• Report: #241533

Complaint Review: Firestone Complete Auto Care

  • Submitted: Fri, March 30, 2007
  • Updated: Sat, May 19, 2012

  • Reported By:Mt. Lebanon Pennsylvania
Firestone Complete Auto Care
2950 Banksville Rd. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

Firestone Complete Auto Care ripoff Went in for cheap oil change ad came out with vandalism Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

*Consumer Comment: How much did you pay for the oil change?

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: to the author

*Consumer Comment: Firestone is a Joke

*UPDATE Employee: Whats a ball joint seall moron???

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Let's pretend

*UPDATE Employee: Sorry but you are mistaken sir

*UPDATE Employee: You didnt take care of your girlfriend

*UPDATE Employee: You didnt take care of your girlfriend

*UPDATE Employee: You didnt take care of your girlfriend

*UPDATE Employee: You didnt take care of your girlfriend

*Consumer Comment: what you can do

*Consumer Suggestion: Seals wont cause the issue or repair it.

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My girlfriend and I went into Firestone to get a cheap oil change. She goes to college 500 miles away in North Carolina and her plates are from NC. The car was a 1997 Ford Taurus with 109k miles. There was nothing wrong with the car.

We were waiting for the oil change to be done when a mechanic came out and told us that there was a problem. We followed him onto the shop floor, where another mechanic told us that the ball joints on the car's front wheels needed to be replaced, or, as he put it, "The wheels could fall off any time." He gave us a quote of $500 for the repair.

My girlfriend told him that she didn't have that kind of money, so they tried to push her to sign up for a Firestone credit card, and even generously offered to take 10% off.

We declined both the credit card and the repair. The invoice came back with a written quote for $426.98 to replace the ball joints.

When the oil change was finished, we drove the car off and immediately noticed that the car shook a little and the handling was erratic. We took the car to a trusted mechanic my father uses, and he told us that the seals on both ball joints were gone.

However, the ball joints had plenty of use left and all that was needed was a new seal. However, this shop didn't have any in stock, and since she had to leave for school, she drove the car back to college and had the seals replaced there for $210.

I tried to contact the BBB, but all that came back was a response by the local Firestone manager denying everything.

I called Firestone corporate, but they dragged their feet every step of the way. First, "Consumer Affairs" told me that it would take at most 1-2 business days to respond.

They never did.

I called back, and refused to be put on hold or talk to an answer machine, and finally got in touch with a guy in "Customer Retention." He consistently tried to misword my claim and tried to tell me I was disrespecting him when I interruped saying that he's twisting my words (i.e. I got the car inspected here in Pittsburgh -- he tried to claim later that I said the car was FIXED here in Pittsburgh).

He also said that Firestone had no compensation program for mechanics, so he claimed that the mechanic had nothing to gain from breaking my car. Should I really believe this line?

Anyway, I've got to say that he's definitely earning his paycheck, as he played the best game of runarounds I've ever seen. In any case, in the end, the guy in "Customer Retention" wanted me to fax him the invoice of the repair, and then wanted to do an inspection on the car in North Carolina by a Firestone manager and trainer. He also said that an "internal investigation" would be done.

He then said that he would be out of town for the next two weeks starting tomorrow, but that I could talk to his "partner."

Right.

So I'm posting this on this site hoping:

1) Others won't be duped by these jokers.
2) Others will find a trusted mechanic and stick with that mechanic, rather than play Firestone's bait-and-break game.
3) Someone could advise me on how I should proceed -- should I file a claim in Small Claims court? What's a good amount I should be asking for? Do I have a chance?

Hope I've helped!

Jesse
Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/30/2007 10:02 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Firestone-Complete-Auto-Care/Pittsburgh-Pennsylvania-15216/Firestone-Complete-Auto-Care-ripoff-Went-in-for-cheap-oil-change-ad-came-out-with-vandalis-241533. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 12Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

How much did you pay for the oil change?

AUTHOR: Phillip - (U.S.A.)

The real problem is when consumers go price shopping for auto repair. Get the cheapest service you can and then blame the shop who pays their people minimum wage and expect expert quality.

I recently worked in a Tire & Lube for big trucks, I have formal education (A Degree), ASE certifications in all areas of that discipline. We are trained to look for additional work needed to the customer's vehicle because 'discount oil changes' is how the shop attracts their customers.

Most automotive ball joints are sealed (non greasable) the seals often fail from normal conditions allowing the grease to dry up and the parts wear out. This requires replacement and it was also covered on my ASE exam.

If you expect an expert to repair your car, take it to a real shop and avoid the "Cookie Cutter" approach to auto repair.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

to the author

AUTHOR: Bill d - (U.S.A.)

first off--if it is your girlfriends car and story-why are you writing the rip off report??--by the way--please tell me that when you went back and spent the 210 on the ball joint seal this included the ball joint itself(which is 1 unit)--you cannot buy just the seal--also--you noticed the problem when you left cause it was pointed to your attention--most people do not know they have problems with there cars--you cannot just break the ball joint to claim sabotage--however--if you spent 210 on new ball jointS(which includes the dust/grease boot/aka the "seal") good for you--you saved your girlfriend some money-you may have accidentally done something right
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#3 Consumer Comment

Firestone is a Joke

AUTHOR: Mary - (U.S.A.)

I had problems with this very same place a few years back.  They replaced (?)(which was a joke) my brake lines.  They did a horrible job that I paid A LOT of money for and I also got the run a round with corporate Firestone.  The lines were hanging down only a couple inches off the ground.  And then (of course) they found all kinds of other things wrong with my car. I took it to another place to get a second opinion about all this other work that needed done and that's when I found out about the cheap break line job they did.  I think they took advantage of me because I'm a girl and I don't know to much about cars.  I will NEVER go to Firestone again!
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Whats a ball joint seall moron???

AUTHOR: chuck - (USA)



Dear human:

I am currently a service manager of a Firestone in the Pittsburgh district.  If you are going to put lies on a website, the least you could do is sound intelligent.  To all of the people reading this.  There is no such thing as a ball joint seal.  And one of the most common front end failures on any ford taurus is the lower ball joints.  So, go bs someone else.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Let's pretend

AUTHOR: Ramowner - (U.S.A.)

Let's pretend there is a seal on the ball joint that could somehow be replaced, firestone won't do a job halfway, either fix it right or ship it out. That shadetree mech took your money and didn't help your cause. It's ashame that so many people trust small shops over national chains, what does firestone need your 500 for and why would they want bad publicity over 500 dollars.
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Sorry but you are mistaken sir

AUTHOR: Wrenchead420 - (U.S.A.)

I am ase certified in suspension and steering....the ball joints are a very important part of the suspension and if they do come apart while driving, especially at high speeds, can cause serious injury to u and the car.

And, like matt said, taurus ball joints are horrible, the old taurus like yours will go bad with 60k, if they werent replaced before 100k they were more than likely falling out, and had up to an inch of play.

The real person you should be conserned with here is your shadetree mechanic, YOU CANT REPLACE A SEAL ON A BALL JOINT!. A ball joint is basicall 3 parts, a socker, a stud with a a ball end that sits on in the socket and pivots, allowing suspension movement.

Call any parts store....ANY, IN ANY CITY ANYWHERE.. and see if you can buy a grease boot for that car, you will not find one, because they dont exsist, to replace them, you have to BUY AND REPLACE THE BALL JOINT NOT THE BOOT.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

You didnt take care of your girlfriend

AUTHOR: Mattd - (U.S.A.)

First off a Ball Joint is an integral part of the steering and suspension system of most vehicles. The Ford Taurus line is notorious for having ball joints wear out at 60,000+ miles. If a ball joint has bad wear it can come apart from it's socket causing a serious safety hazard. I am an ASE certified Master technician and I have seen a number of cars that this has happened to. There is no such repair as replacing a seal on a worn out ball joint. If someone did this for you then they are lacking intelligence.

The mechanic did nothing to your vehicle. He tried to show you a situation where your vehicle was in need of repair and you took that information and jumped at all kinds of assumptions.

The fact is you let your girlfriend drive around in a vehicle that was not safe for her to drive or safe for other drivers on the road and you wasted your time.
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#8 UPDATE Employee

You didnt take care of your girlfriend

AUTHOR: Mattd - (U.S.A.)

First off a Ball Joint is an integral part of the steering and suspension system of most vehicles. The Ford Taurus line is notorious for having ball joints wear out at 60,000+ miles. If a ball joint has bad wear it can come apart from it's socket causing a serious safety hazard. I am an ASE certified Master technician and I have seen a number of cars that this has happened to. There is no such repair as replacing a seal on a worn out ball joint. If someone did this for you then they are lacking intelligence.

The mechanic did nothing to your vehicle. He tried to show you a situation where your vehicle was in need of repair and you took that information and jumped at all kinds of assumptions.

The fact is you let your girlfriend drive around in a vehicle that was not safe for her to drive or safe for other drivers on the road and you wasted your time.
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#9 UPDATE Employee

You didnt take care of your girlfriend

AUTHOR: Mattd - (U.S.A.)

First off a Ball Joint is an integral part of the steering and suspension system of most vehicles. The Ford Taurus line is notorious for having ball joints wear out at 60,000+ miles. If a ball joint has bad wear it can come apart from it's socket causing a serious safety hazard. I am an ASE certified Master technician and I have seen a number of cars that this has happened to. There is no such repair as replacing a seal on a worn out ball joint. If someone did this for you then they are lacking intelligence.

The mechanic did nothing to your vehicle. He tried to show you a situation where your vehicle was in need of repair and you took that information and jumped at all kinds of assumptions.

The fact is you let your girlfriend drive around in a vehicle that was not safe for her to drive or safe for other drivers on the road and you wasted your time.
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#10 UPDATE Employee

You didnt take care of your girlfriend

AUTHOR: Mattd - (U.S.A.)

First off a Ball Joint is an integral part of the steering and suspension system of most vehicles. The Ford Taurus line is notorious for having ball joints wear out at 60,000+ miles. If a ball joint has bad wear it can come apart from it's socket causing a serious safety hazard. I am an ASE certified Master technician and I have seen a number of cars that this has happened to. There is no such repair as replacing a seal on a worn out ball joint. If someone did this for you then they are lacking intelligence.

The mechanic did nothing to your vehicle. He tried to show you a situation where your vehicle was in need of repair and you took that information and jumped at all kinds of assumptions.

The fact is you let your girlfriend drive around in a vehicle that was not safe for her to drive or safe for other drivers on the road and you wasted your time.
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#11 Consumer Comment

what you can do

AUTHOR: Tomeka - (U.S.A.)

i had an issue with another company, that i also reported on this site. i went through bbb (joke), consumer affairs (another joke). i eventually went and filed a small claims suite and the company knew that i had a case and we had to go through arbirtration. i didnt get all of my $6,000 back, but i did get $2,000...better than nothing i guess.
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

Seals wont cause the issue or repair it.

AUTHOR: Rod - (U.S.A.)

Your story is not adding up. The ball joint seals wont cause the front end to shake or cause ill handling. Nor will replacing the seals only repair those issues. It is not uncommon for seals to be shot after multiple lube jobs because many untrained technicians install too much grease and blow the seals out.

At 109k miles it is very likely that yours are bad. Some seals are designed to pass grease by when lubed. Others are not. These are the type that can be ruined from over lubing them. This still would not cause your complaint.
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