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Old 02-12-2009, 10:34 PM
Joe Guilbeau Joe Guilbeau is offline
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Join Date: Apr 17, 2002
Location: San Antonio, Texas
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Cottman Transmission tires to gouge me!!!

I signed an authorization with Cottman Transmissions on Patricia Rd here in San Antonio with the manager named Chris.

The authorization was to pull and inspect the transmission and diagnose the problem. The max cost not to exceed $385 dollars.

That was on a thursday, I go in on the next monday, and Chris is not there. The manager tells me that Chris no longer works there, and I ask to see my ticket. He does not produce one, but is very friendly, stating the my only problem is with the Torque Converter.

I ask for my ticket, and they cannot produce one. I say that Chris wrote it up, and they will not say why he does not work there anymore.

What they do mention is that they can repair the transmission for $1,760 dollars. I tell them that this is out of the question, since the tranny is fine.

Michael tells me that i need to speak with the owner. I am good with this and ask that the owner call me. Michael states that the owner will be there on Monday morning. I call monday morning, no owner. I ask for his phone number, and they cannot provide this. I ask that the owner call me, they assure me that he will. Tuesday rolls on, no call. I drop by the shop, stating to Michael (shop manager) that I can purchase a Torque Converter for $395 dollars from Dynamic Converters, and they can charge me a fee for this and install that Torque Converter into my Jeep, Michael says he cannot authorize this without speaking with the owner.

`I said "Fine, have the owner call me"...Wednesday rolls around, no call from the owner. I call at lunch on Wednesday, Michael is apologetic, and promises to have the owner call me ASAP.

Thursday rolls around and no call, at 9:00AM I call the shop asking for the owner, and am told to call them at 4:45PM (this is today).

Call the shop and Michael says the Jeep is ready, and he thinks my bill is $1760 dollars!

Yikes!!!!!!


I go to the shop and respond by reminding them that they do not have a repair order, only a diagnose order not to exceed $385 dollars. They have no knowledge of this order...I ask to see my ticket....there is no ticket, I ask to see the repair bill and Michael states that it is in the computer.

I tell them to print the *%*%&$#*(#(&*$&*(%*($ thing... they say they cannot do this and that I have to talk with the owner>

At this point, I mention that I am getting a bit steamed, and is it any wonder when I did not authorize any repairs, signed a authorization to ONLY diagnose and take the tranny out (they cannot produce this ticket), and they state that I verbally authorized the repairs.

I strongly suggested that they trot out this person that I spoke with, and again was referred back to the owner. When I mentioned that I had never spoken with the owner, they say....you guessed it... I have to speak with the owner to resolve this.

I ask for my ticket, they say...you have to spead with the owner.

Unbelievable, especially considering the fact that I have been speaking with Shawn at Dynamic Converters to build me a custom Torque Converter and ship it to Cottmans Transmission on Patricia Road here in San Antonio.

Fired off letters to the Texas Attorney Generals Office of Consumer Affairs and the BBB. Will be contacting a Judge acquaintence who teaches CHL Classes here in San Antonio to get his advice.

Geeze.....
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Joe Guilbeau<br />1983 Cherokee Laredo WT (SJ-17), 360/229/727/D44/D60 4.10 Gearing, 8-lug hubs, Edelbrock Performer w/EGR Intake, Mallory Unilite Series 47 Photo-Optic Infrared Trigger Vacuum Distributor, Mallory Surge Protector, Mallory Promaster Coil, Holley Pro-Jection TBI 502-Analog, FlowKooler High Output Water Pump, Staggered 4-Core Custom Industrial Radiator, HD Fan Clutch, Dual Electric Fans, CS130 Delco 105-Amp Alternator, Oil Bypass Mods at Rear of Block and Distributor Oiling, Superlift 4\" Suspension, Rancho RS5000\'s, Hi-Tech 31\" Re-Treads, Aero 33 Gal Tank w/Skid Plate, Custom Rear \"Longhorn\" Bumper
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2009, 10:38 PM
bowtieman55 bowtieman55 is offline
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Location: Elizabeth City, NC
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dang...I thought Cottman was supposed to be a good company...

You did the right thing contacting the BBB and A.G.

I wish ya luck with all this.
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2009, 10:58 PM
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Hurricane1 Hurricane1 is offline
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Location: Fordoche, Louisiana
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Had the same sort of problem with them years ago. I had taken my '72 Nova in to get a basic rebuild, nothing special since it was a project car I needed running until I had the money to get a good trans from B&M. I signed a very specific work order for a basic rebuild, provided them with my own new torque converter. Got the written price for $400 with tax. They called a couple of days later and said to come pick up the car. Had my dad drop me off. When I went to pay they said the price was $1400. I told them I was quoted $400 and had the written work order with the $400 quote. They looked at it and said yes but since the Nova was nice they put in a performance transmission with a shift kit and a B&M converter, I showed them where the order states I had provided my own converter, B&M, and told them I wouldn't pay any more than the $400 quoted and they did unauthorized work. They said it was done and they were keeping my car until I paid or they would pull out the transmission and put another one in and it might take 2-3 weeks to get to it. I told them that I was paying the $400 and taking my car. They threatened to call the police at that time I pulled out my State Police Shield and informed them that not only was I getting my car right then at the agreed upon price but that I was also notifying the State Attorney General of their unlawful sales practices. They promptly returned my car to me at that time.

These shops think that once they have your car they can do anything. Well consumer laws do protect the buyer, but you need to get it in writing. I hope you get this worked out as it's a classic bait and switch scam they are running on you. They figure if you want your truck you'll pay their price.

Last edited by Hurricane1 : 02-12-2009 at 11:00 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2009, 11:10 PM
Al Johnson Al Johnson is offline
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Sounds just like an AAMCO shop I dealt with many years ago.

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  #5  
Old 02-12-2009, 11:41 PM
bockslanding bockslanding is offline
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That SUCKS! I dont even know how I would deal, I would be too pissed to handle it as you are, even though you will hopefully get better results this way. Were you even offered a copy of that original ticket? I have never Heard of Cottmann but it seems to me whenever I take a vehicle to a chain shop they are always trying to tell me I need some crap that I know **** well I dont. I like doing my own work so this is usually just for oil changes. seems like the logical next step right? just straight up LYING and trying to rip you off!

I love my small town shop. still on the reliable greasy handshake and 30/hr labor. and they CALL before doing ANYTHING not agreed upon.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:11 AM
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Dang good thing it wasn't me I would have gotten physical the first day!
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2009, 01:30 AM
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littlebuck23 littlebuck23 is offline
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Good luck to you. Crooked people piss me off more than anything else in the world. Your doing the right thing getting the law involved. The atvantage you have over who is trying to cheat You is if they were smart they wouldn't be in the take the poor sucker for all he has got game. Get your pencil and phone and let um have it.
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2009, 01:42 AM
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grand_wag_85 grand_wag_85 is offline
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I had a coupon for a $49.95 trans flush with Cottman in Binghamton, NY and when I went to pick up the Dodge they wanted $295. They told me the coupon was not honored but they did not tell me that when I dropped the car off. I try to stay away from the big chain tranny shops.
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2009, 05:06 AM
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starlifter starlifter is offline
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See if one of the local news channels does those consumer fraud investigations where they with cameras rolling go to the shop and ask questions. If it is a chain shop (I never heard of them) it seams someone higher up in management will settle with you before too much bad publicity gets posted via public airways.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:10 AM
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Lindel Lindel is offline
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Seems to me that if they can't produce an itemized bill stating what was done and what parts were replaced (you also need to ask for the old parts, they are required to give them to you if requested), then I'd say you don't owe them anything.

You might want to mention that you've contacted the AG and the BBB, you might want to mention that you've contacted the news channels as well...
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2009, 07:47 AM
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Chevelleguy Chevelleguy is offline
 
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Too late now but, NEVER use a chain store transmission shop. Always find a reputable, little guy, independent because he can't afford to piss you off.

In my neck of the woods, it's Trans-Pro Transmissions. He has three stores (Garland, Mesquite, and Terrell) and they are the best guys in the state IMHO.
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Last edited by Chevelleguy : 02-13-2009 at 07:49 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2009, 08:00 AM
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ironroad29 ironroad29 is offline
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And this my friends is why I started learning how to do my own work , way back in the 80's... I was a young kid and firured , hey , its already broke, worst I can do is fix it.
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2009, 08:04 AM
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waynestiles waynestiles is offline
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"Too late now but, NEVER use a chain store transmission shop. Always find a reputable, little guy, independent because he can't afford to piss you off."

amen, amen, and AMEN!!!!!

Even on the local private ones take a close look at their work areas. a good auto tranny shop has a work area for assemble and disassembly that is kept clean. We had two local shops---one that looked like a filthy nightmare in the work bays--it was under a new owner who turned out to be an AAMCO graduate--it is now out of business. The other, where I have my work done, is also under a new owner, but he is the former head tech who worked in the same shop for a dozen years or more. You could eat directly off the work benches in disassembly/repair room and the actual lift bay areas are cleaner than even the local autodealer ships shops.

Also check references. talk to older local general or dealer mechanics to find out where they send their tranny work (few can afford to keep an in-house tranny operation)

and pray you don;t have a tranny "go south" when you are on the road.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:05 AM
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sungoesdown sungoesdown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironroad29
And this my friends is why I started learning how to do my own work , way back in the 80's... I was a young kid and firured , hey , its already broke, worst I can do is fix it.

x1,000,000. I started working on all of my parents junk when I was real young. If they said the starter was bad, they would go get one and I would pop the hood and figure out where it was and what it took to get the old one out. I learned a lot of things the hard way but it has paid off over and over down the road.
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BTW, how does someone from Iran have a BJ's Offroad sticker but I can't seem to get one sent to New Jersey?????!!!!!!!

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  #15  
Old 02-13-2009, 08:36 AM
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fulsizjeep fulsizjeep is online now
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I think I would be making some noise. Lots of it. Especially at the tranny shop when other customers are present. Hell Yeah...

Good Luck Joe!
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:45 AM
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TPICherokee TPICherokee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Johnson
Sounds just like an AAMCO shop I dealt with many years ago.

Sounds like every AAMCO shop ever..

A - All
A - Automatics
M - Must
C - Come
O - Out

No matter what their issue is, they want to pull the thing and check it. I learned early when my TH400 was shifting funny and took it there they said they would have to pull it, this didn't seem right so I took it to a locally owned tranny shop and they put a new modulator on it for $30 and sent me on my way...

I hope you get your issue worked out with the crooks you are dealing with. Maybe we should set up a schedule where we all call them every 10 mins or so asking if they made your repair bill correct yet.
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  #17  
Old 02-13-2009, 10:52 AM
MaydayKS MaydayKS is offline
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All AAMCO's in KC metro are crooked and owned by a Chris Knickerbocker. Told them torque converter in my cherokee was not locking up in overdrive. They said full rebuild. Under warranty and had 90k on it so said yes. Went to pick up and soon as in gear heard pop - cross member backwards trans at angle and ripped motor mount. Made them fix. Trans failed on way home. They towed and rebuilt. This time on pick up it was in their lot leaking trans fluid. They tried to charge for new pan but backed down. Then origional problem returned, no lock up in overdrive and overheated. Warranty company finally got involved after so many charges and authorized a trip to dealership. LOOSE WIRE FIXED PROBLEM. I left out alot and just wrote the highlights. Every time they tried to charge me something and if I did not have leverage on them (controled their special orders for performance parts at warehouse where I worked) they would have tried to screw me.
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  #18  
Old 02-13-2009, 10:55 AM
incommando
 
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Transmission chains & suspension/brake shops are the worst. The techs at both, in most cases, are required to "find" X amount of repairs on average based on the number of cars through the door. If they can't "find" these repairs, they wind up out the door. Say you had five alignments that needed nothing but alignment, and didn't find any "worn" suspension parts, you were punished. Crooks. Honest mechanics are screwed by the damage done by these idiots.
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  #19  
Old 02-13-2009, 11:46 AM
Joe Guilbeau Joe Guilbeau is offline
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
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I got a Sheriff friend of mine
A local Judge who taught the CHL Class here in San Antonio

These guys had a signed ticket on their paperwork stating that $385 dollars was the max that could be charged. No repairs were authorized on that paperwork.

Suddenly there is no paper work, no owner, no repair ticket and I am asked to leave the shop and deal with the owner.

Somebody is really testing me here.

I will take a deep breath and let them call me today, if no contact, then I return to the shop tomorrow (Saturday).
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Joe Guilbeau<br />1983 Cherokee Laredo WT (SJ-17), 360/229/727/D44/D60 4.10 Gearing, 8-lug hubs, Edelbrock Performer w/EGR Intake, Mallory Unilite Series 47 Photo-Optic Infrared Trigger Vacuum Distributor, Mallory Surge Protector, Mallory Promaster Coil, Holley Pro-Jection TBI 502-Analog, FlowKooler High Output Water Pump, Staggered 4-Core Custom Industrial Radiator, HD Fan Clutch, Dual Electric Fans, CS130 Delco 105-Amp Alternator, Oil Bypass Mods at Rear of Block and Distributor Oiling, Superlift 4\" Suspension, Rancho RS5000\'s, Hi-Tech 31\" Re-Treads, Aero 33 Gal Tank w/Skid Plate, Custom Rear \"Longhorn\" Bumper
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  #20  
Old 02-13-2009, 11:47 AM
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BIG WILLIE BIG WILLIE is offline
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Location: Fort Bragg, CA
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The break shop and the tire shop we have in town are both shady.

I had a leak in a set of tires i got from them not more then a month earlier and they told me i didn't buy the tires from them. I showed them my papers and they said thats not the set of tires you purchased. I looked at the paper work it said 33x12.5 R16.5 BFG ATKO's i took they manager out there and showed him the tires and he looked at me and said we dint even get those tires. I WAS LIKE WTF then want my money back since i didn't even buy the tires from you. I still have the canceled check. Its not even like it was a big deal all i had to do was charge the valve stem core!!!

Now our break shop is a joke. I got in a car accident like 3 years ago now but it bent my steering knuckle caused my tire to be bald in like 1000 miles. I originally took it to les Schwab for alignment and have it checks out. Well they told me that it was bent and it really messed up my front axle CV shaft it was binding and causing me to almost go off the road. I had to drive it for like a week with the bad CV shaft. Well it that time it toasted my ball joints on that side the insurance company told me not to fix it all because i had already covered my deductible. Well when i got the truck fixed at the body shop they took it down to them to get it aligned at the break shop here in town. They said the ball joints were bad and it wasn't because of my wreck and it would cost me 700 dolors to replace them. I WAS LIKE WHAT! then they said that the steering knuckle wasn't bent and it it was there was no way it was because of the wreck. Needless to say i got new ball joints and a new knuckle. I love having a uncle in the sheriff's department.
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Last edited by BIG WILLIE : 02-13-2009 at 11:57 AM.
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