The Truth About What Happens When an Auto Repair Service Center Screws You!
After reading this article you will think twice before you take your car for an oil change at a quick lube shop like Midas, and you should because you could be scammed yourself.
As a car lover, I have experienced several shoddy repair shops, but this one pissed me off so much, that I had to post about it.
Date: June 5th of 2013
Car: 2006 Lexus GS300
Quick Lube Center: Midas of Farmington CT
Midas $700 Oil Change Scam
I took my 2006 Lexus GS300 to Midas in Farmington CT, and as a result, one of the service technicians stripped the treads on 3 of my tire pressure sensors (TPMS). The treads were so badly stripped that I could no longer inflate my tires with air afterwards because there was nothing to screw onto. To cover up the act, the Midas employee used silicone to reattach the caps back to the tire valve stems.
Why Did I Go To Midas in the First Place?
I usally go to the local Lexus Dealership (Hoffman Lexus), but I wanted to take a suprise trip with my wife and neice and couldn't get an appointment in time. I was already a Midas customer with my Mustang, so I figured I'll just take the Lexus there for the first time. Unfortunetly everything went horribly wrong and when I tried to reason with the manager, he simply tried to cover up what was done, and went so far as to put the blame on me. Luckily I kept my cool and tried to resolve this properly and here's what happened.
BTW: I found out later that this Midas shop has also scammed an old lady and the story made the papers.
UPDATE 10/1/2013 Better Business Bureau was a Big Waste of Time
Since the Better Business Bureau did absolutely nothing about helping me other than completely wasting my time. I'm posting all the letters I prepared to fight this problem. I invite any comments and advice below.
6/27/2013 Complaint that was sent to Midas Corporate and Farmington CT Midas General Manager
To the General Manager of Midas,
I had a simple oil change and tire balancing done on 6/5/2013 at the Midas located in Farmington CT. Within a few days I noticed that my car was damaged by Midas; specifically the tire pressure sensors were ruined because the treads were stripped completely off making it impossible to fill the tires with air. According to Hoffman Lexus, Midas reattached the tire valve caps with silicone to the ruined treads instead of telling me what happened. They also didn’t add enough oil during the oil change.
On 6-10-2013 I called the Farmington Police to ask what to do and on 6-11-2013 I met the Farmington Police to file a report for the broken TPMS sensors and whatever damages could have been caused during and after the 6-5-2013 Midas Service date to 6-12-2013 which is the date I dropped my car off at Hoffman Lexus to be inspected and repaired back to factory condition.
What bothers me most is that Midas didn’t add enough oil to reach even the minimum level dot on the dipstick. The oil level was first inspected by Police Officer Matthew Cosmos, on the day I went to file a police report for the broken sensors (6-11-2013). Only 6 days after the Midas oil change my 2006 Lexus GS300 was almost completely out of oil, and engine coolant!
This was highly unusual for my car and I know its history well because I owned and cared for it since 2006. Right after I left the police station, I bought a quart of oil at the nearest gas station and put it in. I also made an appointment with Hoffman Lexus to get my car inspected for damages. Later on Ron Llewellyn from Midas called and asked me to bring my car down for him to look at it. I did and he confirmed that the sensors were broken and he had his worker check my oil. They ended up adding another 1.5 to 2 quarts of oil, mind you this was only 6 days after I had an oil change done there.
Ron had his employee also top off the engine coolant which was all supposed to be done 6 days ago, but the coolant was right at the minimum line or slightly below it.
I have no idea why the employees working on my car stripped my TPMS sensors, and used far too little oil during my oil change. My only guess is that they were hoping that I wouldn’t notice until months later and that I would go back there to fix my car when things eventually broke. I'm sure I'm not the only one they screwed, but I maybe the only one who called the cops on them.
This was a very aggravating problem and it cost me 2 days of work, a bunch of money, and stress. The sad part is that the Better Business Bureau couldn't really do much to make Midas accountable for what they have done.
I was extremely concerned about the lack of oil in my engine after the Midas oil change , because of the hundreds of miles driven for that trip. Lexus said that it sohuld be okay, so we'll leave it at that, but what was not okay was this oil change costing me north of $700.
Being someone that is very capable of working on my cars but chooses not to in most cases because of a back injury, number one I am appalled that this happened to me and that Midas doesn’t have video cameras taping their workers or someone supervising them properly, and number two I know that the only way to really check for engine damage from driving with a lack of oil would be to take apart the engine and inspect it, which I know can costs several thousand dollars on my Lexus.
Alright Guys, The rest is actual letters that I had to send in. There maybe some grammer mistakes, because I was stressed out at the time of writing them. Hopefully this post will prevent someone else from getting screwed like I did. I recommend doing your own services, taking it to a mechanic you trust, or taking it to the dealer. The money I saved was a drop in the bucket compared to the money I lost because of Midas.
My Out of Pocket Costs Due To This Incident
6/5/2013 Midas Service $65.88
6/11/2013 Quart of Oil $5.31
6/14/2013 Hoffman Lexus $726.69
8/7/2013 BBB Initial Complaint Against Midas Filing
On 6/5/2013 I went to Midas in Farmington CT for an oil change service. This service includes have the following checked: Engine air filter, Brake fluid, Power steering fluid, Automatic transmission fluid, Coolant/antifreeze.
Normally I have all this done at Hoffman Lexus in Hartford CT. I went to Farmington Midas because I was at the 5k mileage interval from my last service at Hoffman Lexus on 01/22/2013 and they didn’t have any appointments available that week (I was request a loaner because it takes a while there).
During my stay in their waiting room I overheard that a lot of people called out and the manager that was currently working there was from another store in North Western Connecticut. I’ve been there before with other cars and had great service. This time, there were different people working there and the end result was that parts were damaged then covered up during the service appointment, and I had to go to Hoffman Lexus to have the car examined because the Midas Tech stripped the treads off of 3 out of 4 tire pressure sensors. I had to pay Hoffman Lexus $726.69 for the replacement of all 3 sensors and another oil change out of the Lexus Service Managers recommendation based on the quality of work that was done on my car at Midas on June 6th 2013.
I first realized that something was wrong on June 9th, which was only 3 days after the Midas appointment . On that day I was preparing to take my wife and my niece to Vermont for a road trip. For any road trip, I always prepare my car by checking my tire pressure and my oil. On that day I was shocked to find that I couldn’t remove 3 out of the 4 tire valve caps, so that I could use my digital tire pressure gauge to check my tires. For the first time in my life I had to use a wrench to remove my tire valve caps and that’s when I noticed that Midas caused a lot of damage during my service appointment. I was so livid about the findings that I totally forgot to check the oil levels before my trip.
Please read the attachment
On July 10th I began gathering evidence taking lots of photos and videos of all my discoveries. On July 11th I went to the Farmington Police to ask them for advice on what to do. On July 12th I brought my car to Lexus to have it thoroughly inspected and repaired.
9/5/2013 Response to BBB Request After Initial Complaint Against Midas Was Filed
I have never had any problems with my tire pressure sensors until I took my car to Midas. A 2006 Lexus GS300 comes standard with the tire pressure caps that Midas ruined, in addition to the ruined tire pressure sensors. No Midas employee informed me that they had problems taking off my tire valve caps AT ALL! Nor did Hoffman Lexus who services my car regularly. Midas is attempting to lie their way out of this situation, because their employee caused damage to my car that they do not want to pay for it. Ron, the manager accused me of having bad tire pressure sensors in the first place and that his employee did me a favor by not mentioning it to me! I have a statement from the service manager at Hoffman Lexus who states that Midas ruined my sensors THEN used silicone glue to fasten them! How can Ron, even state this type of malarkey and pretend that he is being an honest and fair business person; It's absolutely ridiculous! I have years of service history from Hoffman and I have ALWAYS repaired anything that Hoffman Lexus suggested is broken. Midas ruined my tire pressure sensors to the point that I COULD NOT inflate my tires anymore!!! I check my air pressure regularly and I have proof of this via a purchase of the most accurate digital tire pressure gauge from Amazon.com, which I purchased on May 5, 2012. Ron offered to replace the broken sensors with NON Lexus parts, and I told him that I’ll agree to the replacement only if he uses OEM parts; that is my right as a consumer. My wife and I met Ron together the day I went to file a police report, and we’re both shocked at the level of deceitfulness he clearly displayed that day.
I’d like to mention that my previous business Simply Additions, LLC was an accredited BBB business and that I have won over 5 BBB awards that demonstrated the high level of ethics that I believe businesses should strive for. Ron displayed deplorable level of ethics during our meeting, where he failed to trust anything that I said. He basically accused me of lying, BUT he was still willing to replace the sensors with aftermarket garbage even though he thought I was in the wrong? I really hope that you help me as you are the consumer advocacy group that I have trusted and recommended for years. I hope that someone at the BBB, perhaps Paula, remembers how many awards my business won year after year, because of my shear commitment for providing honest services to consumers, which is something Ron clearly has no intention of doing. Ron is not a business person to be trusted! He clearly demonstrated that in front of me and my wife. I really wonder how many people have been victimized by his unethical handling of employee born problems.
BTW: I called Ron shortly before July 27th, and he told me that he will get back to me within a week because someone was on vacation that he wanted to talk to. True to his character, he couldn’t even honor the verbal agreement of calling me back.
At the very least I want the money I’m out for properly repairing my car after Ron’s employee caused these damages. Also I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but Ron didn’t even want to acknowledge why my car was extremely low on oil, only a few days after an oil change. Something that shocked the Farmington police officers, who were the ones who suggested and performed the oil check themselves. I have photo graphic evidence of the police officers checking my oil, and Ron’s employee pouring in oil, after the fact.
Please call me with any questions.
So I tried going to the Police but they ended up not really helping me other than noticing that Midas didn't even fill my car with enough oil. They said that their hands were tied unless there was some type of direct evidence. I only went to the police because I wanted to have official proof and I wanted them to pull the video tapes from the service center. The general manager of Midas in Connecticut for the Midas I went to is VERY DISHONEST. Before this matter happened to me I actually liked the Farmington Midas, took my other car there, and I even took my Mom's car down there. NEVER AGAIN. I feel betrayed by Midas and the Better Business Bureau. I decided to post this article because I wanted to show people what lengths I went through to get this matter resolved and in the end, the consumer watch dogs that are supposed to help people, simply did nothing at all. I actually used to recommend the BBB to people because I won lots of awards from them regarding ethics in business and such, now I lost all respect for them, because they had clear evidence from me, from Hoffman Lexus, and yet they failed to do the right thing. No one from the Better Business Bureau called me about this.
If you are in a similar situation, you might want to strongly consider not bothering with the BBB. In my case, they did absolutely nothing, not even a 2 minute phone call. What's the point of that organization anyway? Maybe it's just to sell those stupid accreditations which definitely influence a business rating. Maybe they struck a deal with Midas and decided to screw me over. One thing is for sure, all these dishonest bastards will eventually pay for their actions.