The bottom line is that the Flemington Car and Truck Country is just a fundamentally dishonest organization. I don't recommend giving them service unless you like being ripped off. Here is my story.
1. Lots and lots of frustration.
2. Spending $300 more than I anticipated.
3. A month and a half without a car.
4. The problem not having been solved at all.
5. Being lied to many times.
The details follow.
A few months ago, I drove my '92 Pontiac Bonneville to Flemington Car and Truck Country. The car had been suffering transient stalling, which I had tried to fix myself the previous week. Among my attempted fixes, I had replaced the ignition module. When I was at Flemington Pontiac, I talked to service advisor Ralph Schultheis.
He told me that there would be a $95 diagnosis fee and that he would call me later describing the actions that he would take to fix the problem. I had described my previous attempted fixes, and he knew that I replaced the ignition module. He called later that day telling me that there was corrosion in the coils and that the spark plugs should be replaced. He said that this would cost around $380, and that he would call me if he was going to perform any another work on the car. He also told me that the car's diagnostic computer didn't show anything was wrong, a statement that he would later contradict. I remember this statement in particular, as I had suspected there was a problem with the camshaft or crankshaft sensor, and he told me that the sensors weren't a problem since the computer didn't show any errors.
He called me in the morning a few days later telling me that the car was fixed, that he replaced coils, spark plugs, and also the ignition module which I had already replaced one week prior and which I did not authorize. He said the new cost was $780. I was a bit shocked at the price that he stated. I argued that I did not authorize the replacement of the ignition module, but he insisted it was right to replace the module since it was not a GM part. He refused to change the price.
A few weeks later (it's hard to get around without a car), I went to pick up the car.
Since it was around 8 PM, Ralph Schultheis was not there. I talked to someone whose name I do not recall and let them know my complaints about the car, but he said that he did not know the details of the case and that I could pick up the car now, pay the full $780, and then try to get a refund from Ralph later, or I could just leave without the car and pay later. I decided to take the latter option.
I called on the following Saturday hoping to talk to Ralph, but the entire service department was closed for a holiday. I called again Friday, September 9th and I was able to get in touch with Ralph. I again argued with him about not paying for service that I did not authorize. He now said that the car's computer was showing error messages for the ignition module, contradicting his previous statement on the 14th.
I told him that I knew about the Hunterdon Office of Consumer Affairs, and that I was planning on filing a report with them. He said that he would talk to his manager. After talking with his manager, he offered me the internal price of $680, which I believe is still unreasonable.
More than a month after my initial service, I picked the car up at the "reduced" rate of around $650, only $300 more than they had told me. I drove it home okay. But the next day, September 25th, the car did not start with the first turn of the ignition. I immediately tried to start it up again, and it successfully started. I drove about 4 or 5 miles I heard a loud pop from the car. The car then stalled while I was on the road, I checked the odometer. It turns that it hadn't even been 100 miles of driving since I picked the car up before it stalled again. This was the car that they said they had fixed, and for only $300 more than they told me it would cost.
New Brunswick, New Jersey