• Report: #367206
Complaint Review:

Don's Small Engine Repair Minneapolis, Minnesota, MN

  • Submitted: Tue, August 26, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, April 24, 2012

  • Reported By:Brooklyn Park Minnesota
Don's Small Engine Repair Minneapolis, Minnesota, MN
1449 Coon Rapids Blvd NW Minneapolis, Minnesota U.S.A.

Don's Small Engine Repair Minneapolis, Minnesota, MN Leaves customer's property outside TO RUST for FOUR MONTHS, doesn't repair on time Minneapolis Minnesota

*Consumer Comment: Decent shop

*General Comment: Don's small engine is a great to get your equipment fixed.

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: don's small engine - rip-off

*Author of original report: never received an apology

* : Menards

*UPDATE Employee: customer service

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So in April, my husband brought the snow blower to Don's Small Engine Repair

Don's Small Engine Repair
1449 Coon Rapids Blvd NW
Minneapolis, MN 55433

because Menards said that Don's Small Engine Repair handles the warranty claims; the snow blower had come with a manufacturer's warranty.

When my husband brought the snow blower in April to Don's Small Engine Repair, Mark, the guy working there, asked if we needed it right away. My husband said that there was no rush. Since I did not write down the times when my husband called to check on the snow blower, I cannot document that.

Last Saturday, August 16th, my husband stopped at Don's Small Engine Repair to check on the snow blower, because it has now been FOUR months. The shop was closed, so he took a look in the lot. There he saw our snow blower - out on the uncovered lot with a few other snow blowers, where rain, hail, and the sun can beat down on them.

I spoke with Mark on August 20th and asked about the progress of our snow blower. He said that he would "pull it out and have it ready in a couple days." I was mad. It's been four months and he hasn't even started to repair our s****. />
I wonder if any of the snow blower owners know about the care that their snow blowers are given.

I believe that when something is brought it, it should be worked on in the order that it was received.

On August 25th I called and left a message since no one picked up the phone. Ben from Don's Small Engine Repair called back about 2 hours later to tell me that they aren't going to work on the snow blower and that we need to pick it up and have it repaired somewhere else.

So this tells me that Mark had lied about repairing the snow blower "within a couple of days" because it's been longer than that already. I will be contacting the BBB about their business practices.

We picked up our snow blower today, August 25th. And it has rust in many spots - we have the photos to prove this. This snow blower WAS NEW - there was NO rust on it when we brought it in to Don's Small Engine and Repair. Because they left it outside, it got rusty. When I pointed out the rusty spots, the employee there said, "Sue me!"

We have brought our snow blower elsewhere for repairs, and their storage area is covered.

If they would have told us that they would be leaving our snow blower out there for several months, we NEVER would have chosen them to repair our snow blower.

Because they left our snow blower out side, it went from new condition to rust. One of the labels is also coming off because of the weather.

Get this -- Ben, the guy from Don's Small Engine Repair told me that my snow blower still "looks like new" on the phone. From these photos that show rust, could you believe that this snow blower is new? I don't think so.

I highly recommend not bringing your snow blower to these guys. If you must, demand having it stored within doors, and call them every week to make sure that they are repairing it. Stop by often to check. Maybe make them sign something that states that it will be done by such a date. But it probably won't matter anyway, since you might be told the same thing is me if you aren't happy with their service. You may get the response: "sue me!"

Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/26/2008 04:00 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/dons-small-engine-repair-minneapolis-minnesota-mn/minneapolis-minnesota-55433/dons-small-engine-repair-minneapolis-minnesota-mn-leaves-customers-property-outside-to-367206. 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 Consumer Comment

Decent shop

AUTHOR: Jeremy - (United States of America)

Don's small engine is a business that is open to make money.  It is no different than any other shop in the twin cities metro area.  They are not perfect and I have been to most of them in the Northwest suburbs. I give them an average rating, and it is my belief they should not be on Ripoff report because a few people have communication issues.  I own an outdoor services contracting company and am constantly needing repairs on the equipment that I use frequently. (mowers, blowers, trimmers etc...)  My suggestion to anyone who is buying a product from a big box store, please be advised that they will not repair or stand behind their product if it breaks down after the initial warranty.  Once this happens you will be left with trying to find an honest shop to repair equipment that they have no history on.  Guesswork, fixing more than is needed, improper diagnosis and handling, all of these things may occur unless you buy from a store that will sell and service your equipment.  You will pay a little more for the product you buy, but you will encounter a different philosophy from these stores because you bought the product from them and it would benefit them to treat you fairly so you will continue to shop and receive service from their store.  

My overall advice is to keep the communication lines open and clear with the shop that you choose to perform your service work, and be diligent in making sure your expectations are clear and precise in relation with the problems you are experiencing and a realistic time table and solution are given.
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#2 General Comment

Don's small engine is a great to get your equipment fixed.

AUTHOR: blah - (United States of America)

Maybe they left it in pieces for ya so you could fix it they just saved ya the trouble of taking it apart, figuring you wanted to fix it your self.  Its a lot of work involved with changing a belt on a 2-stage snow blower.  And the engine probably ran fine for you, but was not running like its suppose to i.e. run with the choke off and not gallop when running.  This is a good repair shop they do good work and stand 100% behind it, other wise they wouldnt or been around for 20 years.  My opinion is its just a few customers that did not get their way and needed a place to vent their anger.  
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#3 REBUTTAL Individual responds

don's small engine - rip-off

AUTHOR: unhappy customer - (United States of America)

I totally agree that Don's small engine in Coon Rapids is a rip-off. First of all, if i did my research, i wouldn't be out of $50 and a snow thrower.

So i noticed my snow thrower was not running well and decide the following summer to bring it into service at Don's Small engine. When i brought my snow thrower in, i told them it could be a belt or something that is not connecting to throw snow. They said it's a $50 up front charge to service which means that any more charges over $50 would be added. i was fine because hoping $50 would bring my snow thrower back to life. I got a call a week later and the service guy name Ed said the belt needed to be replaced and that cost and extra $20. So i said whats the total. He said, about $70 with tax that includes the $50 upfront for labor/time spend to troubleshoot and $20 for belt and labor was extra. Then the he said the carburetor is bad and needs to be replaced. i told him, it's working fine and starts every winter for me. He was surprised it even start...Why wouldnt it start ? i know my own snow thrower. I asked for an estimate and he said a carb kit runs from @20 to $30 and labor is $80. Total for everything is about $180 to $200. To be honest, that's was way more then i estimated and would probably cost more then the snow thrower itself. I told him forget it and put a new belt on and be done with it. Then he said the total is $80 after tax and other fees.

By now i am thinking $80 would get snow thrower back and running. But i was still confused with the $50 up front fee. A Simple job to replace the belt would have just cost within the $50 up front. Because of the principle and i didnt want Don's small engine to get away, i decided to cancel the job and walk away. i knew i was going to loose the $50 but i dont want them taking anymore of my hard earned money. So i told them to cancel the job and put my snow thrower back and i will pick it up. When i came to pick up the snow thrower, i waited 10mins for them to bring it to me. I was in shock when they pulled my snow thrower out and everything, i mean every part was gutted. i asked the service guy why they didnt pull it back and he said it would be extra to put it together and also they assumed i was going to dump it. i was very mad and felt cheated. i told them they took $50 from me and didnt have the decency to put it back together ? i stormed out the place and told them i will never come back and will report them to BBB.

My neighbor gave Don's small engine a weed trimmer because they kept giving him the run around and charging more $$. All he needed was a new clutch gear ($45)

A month later i called around and found a small engine repair place in Columbia Heights. They didnt ask for any money up front but did stated that a $30 fee will be cheered to the work if it needs to be done. I got a call back the next day and was told, my snow throwers frame is bent which is causing the belt to slip. The carb was fine and there were some missing parts...I wonder.

Stay away from Don's small engine in Coon Rapids !!!

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#4 Author of original report

never received an apology

AUTHOR: R. - (U.S.A.)

I see that someone from Don's Small Engine Repair responded to my complaint on here, but they never sent a direct apology to me.

As for "we will not put repair dates in writing (no shop does)", Lehmann's Outdoor Power Equipment in Anoka does. They gave us a rough estimate of having our snow blower repaired within 2 week. They actually had it done in 5 days. (We brought our snow blower to Lehmann's Outdoor Power Equipment after we left Don's Small Engine Repair. And Lehmann's has an indoor storage area, where our snow blower was placed when it was not being repaired. Lehmann's did a great job and they really listen to their customers -- I highly recommend them for your snow blower and other equipment repairs).

As for me suing Don's Small Engine Repair, I didn't have to -- once the Eskimo manufacture heard about our problem with Don's Small Engine Repair, Eskimo gave us a brand new snow blower and they removed Don's Small Engine Repair from their authorized dealer's repair shop list. Menards also removed removed Don's Small Engine Repair from their authorized dealer's repair shop list.

Eskimo also surprised us by refunded our money for the snow blower repairs too. Eskimo is a great company, and I'd buy from their company again.
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AUTHOR: Don's - (U.S.A.)

Despite the customers claims, we still service more than 100 units every year for Menard's stores all over the twin cities. Lehmann's may have been ahead of schedule at that time but, they still do not put their back log in writing. no one does, as I stated in my previous rebuttal. I feel I have already explained our standings with this customer, we feel we do fair business & always do our best to amend any mistakes or customer complaints in a friendly manor. Had this customer addressed this issue with the manager or the owner before claiming to be filing a lawsuit against us I assure you our response would have been helpful & friendly.
I urge any one considering having small engine repairs completed to call as many shops as they can before bringing their equipment some where. you will find that all small engine shops run extensive back logs during the summer months & they do very slightly. we since have operated with in a few days of our back log.
Once again, if any one reading this has any questions feel free to call me personally, or email us at donssmallengine@netzero.com
Ben Scott
Don's Small Engine & ATV Svc
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#6 UPDATE Employee

customer service

AUTHOR: Don's - (U.S.A.)

To whom it may concern.
we have had some staffing issues over the last year that have resulted in some customer service that was unstasfactory by my standards. we have restaffed the shop and feel we are back to our normal stregth, as we have been in bussiness at this location for almost tweenty years. i will atempt to rebut this claim paragraph by paragraph.

yes we are the warranty authorized service center for this and many other maufacturers

I do not belive Mark asked them if they needed it right away, we dont promise any thing right away, at the time the unit was brought in, it was our busiest time of the year, our regular back log was four weeks wich we inform all customers of upon dropping off any unit. why would we ask them if they needed their snow blower in april any way?

we have always stored equipment waiting to be serviced out side, it stays inside once it has been checked out & indoor storage is always available upon request.

unfortunatly i can't comment directly on the conversation over the phone with Mark. the unit was at our location for 4 months wich is clearly to long & far beyond 4 weeks it should have been done in. I dont know why this got over looked for so long. I have impossed new systems to prevent this from happening again & also have restaffed my back room with new factory certified techintions(the old ones were certified too)

we have a large fenced in area behind our shop that is filled with equipment, many customers even drop their equipment off at the fenced in area where they can clearly see equipment is stored out side. this is not diseptive, we have no reason to be deseptive about how we store our equipment as most customers find it satisfactory, also as i already stated indoor storage is avaible upon request.

on august 25th the customer left me a message stating that she was suing us & reporting us to the BBB. this was the point where i was made aware of the situation & it was far too late to satify the customer. we have the right & will refuse bussiness from any one who is planning on sueing us. If she had spoke to me, the manager or Don, the owner before stating that she WAS going to sue us we could have resulved the situation. I did ask her at that time to take her equipment to another service center.

I dont know why Mark didn't Give this unit priority at this point, as he said he would, Mark is no longer with us. as I already stated i have impossed new systems to prevent situation like this from occuring. as I recall the customer did make a claim with the BBB and no action was take against us.

when the custmer picked up the unit they pointed out several spots of surface rust on the auger & lower housing area, this will result from any amount of snow, ice, salt, ect even if the unit is "new" this can result from any amount of use. there was no rust on the top of any parts where water would pool. beyond that surface rust can be removed with a simple oiled rag wich i would have done my self given the oportunity. had i thought we had damged any of her parts during storage I would have replaced them.

If you read this report, please know we have been at our current location for almost tweetny years, we have represented many manufacturers for even longer. we service thousands of units every year with hundreds of custmer that bring their equipment back for regular service every year. there is no need to damand in door storage as it is avaible readily. we will not put repair dates in writing (no shop does) all equipment should be repaired within a week of the estimated back log at the time drop off. in closing i admit that the customer did NOT recive satisfactory service and regret not having the oportunity to amend the situation my self. i have made corrections to our employee over sight to prevent this in the future. Please judge us based on our thousands of saticfied customers & not the one angry one that took the time to right a nasty report.

If you have any questions about this report, feel free to contact me directly.
Ben Scott
Don's Small Engine & ATV Svc.

P.S. please ignore any spelling errors, I am just a mechanic.
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