Sals Auto Body Sal Caliguri UNPROFESSIONAL, RUDE AND LAURA WILL SELL SELL SELL THE STORIES St James, New York
Sals was recommended to me by my dealership ---so I bought my 2008 S550 Mercedes to them to have it repaired. I took the car over there 5 weeks ago where I was introduced to Laura, the manager. RIght off the cuff she started with her sales pitch about getting my insurance company to pay for everything, chasing them down for every little scratch on the car etc and making my car mint. She told me to leave it to the professionals and the car would be complete in 3 weeks. I had owned a small dealership for some time and had dealt with many body shops, so I knew what to look out for. I dropped my car off on a Friday. The following Wednesday I had received an email from my insurance company that they were sending me a check for the initial estimate. I asked the insurance person if they had spoken to Sals body shop and he told me they had not heard a word, so i proceeded to call the shop because Laura informed me right away that the estimate I was given was way off base, and I did agree with her on this. She required assistance from the insurance company to get additional work authorized and supplemental check(s) cut. So I called the shop to ask why they had not spoken with my insurance company, and told them I did not want the work on the car held up because of the insurance company --that if they gave the shop any unnecessary delays to let me know and I would contact my insurer directly and light a fire under their you know what. The girl who initially answered the phone gave me some really odd story that confused me and made no sense, until i realized that she had no idea who she was speaking to, and they got Laura for me. Laura once again told me to basically chill out, the professionals had it under control and my car would be taken care of. I told her I found it odd that 3-4 business days had passed and they were unable to give me an estimate on the total amount of work required to make my car whole again, and that not giving this to my insurance company would clearly cause further delays. I was made to feel like I was harassing them by even trying to get involved and keep my insurance company on top of things. I gave up speaking and told Laura no problem call me if they give you any kind of issues or delays and I would call them myself. For the next 3 weeks, a total of 4 weeks since I dropped the car off, I left Laura and the shop alone. I did not want to feel like I was harassing them and felt the tension from my call the Wed after I dropped it off --so I figured back off and let the professionals deal with it. When I spoke to Laura on Wed, 2 days short of the 4 week mark, she told me the car would be ready Friday. The next day Thursday afternoon she called to tell me some story about detailing cars in the shop when its raining outside and haze forming on the car etc. I owned a detailing company in college and detailed cars and boats for 4 years. Its nonsense, i knew it then, but decided not to argue and told her fine, Monday it is. Monday she totally ignored all of my correspondence. Tuesday I get a call from my MB dealership telling me the car was there and they were going over it, as I had asked to be done. Shortly after my call from MB, Laura called me and left me a voicemail claiming my car had been at Mercedes since Friday afternoon!! Yet, my MB rep I have known for years clearly told me the car was dropped off on Tuesday. They brought the car back over to Sals Tuesday afternoon where i was told the car STILL had to be detailed, and would not be ready until Wednesday!! I left it alone, I was busy seeing clients Tuesday anyway. Wednesday comes and no word from Laura. 3:40pm I call her to find out what is going on with my car, and AGAIN I get the song and dance about detailing a car when its raining outside!!! I had it at this point, I told Laura enough of the BS, I told her my experience detailing cars, my experience owning a dealership where we had cars detailed all the time and I was done with the song and dance, where is my car and that I wanted it ready by today, Thursday. Laura told me i should not be frustrated with her, she told me she put her license on the line for me and got tons of repairs added to the insurance bill to make the car mint --so she basically admitted to a form of insurance fraud, and then proceeded to tell me that it was CLEAR that i would never be happy no matter what they did for me and I would only be satisfied if I got my car back that day. I had it with this woman at this point and flat out told her GET MY CAR READY FOR TOMORROW I AM COMING TO PICK IT UP and I hung up. I was so frustrated and disappointed that I felt compelled to send an email to the shop and to my rep at MB to express how angry and frustrated I was. And I did. FIrst thing this morning 845am I get a call from Laura ---and she is basically laughing / mocking me on the phone saying MR M I GOT YOUR EMAIL. I said yes ---and she proceeded to tell me well we have a problem, im not giving you your car back now until i get the check from your insurance company in my hands!!! I said wait a minute, your going to hold my car for a check you already know is made out to you and on its way to you now because I sent you an email you did not like? She replied to that I run this shop, I make the rules ---so your waiting for your car. I lost it. I told her I would be reporting her insurance scam to my ins company and we would deal with this at this level if she wanted to threaten me and pull this nonsense. I made attempts to get Sal on the phone, but for the last week I am constantly told (when laura is busy and I ask for Sal) that he is not there. The guy does not even seem to exist. I made calls to my MB dealer to help me, they felt bad and called them, I contacted my insurance company to tell them what this woman is doing, they were shocked and showed me an email they sent her showing the check payable to them and guaranteed them it was on its way, the insurance rep even called to ask them to release the car and no matter who calls, Laura states I am not getting the car back now until she gets the check!!! The even BETTER and more INTERESTING part of all of this, is that I found on their website where they claimed to be owned by the family / group that owns my MB dealership and a flock of other high end dealerships ---when I confronted them and MB about this, MB was upset and almost did not believe me they had this on their website, and literally an hour later they logged in and changed the text on their website!!! Extremely shady woman, shady operation. They can hold my car until kingdom come. Every day it sits there I will file another report against them, with another agency, I will contact my Attorney and file a lawsuit against them, I will contact the DMV to find out who regulates repair shops and I will exhaust an enormous amount of effort to make sure they are inconvenienced more than they have done to me. I offered them numerous attempts to give me my car and let me be on my way and Laura thinks shes going to prove a point. Its not like I am stuck driving some crappy rental car ---that is not the case i have other cars at my disposal. This is about customer service, professionalism, and principle. I would not recommend this shop to my worst enemy SIMPLY because of Laura ---it has nothing to do so far with the quality of work, I have not seen it yet. If the car comes out bad, i will follow up everywhere and let folks know if the quality of work is bad. If you do work with this shop, avoid this person.