ED Magedson – Founder
Transmissions Plus of Kissimmee105 Duncan Avenue Kissimmee, Florida United States of America
Okay, this is a long story that I'm going to try and condense.
In August 2010 I decided to take a road trip to Florida (from New Jersey) with my wife and 6 year old son to visit my wife's parents, and maybe go to Disney. My trans had been rebuilt about three years earlier by Aamco, and it drove okay, no problems, so I decided to take the 1100 mile trip in my 2000 Windstar.
We drove for about 500 miles before I started feeling problems with the transmission. Basically it started dropping out of overdrive and the engine would rev up to about 4000 RPM at 70 MPH for a few seconds, then it would go back into overdrive. It wasn't a constant thing, more like every once-in-a-while. I wasn't too concerned about it, but I did pull off at the next exit to check the fluid - everything was up to level. I knew that when I got back I would probably have to replace the trans again.
As soon as we crossed into Georgia the trans dropped out of overdrive and never went back. I had to get off of 95 and drive the last 300 miles through the backroads to my inlaw's house in Kissimmee. We made it okay; I couldn't drive over 55 MPH so the last part of the trip took very long, but we made it without any further incedent.
We arrived in Kissimmee on Sunday night. First thing Monday morning I started my search for a local trans shop. Aamco was out of the question! I wanted to find a local guy who could help us out.
I found a place called Transmissions Plus of Kissimmee. I drove there with my wife and we talked to the owner, Jesse. We explained our problem to Jesse. He seemed okay, and he was saying all the right things. After scanning it quickly for codes and test driving it, he verbally quoted us between $1400 and $1500 to do the trans, 12 month 12,000 mile warrantee. We said that the warrantee would be a moot point because we were from New Jersey, explaining that we were only down in Kissimmee for vacation. Jesse assured us that he could honor the warrantee through his parts supplier, even in New Jersey. We found this hard to believe, but he assured us. We left there and told Jesse that we had one more shop to check out and that we might be back.
We visited another local shop, the owner wanted $1100 (it would be ready on Friday) with a six month warrantee, only the warrantee wasn't valid in New Jersey. If anything happened in the next six months we would have to come back to his shop in Kissimmee. We chose to go with Trandmissions Plus because of the warrantee issue.
We went back to see Jesse on Tuesday and he said that he couldn't start work on the vehicle until the following Monday because he was a little overwhelmed with work. This was a slight problem because we were planning on leaving that Monday. We decided that we were going to have to push our departure day foward to accommodate Jesse's scedule. We dropped the van off on that Friday for the work to start the following Monday.
On Monday Jesse called me to say that he decided that for warrantee purposes it would be better if he ordered a transmission from his parts supplier. This transmission came with an 18 month nationwide warrantee. Jesse also told us that for an extra $250 he could extend the warrantee to 36 months/100,000 miles. The first thing that popped into my mind was that he couldn't honor his assurance to us of extending his own warrantee to New Jersey (the very reason that we chose him!), so he was scrambling to find something acceptable to us. As it was Monday and we were already late for our departure home, I okayed the trans from his parts supplier and the extra $250 for the extended warrantee. This bought the price up to $1750, or so I thought!
Jesse told me on Tuesday that the van would be ready on Wednesday, providing that the part arrived early enough in the day. I was a little upset at this because if I would have known that the part would take so long to get I would have preferred to have Jesse order the part the previous week so that it would be there when we dropped off the van, and the van could have been finished on Monday.
Wednesday came and that van was finished at about 4:15. My wife and I went there about 5:00 to pick up the van, and the bill was $2033!!! $1900 for the trans (parts and labor), $133 for tax. We asked Jesse where the $1900 came from, because $1500 for the trans plus $250 for the extended warrantee came up to $1750 in our minds. Jesse told us that he quoted us $1600 (a lie!) and that the actual cost for the trans was $1650, plus the $250 for the extended warrantee, so he wasn't making any money off of the trans. Likely story!
$150 isn't much when you are dealing with a big ticket item like a trans, but alltogther if I would have known that the trans would cost us $2033 I would have went with the $1100 guy and saved time and money (it would have been ready by that Friday). Classic bait-and-switch Jesse!
Like the title says, get all estimates in writing, signed by the estimator. I didn't have a leg to stand on when I picked up the van, I had to pay $150 more than I expected to.
I hope that this helps at least one person...
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/01/2010 03:52 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Transmissions-Plus-of-Kissimmee/Kissimmee-Florida-34744/Transmissions-Plus-of-Kissimmee-Buyer-Beware-get-your-quotes-in-writing-Kissimmee-Flor-636566. 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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