virginia United States of America
COTTMAN TRANSMISSION OF RICHMOND VA VALVOLINE EXPRESS LUBE AND COUPLE OTHERS. AN EMBARRASMENT TO THE FRANCHISE AND A DISGRACE TO HONEST REPAIRE SHOPS!!!!! RICHMOND, Virginia
*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Not True
My car was not shifting into 2nd gear properly but was still driveable. I had experienced the use of Cottman's service in the past up in Wisconsin and had a very good outcome so I decided to use this one, being new to the area and not knowing how con's work, I took my car to be repaired. I first called and explained what was happening. I inquired about thier diagnostic procedures. The man stated he would provide a free electronic diagnostic to determine the problem. I was relieved to hear this, (but would later realize it was nothing more then a method to draw me in).
I arrived with my car. I noted that there where not many cars and wondered why? I found the man I had spoken to on the phone. He never identified himself as employee or owner. I assumed he was the owner. There was only one other person working there. (even more odd). The owner (I'll refer to him as that.) asked what my car was doing and for my keys so his mechanic could inspect it. (Again I was under the impression his mechanic was going to do the electronic tool to determine definetly what was wrong.)
I sat in a shabby little waiting room for about fifteen minutes when the owner came in and said " Well, sir we have determined that it was the solenoid under the car that controlled the transmission that was bad." I inquired as to how much this was going to cost and how long.The owner said " I will have to order one as I don't have one in stock. If I could bring the car back tommorrow he will have a new one for me."
He was looking me square in the eyes without a flinch,(obviously from lying so much). I asked what the damage would be and without blinking he said " $360.00 dollars , but would need a $100.00 dollar good faith deposit". This sounded reasonable so I agreed. Again I was under the impression his mechanic came to this conclusion using the electronic diagnostic machine.
Now I am not stupid, but I had to give him the benefit of a doubt. I mean I knew there was a starter solenoid but never heard of one for the transmission. He was the expert so I had no reason as of yet to distrust him. I paid the owner and began to leave when his mechanic approched me and offered me a rear tail light system for $40.00 dollars, as mine was cracked. I agreed to purchase it and he told he would bring it in the next day.
I arrived in the morning and saw the mechanic as soon as I pulled in. He said "I forgot the light system, but will bring it to me if I gave him my number." i had no objection to this. I continued into the bay area where the owner was and with a big suspious smile and said the new one had just arrived. He went into the back and brought a small piece that he said was the solenoid. I was asked to have a seat in the waiting room.
I had been sitting in the waiting room for approx 15 minutes when the owner appeared. He told me that the solenoid had worked but then shorted out. He wasn't sure if it was a defictive replacement but that whatever the problem was could only be inside the transmission. By now I had become very suspicious, but I asked what that would entail and at what cost? He told me it would vary between a minimum of $1500.00 to $2200.00!!! My mouth dropped. I immediately said I felt it would be best to get a second opinion and asked for my deposit back as nothing had been done to my car. The owner then informed me that I had to pay for the labor of one hour plus various othe expenses. I was quite livid but felt I would be wiser to bite my lip then through a fit, since I could inform my bank that no service had been rendered and that the charge was fraudulent.
He then attempted to sell me a tail light assembly. I had informed him that his mechanic and I had already made arrangement and I was to recieve it the next day for $40.00. He got a bit mad and went to speak to his mechanic. Upon his return he informed me that the mechanic had made a mistake but that he (the owner) could have one delivered by the next day and installed for the sum of $190.00 dollars. I took my reciept and left.
I discussed all this with friends who where professionals in government positions. All recommended that I take it to Arrow Transmissions for repair. I was re-assured that they knew what they where doing and where of high calibur integrity. I contacted Arrow and explained to them what my car was doing and what I had been through. The gentleman told me to bring it in and he would provide me a discounted diagnostic test and let me know what the problem was. Effidently Cottman lied about using thier machine.
Later in the day Arrow contacted me to inform me of thier findings. I was informed that there was nothing wrong with my transmission or my solenoid. He actually took out the ECM (Electronic Control Module). Basically known as the brain or computer of the car. He had hooked it up to find out what the codes where that the ECM was indicating. It ended up showing a code four or a bad TCM (Transmission Control Module) which is located inside the ECM, and located on the passengers side of the cars interiror. They showed me what they had found and did a very good job of explaining how it all worked. it was nothing more then a flat box with a computerized electronic modules connected to it. The biggest issue was locating another one as they are all programed specifically for that car. Once Arrow located one they sent it out to be re-programmed.
In the end it took them five days to find the proper ECM and send it out for programming and installed into my car which runs like new again. Thank you Arrow for your integrity. It is a great shame that the franchised shops have none!!
That is my story in the most honest manner I could provide. I wish I had checked up on them before they ripped me off (Cottmans)! I feel lucky to only have lost the little that I did and I hope you the consumer will be wise enough to read this before you allow any franchise to work on your car espically a Cottman shop.
This franchise builds itself up, but most importantly thrre is no indication of them being a member of the BBB. There is for the other company. I will be filing a compliant with them as well as the licensing department and whomever I can find that will listen.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/18/2010 01:11 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/COTTMAN-TRANSMISSION-OF-RICHMOND-VA/RICHMOND-Virginia-23238/COTTMAN-TRANSMISSION-OF-RICHMOND-VA-VALVOLINE-EXPRESS-LUBE-AND-COUPLE-OTHERS-AN-EMBARRASM-624466. 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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