After having been a bit curious, I have read the numerous articles regarding AAMCO Transmissions on this site. Those of you reading it may wonder if it all is true, or are these people just the "exceptions and not the rule." Well, unfortunately, these things DO HAPPEN, and with more frequency than AAMCO would ever, ever admit (their home office, that is).
How do I know? Well, years ago I used to be a franchised AAMCO Operator in a relatively large town, one with other AAMCO shops. As you may suspect, since AAMCO is a franchise, the franchise holders pay franchise fees to AAMCO. The more business a shop does, the more franchise fees get paid to AAMCO Corporate. Because of this, AAMCO provides "training" for the franchise owner's center managers (you folks refer to them as service managers). All of these training and specialized sales techniques are designed to maximize sales, and keep AAMCO Corporate and the franchised owner out of trouble if followed to the "T." Problem is, everybody gets greedy. AAMCO Corporate has district managers, or whatever they're calling them these days, to visit the shops on a regular basis in order to determine is the shop is selling to its potential... they want a maximum of major repairs and a minimum of minor repairs (annual safeguard services don't count). They (AAMCO Corporate) pushes the owners hard to make every repair a major repair... unfortunately, this is fraudulent, unethical and most of all not Christian (oh, I forgot... AAMCO is an outfit run basically by those of the Jewish faith and some very sly Italians). Please, there is nothing intended by these remarks, but I am just trying to be factual.
As a franchised owner, I was threatened by AAMCO. I was told that if we didn't "run more major repairs through the door, they would force me to sell out and award the franchise to someone else that would play ball their way (I believe that's just about the jest of what they said). Well, we did a lot of community work for deserving agencies, giving them free transmissions, transmission repairs and other services. Guess what... AAMCO wanted to be paid franchise fees for what we did for free!!! I've always believed in giving back to the community where I could, but AAMCO didn't like this. As a matter of fact, they thought you were a "loner" if you were honest. While I was in business, we remained honest (boy was that unusual... it was our downfall!), however, I only knew of two other franchised owner within a 5 state radius that were honest, and by the time I got out of the business they had already closed up (basically by AAMCO Corporate).
AAMCO had let too many franchised shops open up in the town I was in, and I can't say anything positive about the other AAMCO franchise owners. I became tired, very tired, of AAMCO pushing me and my folks to be dishonest (hey, THEY wrote the book on fraud!!!), I also grew tired of my friends asking if I was going to become a crook like the other AAMCO owners. Finally, I sold my shop and went into another line of work. If AAMCO Corporate happens to read this, take note: I have every phone conversation ever made with you within the last year of being a franchised operator, every conversation you made with your people on our phones, conversations by your people with my people both in the shop and the offices, and pictures of your people committing acts of fraud. Though I chose to exit the business on my own and let the rest of the "crooks" have it, I still know enough (and have enough proof, documents, etc., to do irreparable harm to AAMCO Corporate and all of its Franchised Owners. I've been dying to take my manuscript to press, even wondered if it would make a good movie. Hey AAMCO, I'll even autograph a free copy for you, but you can't have 10% of the royalties (boy, they'll crap when this things hits the streets!).
Well, what's the bottom line? I guess in 6 letters it's B E W A R E - Beware! Even today, I don't know of an honest transmission shop. But I do know I would NEVER, NEVER, NEVER take nor recommend a franchised transmission shop to anyone, PERIOD. AAMCO has gotten by virtually unscathed through the years, but what comes around goes around... and I'm sure they'll get theirs in the end. Are all shops run by crooks? I'm sure the answer is a resounding NO. If you need transmission work on your car, get three estimates at INDEPENDENT shops, and then try to make your best decision. Why not ask for references of people that have had work done at their shops?
By the way, AAMCO actually stands for "Anthony A. Martino COmpany."
Most of you probably believe, and rightfully so, it stands for "All Automatics Must Come Out." AAMCO, double A, bend over, MCO!!!