Complaint Review: Cottman Transmission - Salem Massachusetts
- Cottman Transmission 135 Canal Street Salem, Massachusetts U.S.A.
- Phone: 978-744-2266
- Category: Auto Repair Service
Cottman Transmission Ripoff rude jerks who will treat you like crap if you don't let them repair your transmission Salem Massachusetts
*Author of original report: Cottman Still Stinks
*Consumer Comment: go after headquarters ..They are well aware of the deceptive "warranty" advertising.
*Consumer Suggestion: what is good for the goose is good for the gander
*Consumer Comment: THE COTTMAN SHUFFLE
*Consumer Comment: THE COTTMAN SHUFFLE
I took my 94 Ford Escort to Cottman on Canal Street in Salem on the morning of January 17th cuz the tranny is leaking. The owner seemed cool enough and we went for the obligatory test drive and he noted that the car seems to be operating normally. Then it went into their shop and onto a riser and he showed me where was leaking.
Unfortunately it seems to be coming from inside a seal and the only way to find out what's causing it is to take the whole transmission OUT of the car and take it apart. And it's going to cost $325 to find out. So I say OK, and he doesn't even have any "real" paperwork or authorization form for me to fill out and sign so he asks for the last 4-digits of my Social Security # as an authorization, and writes it down on a blank piece of paper. It's too early in the morning for me to wonder what's wrong with walking out of a transmission shop with no documentation of what I just agreed to.
He also tells me it's not going to be "some $800 job..." and I'm "looking at anywhere from $1500-$2800" to repair it. I knew tranmission work was expensive but then I start to wonder why he's quoting me such high prices when it could be something minor. So OK whatever. But as the weekend passes I start to get this really bad feeling about the whole thing. A few friends said the price seemed a bit high, esp. since the guy didn't even know what was wrong with it and was acting like it was definitely going to be a major repair job, as if the whole tranny would have to be overhauled.
So I get online Monday night and do a google search on "Cottman" and lo and behold, my search turns up a few hundred matches, and a few dozen pages are comments from customers about how awful Cottman is. I spent about 2 hours going through them all and ALL of it was nothing but negative feedback on what a rip-off they are (thank you Rip Off Report!!!). I read horror story after horror story of unsuspecting customers who brought their vehicles in for transmission work and somehow it was ALWAYS a major repair job, nothing was ever simple; and how they'd have to keep bringing them back because the tranmissions that were supposedly repaired kept failing; and lots of stories of how Cottman would hang onto their cars for weeks at a time and give everyone the runaround when they'd call and ask "Any idea when my car will be ready or I can get it back?" One guy said his car had 700 extra miles on it when he got it back!!!
After reading all that I knew that bad feeling I had was legitimate so I called and left them a message saying I'd changed my mind and decided I wanted to take it to my own mechanic first, so don't bother taking the tranny out and my boyfriend will come by first thing in the morning to pick it up.
Next morning boyfriend calls and says the service technician ("Chuck") wants to talk to me. Apparently he'd already taken it out but hadn't taken it apart yet. I told him not to bother, just put it back in and yes, I know it's still going to be $325. I also told him I had concerns about doing business with them because the owner never gave me any paperwork. He said that seemed very strange and OK, he can have my car ready for me by 5PM that day. Boyfriend was standing right there when Chuck wrote it down and put "boyfriend" as an authorization to put the tranny back in unrepaired.
2 hours later Chucky boy calls back and starts screaming at me for lying to him, accusing me of trying to deceive them, that there was paperwork and he had it in front of him so he doesn't have to work on my car cuz he's got all these other cars that DO need repairs so I'm being put at the bottom of the priority list. I told him he obviously misunderstood what I was talking about regarding paperwork -- I never said there wasn't any, I just said that the owner never gave ME anything in writing. He said that didn't matter, he didn't care and he doesn't have to honor his agreement to have my car ready by 5PM cuz I tried to decieve them.
After screaming at me for several more minutes he puts the owner Steve on who then screams at me some more cuz y'know... screaming at customers is a great way to do business, right?
At that point the owner tells me he doesn't even want my business and he'll call tomorrow and give me a "rough estimate" of how long it's going to take to get the tranny back in my car and have it ready for me to pick up. I then ask him if he would be willing to put this "rough estimate" in writing and he refuses. I then ask him if he can at least fax me some kind of invoice for the $325 with room to add my credit card info and signature, y'know...just so there are no more disputes about that labor fee and just to show that I am indeed going to pay the $325. He refuses. At this point I now completely understand why I couldn't find ONE good review of this company (well, other than their own web site which had all of like, 6 good 'testimonials'). I hang up the phone and burst into tears. Did I forget to mention I was at work too? Not like I have enough job stress...I really needed some MORE stress from a couple of obnoxious transmission experts.
Later on that day he called back and said "We'll do the work for you but we'll want all the money up front" and I say "I thought you didn't want my business? And what makes you think I even want to do business with you now anyway? No thanks. Just give me my car back ASAP!" So he said "Fine, we might be able to have it done by the end of the day tomorrow. I'll call you tomorrow and let you know."
That was Tuesday. Tomorrow was yesterday. I never got my "courtesy" call. And I'm not holding my breath. They're holding my poor baby hostage!!! And I'm out $325. I'll probably have to pay someone else the same amount AGAIN, but next time I'm taking the car to a place that my mechanic recommends, which I should've done in the first place. I didn't take it there first cuz I don't think he does transmission work, but I'm sure he would refer me to someone who does that he trusts, and since he's a friend of a friend of our family, I know he's not gonna rip me off or send me someplace else that will rip me off or do a crappy job. Oi.
I've already contacted a local investigative business news reporter AND the BBB. All of this just because some angry service technician wouldn't honor his agreement to have my car ready by the end of the day at 5PM. I swear if my car is not ready by Noon on Saturday I'm going to initiate legal action -- my boyfriend was a witness when Chuck verbally told me he'd have the car ready by 5PM that day (and he also wrote it down, my boyfriend saw him!), not to mention the fact that they've violated their own code of ethics.
More like customer DISservice! I will never ever do business with ANY Cottman again!
Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Cottman Transmission
STOP! ..before you think about using the Better Business Bureau (BBB)... CLICK HERE to see how other consumers were victimized by the BBB's false or misleading information. Don't be fooled! It has been reported, when there are thousands of complaints and other investigations underway by authorities, the BBB has no choice but to finally give an UNsatisfactory rating to a BBB member business that is paying the BBB big membership fees every year. When a business is reported that is NOT a BBB member, BBB files WILL more likely show an UNsatisfactory rating, then reportedly shake down that company to become a member of the BBB. One positive thing about the BBB is, either way, if a business has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB, you can be sure, the business is bad. But what about all those BBB member businesses that had complaints filed against them? Consumers never get to hear about them. What about the BBB advertising to the public? Is this a false and misleading perception they are giving about consumer confidence when dealing with a business? Click here to understand more of what consumers and business alike are saying about the BBB. You decide. ..Remember. The BBB membership is not earned, it's paid for!
Click here to see Rip-off Reports filed where consumers say thank you Rip-off Report & badbusinessbureau.com, that we saved them money. Not included are the thousands of thank you e-mails we get every week.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/22/2004 05:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/cottman-transmission/salem-massachusetts-01970/cottman-transmission-ripoff-rude-jerks-who-will-treat-you-like-crap-if-you-dont-let-them-77838. 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
If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:
Advertisers above have met our
strict standards for business conduct.