On Sept.13, 2001, we took our 1988 Sedan Deville to Fletcher's Tire and Auto 3440 W. Union Hills, Phoenix, AZ, for routine maintenance, i.e. tune up, tire rotation, oil change and have the transmission flushed and refilled with fresh oil. The car has been kept in excellent condition and always ran extremely well. We have never had a problem with it. We have always taken care of our vehicles and maintain them before we have a problem. This car ran like new.
We left the car early that morning and about 4 p.m. The manager, Don, called and said the car would be ready soon and we could come pick it up sometime before 5 p.m. when they closed. At that time he informed us everything was great and they could find nothing wrong with it even after they had hooked it up to a diagnostic machine in their shop that would be able to detect if there were any problems.
KEEP READING. See how we got a full refund plus 15%.
We arrived at the shop about 4:45 p.m. and at that time Don told us,"You have a real good car there, it drives really well and I can tell it has been taken really good care of." He also said he did not even rotate the tires because they did not need it and the oil looked good but, because we wanted the oil change they went ahead and did it. The total bill came to $247.74 that included the $159.00 transmission flush, which was recommended by them.
When the car was driven out of the shop parking lot it felt really rough. It always had that real nice smooth Cadillac ride and now it more resembled an old Ford pick up truck. Then, I noticed it was not shifting past second gear. I would also not go into passing gear. Living only 15 minutes from the shop, I figured I would wait until I got home to call them. Well, by the time I got into the driveway of our home, it was boiling over and steam was pouring out of the radiator.
All the time we have had this car, we never had this problem. It went in to the shop driving great and came out like this. The shop had already closed so the next morning, first thing, I called and spoke to Don. When I told them the running condition of the car and reminded him on he even complimented its performance, He told me to bring it back right away and they would take a look at it. We took it back that morning and again explained the condition of the car again reminding them of how it drove when we took it there the day before.
They asked us to wait a few minutes and they would look at it right away. After a half hour of watching three men look under the hood and whisper to each other I approached the Manager and told him I really had to go and would be able to leave it if they were going to take a while to figure out the problem. This is when he told me the car had a lot of problems when we brought it in and reason the transmission would not shift was due to it over heating and it must have had the problem for along time. He said they never touched anything to do with the cooling so he knew they had not done it.
I knew immediately they were trying to pull a fast one especially when they started telling me what work I needed. I took the car home and called the asking from whom I needed to talk to get my money back. The manager referred me to Bruce Andrews at the corporate office, 602-246-4670. After leaving a message for him he returned my call, I told him the about what had happened and how my car was now working and I wanted my money back because now, I would have to take it somewhere and get work done on it that never had to be done before. He said he had already spoken to the shop about the car and they had told him the following:
1- The car had too many miles on it.
2- It ran that way when we brought it to them.
3- The transmission was already in bad shape.
When I reminded him what the manager of his shop had said regarding the way it drove so well and how we had such a great car his reply was,"Well, if you did not have any problems, Why did you bring the car in, in the first place?" He said it was not even in need of a tune up and the oil was not ready to be changed. He said if I really felt like the car had been damaged, He would make arrangements to have it looked at by a good friend of his who manages AAMCO Transmissions on I-17 and Dunlap. He said he would pay for the inspection and if they had been responsible for doing damage to the car he would pay what it cost.
So, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and that same afternoon took it to his friend. After leaving it for an hour I was told the transmission had internal damage as a result of the old oil being flushed out and new being put in. I was told the only thing holding it together was the old dirty oil. That is why the problems started after I had the transmission serviced.
They told me it would have to be re-built and gave me an estimate of $1,500 - $2,000 to do it. I could then purchase their lifetime warranty for $700.00 or it would only be warranted for 1yr. I took my car home and began researching other mechanics. Each one told me I needed to get legal advice because what they had told me was a lie.
I found a mechanic who said they had flushed old fluid back into the transmission and this is was caused the damage. Also, it was over heating because, in the process or the flush they have to disconnect everything from the radiator and cooling process. When they did that they broke the cooling fan, which had to be replaced. Each mechanic I talked to told me the same thing. It cost $776.90 to replace the transmission with a salvaged one and fix the fan.
My car now runs the way it did before going to Fletcher's. I have called Mr. Andrews 4 times since then always getting his voice mail and he has not returned a call once. This experience has cost me more than I was able to afford and now in debt. I had to get the car fixed immediately because I need it for work and Doctor visits that Robb must go for in Central Phoenix. He has a terminal illness and the stress in all this was not a good thing.
The aggravation left us unable to sleep. We were forced to spend money we could not afford with Robb working only part-time because of being on disability and me being off work due to an injury. This car is the only thing we have that we own free and clear and it is very valuable to us. It is something we both take pride in and take very good care of. We felt like our very own doctor had betrayed us. We missed worked from only having one vehicle and having to take each other around to find out why our car was running this way.
According to the Better Business Bureau web site, they have had complaints on Fletcher's Tire and Auto Service, but it stated that all complaints were answered, not telling us if they were ever satisfied. That's strange. I wonder if this is the case because all their shops are BBB members?
Original Fletcher's Auto bill....... $247.74
CadiShop that finally fixed the car for us....$776.90
Borrowed friend's car @ $25.00 per day..$125.00
Donation to badbusinessbureau.com 15%....$172.00
The corporate office of Fletcher's Tire & Auto's Phone # is-602-246-4670 Fax- 602-246-2486 Mr. Bruce Andrews.