I purchased the AAA Auto Guard extended coverage protection for my 2004 Mercury Mountaineer vehicle. In May 2008, after my air conditioning and heating/cooling system failed to operate properly, I contacted AAA and they provided me with the name, address and telephone number of Di Blasi Ford's service center. AAA confirmed that Di Blasi Ford's service center accepted this extended coverage and that AAA had paid claims to them previously from other similar individuals. I also contacted Di Blasi Ford's service center and spoke to the service manager, Gerald J. Babcock, who also verified they accept the AAA extended coverage protection plan. Additionally, I went over to Di Blasi Ford's service center on Saturday, May 24, 2008 to speak to them in person to find out when I could bring in my vehicle for service and to show them the AAA insurance card. Once again, they indicated they accept this insurance plan and that I could bring in the vehicle any day for service since no appointment was necessary. I decided I would drop off my vehicle for repair the coming Thursday around 7:30 am and then catch the subway train to work.
On Thursday, May 29, 2008, after patiently waiting in line in excess of 40 minutes for the other vehicles ahead of mine to be processed, I was approached by a service advisor (that's what their titles are) and asked to briefly describe the problem. I told him and also requested a New York State Inspection be performed since mine was about to expire in three days. After providing him with my keys he told me to proceed inside to complete some paperwork. That is where the shenanigans began. I was speaking to a service advisor by the name of Nick Ramnauth who, after looking at my AAA Auto Guard card, informed me that they no longer accept this extended coverage plan. His co-worker who was standing directly next to him and processing another victim's, oops, customer's paperwork also chimed in to bolster Nick's assertion. Thinking that they were honestly mistaken I told the both of them I had previously called the service manager to confirm the acceptance of my coverage and that I had actually spoken to someone in person the Saturday earlier. In comical unison, they both said, "Well, who did you speak to on Saturday?" That is when my blood began to boil. Yes, I had failed to get that Saturday man's name.
Because I neglected to get the gentleman's name from Saturday, Nick advised me that after they looked at my vehicle and determined what specifically needed repairing, he would call me to let me know just how much everything would cost. He also added that if I did not authorize them to make the subsequent repairs, since I would now have to pay out-of-pocket for everything, I would have to pay Di Blasi Ford service center $200, the cost of their time to determine the maladies. At that juncture, after waiting there for close to an hour and already anticipating arriving for work late, I decided to sign the piece of paper mirroring exactly what Nick told me. If I did not sign it, I would be forced to take my vehicle back. I gave Nick my wife's telephone number and told him he would be dealing with her since I was going to be very busy at work that day.
On my way to the subway station, I called my wife and told her that she would have to take care of the situation with the insurance company and Di Blasi Ford service center since I was going to be late for work. When I arrived in my office, I called her and she told me that someone from AAA Auto Guard had already contacted Di Blasi Ford service center and had set Nick straight. I headed into a meeting and then received a frantic telephone call from her on my cell phone. It turns out that Nick called her told her if we did not get new brakes our vehicle would not be able to pass the state inspection. I guess Nick assumed I would be too busy at work and that my wife would simply give him the go ahead to replace the brakes. My wife asked him how much that would cost and he said $688.51 ($350.82 for the front brakes and $337.69 for the rear brakes, plus tax). She immediately informed him that I would be calling him back.
Upon calling him back and expressing my skepticism about needing new brakes, he instantaneously became defensive and denied telling my wife the vehicle would not pass the New York State Inspection with the existing brakes. He insisted that he merely advised her to get the new brakes. When he realized I was adamant about not needing new brakes, he dropped the subject altogether. By the way, who would you believe in this instance, the miscreant who initially tried to rip you off, and who then tried to rip you off your wife, or the woman who raised your children? In the end, Nick had no choice but to accept my AAA Auto Guard extended coverage plan.
The size of a man is measured on the strength of his character, integrity and being a man of his word. While financially, Di Blasi Ford is a giant, morally Nick Ramnauth is a pygmy. My advice to you, take your vehicle to a repair facility whose name does not appear anywhere on the Ripoff Report.
College Point, New York