• Report: #804288

Complaint Review: Meineke Car Care Center

  • Submitted: Fri, December 02, 2011
  • Updated: Sat, December 10, 2011

  • Reported By: Frank — Brownsville Texas United States of America
Meineke Car Care Center
6011 De Zavala Road San Antonio, Texas United States of America

Meineke Car Care Center Very bad service and Big scam San Antonio, Texas

*Consumer Comment: ripped off

*Consumer Comment: Yo, Meineke Guy!

*Consumer Comment: Really, Meineke? I mean, REALLY?!

*Author of original report: Why disrespect?

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Owner Response #2

*Consumer Comment: Meineke for a gas line job?

*Consumer Comment: WOOOOOOW!!

*Author of original report: Lies and more lies

*Consumer Comment: At Least They Corrected the Issue

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: NOT a rip-off, just a mistake.

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I took my 2001 Chevy Impala in with a broken return fuel line. I was given a quote for the repair and it would come out at $450. Since my car was spilling gasoline under the hood, I decided to give the go ahead and I was told my car would be done that night. Nightfall came and I was called by Meineke and told my car was ready and I called my friend to take me there. When I got there the mechanic Hans and owner Rafael told me it was not ready that the fuel line had failed. Then Rafael told the counter attendant to bill me and that I should pay the $450 and that the car would be done by the morning. I payed and I started feeling uncomfortable with the situation.

I went back to my dorm and I started researching part costs. The fuel line cost $100 dollars online and I was charged $200 for the part. Hans had told me that he called every Chevrolet dealer in San Antonio and that the part was 200 dollars. [continued below]....
..... I then called every Chevrolet dealer and everyone told me they sold it for $101.93 so I confronted both Rafael and Hans and they told me they had to make a profit out of parts. I asked for the reciept and they had only paid $86 dollars for the part since they have an account with Ancira Chevrolet. This means they got a profit margin of 133% for the single fuel line. Later Rafael told me that they charge more than 100% for evey part they sell.

My car was done in the morning but when I checked under the hood, the fuel line had been routed through the front instead of through the back and I asked Hans to give me my old fuel line. I took it to another mechanic and my car was lifted. The mechanincs had done a horrible job. The metal fuel line was bent in come places and crimped in some places to compensate for incorrect placement. The fuel line did not even fit in the factory clips on the bottom of the car. This made me suspect that the mechanics had not bought the fuel line in the first place so I took pictures of the mechanic's work. I went to back to Meineke and I demanded a refund for my money since 1.) and original part was not used and 2.) the work done on my car compromised my safety. Rafael then told me that he could not refund my money and I told him that I did not trust any of his mechanics to do a second job on my car. He then told me that I could either take him to court or let him "fix" the job the mechanics had done. So I told him I would take him to court and then he told me to calm down and that he would buy the factory fuel line and fix my car. Then I confronted Hans about the work he had done and he was very irrate ( I was also irrate because of how they had tried to scam me) and he was talking profanities under his breath and was very aggressive when I told him he was a liar. He told me that the dealer sold fuel lines that looked exactly like the one they installed including all the dents and places were the fuel line was bent by hand severely crimping the fuel line and he challenged me to wait for the dealer fuel line so that we could compare it but the part never showed up that day making me wait for almost 3 hours. Then Hans told me my car would be finished by Monday.

I returned on Monday and the dealer fuel line finally arrived but the fuel line that was installed in my car was no where to be found. I thoroughly inspected the fuel line and It had no dents nor hand bends like Hans had previously explained to me. Then he told his team that they should start on my car and get it done as soon as possible and the hispanic mechanic replied rudely and aggresively " He can wait more hours" withoug noticing I was behind him. My car was finally done and when I arrived home I noticed garbage under my seats. My car is always clean from the inside. The mechanics had thrown dirty Q-tips inside,lots of plastic bottle caps, and an excessively oily shop towel and torn bits of of Meineke business cards. This is called RETALIATION and unprofessional behavior. Meineke is a scam and I have pictures and audio recordings of everything. My car was fixed but this cannot happen to anyone else.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/02/2011 03:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Meineke-Car-Care-Center/San-Antonio-Texas-78249/Meineke-Car-Care-Center-Very-bad-service-and-Big-scam-San-Antonio-Texas-804288. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

ripped off

AUTHOR: GeorgeV - (USA)

you got ripped off, thats what mineke does. they wanted to charge my wife 980 dollars for a brake job, i priced the parts and i could buy all new rotors/drums/wheel cylinders and brakepads and calipers 4 times over for 980 dollars. i did the job myself or for $120 which included tools, a new thermostat and spark plugs.  the pictures i see are a fire waiting to happen, there is a reason that those pipes are in a holder (so they dont rub thru) you might want to have ICE check out their employees too to verify they are valid to work on your car. 600 bucks for a fuel line WTF...
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#2 Consumer Comment

Yo, Meineke Guy!

AUTHOR: voiceofreason - (United States of America)

I give you the credit due having admitted that your company did do wrong by Frank, at least in the beginning.
However, I've seen this kind of "but then he" attacks done by other semi-apologetic firms before, including pretty recent ones, where out of one side of their mouth the company rep or owner admits to errors but from the other side continues to attack the poster as unreasonable, vindictive, scamming, etc.
It doesn't make your company look any better. It only makes it look worse.
It's like the VW shop in Wilmington, NC whose maniacal mechanic slammed a guys keys down on his hood and the dealer was too small a man to just let the rightfully enraged customer vent. No, the dealer backpedaled on his apology and actually got VW's permission not to have to service the guy's brand new warrantied car anymore, forcing him to travel 50 miles to another dealer.
That's just one example.
Do you not get that your utterly incompetent employee put the occupants of that car in danger?
And like Frank says, YOU weren't there. HE was!
You ought to just sit on your hands, mouth closed, take whatever shots Frank needs to vent at you and shut up.
Rerouted the fuel line. Hahahahahahahaha. I've got to find a way to work that into conversations as a saying.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Really, Meineke? I mean, REALLY?!

AUTHOR: cfeline5 - (United States of America)

Ok, just for the record, which can be verified from my profile; I am not a prolific writer on Ripoff Report, lol. I have been registered for little over a month and a half, have made one report of my own (which was my reason for coming here) and have made approximately 5 comments on other posts. The posts I comment on most are those in relation to my original complaint( online casino), or commenting on a business where I have worked(Verizon Wireless Tech Support) so I had insider info to share.

I commented on this one concerning Meineke because I wanted the PO to see the silver lining, at least the car was fixed, though I think he went through some rather uneccessary and unreasonable issues to get that accomplished.

I actually gave kudos to Meineke for at least fixing the problem! Why you feel the need to attack people for doing exactly what an open forum like this encourages is beyond me..you don't even KNOW me! I am not some professional writer paid to bash companies by the EDitor, for crimmeny's sake! Sheeeeesh!

Personally, I never go to Meineke because their prices are outrageous and far out of my range for somewhat simple repairs, but that is my personal preference; doesn't mean you guys don't do the job or are scamming people.

For you to take time to continue rebutting, then bashing innocent posters and the OP, as well as bashing this site is ridiculous.  I don't know what the arbitration process through this site is, I've read right here on this site where companies call it the Ultimate RipOff because they must pay $2000 in starter fees for arbitration...I don't know if it's true or not , but, that is not my concern.

My concern is for someone who touts the 'professionalism' of the company to come on here and bash innocent people who are just giving their opinion. No need for all of that..state the facts as you see them and then let us innocent readers decide between all that is presented without accusing us of 'working for the Man'!
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#4 Author of original report

Why disrespect?

AUTHOR: Frank Hurtado - (United States of America)

I am much younger than you and I haven't disrespected you the way you have. This must be of concern to you. You can call BS on anything you want I will not call you anything. I am not out to trash you company I am Frank and I am a college student writing about what happened to me.

This is what is happening. Meineke did something wrong and unprofessional and you start pointing fingers at everyone. You call me BS, you say that the people that comment are fake, you call Ripoff Report also a fake, and you blame another company for something your mechanics did. So now everyone else is to blame for the things that happened to my car?

Also please stop filing a report if you "weren't there." If you werent there then I am not speaking to you. I am speaking to the people that did this to me. And if you think so bad about Ripoff Report, then don't use it. Unlike you they didn't take money from me.

The Chevrolet dealers have the same factory service manual to which they quoted me for 1.5 hours. Your mechanic also quoted me 1.5 hours of work but it came out as 1.6 hours in my receipt so that was more money on my part.

I do not have to send anything to your company. Sending you an email would only enable you to intimidate me privately instead of publicly. You did what you did and now I am writing about my experience.

Why do you get mad? If your company didn't do anything then you shouldn't get mad. Keep on disrespecting me and keep on acting aggressive I am not going to follow your footsteps. You call everyone else a liar but everyting points back to you.

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#5 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Owner Response #2

AUTHOR: Meineke - (USA)

Ok: first of all, I'm going to have to call BS on a lot of this. I have already admitted that we made a mistake and that we fixed it. I have already offered an apology and an explanation of our business practices. I was not there so I cannot refute what was said by any of the parties involved. So, I cannot concede nor deny any of Frank's claims about what anyone said.
But, I think that anyone reading this post will wisely see the truth in this matter: Frank feels like hes been gouged and he is now trying to trash a reputable business. In response to Franks rebuttal:

1. The $625 quote for your job at Ancira Chevrolet was quoted by Hector (Service Advisor) on 12/6/11 at 9:40am.

2. Frank claims that he called EVERY Chevy dealer in town and got exactly the same price quote. Not only is this pure exaggeration, but it is preposterous. I challenge anyone to call every single Toyota dealer in town (for example) and
ask for a quote on something uncommon, like a fuel pump or timing belt. See how many different quotes you get.

3. Frank says he found a BLUE rag and Q-Tips in the car. Our shop only uses RED rags. However, the car wash uses blue rags AND Q-Tips (hmm, coincidence?). We don't want our customers receiving their car from us if we have dirtied it. And yes, they appreciated us bringing this to their attention. They run a reputable business just like we do.

4. Frank claims that he has a business card with Rafael's name printed on it. Please scan it and email it to the shop (shop.1133@meineke.net). He needs proof that cards are being printed without authorization. To his knowledge, these
cards don't even exist.

5. Frank claims to have an audio recording of his conversation with "Rafael." Please forward the file to the same email address for confirmation (it needs to be known if someone is impersonating Rafael).

6. Frank: could you please describe "Rafael?" He has never met you but would certainly like to know who you met.

To all readers: please do a little research on this RipOff website. I think it would be wise if you knew how this business makes money and for you to learn a little about their arbitration and advocacy programs. Also, maybe you can
discern why there are comments from random people. The two comments on this complaint come from prolific writers on this website.

Listen: We have run a reputable and honest business for years. With so many shops to choose from, a large percentage of our business comes from repeat customers. Do we sometimes make mistakes? Yes. Do we fix them and stand by our
work? Absolutely. Can a shop stay in business in the same community for almost 18 years by scamming the same people who have been living there for the same period of time? I don't think so. Most shoppers have a good BS meter. I hope
that yours can sniff out the real reason for this complaint and the motives behind this website. Hey, you can start right here.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Meineke for a gas line job?

AUTHOR: voiceofreason - (United States of America)

Why would anyone use a Meineke for anything but brakes or shocks?

And what kind of morons reroute a high fire-risk component like a fuel line via any route other than the default factory installed route?

But that's what you get when you have a brake and shock installer do anything else.  Same would go for a place that basically lives off oil changes, or replacing tires.

When a mistake could cost you your life, you ought to have the work done at a dealer.
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#7 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: cfeline5 - (United States of America)

After reading the PO's response to the owner of the company, I definitely feel the company lied just to make himself and his company look good. I was trying to give them some kudos for at least getting it right, but the PO should not have had to go through this much to get what he paid for.
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#8 Author of original report

Lies and more lies

AUTHOR: Frank Hurtado - (United States of America)

If Rafael did not speak with me then who did? Who was the person that came up to me and said, "Hi I'm Rafael, the owner of this place..." when I went to pick up my car at night after I was told it was ready to go? I would have remembered such a long title such as "operations manager" and this title never comes up in my audio recording and the two business cards I received have 1. Rafael on it it and 2. Hans written in pen and the old "master" technician's name crossed out.

I too am hispanic and I can speek perfect Spanish. What i wrote in my review was translated to English so that most people would understand. He said, "Dejalo que se espere mas horas" in a really agressive tone without realizing I was behind him and when he turned around, he saw me and quickly started working under the wheel well of one of the cars. I did not confront him because this situation could have escalated further.

The Chevrolet Ancira price in Rafael's comment was also over inflated. I called every single Chevrolet dealership in San Antonio including Chevrolet Ancira and their prices all coincided exactly. They would charge me $101.93 for the fuel line and $153.00 for installation which comes up to $255 not $625. The only reason I ended up in Meineke was because I was in that part of town when I noticed the smell of gasoline inside my car and this prevented me from researching prices for the fuel line and installation before actually letting any mechanic do work on my car. This made me feel like they took advantage of my situation.

My car's fuel line was removed the same day I returned the car. There is no way my car could have been driven across a street, that is being repaired. I saw when the fuel line was being removed and It was being yanked out through the bottom. The GPS tracking device inside my car never gave any coordinates for the "Car wash" across the street during the time fram of me returning my car to Meineke and me picking it up on Monday. My car's alarm has a hidden reserve battery to which I hooked up my gps tracking device so Even if my car's battery was disconnected, my car would remain secure and under my supervision for up to two weeks. If my car had been detailed, my rims wouldn't have had brake dust, my windows would have been clean, my car cupholder wouldn't have coke drippings from when I spilled my drink and I tried cleaning it while driving, my dash board wouldn't have had a layer of dust, and my car would have been sparkling on the outside and my leather seats would have been conditioned. I hadn't washed my car in a week and I keep nothing inside my car to avoid attracting burglars. The only two things inside my car where my windshield's sun shade and the engine cover on the passenger seat. Never was it inside my trunk nor out of sight. You might as well have been blind in order to miss the 2'x1.25' engine cover. I do not think the owner of the car washing place across the street would be fond of Rafael accusing his employees of trashing the inside of my car when It was never sent to them and I am sure they can explain the torn Meineke business cards under my passenger seat. The Q-tip did not contain ear wax, it contained used motor oil just as the blue mechanic shop towel did. Rafael never paid anything out of his pocket since I payed 200 dollars for the return fuel line which they bought two times at $86 each.(It was all payed by me).

I do not wish anyone the treatment I received and my sole purpose is to defend myself and not let any lies go unnoticed. Lying about what happened does not make the situation better, it only offends me more. Liars will lie but sooner or later those lies will catch up to them. The only reason that I left home happy was because this nightmare was over and I wouldn't have to deal with Rafael,Hans and the other mechanics ever again. The truth has now been spoken.
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#9 Consumer Comment

At Least They Corrected the Issue

AUTHOR: cfeline5 - (United States of America)

I think you had every right to be upset and it is really good that you took pictures and did research to support your claims of incorrect installation.
I think the company should at be commended for at least doing the job right, even if it was the second time. The owner who wrote the comment can't really say that the Hispanic man did not say rude things, 'bad english' is a handy excuse ; rudeness to the customer is not acceptable.

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#10 REBUTTAL Owner of company

NOT a rip-off, just a mistake.

AUTHOR: Meineke - (USA)

I really appreciate it when customers bring complaints to our attention. We don't get many, but it gives us an opportunity to fine-tune the way we do things by providing training and coaching where necessary. But, please read on to discover several things we did at the shop that Frank did not mention.

First of all, I'd like to point out that Frank (the author of the complaint) did NOT speak with Rafael, but with John, the Operations Manager, so I'm not really sure how you got Rafael's name. Nevertheless, most of Frank's complaint is accurate as far as I can corroborate. I completely understand Frank's frustration and anger with this situation and I probably would have felt the same way. However, we appreciate that Frank allowed us to fix the problem to HIS satisfaction. I am the kind of person that understands that mistakes will be made. But I want to see how the mistake will be corrected to determine if I will ever patronize a location again. We certainly hope Frank has the same attitude.

Here is how the mistake happened: As mentioned, the fuel line was damaged and leaking fuel. As you can surmise, this type of thing doesn't happen very often (can you imagine the public outrage if it did?). Although the techs have replaced and even hand-made fuel lines before, they had not installed one in this vehicle before. The mistake was that the tech installed this line from front to back (remember, this is about a 10-foot long hard metal line with several bends in it). In doing so, the line did not fit quite right and had to be adjusted to get clearance from the exhaust manifold. We did not find out until later that Frank had removed the engine cover and placed it in the trunk. The cover provides for the fuel line's protection. Nevertheless, the installation was poorly done and Frank was not happy with it. I do not blame him. (And yes, it was an OEM part, not an aftermarket part. If we really wanted to save money on our cost we would have made the line by hand)

Now, as Hans mentioned, it is not uncommon for us to have to adjust these types of hard metal lines to fit. We especially see it with fuel lines and exhaust components. After 10 years of being on the road things might shift and sag. While an existing component will conform to these minor changes, a NEW piece won't fit just right. Even though Hans was explaining a truth about some of these components, I don't believe it really applied here. The tech accepted a poor installation as the best he could do under the circumstances. This is NOT how we do business and we are very displeased that this happened.

So, what happens next? We purchase another line (out of our own pocket) and install it from back to front, making for a better fit. To make amends, we send the vehicle to the Wash Tub across the street to have the car detailed (again, out of our pocket). It turns out that the trash Frank found under his seat was from the Wash Tub (who else uses Q-tips?), and NOT retaliation by the techs. We have many of our client's vehicles detailed there and we have not had this problem before with them, but will certainly inform them of this situation.

Lastly, I'd like to point out that marking up parts is how ALL retailers make money. Frank makes it seem as though this is some sort of injustice and completely wrong. It is no secret that repair shops make money on marking up parts and on labor. You better believe that if you are getting a part close to the wholesale cost, then you are paying a steeper price for labor. Every shop has a formula for calculating the balance between parts and labor to arrive at a final price that is more or less equal to the market rate for that particular job. Additionally, the mark-up rate is different depending on the job as well. Our mark-up for an oil and filter change, for example, is about $1.25 total. We actually take a loss on this job type to attract new clientele (when you consider labor and overhead).

I priced this job today and Frank could have had his fuel line replaced at Ancira Chevrolet for $625. On the other hand, he could have bought the part himself and taken it to one of those places that installs your own parts and paid a total of about $250. However, those places do not warranty anything when you bring your parts in. What if they made the same mistake installing the line and damaged it? They would tell you that the line had to be adjusted to fit and that you still owed them for the labor, even if the part got damaged (just look up their reviews online and you will see that I'm telling you the truth). We are not the cheapest place in town nor the most expensive. However, we guarantee our work.

As far as how Frank was treated, I'm sure it could have been better. Hans did admit to a frustrated tone in reply to his frustration. That's just unprofessional and he has been counseled about it. The Hispanic guy Frank mentions is really the nicest guy on earth. Believe me when I tell you that his English is not good at all. What Frank heard may not be what he intended.

In the end, Frank left our store happy with the final repair. We apologized profusely for the inconvenience and we fixed our mistake. We detailed his vehicle in an attempt to go above and beyond. We were honest with Frank about the parts used and even showed him our invoice to show him our cost and to prove that it was an OEM part.

Yes, mistakes happen. But I hope that anyone reading this will believe that we care, that we will work hard to fix our mistakes, we are honest, and we will go above and beyond to make amends.

Thanks for reading.
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