• Report: #385577
Complaint Review:

Pro Import

  • Submitted: Tue, October 28, 2008
  • Updated: Sat, September 26, 2009

  • Reported By:Winter Haven Florida
Pro Import
595 Avenue K SE Winter Haven, Florida U.S.A.

Pro Import ***SCAM ALERT*** $1200 for a simple clutch replacement! Winter Haven Florida

*Author of original report: UPDATE: More Deception...

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Lets include some facts

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I recently awoke from a nightmare involving Tony Waters at Pro Import. I had a problem with my vehicle, so I dropped it off at Pro Import in Winter Haven. Tony called me back, and said that he had diagnosed the problem as the clutch master and slave cylinder (which were leaking), and the repair would be $360. I picked the car up two days later, and the car still had THE EXACT SAME PROBLEM. I brought the car back the same day, and Tony tells me that the parts he installed on my car must be defective. He stated that he would order new parts and install them on the car. So, a full week after dropping my car off the first time, Tony calls me yet again to let me know that the car is ready. After picking up my car, I realize that the car is still having THE EXACT SAME PROBLEM AGAIN. I took the car back to Pro Import, at which time Tony tells me that its a strange problem that he's never seen before, and it must be the clutch causing the problem. Tony tells me that he'll tear the car down, and find out the cause of the problem. A day later, Tony calls me back and informs me that the clutch is broken, and he can replace it (along with a broken motor mount) for $775. This sounded a little high, but I went ahead and had him replace it. Finally, after having my car for TEN DAYS, I go and pick it up, and everything appears to be running smoothly. I asked Tony if he planned to cut me a break on the parts and/or labor for the clutch master and slave cylinders that he replaced IN ERROR, but he tells me that he won't, because I was "going to need it sooner or later".

I'm going to need a house "sooner or later" too, but I don't have the money to buy one today.

Avoid Pro Import in Winter Haven. He gives honest mechanics and shops everywhere a bad name. If you cannot accurately diagnose a mechanical issue with a Honda, then you have no business in the auto repair industry.

Winter Haven, Florida

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/28/2008 09:44 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/pro-import/winter-haven-florida-33880/pro-import-scam-alert-1200-for-a-simple-clutch-replacement-winter-haven-florida-385577. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

UPDATE: More Deception...

AUTHOR: Shizzo - (Afghanistan)

This rebuttal is an outright lie.  Never did I ask for an estimate for replacing any parts proactively.  I took the car to Pro Import Winter Haven, and told Tony of the symptoms.  I also added that I knew the clutch master cylinder was leaking.

Tony misdiagnosed the problem, and called me a day later to let me know that it was the clutch master and slave cylinder.

What kind of shop takes a customer's diagnosis as fact?  The reason that the general public goes to an Auto Repair shop is to get a professional opinion, and professional work.  Sorry, but this isn't a valid argument.  If I were qualified enough to diagnose the problem, then wouldn't I also be qualified to fix it myself? 

This guy claims that he took a customer's diagnosis as fact, and so the repairs made to the car aren't his fault.  First of all, I didn't make any diagnosis.  I simply stated what I knew about the problem.  Second of all, assuming that I diagnosed the problem myself, (which I didn't), what repair shop in any industry takes a customer's diagnosis as fact?  This is ludicrous.

Are auto shops usually in the habit of replacing parts and charging customers for them to "rule out" the problem?  Somehow, this sounds like an inefficient and expensive way to diagnose a mechanical problem with a car.

When Tony gave me the estimate, the car WAS NOT driveable.  Why would a mechanic remove a transmission to diagnose a clutch problem, and then put it back together before calling the customer to ask if they should proceed with the work?  My car was in pieces when I got the call.  They were asking for permission to complete the work and put the car back together.  Again, Pro Import presents an invalid argument bordering on outright deception.

The day the shop called and told me of the new charges for the clutch replacement, I asked Tony at that time if he planned to cut me a break for the LABOR involved in the clutch master/slave cylinder replacement.  After all, I ended up with the parts, but didn't actually need them at that time.  I was willing to eat the cost of the parts, since they actually got replaced, but didn't want to pay for labor that wasn't required.  This seemed like a fair arrangement.  I was trying to compromise.

Tony didn't allow me to finance "in several payments".  When he called and told me what the new total would be with the clutch, I let him know that I could pay him all but $200 when I picked up the car.  After all, we went from a $400 repair to $1200 worth of repairs in a week's time.  More deception.

Tony acts as if I had a chance to go and get my car and go to another shop to get it repaired.  The fact of the matter was that I would still have had to pay the $400 for the initial repairs by Pro Import Winter Haven that weren't required, and then go someplace else and pay for the actual repairs to be made.  Again, invalid argument, and deceptive claims.

Yes, the clutch master and slave cylinder were leaking, however, they were not causing the problem that I wanted fixed.  What 8-yr-old used car DOESN'T have a few problems?  Should owners of used cars expect to get every problem on the car fixed each time they take it to the shop?  That's unacceptable.  We fix the problems that we can't live with, or that hinder normal operation of the car.

If this is such a reputable company, then why isn't it a member of the Better Business Bureau?  I filed a complaint with them as well, but since Pro Import Winter Haven isn't a member, they weren't interested.

People depend on their cars to get them back and forth to work and school. Mechanics/Shops know this, and prey on this fact.  I simply had enough, and decided to be vocal about it.  Now that his shop's name is plastered on the internet with a negative review, someone is trying to twist it around as if I was responsible.  In the beginning, when the shop stood to make a few hundred extra dollars off me, it was no big deal, but now that the shop's reputation is on the internet for the public to view, it's a big problem.

Again, if you value your car or your money, steer clear of this guy.  I'm not sure if he was having a slow week or something and wanted to make a few extra dollars, but I gave him a chance to do the right thing.  I asked him once on the phone, and once when I arrived at his shop if he would cut me a break on the price since he misdiagnosed the problem.  His answer was "Well, you were gonna need the parts sooner or later".

Well, that whole "sooner or later" theory that keeps your pockets filled with cash applies to you, too.  Sooner or later, someone was going to speak out about your deceptive business practices.

I still reserve the right to file a complaint with the Florida State Division of Agriculture and Consumer Services under chapter 570.544(3) of the Florida Statutes.  We are well within the statute of limitations on this type of complaint.
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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Lets include some facts

AUTHOR: Pro Import - (U.S.A.)

I am the owner of Pro Import Repair and to say that his story is a complete fabrication devoid of facts would be an understatement. The owner of the vehicle called me and asked for an estimate to replace the clutch master & slave cylinders on his car because as he stated " they have been leaking for a while and I keep having to add fluid when I lose the clutch petal. Because HIS diagnosis was consistent with the symptoms he had we gave him a price and replaced the cylinders. When they were removed it was discovered that they were in fact leaking badly. When the car was reassembled the clutch worked properly and he picked up the car. He then returned with it the following day and said that he was having the same problem. Thinking that we could have gotten a defective part we replaced them again at no cost to him. When we finished we have the same problem and ruled out the clutch hydraulic cylinders as the problem and proceeded to investigate to find the real problem ( remember that he diagnosed the problem his self originally) Afrter inspection it was determined that the problem was in the clutch itself. He was given a price for removing the transmission and replacing the clutch (which was broken and floating around in the transmission bell housing causing the problem to be intermittant) that is why the clutch would work sometimes and not others. He agreed to the price and told us to go ahead with the repair. Bearing in mind that the car was driveable and he could have removed it at any time but he agreed to let us go ahead with the repair. When he came in to pay for the repair he wanted to know if we would give him a refund for the orignial repair labor (that he diagnosed incorrectly) and when I told him that I could not he pair the bill and left with no problem. I even let him finance the cost in several payments and he returned to pay for the repair with never a work of aggrevation. Since then he has made it his personal job to slander my business of 20+ years. I can honestly say that in those years I have had almost no complaints of any kind and it is because I run an honest business and try to treat everyone fairly, but I do not consider it ot be fair to expect me to refund money for a repair that I didnt even diagnose myself especially when those parts were bad in the first place or the would not have been leaking and he would not have been having to ad fluid all of the time. I wish him well but he is not the kind of customer that I wnat or normally deal with. The funny part is that his father was a loyal customer of mine for many years and never had a complaint of any kind.
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