Boston area auto service allegedly does unnecessary repairs

Boston area auto service allegedly does unnecessary repairs

A bump in the road

COMPLAINT: Howard Brower, Lincoln, Mass.

"I have a 2000 Honda SUV. I heard some clanking sounds a month ago when I would go over bumps. I took the car to Monro Muffler Brake & Service in Watertown. They told me I needed four new shock absorbers. After the repair, it seemed like they fixed it. A week later, the problem was back and worse than ever. When I took the car back, they told me they couldn't fix the problem right away.

"Finally, I took the car to a dealership, and they said the car didn't need new shock absorbers. They said the car just needed sway bars replaced. Basically, I spent $723 for nothing. I called Monro and told them the problem. After talking to the district manager, they said they'd repair the sway bars with a discount, but they wouldn't do anything for the shock absorbers/struts."

DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I'd like a refund for the unnecessary work done. I'd also be willing to work out some reasonable settlement if they repair my car."

STATUS: Penalty Box

Fired up 

COMPLAINT: Janet Galvin, Medford, Mass.

"I hired American Mechanical Co. to supply and install a gas furnace. It was the worst experience I've ever had. Robert 'Jay' Frasca [the owner] was late every day. One day he left for lunch at 11 a.m. after getting to my house at 9 a.m., and then he didn't come back for two days. He never called to say he wasn't coming, even though he knew I took days off work to be home. He estimated the job would take five days, but it took 18 days.

"My front and back doorbells didn't work after he rewired the furnace, and he left a massive hole in the wall where he installed the new thermostat. He failed to hook up four of my heat vents and one return vent. My air conditioner didn't work when he was finished — there was a hole in a 40-year-old central air pipe he didn't change, so all the Freon leaked out of the unit. It took 30 phone calls and six months for him to show up (two hours late, with no call) so I gave up." 

DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I'd like American Mechanical Co. to refund me the money needed to complete this job."

STATUS: Penalty Box

Carpet ride

COMPLAINT: Michael Victor, Newton Center, Mass.

"I gave TMP Cleaning & Restoration Services Inc. five Oriental carpets to clean. They returned four of them, telling me the fifth needed extra work. Three weeks later, after I called, they brought me a carpet I didn't recognize. The delivery man told me I could keep it. I refused.

"At their suggestion, I drove to the warehouse to look for my carpet. None were vaguely the same size or color. They told me to shop and find a comparable carpet, which I did, but they decided they wouldn't replace it. They offered me a few free cleanings in the future. What customer would consider continuing a relationship in such a circumstance?"

DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I want them to find my carpet or give me adequate compensation for a replacement."

STATUS: Penalty Box

Snowed in

COMPLAINT: Howard Plotkin, Brookline, Mass.

"Back Bay Towing was supposed to take care of my snow removal needs, but they never showed up. When I signed up, we agreed they would clear the snow by 8 a.m. They said they were going to do the work in a timely and professional manner. I called them recently because I had to shovel the snow myself. They asked if I wanted my money back, and I told them I did. At this point, I'm worried I won't get the $800 back that I paid for the service."

DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I want a $150 rebate and for them to do the work as promised. If this isn't possible, I want them an $800 refund."

STATUS: Penalty Box

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