- Report: #365575
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Cottman Management Corporation/ Cottman Transmission Services
Cottman Management Corporation/ Cottman Transmission Services201 Gibralter Rd Horsham, Pennsylvania U.S.A.
Cottman Management Corporation/ Cottman Transmission Services Cottman Corporate REFUSES to Honor Platinum Service Warranty for Closed Franchise Horsham Pennsylvania
A little over a year ago, I paid $2800 to have my transmission replaced by a Cottman Franchise in CA. Days after my "repair" was complete, the franchise closed.
I rarely drive the car, in fact had put only about 500 miles on the rebuild before it pooped out entirely sometime around the beginning of July.
I called Cottman's Customer Service line to find out how to get the warranty applied. Liza told me to fax a copy of my receipt over and she'd take care of it.
Here's the problem: my receipt clearly stated that I received the Platinum Service - the "highest level of service available" with the "best warranty" in the business (if you believe the corp website). However, under the "warranty" box were the typed words "no warranty".
Naturally, at the time I paid for the service I asked about this. The woman who took my money said that it was because I had declined the extended warranty. She went on to say that the corporate office dictated to all franchisees the terms of the warranties they had to provide and the Platinum Service came with a standard 3 year/ 36000 mile nationwide warranty. Individual stores could offer longer warranties even as much as lifetime if they wanted to, but the minimum for a Platinum Service was 3/36k.
Seemed reasonable to me at the time, so I took it and left.
Fast forward to the present and Liza's response to my receipt and explanation. She said that there was only a standard 6 month/6000 mile warranty required by corp for ANY work done and since my receipt clearly said "no warranty" on the face of it - I was out of luck, despite the "Platinum Service" (PS from now on).
At one point, in response to my observation that the PS was clearly what I had paid for, she said "Well, if you could come up with some proof of payment - we might be able to tell from the price what kind of warranty you have." This while she had the receipt stamped PAID in her hands. She then referred me to her supervisor Michael P.
Since my car was still sitting at the other shop immobilized, I was hoping for a quick resolution. Two days, no contact. I left three voice messages. My husband left a voice message. I wrote an email. No response.
After more than a week, I had to pay $100 to have my car towed back up the mountain where I live. Still no response from corporate.
Then last week, I get a letter in the mail from Michael saying that my problem is with the defunct business, not corporate, which has no obligation to warranty any work at all because (and I've seen this corporate response to other reports on this site) "each franchise is independently owned and operated".
Hmmm. Interesting. I spoke with several other Cottman franchises. They ALL say that the corporate office dictates the terms of the Platinum Service warranty, just like the person behind the counter told me they did.
Furthermore, one former owner told me that Cottman Corporate even takes a deposit from the franchisees to cover the costs of repairs at other shops - AND that they don't give that money back when the franchise agreement ends.
If you are a former and/or current owner of a Cottman franchise and you have any proof of the Cottman Corporate warranty terms (franchise agreement, manuals, poster/flyer with warranty terms, letter/memo stating specific PS warranty info, etc) - whether or not they support my claim - I would be greatly appreciative if you would pass them on to me. Anonymity is guaranteed since I understand many franchise owners have somewhat rocky relationships with corporate too.
Also, if the situation is as I believe, and you wouldn't mind making a signed statement that I can present in small claims court to support my position, that would be great too. I'm so totally shocked at this treatment that I definitely feel compelled to reward any kind of tangible support that I may receive.
So far Cottman Corporate seems to be doing a good job of shoving their responsibility off onto the store owners. They've hired a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Alito to run the legal department of their franchise operation. I feel really bad for all you current and former owners. It's very clear to anyone who does any amount of research who the real bad guys in this situation are. Best of luck to you all.
Santa Cruz, California
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/21/2008 06:25 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Cottman-Management-Corporation-Cottman-Transmission-Services/Horsham-Pennsylvania/Cottman-Management-Corporation-Cottman-Transmission-Services-Cottman-Corporate-REFUSES-to-365575. 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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