ED Magedson – Founder
JUST BRAKES6790 US Hwy 19 N Pinellas Park, Florida United States of America
I am an auto tech who took a chance on OTR trucking around 5 years ago. I did well for several years. Last September the cost for repairs and maint. on my truck overtook my income. I sold the truck and began looking for work locally. After months of online applications, dead end interviews and job offers of barely minimum wage, I received a phone call from the manager of Just Brakes in Pinellas Park, FL. I reluctantly accepted the position. It didn't take long for me to realize something was shady. The manager was a great guy, knowledgable and kind... but in order for him to keep up with the cash flow Just Brakes greedy executives want he had to sell overpriced and often uneccessary products and services. I will say nothing negative about the store manager other than that, he needs his job and knows how hard a good one is to find in Florida. The "shop foreman" on the other hand has the Just Brakes script memorized and loves to peddle their overpriced crap. The other techs, while nice kids, are unexperienced. As a matter of fact, I don't think any of the "brake system safety experts" at any Just Brakes locations are ASE certified. No self respecting tech could work under these conditions. My certifications expired while I was on the road and I haven't recertified yet, I'll take care of that in the fall. I have to say, if you have a new car, take your car to your local dealer. Most of the techs at the dealerships are ASE certified and all techs have factory training for that specific brand. If you have a used car or just cannot afford a dealership, most tire retailers such as Goodyear, Firestone, Tires Plus etc.. have qualified techs to serve you. For that matter WalMart or Sam's Club usually can take care of most of your maintenence issues. My point, there are so many options other than Just Brakes, someone at your church, local market, place of employment etc.. has to know of a better option for you.
I was only employed at Just Brakes for 5 weeks before I couldn't take it anymore. Listening to the "script" from the managers was nauseating. The excuses they use, while they may seem reasonable to the general motoring public, are pathetic. I saw cars with under 30,000 miles at Just Brakes having calipers rebuilt and whell cylinders being replaced????? Really???? Funny I thought even the least expensive new cars had warranties up to 36,000 miles. Never a mention about a possible claim at the dealer from the sales crew. I know that brake pads aren't covered but calipers and wheel cylinders should be. I have been around auto shops all of my life and working in them for 15+ years and also understand that even a brand new part can fail. But not every car that rolls through the door. Each car is unique, but not to just brakes. They don't really even have a brake inspection. They immediately try to sell their "amazingly low priced" four wheel friction reline for $99.88. Then if a customer is wise they will decline it and just ask for the inspection....but even then the car is brought in, put on a rack, wheels removed and brakes system, not inspected, but taken apart unecessarily, before any repair is authorized. Brakes can be safely inspected without disassembly. Then the "walkaround" with the customer. Salesmen pointing out average wear and claiming it to be extreme, trying to sell caliper rebuilds for almost $200 when most of the time a customer can have new calipers with lifetime warranties installed at a dealer for less. I could go on for days. I have no problem with a company making a profit...hell a company should make a profit, it's the only way to keep a business afloat. But selling parts and services that are not needed is imoral and illegal.
Now on to the treatment of employees. After I was hired I was told that $40 per paycheck would be deducted for a uniform deposit totalling $500. I've never paid a deposit for uniforms, but ok I'll accept it. I needed the job. Deposit to be returned upon seperation from the company. In the time I was there $80 was taken from my check for this. Not a big deal. I quit on a Saturday, made sure my uniforms were in order and left. When my last paycheck was supposed to post, it didn't. Now the shop is saying I was 2 shirts short. How does that happen when I never left the store with their clothes? I go in early every morning in my street clothes and sneakers and change into my uniform and boots. In the evening I change back to my street clothes and place my dirty uniforms in the hamper. Same routine I had done for years. So my $80 plus my final paycheck are gone. Trying to get ahold of anyone is pointless....eternal hold, answering machines, never a call back. Oh well, within 2 days of quitting I had an offer at a reputable tire dealership. I won't give the name but I think with my new job it will definately be a Good year. I am greatful for my new job and am not disgusted with myself when I go home for the day. I know I've worked hard to keep customer's cars safe and well maintained at a fait price and never have to sell anything that isnt needed.
So to wrap this novel up...Just Brakes is a joke. Not just the store I was in but all of them, they are all corp. stores so the chances of finding one with an honest owner are non existant. The techs are not ASE certified and have little experience. The sales crew will sell parts and services you don't need. They pay their techs poorly, then won't pay their last checks when they wise up and leave. And finally please don't forget. For every Just Brakes store, there are 10-20 better options.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/22/2010 10:12 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/just-brakes/pinellas-park-florida-33781/just-brakes-avoid-these-con-artists-at-all-cost-pinellas-park-florida-606287. 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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