Report: #249006

Complaint Review: Meineke - Durham North Carolina

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Durham North Carolina
  • Meineke 2206 North Roxboro Road Durham, North Carolina U.S.A.

Meineke Shoddy Brake Repairs swindling money and putting lives at risk Durham North Carolina


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Recently, I noticed that my trucks rear brake pads were getting worn. I took my vehicle to the supposedly reputable Meineke Car Care Center that is near a clinic where I frequently work on 4/16/07. After, a two hour evaluation I was told that I would need new brake pads and new rotors. I told the 'mechanics' to do the work and thought all would be well.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. The cost came to the same amount before and after I redeemed their online coupon, but I figured "hey, they probably accounted for the best deal possible when I walked in through door". Yep, I was that much of a naive sucker when it came to dealing with Meineke.

Within 50 feet of driving I knew there was something wrong with the work that had been done. The truck brakes were grinding and squealing and a distinct rubbing could be heard with every rotation. I contacted the shop to let them know that something was obviously not right and to schedule a time to bring my truck back in to be fixed correctly. But lo and behold I was told that this was apparently some magical brake problem that would fix itself over time if I just kept driving. Rubbing and grinding unbeknownst to those of us who are uninitiated are the way brakes let us know all is well.

Needless to say I was skeptical (if my tone did not imply this) but thanks to the Meineke warranty I couldn't have the vehicle looked at or repaired anywhere else without having to pay for the service all over again. Clearly, I should have done this but I wrongly assumed that perhaps someone at Meineke was competent.

I continued to drive my now worse than before being fixed truck until on 5/6/07 the brakes gave out entirely. This was extremely unfortunate as I was heading towards a red light. As I continued to push the brake to the floor to try and save me from running into the turning traffic, the brakes on my vehicle seized up entirely with a horrible metal on metal gnashing that made me wince even more than the prospect of smashing into oncoming traffic. I was fortunate to merely slide through into the middle of the intersection with the other cars doing a fantastic job of avoiding me.

Unfortunately, I was now stuck in the intersection with no ability to move as my brakes seemed to be entirely locked up. I was able to creep forward by applying a tremendous amount of force and treated to the sound of metal parts tearing themselves apart.

After sitting for several hours waiting for a tow truck to arrive I had the vehicle towed (at my expense of course) to the closed Meineke that conveniently does not have an overnight drop box. I left a number of messages expressing my utter disbelief and dismay at what had happened as well as mentioning that I had previously warned them that something was wrong to no avail.

I returned to Meineke the next morning at 7:45 to give them my keys and a piece of my mind. I was assured that the problem would be diagnosed within the hour I would be contacted and on my way ASAP, given this I opted to wait until repairs were done to go to work. I was their first priority.

So, at 12:45 I call them to find out how old priority one was coming. Like any good business trying to help a severely inconvenienced customer, the people there blew me off said they would call back in one hour. 2:45 I call them and say if they can't fix it tow it to a shop that can, have job done at their expense. Apparently, the phrase at your expense repairs brakes because now miraculously I am ready to go they need only find and put on one more part. They contact me at 4:00 and say come and get my vehicle all is well, they had simply miss-installed a bolt that had then shorn off.

This seems like an unlike excuse as they were searching for parts and it took all day not to mention the fact that they just admitted they didn't do the job correctly thereby letting me risk my life. I pick up the truck and am assured they have repaired everything and test driven it to ensure the highest quality work.

I go about fifty feet again before I can tell the same problem is there and it might be worse. The shop convinces me that I must be crazy, I am simply paying closer attention now, both ideas seem reasonable: one that I am hearing more problems because I am paying closer attention; and two paying closer attention after nearly being in a Meineke induced accident.

I then make the mistake of going on a planned trip to pick up my wife's grandparents at the beach so they can attend my wife's graduation from dental school.

On 5/12/07 on the way back and approximately 100 miles from the original shop the brakes fail when slowing down on the highway. Needless to say I am concerned. I use my cell phone to discuss the fact that as mechanics they are more useless than used toilet paper. I am told that they are willing to take another look at my truck if I can be there within the next hour but if not they will be closing for the day.

I mention that going a hundred miles in less than an hour without brakes may not be in my or my passenger's best interest and that I cannot miss the graduation. The say they might possibly be able to do me a favor and find another Meineke willing to take a look at my brakes. They did over 60 miles away and they suggest that I drive there down the highway.

Needless to say the brakes seize up again fortunately not killing anyone no thanks to the criminally negligent brain trust at Meineke. I do finally manage to get my truck to another Meineke with very courteous workers who say I should never return to the Durham location again. They say this because there is a bolt missing from the rear brake assembly and another that was torqued incorrectly and consequently too loose to be of much good.

This has been causing the whole caliper to slide around on the rotor. The grinding is the caliper top hitting the rotor and the gnashing and seizing is caused by the fact that when the brakes were applied the caliper assembly was hitting the center of the rotor and wedging into place thereby immediately locking down the wheel. Several pieces are worn through from the rubbing and need to be replaced. The calipers have been ground on two surfaces and my new rotors don't seem so new. The brakes still don't function correctly, and I had to cancel a road trip with my newly graduated wife because thanks to Meineke Service whenever no if our next stop might be our last literally.

Is any of this covered by Meineke's lifetime warranty I ask you? Of course not because they have lost me as a customer so they would rather see me die of catastrophic brake failure than share my tale with anyone who still might think that that are capable of doing work correctly.

I tried emailing Meineke customer support but they insist that there is nothing they can do because of the franchising. Here is a fun little quote I got from Chandra Hamilton email address: Chandra.Hamilton@meineke.com when I mentioned that I needed to have Meineke pay for competent repair of my vehicle since they had proven that they had accepted money but were not up to the task. "if you really feel that your truck is unsafe or has been unsafe to drive it would be in your best interrest to go have the truck check out. it's your choice alone to drive a unsafe truck"

Because Meineke cares they recognize the fact that I am a suicidal idiot for taking my vehicle to them for being repaired and tell me so by saying it is my choice to drive an unsafe truck.
Thanks Meineke!

Durham, North Carolina

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/17/2007 08:01 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/meineke/durham-north-carolina-27707/meineke-shoddy-brake-repairs-swindling-money-and-putting-lives-at-risk-durham-north-caroli-249006. 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 REBUTTAL Owner of company


AUTHOR: Vikki Lasalle - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I would like to respond to the complaint by tony as far as brake job done at Meineke Car Care in Durham. As we have discussed prior to this report. I have been in business for 18 months and I must tell you that you are the only customer that I have had a doesn't understand that man made machines break. Yes we did a brake job on your car but we are not responsible if you drive a vehicle that is clearly disabled, by your own admission, for 40 miles and further damage the vehicle and hold us responsible. A responsible person once they realized there was problem with the car that they were driving there family, in would have called a tow regardless of the expense rather than put them in harms way. Unfortunatly you damaged your vehicle further and want to hold us responsible. Please take some responsiblity in your misfortune and stop blaming other people for your mistake.
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