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Date: January 24, 2014 at 3:56:20 PM CST
To: Better Business Bureau <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: BBB Complaint Case# 300101444 (Ref#21-17515-300101444-3-11100)
C.T. Sorrentino, LtCol, USAF (Ret)
On Jan 24, 2014, at 1:05 PM, "Better Business Bureau" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Complaint ID#: 300101444
Business Name: Das Auto Haus, Inc.
Thank you for contacting BBB regarding your complaint.
The complaint was received by BBB on January 24, 2014 and has been assigned case# 300101444 in our files.
We regret to inform you that BBB cannot process your complaint. The case has been reviewed by one of our Complaint Specialists and was found to contain issues that are out of BBB?s purview.
It is our policy to process only those complaints that fall into BBB's scope. Items such as criminal allegations, requests for punitive damages, employer/employee disputes, cases already involved in litigation, civil right violations, business to business collection issues, etc. are not handled by BBB.
Thank you for contacting the BBB.
Nancy, Ext. 8602
Dispute Resolution Specialist
Your complaint has been assigned case #300101444.
Correspondence regarding this complaint will be emailed to : email@example.com
Please print a copy of this for your records.
Filed on : January 24 2014
Filed by :
Lawrence KS 66044
Das Auto Haus, Inc.
1045 New Jersey St
Lawrence KS 66044-3049
We do not have a lot of money and our previous mechanic in Kansas City was always honest, fair, and did excellent work. Das Autohaus is not/does not! I took our 2000 Volkswagen Beetle to Dave for a simple check of the battery (which was losing its charge on very cold mornings) this morning, expecting a fair and reasonable estimate. He told me that it would take about an hour to run some diagnostics. I asked him how much an oil change would be while I was there and he told me, "$60". I told him that my last mechanic only charged me $25 (including oil, filter, checking fluids, and inflating tires) and that I thought his price was too high (HINT #2 of a rip-off ... I should have walked away right then, but I believe in supporting local small businesses), so I told him not to change the oil. Three hours later, Dave finally called and told me that the problem was in-fact the battery, which I assumed was the case, and considering the fact that batteries for my vehicle run around $100 (including FREE testing and installation) at any reputable auto parts store, I figured it should run me $160 more or less ($100 for the battery and an plus or minus an hour, to be generous, for labor - diagnostics and installation). I asked him how much it was going to cost and he said, "that comes to a little over $280". I thought maybe I had misheard the price, so I asked him, "did you say $280?". He confirmed the ridiculous price and I said, "I can buy a battery for $100 with free installation at an auto parts store, so why do you want to charge me $280? How much is the battery?". He replied, "$140", to which I responded, "so you want to charge me $140 in labor to replace a battery I can get installed for free anywhere else?" He told me, "that's what it costs. Do you know how long it takes to install a battery?" I told him that I do in-fact know how long it takes because I installed the VW battery 4 years ago myself, taking only about 15 minutes. His "I could care less" and aggressive tone of voice ticked me off, so I told him I would be right over to collect my car. When I arrived, he insulted me further by saying that the car had not been well maintained and, in an attempt to up-sell someone who was not going to fall for his BS in any event, that I needed to replace the timing belt. I told him that the timing belt had been replaced less than 70,000 miles ago and that the VW had been well maintained, changing the oil every 5,000 miles even though recommendations are to change diesel oil every 10,000 miles and making all RECOMMENDED and NECESSARY repairs (from our honest mechanic). He then handed me a bill for $75. He not only overcharged me for the labor involved with the estimate, which should have been free, HE CHARGED ME $9.99 FOR SUPPLIES? What supplies could he have possibly used to test my charging system? Having spent my Air Force career as a transportation officer and responsible for hundreds of auto mechanics (and the Best Transportation Squadron in the United States Air Force), I know how repair costs are calculated, so I asked Dave how much his hourly rate was. He said, "I work by the job, not by the hour", so I knew he was not on the up-and-up. He was trying to charge me over $140 in labor for a job that takes 6/10 of an hour, ATTEMPTING to charge me over $250 an hour for labor when the average is $65 to $70 an hour elsewhere ... CAN YOU SAY "RIP-OFF" ... SURE YOU CAN! I took my car to Walmart a few days later. They tested my charging system FOR FREE, CHARGED ME ONLY $109.97 FOR THE I took my car to Walmart (invoice below) a few days later. They tested my charging system FOR FREE, CHARGED ME ONLY $109.97 FOR THE BATTERY, and INSTALLED IT IN ABOUT 20 MINUTES FOR FREE ... for a total of only $124 and change! Adding in the $75 Dave charged me for doing practically nothing and the grand total came to $200, SO I STILL PAID $80 LESS THAN DAVE WAS GOING TO CHARGE ME even though I should have paid over $150 less if I had been dealing with an honest person.
Your Desired Resolution:
I should have received a free estimate. I told him it was the battery and he could have checked for a problem in less than 5 minutes. $66 for an estimate plus $10 for supplies is a rip-off. The only reason I paid was because I was in a hurry and did not want to have to call the police. I also want an apology for the way I was treated.
This case will be reviewed by a complaint specialist at the Better Business Bureau, and then forwarded to the business for their response. It is our policy to allow the business no more than thirty working days to respond to your complaint. Within those thirty days, we will write, fax, email or phone the company in an effort to seek a resolution to your case. You will be notified when the business has responded.
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