ED Magedson – Founder
Alabama Auto Repair7712 Highway 72W, Madison, Select State/Province USA
Alabama Auto Repair "Free estimates are not Free" Unethical actions by Alabama Auto Repair Madison Alabama
This is the classic of auto repair rip off. Stated “ Free estimates” are not free if you do not agree for the repair, and in this case repairs that were not asked for or needed.
I brought my Lexus RX300 to Alabama Auto repair and left written instruction in the drop envelope to “to assess noise believed from a front wheel bearing and provide estimate to repair.” Estimates were stated as “free”. From experience, I knew it was a front wheel bearing, just not sure which wheel.
The effort I requested was clearly stated in the drop off envelope that Alabama Auto Repair provided you. Again, I request an estimate to repair a bad wheel bearing. Nothing is printed on the drop off envelope that would indicate an estimate would cost $75. No conversation preceded that stated that they would be a cost of $75. Only when Alabama Auto Repair called late in the day and stated that both wheel bearing , brakes, etc . would all be needed f or repair, I told them that it should be only wheel bearing, brakes were new and that I would hold off the actual repairs. This is when I told about the "charge for an estimate" and became the victim of a $75 estimate fee.
Because they could not identify the worn wheel bearing causing the noise, they provided a response that “both” wheel bearing were worn. They also stated they assessed that my brakes needing replacement along with the steering internal clock spring. This information was provided both written and verbally. When I declined the repairs, they stated that (my free estimate) now I had a charge of $75 for diagnostics! And because they could not fix They charged me $75 for this assessment. I had to pay to get the vehicle returned.
Further, they stated verbally to me that I should “just drive the vehicle until the noise got louder” and then they could identify the wheel and that I should not be concerned or consider it a dangerous condition. However, they did state that the steering clock spring is dangerous and should be fixed right away. This is just the opposite of what is technical correct. They are very specifically and technical ways to diagnose wheel bearings and apparently Alabama Auto Repair used none.
I had the vehicle looked at and repaired 2 days later at Diehl Automotive repair in Huntsville. The identified and replaced a worn left wheel bearing. Thus, it is oblivious from the actual repair of the vehicle they were not competent in their ability to properly assess a worn bearing on this vehicle. It was not “both” wheel bearings as in their estimate-both worn would have been an extremely unlikely condition. Auto Alabama Auto repair always indicated that they could properly diagnose and fix this type malfunction.
They were not asked to provide written estimates or inspect any other part of the vehicle but did refer to other items as justification for charges in their assessment (Brakes, Clock Spring) They stated that the noise or wheel bearing was not dangerous…this is contradictory to all other information from auto experts. This reflects on lack of professional competence. They stated the vehicle needed brake work. The vehicle had all 4 wheel disk brake pads and drums replaced less than 11 thousand miles.
Alabama Auto Repair did not provide a service that warrants the charges or any payment. Free estimates are not free here if you do not agree to repairs not needed It would be easy for me to say the heck with this issue and go on, it is not about a few dollars, it is about the ethics and principles that a business should uphold.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/22/2013 11:53 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/alabama-auto-repair/madison-select-stateprovince-35758/alabama-auto-repair-free-estimates-are-not-free-unethical-actions-by-alabama-auto-rep-1101479. 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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