Report: #697960

Complaint Review: Maaco of the North Palm Beaches

  • Submitted: Mon, February 21, 2011
  • Updated: Sat, April 02, 2011
  • Reported By: South Florida Resident — Palm Beach Gardens Florida USA
  • Maaco of the North Palm Beaches
    804 Old Dixie Hwy
    Lake Park, Florida
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

This is a case of not getting what I paid for, and Maaco franchise owner Dave Stefan has not responded to my written notice or phone calls. I copied, emailed and called the corporate Maaco franchising office in King of Prussia, PA. Customer service representative Ryan Boyle called me in response to my email, and left a voicemail message. I called him twice afterwards, and finally had to call through the main telephone number to get him in person. Ryan told me he had called Dave, who said he would call me when he had time. Dave does not have a busy shop. He never called me. It appears that Maaco franchisees are not impressed by the corporate customer service department.

Per the Maaco web site, the Presidential is described as "Durability Plus Catalyzed Enamel. We paint the exterior with a material that is more resistant to environmental chemicals, weather extremes and tough road conditions. Enhanced performance with great value."

Dave gave me the "special" price of $514 for this paint job deal for my 2002 black Honda Accord. The day after I picked my car up, I parked it in a large parking lot with no trees. The birds bombed it anyhow. I washed the bird doo off only to find silver-ish stains. Dave told me he would compound the paint down for another $150. I told him I would have to schedule the return trip with PTO hours. Then it rained and I drove through puddles.  When I washed and wiped the car off, there were more stains, though not as extreme as what the birds did. Given the description of the "Presidential", it did not seem right, so I took the car to 2 other paint & body shops. They asked if Dave gave me instructions on how to care for my new paint job (no). They both said that the stains should not have happened. In other words, there was a very good chance that Dave did not use the combination paint/enamel advertised, but whatever cheap paint he had.  His "special" paint job lasted 1 day.

Maaco francisee Dave Stefan obviously does not want to fix the problem as he is not responding, thereby avoiding the issue and delaying a resolution. At this point I do not trust him or Maaco and just want my money back. I told him I would post a report to Ripoff Report and send copies to local car rental agencies, auto insurance agencies, and used car dealers. Dave Stefan is evidently not impressed.  Maaco corporate officers Kenneth Walker, CEO, and David Lapps, President need to hold their franchisees accountable for the quality of their work and customer service.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/21/2011 04:56 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Settlement Reached: Money Refunded

AUTHOR: South Florida Resident - (USA)

Yesterday, 4/1/2011, I received a letter from Sonya Bohmann, the Director of Customer Service at Maaco Franchising dated 3/29/2011. It said that the owner/operator of the Lake Park Maaco had agreed to refund my money.  Ms. Bohmann  went on to say: ...To this point you have be unwilling to do so (sign a release) since the release asks you to remove all internet postings regarding Maaco."

I had previously explained to Ms. Bohmann that removal of the postings was not possible due to the policy of the websites. However, she then went on to write that I can amend the release and "account for the reposts ... Please contact this office once you have completed the reposts, and signed the amended release.  At that time we will arrange the refund."

My credit card company (Barclays Bank) had been working on my Billing Dispute and had requested  a written second opinion from a reputable third party vendor, which I did obtain and submit to them and the franchisee, as well as Maaco Customer Service. 

The refund posted to my account on 3/31/2011, without me having amended the release, updated the postings, or contacted Ms. Bohmann's office. However, I will follow through with my updates on the websites, notify the BBB and the FTC in good faith, and send Lake Park Maaco and Maaco franchising documentation of the completed reports.
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#2 Author of original report

"Compromise" proposed by Maaco Corporate office

AUTHOR: South Florida Resident - (USA)

On Friday, March 11, 2011 I reviewed a voicemail message from Sonya Bohmann, Director of Customer Service at Maaco's corporate office and returned her call.  Her assistant said they would send me a General Release.  She emailed me the release, which I read and responded to on Saturday, March 12, 2011.

Maaco would refund me me $514.08 IF I "shall immediately remove all postings or comments wherever they are located regarding Maaco of Lake Park and the individuals who work there. Customer shall cease and desist from posting any further comments regarding Maaco and its employees.

This General Release is a compromise between Maaco and the Customer, made solely to avoid expense of litigation, and is not and shall not be deemed as admission of any wrongdoing or liability whatsoever on the part of Maaco."

I responded that I could not remove the postings, which are a matter of public record, but would be willing to post an update saying the issue had been resolved to my satisfaction.  Maaco had both verbally and in writing admitted there was a problem with the paint, though their franchisee had blamed bird doo and me waxing the car, so that is a moot point.

Ms. Bohmann, in true Maaco fashion, did not respond either to my email of 3/12/2011 or to my email of 3/15/2011 requesting a response and decision. I can only assume an update in not sufficient for them.  I also mailed Mr. Stefan a copy of their Release and my response, and he did not respond. They want to make the whole thing go away, which is concealment.
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#3 Author of original report

Next Step: Not in Circles, Upwards & Onwards!

AUTHOR: South Florida Resident - (USA)

The Better Business Bureau Listings & Ratings

I did a search "Better Business Bureau South Florida", which took me to Then I did a search for Maaco. There were 12 store listings from Ft. Pierce to Miami. One was a duplicate, so there are 11 stores listed. One is non-rated, only one is BBB certified with an A- rating. There are 4 A+ ratings,  2 A-, 1 B+, 3 Fs.

Actually Mr. Stefan does have a complaint pending under his tenure. When he did not respond to my letter or phone call, I filed a complaint online. I can only assume the BBB is understaffed and overwhelmed and has not notified him yet. I will follow up.

Avoiding "He said, she said"

In the future Mr. Stefan should print out the description of the Presidential paint job and then add instructions not to wax for 90 days. There is a 2-year warranty on this particular paint job, so the statement in the Completion Certificate box does not release him from responsibility once the car leaves his premises. The paint did not perform.  Maaco Corporate Customer Service admitted there was a problem with the paint.

Multiple Complaints about Maaco franchisees in U.S. and Canada - Class Action Candidate

I did a search online and found another consumer site called (((Redacted))), which appears to be a Canadian counterpart of Ripoff Report. There are many complaints on that site aganinst Maaco franchisees. Given the many complaints of highly dissatisfied Maaco customers over the years against their franchisees, Maaco Corporate offices in the U.S. and Canada must be aware of the problems. Maaco is responsible for the actions of its franchisees. The Corporate offices do not appear to be intervening often enough, and is therefore allowing the poor product and service to continue, and are therefore complicit.  The Customer Service department at the King of Prussia office has at best been ineffectual, and uses the same avoidance and delaying tactics of certain franchisees. They are not going to do anything about the problem, unless someone makes them do so.

Maaco Corporate is therefore the perfect candidate for a class action suit.  Given the issues of false advertising, etc. across state lines and in the U.S. and Canada, complaints should also be filed with the FTC, FCC and Attorney General's office.

As for Mr. Stefan, I called him yesterday morning and asked him the name and number of his attorney. He said he did not have one. I told him that is where I am. Not going in circles, but going forward, as promised. It is not just the money, it is a matter of principle.

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Around in circles

AUTHOR: owner - (USA)

I have over 15 years experience in the autobody business. I have been a franchisee of Maaco for about two years. Our rating with the BBB over 36 months exceeds my tenure and has to do with the previous owner. BBB can verify this.  I did tell her NOT TO WAX HER CAR. As I said before automotive paints are not 100% resistant to caustic or acidic attack. Especially such an attack left to sit all day in the sun. This is unfortunate but I am not to blame. The customer got what they paid for and signed the receipt that states " I have inspected my vehicle and am satisfied that this shop has completed the services on the repair order referenced above".
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#5 Author of original report

Better Business Bureau of Palm Beach County

AUTHOR: South Florida Resident - (USA)

Mr. Stefan should research his franchise on the web site for the Better Business Bureau of Palm Beach County.  There were 4 complaints in the past 36 months: 2 advertising, 1 repair, 1 sales practice issue. It received a B+. Other paint & body shop owners did not give the paint job a B+. In addition to the comment about the stains, one said the car had not been properly sanded down.

Mr. Stefan should also learn to spell the names of his customers, and try making phone calls himself instead of having Customer Service do it for him. It makes it appear as if he was afraid to call me. Mr. Stefan needs to re-read the complaint,  namely that I gave him until Sunday to call me before posting the complaint. He failed to do so. I posted the complaint. Mr. Stefan was probably hoping I would go away, if he just ignored me. This did not happen. Hence the escalation.

Mr. Stefan should have looked up the defintion of "mitigate" before using it. Instead of just contacting his paint rep, he should have contacted Maaco's legal department, as they could have defined "mitigate" for him, as well as "litigate". Corporations are generally concerned about their image and also their franchisees using products up to spec.  Ryan Boyle's voicemail message to me indicated there was a problem with the paint, not the poop.

Mr. Stefan's claim that he advised me not to wax the car is false.  He does not explain why he wanted to charge me an additional $150 to try to buff out the stains. Other local paint & body owners who have owned their shops much longer than Mr. Stefan's 2-year-tenure also did not believe that the paint job he did on my car fit the description of the Presidential paint job. I will be happy to obtain written evaluations from other vendors.

Since Mr. Stefan did not respond in a timely manner, besides posting the complaint, I referred this matter to Maaco Corporate, the Better Business Bureau and my credit card company. I returned Ryan Boyle's call and left a message for him that said "Thanks, but no thanks." Guess Ryan did not notify Mr. Stefan.
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#6 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Bird gone wild

AUTHOR: owner - (United States of America)

It is unfortunate that Mz Coor had a run in with a flock of birds. Mz Coor stopped by the shop to show me what had happened when she parked her car at the train station. Her car was covered with bird droppings. Really bad. Bird droppings contain acids. Any automotive paint new or old cannot withstand caustic compounds over 8 hours in the sun. The paint will stain and/or etch. Mz Coor also was told not to wax her car for 90 days. In her letter she states that she waxed her car. Wax's contain petroleum distillates which could harm new paint. Mz Coor failed to show up to see if we could buff out the stains. She chose to write letters and posts. During this time I contacted our paint rep and told him of the situation. He concurred that paints of any age will stain or etch if acidic or caustic material is left on the surface long enough. The paint manufacturer did offer to supply/pay for the materials to have the car repainted. This was offered to Mz Coor and she refused. Furthermore in Mz Coor's post that she did not get what she paid for is totally FALSE.

Mz Coor has not mitigated this properly especially with the outstanding offer.I have owned this shop for almost two years and have painted over 1300 cars. You will find no negative posts under my tenure. I feel bad for Mz Coor. Should I take responsibility for what comes out of a birds backside? Doesn't feel right to me but I am willing to help her with this. The ball has been in Ms Coor's court.
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#7 Author of original report

6 Days Later, Call from Ryan Boyle, Maaco Customer Serv

AUTHOR: South Florida Resident - (USA)

On Wednesday, February 23, 2011 I received a voicemail from Ryan Boyle at Maaco Customer Service that Dave Stefan said he would fix the problem with my paint job, given the stipulation that I bring it back to him.  This is 6 days after Ryan told me that Dave would call me when he had time. Dave still hasn't.  Ryan also said that there was a problem with the paint, and it had happened before. This is not what Dave told me 2 days after I picked up the car. He said it was the acid bird doo and offered to charge me another $150 to fix the problem. He said he would be the best person to fix the problem. Obviously someone was not being honest up front, which begs the question as to why I should trust the same person again.

I thought about the offer, and have once again come to the conclusion that I do not trust Dave Stefan or Maaco, and just want my money back, so I can go to someone I do trust. I also do not really need any more aggravation. Maaco Corporate can deal with him.
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