• Report: #1145752

Complaint Review: American Transmission of Pinellas Inc

  • Submitted: Sun, May 11, 2014
  • Updated: Sun, May 11, 2014

  • Reported By: Katchin — Florida
American Transmission of Pinellas Inc
4301 49th St N St Petersburg, Florida USA

American Transmission of Pinellas Inc David "Bait & Switch" Tactics - Additional Damages & Charges - Removal of original Transmission & Replacement Instead of Rebuild St Petersburg Florida

*Author of original report: Reply


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 "Bait & Switch" Tactics

Instead of Rebuild (stated on estimate) Different Transmission installed

Additional damages/charges

Leaking/poor performance


On Monday, 04/28/14 took my 96 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo to American Transmission of Pinellas Inc. located at 4301 49th St. N. St Petersburg, FL Spoke w/ David about a leak. My Jeep was running and shifting okay, but there was a leak.

04/29/14, charges would be $1843.16, claimed leaking in five (5) different places. My reply, would have to get back to him.

04/30/14 went in for written estimate, (though marked on estimate that I didn't want one) 04/02/14 called to see if it would be ready. Told, work was completed, but wouldn't start. Stating there was a “chewed up crank sensor.” Informed would cost me $125.00 per hr plus parts, to have “someone” come onto his lot to find problem.

Stated, seemed he was giving me the run around, mainly because he didn't contact me to tell me there was a problem, and that I would not engage w/ his aggressive behavior. Also, I felt, I should not be held liable for any further charges. Called back 04/03/14, David stated I'd be charged for “whatever it took” to get running, that he was giving me a lot of “free service.” Stated I wouldn't engage in his aggression and had to hang up the phone. Never gave consent to do further work.

Called 05/05/14 at 5:25pm asked to call him. Not able to return call within 5mins, working next day during business hrs. Message left 05/06/14 @ 11:33am, stating car was finished.

Afraid to retrieve car alone, asked cousin to go with me, arrived at shop @ 5:25pm 05/06/14. David informed me that Jeep was running but, Windshield Wipers not working. Additional “blown” fuse on passenger floor near fuse panel. Stated I didn't want to take off of his lot until the wipers fixed and working. David snapped, that I would be charged a “storage fee” if I didn't make payment right then and take the Jeep.

Now understand had 72hrs before I should have been threatened w/ “storage fees.” Also now understand I could have gone to the courthouse w/ a complaint. I didn't know this fact at that time. As soon as drove off lot, was shifting poorly, reeving to 2500RMPs before shifting into 2nd & 3rd gear. W/ rough and “cluck” downshift, from 2nd to 1st gear. Parked and put piece of cardboard under transmission. By morning there was a “half dollar size” spot where it's leaking.

Accused by David of creating starting problem myself. $2500.+ work done on Jeep, personally preformed in June of 2013 when I bought the car. I have not had any "starting" issues with this car, before or since this work.

Charged additional $171.10 for crank sensor part, and labor to fix the starting issue. Afraid to go back to pick up relays for the wipers. Even though he offered to install. Neighbor went with me. I requested to only retrieve relays.

Asked for invoices, parts that were supposed to have cost $1000, and asked for the old parts. David stated he did not have to provide me with that information, or the parts. “Parts were thrown out,”

is what he stated.

Worked on transmission myself 3 times. Twice replacing pan gasket, and tapping out a hole for a drain plug. My transmission had a series of numbers on lower front of housing. Transmission now installed dose not have numbers, and has a completely different pan. Without a doubt in my mind, this is not transmission that was originally in my Jeep when I took to American Transmission. Now a forward surging when put into drive, found more blown fuses. Stereo and cigarette lighter plug didn't work.

Determination, Neutral Safety Switch leaking. Cannot determine if pan is leaking until this part is replaced. No shop will put anything into writing, fear of being caught up in a legal matter. Jeep still not shifting correctly.

Disputing charges; and have filed complaints due to treatment, work that was not authorized, and the fact that is is not the transmission that was in my Jeep when I took it to American Transmission. Total charges $2014.71. Leaking did not necessarily warrant a rebuild, but David stated transmission was “worn out.”

I did take this issue to my Bank, because I did (reluctantly) use my Debit Card for the transaction. They will investigate the issue. But, because I authroized the transaction, it is very possible they will do little or possibly nothing to help me.


Resolution (hopeful)

Refund of additional charges

Return of original transmission

Payment to have original transmission rebuilt and installed by other/different repeatable shop

Due to tactics, fear of having this shop preform any further work to resolve issue

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/11/2014 12:18 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/American-Transmission-of-Pinellas-Inc/St-Petersburg-Florida-33709/American-Transmission-of-Pinellas-Inc-David-Bait-amp-Switch-Tactics-Additional-Dama-1145752. 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 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Katchin - ()

I will stand my ground because I am not a lair, but I am being lied about.

I will continue to move forward with this, because this is not the first time this shop has been accused of such tactics.


Only reason I didn't instantly reply to this was due to pet being in hospital.

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company



Katherine brought her 1996 Jeep Cherokee to us complaining that the transmission was slipping and had leaks. When her Jeep was taken for a test drive it wasn’t shifting at all, it was in failsafe mode. When we hooked up our diagnostics computer to her Jeep computer, we couldn’t communicate with the Jeep computer. We found the problem was a blown fuse that is on the same circuit as the cigarette lighter, we replaced the fuse which allowed us to communicate with the Jeep computer.

The codes we retrieved from the Jeep computer was indicating the transmission had internal mechanical failure. On the lift check we found multiple leaks coming from the transmission. One of the leaks was coming from the oil pan that Katherine drilled a hole to put a drain plug in, nobody should ever put a hole in the oil pan if it doesn’t have one, that is why her transmission has a new oil pan. Because of the leaks and the fact that the Jeep had 190,000 plus miles on it could be a good reason why the transmission had internal damage.

Katherine was called and informed that the diagnostics indicated that her Jeep transmission had internal damage along with the leaks, she understood and authorized us to do a RDI (remove, dismantle, inspect) by giving her middle initial.  The transmission was in very bad condition and did require rebuilding, this was reported to Katherine and she was told how much it would cost to rebuild her transmission. Katherine came in and signed the invoice authorizing us to rebuild her transmission, at that time she could have asked for a written estimate and her old parts to be saved, as she states in one her letters she knows the business.

We rebuilt her transmission which included the new oil pan, after we installed the transmission back into her Jeep it would not start. We spent multiple hours trying to determine why her Jeep would not start, we discovered the crank sensor had bared wires, so we replaced the crank sensor. The Jeep still would not start. We were in the process of trying to find out why it would still not start when Katherine called to find out if her Jeep was ready, at which time I disclosed to her the exactly what was going on, that the Jeep wouldn’t start and that we had found that the crank sensor had bared wires and it still wouldn’t start with the new crank sensor and that we would continue checking to see why it would still not start and if we still couldn’t determine why it would not start we would have to have a man that has mobile electrical diagnostics business to come in and diagnose why it still wouldn’t start,

she was also told she we would only be charged what we paid, she wasn’t going to be charged for anything additional labor for the time we spent trying to track down her electrical issues, she became angry and accused me of foul play and that she lost her job because of me, she also stated she only had $200.00 to spend but she wanted  her Jeep fixed and immediately hung up. We had not called her to tell her it would not start because we were investigating why it would not start, we did not know if it was something that we did wrong or if her Jeep had other problems, if it was something we did we would have corrected it or if it was determined that the Jeep needed additional repairs, we would have called her at that time and told her the Jeep was ready or that her Jeep needed additional repairs and how much it would cost.

We did have to call the mobile diagnostic technician to come and determine why the Jeep still would not start he discovered some of the relays were missing, and that the main relay was blown caused by the bare wires on the crank sensor. The main relays have been discontinued, not available even through the dealer, after numerous phone calls and talking to friends in the business, I was able to locate 2 relays from out of state, but it would take a couple of days for us to receive them. In order for us to do our final road test we took the windshield wiper relay and put it in to get the Jeep to start. We did our final test drive the Jeep shifted and ran fine. Through all this I called her multiple times, she never answered her phone or returned my calls, Katherine would eventually just show up. One of her complaints was when I called her she couldn’t return my calls because she was working, this is after she told me she had lost her job because of me, I roll over the phone lines to my cell phone after we close so if our customers need anything they can get ahold of me.

Katherine just showed up on May the 6th at 5:30 to pick up her Jeep, she started making false accusations and refusing to pay for the electrical work, we only charge her the amount we paid, no mark up, no additional labor, we did not make one penny on this additional work, if had not been done she would not have been able to start her Jeep to drive it. Katherine was provided with our invoices for the additional work along with the bad crank sensor. Katherine also states in her complaint I was being aggressive towards her, I was only trying to help her understand, I never used bad language, I never threatened her verbally or  physically in anyway, but she did tell me to shut up and I asked her not to talk to me like that. As soon as we received the relays, Katherine came and picked them up and stated she would take care of them being installed, the relays were given to her at no charge.  Bottom line Katherine paid for exactly what she got plus a lot of no charge work. That is the same transmission that was taken out of her Jeep, it was rebuilt and reinstalled in her Jeep. The only difference on the outside is a new oil pan that doesn’t have a hole drilled in it.

Thank you  Manager   


As business owners we are going to look into our options on this issue, it is wrong for a customer to turn a business into every agency they can possibly think of and lie and drag the business name through the mud, just because they are mad at an employee of the business or their vehicle has other issues, which she states in one of her letters her fuses continue to blow which means she has additional electrical issues. We work very hard for our reputation and try to help all our customers out, we are not perfect and we do make mistakes, and we bend over backwards trying to correct them, because we do not want unhappy customers, but some customers are not going to be happy no matter what you do for them, but we really do try. If Katherine is having issues with her transmission she does have 12 month or 12,000 mile warranty which will still be honored, we will not give her a hard time like she has given us.

Thank you                                                                                                                                            Owners

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