• Report: #164627

Complaint Review: Holmes Honda

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  • Submitted: Tue, November 15, 2005
  • Updated: Wed, November 16, 2005

  • Reported By:Marshall Texas
Holmes Honda
1331 E. Bert Kouns Ind Loop, Shreveport, LA Shreveport, Louisiana U.S.A.

Holmes Honda Service Department Unethical Practices Shreveport Louisiana

*Author of original report: One Final Word

*Consumer Suggestion: What exactly did you ask for?

*Author of original report: Response to Cory's Rebuttal

*Author of original report: Response to Cory's Rebuttal

*Consumer Comment: Here goes nothing...

*Consumer Comment: Interesting

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The following letter was send to Honda Motor Company with a copy to Holmes. There was token response from Honda and no response from Holmes. Any reading of my experience would lead to the conclusion that Holmes policy is at a minimum unethical and probably dishonest -


Dear Sir or Madame;

Re Complaint Hohmes Honda/Shreveport, LA

I'd like to register a complaint against the service department at Holmes Honda in Shreveport. Some background:

I own two Hondas a 1998 Accord V6 with 116,000 miles and a 2002 S-2000 with 38,000 miles. I purchased the Accord new at Holmes and S-2000 new at a dealer in Monroe, Louisiana (S-2000s were selling at a premium and it was $1000 cheaper than Holmes).

From the moment of purchase, both cars have been serviced at authorized Honda dealers. Except for maybe 3 times (while traveling), Holmes has preformed that service. Following the Honda recommended service schedule, the cars were seen and serviced by a dealer at least every 4-5,000 miles.

I do not live in Shreveport. It is a 40 miles and 50 minute drive to Holmes for service. I wait for any service to be completed. I make this extra effort because I trusted Honda and Holmes to treat me right and provide fair and honest service.

On a recent trip to Lynchburg, Virginia to visit kids, I had the Accord serviced at another Honda dealer a simple oil change. While servicing the car they identified a transmission seal leak and estimated a $100 repair. Being on the road and not knowing them, I opted to return home to have the repair made at Holmes who I felt I knew and trusted.

Within days (5) of returning home, I scheduled the repair at Holmes.

To my surprise and displeasure, the repair cost was $318. The service technician explained that they replaced both seals and flushed the transmission. When I questioned the tech about the need to replace both seals, we had an animated discussion during which he volunteered, one seal was definitely leaking. Left unsaid was whether the second seal actually leaked.

Knowing that Holmes pays their service techs on commission (and is this normal for the industry?), I feel pretty confident that replacement of the second seal and probably the flush were unnecessary! I'm disappointed and feel cheated! I feel the policy at Holmes of paying tech on commission is flawed and the ethics of the tech are questionable.

As noted above, the Accord has 116,000 miles. I plan to replace it early next year. As you might imagine, with my trust violated and with questions on the honesty of Holmes and their employees, I'm going to think long and hard before I purchase another Holmes Honda!

One other small irritation when I made the appointment with the Holmes service department, I asked the tech how much time the repair would take. He estimated 2 hours. To facilitate the effort, I was up at 6 AM and at their shop before they opened their doors at 7:30 AM first in line. It was 12:30 PM before the car was returned to me with the repairs complete.

As you can see from the letter, I'm disappointed! I don't have a lot of options for Hondas (which I love) and Honda service from this small rural east Texas town. I have to go elsewhere, but I can buy and service new GM, Ford, Chrysler and Toyota cars locally. For Honda, I break my pledge to the Chamber of Commerce to buy locally.

As a retired plant manager of a chemical plant who knows the importance of happy customers, I'd want to hear about this situation.

Paul
Marshall, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/15/2005 07:09 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Holmes-Honda/Shreveport-Louisiana-71135/Holmes-Honda-Service-Department-Unethical-Practices-Shreveport-Louisiana-164627. 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 6Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

One Final Word

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

What is really sad about this experience is the loss of trust. It's something a kin to catching your wife or girlfriend in bed with a neighbor. The trust is gone and nothing can retrieve it. Maybe that's why I never heard from Holmes. I've dealt with Japanese companies in my professional life and was impressed with their emphasize on partnership and relationships. Price is important, but a fair, honest relationship is worth sometime. It has real value.

I laugh as I look back remembering the many surveys and telephone calls I received from Honda and Holmes after having my two Hondas serviced. (Of course, they didn't call this time). I naively believed these were sincere efforts on the part of Honda and Holmes to hold and maintain customer loyalty. I now view those contacts as hypocrisy. It was just PR.

I love my Hondas. Honda makes a great car. Drive great - few problems. Why they would jeopardize customer loyalty for $300 is beyond me.

Buyer beware!
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

What exactly did you ask for?

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

You need to be specific. If you said "replace the seal on the left side," (the Lynchburg dealer's recommendation) then they shouldn't have touched the other one. If you just said "the transmission is leaking" it's not unreasonable for them to replace both seals to avoid future problems with the other one.

You need to talk about the cost of the job upfront. Ask for an "out the door" price on the replacement of the one leaky seal. This will make it clear to them that you're only willing to pay for the one seal.

The person checking you in is the service writer, not necessarily a tech. He's more of a salesman than a mechanic. They should have sold the flush job (and the replacement of the other seal) in advance rather than just doing it. Especially since you didn't talk price at the outset, they assumed you would be willing to just do it.

If you were pouring in ordinary ATF instead of Honda spec in order to get home, it was well worth it to flush it all out and refill with the right stuff, regardless of how dirty it may have been.
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#3 Author of original report

Response to Cory's Rebuttal

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

Response to Cory's rebuttal -

Cory makes an apparent valid point that the second seal might be expected to fail soon after the first. I would have accepted that argument if Holmes had used that logic. They didn't and they didn't know of the documented problem/estimate provided by the Lynchburg dealer. There was no 'maybe'! Both seals needed replacement.

Regarding the flush - This car has been maintained as suggested by the manufacturer recommendation. The transmission fluid was changed at 90K - When the service tech was questioned, he said the oil was dirty. I know this to be untrue as I checked the transmission level regularly on my journey back to Texas. When challenged, the tech changed his story saying the oil should have been dark red (not clear). After these repairs were made, I could see not difference in oil color though I'll admit I was more interested in level not color as I drove home.

The issue that goes to the core of this complaint is Holmes' policy of paying techs (the guy that checks you in) on commission. How can this be to the customer's advantage? What controls are in place to prevent a tech from inflating repair needs to their financial advantage? When challenged, the tech said, 'he just wouldn't do that.' Sadly, I don't believe him.

Regard Holmes policy of paying techs on commission. I know it's true. When the car was brought in at 101K for serving, another tech informed me that I would need to replace the timing belt at 105K. She asked if I wanted to have that repair made at that time. When I said I'd wait, she asked that I ask for her as 'we are paid on commission'. Like a good loyal customer, I did.
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#4 Author of original report

Response to Cory's Rebuttal

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

Response to Cory's rebuttal -

Cory makes an apparent valid point that the second seal might be expected to fail soon after the first. I would have accepted that argument if Holmes had used that logic. They didn't and they didn't know of the documented problem/estimate provided by the Lynchburg dealer. There was no 'maybe'! Both seals needed replacement.

Regarding the flush - This car has been maintained as suggested by the manufacturer recommendation. The transmission fluid was changed at 90K - When the service tech was questioned, he said the oil was dirty. I know this to be untrue as I checked the transmission level regularly on my journey back to Texas. When challenged, the tech changed his story saying the oil should have been dark red (not clear). After these repairs were made, I could see not difference in oil color though I'll admit I was more interested in level not color as I drove home.

The issue that goes to the core of this complaint is Holmes' policy of paying techs (the guy that checks you in) on commission. How can this be to the customer's advantage? What controls are in place to prevent a tech from inflating repair needs to their financial advantage? When challenged, the tech said, 'he just wouldn't do that.' Sadly, I don't believe him.

Regard Holmes policy of paying techs on commission. I know it's true. When the car was brought in at 101K for serving, another tech informed me that I would need to replace the timing belt at 105K. She asked if I wanted to have that repair made at that time. When I said I'd wait, she asked that I ask for her as 'we are paid on commission'. Like a good loyal customer, I did.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Here goes nothing...

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

I will assume the "seals" you refer to are the axle seals. These are where the CV Axles go into the transaxle. The $100 price to do one is about right for that, so figure double that for two, and add another $100 for a flush.

All automatic transmissions/transaxles should be flushed at least every 100K miles. This is what is known as preventive maintenance. Honda requires the use of special friction modifiers in their fluid, so it is priced a bit higher than regular Dexron3. If one axle seal is bad, the other one is on it's way. Compare it to a headlight. They both have the same time on them. When one burns out, you'll replace the other within a few weeks.

$318 from a dealership sounds like a very good price. They did you a favor. As for the theory that you were going to sell the car soon, nope. I hear that every day. It's always when someone wants to be CHEAP, instead of being right. Go back to the dealership and thank the mechanic for saving you the expense of being broken down in the near future. Honda trannies are very expensive. Figure to spend about $3000 to replace one.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Interesting

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

You bring up an interesting point. The first dealer was going to replace one seal. The second was going to replace both seals AND flush the transmission. You don't say if the first was going to do any other work. I don't know much about vehicles but, to my way of thinking, if one of the seals was bad, there's a fair chance the second could be right behind it. Also if you have to drain the trans fluid out of the transmission, I'd either flush(clean) it or replace it. Your vehicle has 116,000 miles on it, so they seem to have been doing something right. Maybe I'm wrong. Let's hear from Robert in FL. I have an indepandant mechanic that I've used for 15+ years, that I trust and refer many people to. They are hard to come by, Burt's the best.
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