I was having a problem with the struts on my car, a 1991 Ford Escort, so after getting a few estimates from people I decided to go to Meineke. I also found an internet coupon for the struts so I figured it would be somewhat helpful on my wallet.
Boy was I wrong. On August 13, 2005 I went to this location at 9 am and spoke to Ray, the con artist so called customer service rep at the desk. I told him about what was going on and within minutes the mechanic looked at my car and showed me and explained to me what was wrong.
My rear springs were cracked, and I needed new struts. He also said that he couldn't see any damage with the plates and said he'll try to save them. Ray then approached me and said that he had to make phone calls to get the parts and give me an estimate.
He told me everything should cost around $488. I confirmed with him that's including the labor, the coupon and all taxes, he said yes. About 4 hours later I get a call from Ray saying that the plates they were trying to save were broken, and now it's going to cost me more money...a lot more like $700. I told him I did not have that kind of money and all he said was well what are we going to do?
He asked for a check and to even sign up for their Meineke credit card, but I refused. My mother later spoke to him and all he could do was talk in circles and get off the subject.
All he kept saying was what a nice person I seemed to be and I'm like a child to him, this is not about my character it's about you fixing my car for the price I was quoted. Ray then said he'll see what he can do. Around 5 pm I got a phone call from Ray saying that the total price was going to be $590, he said this is the $488 plus tax.
That was a total lie, because earlier he said that the $488 was everything included. I went to pick up my car at 6 pm and demanded something on paper showing how he came up with his figures. But before this he started to cry me a river about how big a job it was and that he's taking a big loss by charging less than seven hundred.
He then went on to insult my car telling me not to drive it for long because of the problems it has. He also said that the mechanic worked on my car for seven hours. Ok and, so what? that's what he gets paid to do. When he gave me the print out, my final cost was $578. And with a labor charge of $74 an hour their total for labor was only $148, that is NOT seven hours of labor. As he was about to give me my car keys, they could not find them, and the mechanic came in and said that he didn't have my keys so they used a key from another Ford Escort (which I didn't see there) to start my car.
I looked through my purse and it turned out they gave them back to me when I dropped the car off. Now my question is, how did they manage to start it up with a key from a car supposedly identical to mine that wasn't even there? I paid the $578, because I am the only one with a vehicle at home and I need to get back and forth to work but now I am absolutely broke for the next two weeks. This is the worst experience I have ever had with my car and I will surely let everyone know to NEVER go to Meineke.
New Brunswick, New Jersey