Ripped Off by Auto Repair Shop: Need Help on What to Do About It

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Nigel Farage, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage BANNED BANNED

    Feb 8, 2012
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    Last spring the motor on my power window went out. Normally I fix this kind of thing myself. I probed around the driver door and decided I didn't want to risk damaging it. Plus, it looked like the motor was buried deep inside the door and I didn't know if they had to cut metal, etc... to get it out or what. So, I decided to pay a "professional" and took it in to a local shop that had been recommended to me by someone I knew.

    $100 for the new motor, and $100 for the labor. It was ready by the end of the day.

    When I went to pick it up, I didn't get a receipt for the new motor. Usually, when a shop buys a new part, they give you some receipt showing where it came from, how much it cost, warranty information, etc... I asked for a receipt. "The Mechanic" didn't get a receipt. I became suspicious, and so I asked if I could have the old motor back. Owner of the shop when to the back, and then came back a minute later and told me "The Mechanic" threw the old motor away.

    Nothing I could do. The window worked now, so I figured they must have fixed "something".

    Now it's 6 months later, and the window stops working. This time, I decide I'm going to dig into this door and find out if they replaced the part or not. They didn't. The motor is OBVIOUSLY years old. The aluminum housing is stained and pitted, there is red-rust on the outside of it from something, the insulation on the wires is old & stiff, and there are ink marks on the part from the factory. You don't see those marks on after market parts. Those marks are for the assemblers at the factory. This is the original factory part. There is absolutely no doubt about it. Anyone can look at this part and know this.

    So, what do I do?

    My first thought was, to do the "right thing" and meet with the owner in person, so he could see me, remember who I was, look up my repair and get some sense of what's happening. I figured this is better than an angry phone call, or a threatening letter. Let him see who I am, who I've been to him, etc...

    NOTE: This guy stole from me. It wasn't "The Mechanic". The Owner ripped me off. He might want to blame "The Mechanic" (who conveniently no longer works there), but I know better. I want him to know this. I want the Owner of the shop that ripped me off to know that I know that he ripped me off, and it wasn't "The Mechanic".

    Why? Because I don't want him to use the fact that "The Mechanic" did all this during the negotiation phase. I intend to get some things from this owner, either he can voluntarily give them, or I'll take him to court.

    And this is where I need help. Because I don't know how much is too much. Obviously he owes me $200. And he owes me something for the time I wasted. And he should be punished for ripping someone off. And he should also be punished for ripping ME off. I work with my hands. I'm not some soft intellectual that doesn't know his way around an engine block, nor some fey hair dresser with mousse and eye shadow. I take the fact that he pulled this on me personally insulting, even more than just ripping me off, he ripped ME off. And so I want extra punishment for that.

    So, this is getting long. But here is the threat.

    Police Report (possible criminal charges and also evidence for court)
    BBB complaint
    Google+ Local review
    Yelp Review
    CitySearch Review
    and about 25 other online review sites.

    Or, he can pay me.

    Here's my thinking. What's reasonable? What's possible? What's Do-able?
  2. jmcs23

    jmcs23 Regular Member

    Mar 3, 2009
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    I would tell him the situation and your findings and see what he says or offers to do. I would at least expect him to do the repair right this time. If he choses to give you a hard time, then I would go ahead and do the things you mentioned. I hate mechanics. If I ever get rich off IM I will spend money on a few junk cars and learn do fix them myself through trial and error.

    Sent from my HTC Sensation 4G using Tapatalk 2
  3. SEOWhizz

    SEOWhizz Power Member

    Oct 22, 2011
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    Lat: 38N 43' 11.298" Long: 27W 12' 7.733"
    I'm not in the USA (you mention $), but if someone owed money (under $4k), and I had overwhelming evidence and a very good chance of winning, I'd use the small claims track in the UK.

    I can't comment about your specific case as it's US law, but you'd need to weigh up whether the costs of legal action are worth it. Like you I wanted revenge on people who owed me money and I took quite a few people to court where the amount owed was under $500 and overall it wasn't worth it because the judgement could not be enforced for one reason or another. Remove the emotion from your decision and decide whether legal action will be worth your time and energy.

    I'd also suggest not making any threats (public or otherwise) as this may be used against you. Offer an agreement to the business owner and if he doesn't agree, quietly help karma along it's merry way. If it was me I'd want to dominate page 1 for terms like:

    'car mechanic biz name' rip off
    'car mechanic biz name' scam
    'car mechanic biz name'

    Google Places
    Review Sites
    Videos Sites
    Press Releases
    scam .com

    local newspaper story(s)
    TV investigation show(s)

    More info:
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  4. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

    Apr 1, 2012
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    I feel your pain but I dont see how much leverage you have here. You dont have a receipt for a new part you dont have any written agreement that a new part was fitted or you requested a new part. Six months after the fact the guy will probably tell you to @[email protected]~ off.

    If you have already pulled the door card off then I would get on to ebay and buy and fit a used motor myself probably $20-$30 depending on the model. Unless its the regulator(the x frame aluminium thing the window is sitting in)which is a much bigger job.

    Like I say its hard to get satisfaction when you dont have much leverage if you want to play a game of poker. I would Ring the guy up and say the window packed in again....the car is currently at another garage(pick an expensive main dealer place) they have inspected the window and whoever did the previous repair did a botched job with second hand parts. They are currently pricing up the new parts. I am inclined to get them to go ahead and fix it and I will be sending you the bill. I will also be raising a complaint with trading standards(in the uk we have trading standards that monitor local business...not sure what the equivalent is in the US).

    If you dont want this to happen I will give you a chance to make the job right otherwise expect some bills. Most small garages will try to shut up the guy who screams the loudest.
  5. The Sultan

    The Sultan Newbie

    Jan 15, 2012
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    SEOWhizz's advice is the best but why stop at one review when you're proxies away from making many. You're probably not gonna get your money back but the bad press will for sure lose him a big repair or two :)
  6. WebmasterWorkforce

    WebmasterWorkforce BANNED BANNED

    Oct 27, 2009
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    An auto repair shop ripped you off? What is the world coming to? lol

    PM me.
  7. antsaoo

    antsaoo Supreme Member

    Oct 1, 2008
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    Lol you got cheap. I took my 4gen camaro to local shop and bought the motor off ebay for about 35$ as i remember well something like that ....

    The changing cost was +300e and marked as 5 hours of work as i remember. I mean what the actual fuck it can't take 5 hours to repair a god damn window motor.