View Full Version : 'Tude's "Rant of the month" LONG

February 26, 2004, 12:27
As many know, I was in a wreck 12/20/03 and my beloved (sarcasm) Durango entered the body shop the next day for what I thought to be "routine" collision repair".

Three weeks later on 1/14 or so, I receive my truck back but not to my satisfaction. Litle did I know , the real repairs the body shop had done would come back and bite me. I (my insurance) had paid for OEM replacement parts but only half were. The remainder were knock-off parts of cheap construction . including a frickin fiberglass hood! I paid for paint on adjoining body panels so that the new paint would blend but I received was a wax job over rubbing compound work.
The visits and calls to the body shop have been frequent and to this day, the owner of the body shop locks the office door when he sees me approaching, has his hands tell me he is out of town and I have yet to speak to the man one time to give him the chance to "remedy" his work before I take action against him. Yes, letters have been sent by me, certified with delivery confirmation. For $5472 worth of work, I expected more, but...

So, when I received my truck from the body shop and notify my insurance carrier that there are other issues with the vehicle like the front wheels rubbing the fenders while in reverse, the trany slipping worse than ever before and a few other details the body shop neglected, I was told to take it to my Dodge dealer for an estimate. Received an estimate of $1775 to make the repairs and rebuild the trany. Dropped it off the next day and a new saga begins.

Knowing it would be a week or two before the repairs were complete, I made no contact to the dealer's service department until it was there 14 days.
I call and talk to the man who took my work order and he tells me that he is still awaiting approval from the insurance company for the repairs.
I call my adjuster and he tells me that he has heard nothing and was curious when I was going to have the repairs done!

Call back to the service department and give a minor butt chewing, only to find out that he (service department counter person) was off sick for a week and neglected to pass the ball on to somebody else while he was out. He then admits that he had forgot all about my truck the week after his return to work.
Now, I really tried to keep my cool and made the suggestion that he needed to throw in a set of floor mats, a wash and detail or something . He agreed to the detail, got on the phone, got my repairs approved by the insurance company and the work would begin THAT day.

Day 21 rolls around and I hear nothing after being promised a call to inform me of progress. I call and ask how things are proceeding. I was then told that the mechanic ran into several problems and that the bill would be higher due to unforseen problems and that he was was having a "hell of a time" re-installing the transfer case and trany. No prob, call me back with details when you can.

Day 23 comes and still no word. I find out that the mechanic is still trying to install my trany and ran into MORE problems but I would have it by that afternoon.

Day 25 I call back. My truck is ready as of that morning and I could pick it up any time. GREAT !!!!!!

I show up after hitching a ride and bing dropped off. I ask to talk to the mechanic because I wanted to know more details of what problems he encountered that delayed the repairs and added to the expense (the final bill was $2543 !!). I was told that the mechanic was real busy and it wasn't the norm to summons a mechanic for a customer to talk to. Yeah, right. I hold the insurance company check in my hand, yet unsigned by me and ask again very nicely to talk to the mechanic. The service desk jerk then walks out to the shop, corners a mechanic for at least five minutes before both proceed my way.

I ask the mechanic what problems he encountered to make the install take so long. This very nice and honest man begins telling me in front of the entire service department, including the service manager that there were no problems on his end and the install was normal. I pointed at counter jerk and explained what he had told me about all the problems . Counter jerk hangs his head low with red cheeks while the mechanic explains to me that he is a liar and that he only received the work order three days ago !!!!!!!

Fair enough. I'm still real cool at this point, saying a little prayer in my mind to aid in containing my composure. At least my truck is done, and the mechanic was honest. I asked about why my front wheels had been rubbing and the mechanic told me that was never included in the work order. Fine, just give me my truck and I'll be on my way (to find somebody who will finish the work).

Before I sign the check, I asked to see my truck so I can inspect it. They wheel the thing around and the first thing I notice is that it is muddier than before and now has nice greasy smears around the hood, fenders, and drivers door !!! "Some detail job you had done for me" I say to the counter jerk. Counter jerk wants to know what I mean. In front of the service manager (who is really listening hard now) I explain to him how he admitted to forgetting my truck for two weeks and I was to receive a detail job because of it and after 25 days in the shop and being habitually lied to, I by gosh deserve it !! The service manager steps a little closer and says "TWENTY-FIVE DAYS ?", then steps back into his office.

I made the counter jerk write me a rain check for the detail, I sign the check, and I depart the place without even speaking a curse word.
I was just happy to have my truck back.

So, while making my way down the road, I am very pleased with the way the trany shifts and dig deep just thinking this whole mess may have been worth it to get it back running half way right.
Little did I know that 12 miles later, first gear would take an exit which left me limping home in a POS I was about to unload 8 rounds of .45 ball in to.
Not thirty minutes after i had left the dealership service department, I call service jerk and tell him to send a wrecker, pick up the POS, and call me back ASAP with a reason why $2543 worth of trany work lasted only 12 miles before it crapped out.

So I sit here ranting away in a form of self-therapy, not really wanting anybody to read this but feeling better after typing it, FOUR days after the wrecker picked up my truck and still NOT RECEIVING A CALL from counter jerk! Another months payment has been made on a vehicle I have driven less than 20 miles in 29 days, less than 100 miles total since 12/20 and knowing it needs to go to the frame shop to cure the rubbing wheels, and then back to a body shop to redo the crappy work done 5 weeks ago! Whew! Anybody have a valium to spare? LOL.

February 26, 2004, 12:39
Customer service at it's finest!

February 26, 2004, 12:52
:whiskey: words fail me....

February 26, 2004, 12:55
'Tude, I feel your pain. I hate taking my cars to anybody. Even shops with good reputations can screw things up in a hurry.

February 26, 2004, 12:56
... Jeeez!

I'm pissed and it is not even my vehicle

hard to keep the faith ain't it brother...but hang tight

February 26, 2004, 12:58
i feel ya man.

February 26, 2004, 12:58

February 26, 2004, 13:09
There is a good side to all this.

I have fallen in love with my Jeep Cherokee again.
The poor thing has been sitting since July 2001 with only a quick run down the driveway every few months since she was retired. When I knew I would be a foot due to the Durango repairs, I got her running in top form again in half a day. Since January, I have driven her daily without a hitch and still runs like the day I bought her, even with 151,000 miles on her petite odometer. If there was ever a vehicle I would trust to go anywhere, it would be my Jeep.

She enjoys going fishing, taking less traveled trails and our new adventure we take part in almost daily......shooting the bird and honking while driving by the Dodge dealership. Yes, an old love found again.

February 26, 2004, 13:52

February 26, 2004, 14:01
That sucks. Dodge you say eh?

Next time just trade the wreck in AS IS and save yourself the inevitable pain that wrecked cars bring.

At this point you would have been better off LOSING a few thousand dollars and already have had a full month of tooling around in your new FORD.


February 26, 2004, 14:03

My cherokee is at 300,000 and going strong.

As far as I know it never let my Dad down and has done me well so far.


February 26, 2004, 14:07
There I was singing to myself "if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all" as I was reading your trials and tribulations and in walks my wife with the mail and a recall notice on my new DODGE. God almighty FAL your luck is so bad it is contagious just by reading it. LOL:cry: :cry: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


February 26, 2004, 14:26
TUDE i will let you use my FAL. it will fix your dodge. ~R

February 26, 2004, 14:28
Sometimes it's not so much the product as the ham fisted clods that pass for mechanics locally.
I have to ride 70 miles one way to have anything done to my Harley.
I'm just lucky to have a good shop THAT close.
The service writer and the mechanics (all except ONE at the local dealer) are beyond redemption.

P.S. I have to drive 60 miles the other way to have my Jeep worked on...

February 26, 2004, 14:47
Look at it this way,while you're PO'd now, it'll make a mighty good story for a long time to come.

February 26, 2004, 14:56
I too am at a loss for words. Your composure something almost angelic.

How can that dealership, or the original mechanic for that matter, be so irresponsible and stay in business?

February 26, 2004, 15:16

You could change your handle to Job.

February 26, 2004, 15:23
You need to contact Daimler Chrysler immediately and let them know what is happeneing. Also, do you have a consumer investigative reporter at one of your local TV stations? This is just the type of story they would love. My guess is, that if reporters with cameras start showing up at their door, that things will suddenly start moving.

February 26, 2004, 15:52
Congratulations on keeping your cool. I know that wasn't easy.

FWIW, I would first contact the insurance co and tell them about it. Suggest stopping the payment or at least intervening to protect their financial interest. They're not going to be too keen on paying for nuthin' and if the dealer doesn't like it, the insurance co has plenty of lawyers sitting around looking for something to do.

I would not even speak to the service-writer anymore. It is obvious that he should be looking for another line of work and a serious attitude adjustment. Deal only with the service manager or even the general manager. Don't let them give you that "he's too busy" crap. He's working for you, the paying customer.

Don't even settle for that fiberglass hood and other second rate parts. Make sure the insurance company knows what those Bozos are trying to pull too.

I've been there, just last year. Mine wasn't as bad as yours but it was bad. I sympathize. Keep taking the high road but be firm. Make sure they realize it is going to be harder to jerk you around than to just do it right. Good luck with it.

February 26, 2004, 15:58
Your story reminds me of why I've taken to doing many things myself. I do my own work on my motorcycles, major remoldeling on my home including plumbing and wiring and just about anything I can do where I can pay for the tools with the money I save.

I'm sick and tired of paying union scale workers for shabby, unacceptable work.
Your truck problem would have had me over a barrel too though.

We know your troubles brother............


February 26, 2004, 16:10
Hey, it all comes out in the end. It was just a relief to type it on here and get it off my chest.

My insurance company has been great all through this and says thay will see my vehicle through to the end to make it right. On another note, they have a different strategy concerning work already paid for. It is in my hands solely for getting the end product accomplished. They say there are no actions they can take on their part due to it being my choice of repair facility (the body work). Not like State Farm or others that will take it to court.
They will just keep paying through the nose until it is right. If they would have known the bills associated with the repair of my vehicle in the beginning, it would have been written off as totalled.

I just want my truck to look and run right. Resale value is what is hanging in back of my head now. I couldn't get a plug nickle for the way it looks now or for the front wheels rubbing. I'm sure the Dodge dealer will make sure the work is done right this time but as for the body shop, it looks like I'll have to take him to court as he is running from me.

February 26, 2004, 16:49
thats really a bum deal:sad:

February 26, 2004, 17:10
Bummer. It's hard to find good help nowadays.


February 26, 2004, 17:32

As far as the body shop goes, contact your states' attorney generals' office department of consumer affairs and file a complaint with them. Also, file with the BBB.

Now if you want to make their life difficult, contact the state EPA folks and tell them you were in the shop and that the shop was emitting a strong solvent odor. When you looked to see where it was coming from, the shop was painting outside of the spraybooth. This will get an investigation started, and lots of trouble for them.

The local Dodge dealer does not want to see me again after attempting to over charge my mom. All I'll say is service manager acrossed his desk by his neck tie.

second amend
February 26, 2004, 18:15
Jeff, you are owed diminished value, alot of it. get ahold of Direct Appraisal, he will do a diminished value report, the insurance company has to pay it.

I had a '95 nissan p/u I had an accident, the damage was $4800.00.

The work was piss poor to say the least. The diminished value was 6,000.00
the body shop made my truck worse than it was after the wreck. After 11 months, and a good lawyer the ins comp paid up. I got an additional $4,000 after lawyer fees. Sold the truck. came out ok.

February 26, 2004, 18:26

Suggest you do the following, you will be amazed how fast they respond.

Send a fax to the General Manager and copy the Owner explaining what has happen and that you EXPECT their immediate involvement to fix the situtation. Politely, but firmly, explain how their people have treated you and the level of inconvenience it has caused.

You can go online or fax a complaint to the BBB. This logs a compaint so that everyone can see and remains a black eye for them until they resolve it and you concur.

Do not talk to the desk jerk from hence forth. Everyday, call the General Manager to get an update. If he won't take the call, stop by and see him. Might be a little of an inconvenience to you, but it will be worth it to make them squirm.

They had your vehicle under false pretense for 21 days without doing anything to it, or giving you the opportunity to take it elsewhere. DO NOT TAKE IT. Demand that they give you something for those three weeks. They should pay you for it.

Best of Luck.

February 26, 2004, 18:27
Gives a whole new meaning to the name Dodge.:redface:

February 26, 2004, 20:20
stick with the cherokee... got two, love both. heck, sell the pos and get a couple more cherokees, or a commanche...

February 26, 2004, 21:36
I hear you 'Tude. I'm in somewhat of a similar boat with my fiance's Neon, except my beef is with the independant adjuster. Took the meathead almost two weeks to even look at the car, then misquoted it low. Car had a puddle of coolant under the front of the car, but the radiator was fine in his eyes. Two days after the guy checked it out the body shop was ordering a new radiator. The adjuster was supposed to call either me or my fiance to let us know that the estimate was done; never did call us. Meanwhile through this we have a rental car so she can get to work. The policy will pay for it up to 30 days, which was up last week. I called the insurance company to let them know that the car wasn't fixed yet, and they told her not to worry about the rental car, they would take care of it and we got an "oh, by the way, we are no longer using the services of the independant adjuster that looked at your car." Guess that the man in charge at their Home Office over in Portland got wind of this and wasn't too happy about it. Hope to have it done tomorrow.

I would check into the legality of this, but if I had work done to one of my vehicles and it wasn't performed to what the agreement was I would not pay them, plain and simple. Good luck and hope that things work out. If it was me the Dealership would be eating the cost of repairs and the tow bill.

February 26, 2004, 21:53
Heard back from the service department earlier. Seems that they found SAND in the newly rebuilt trany??!
And what would you think the remedy would be for a trany with sand in it that lost first gear after 12 miles? Don't take the trany out and replace the parts that are scored and etched. Nah, no need to do that. Just flush the dang thing. That's right! Their idea is that if they flush out all the sand, all will be fine.

My argument with service jerk and the mechanic fell upon deaf ears. A simple question asked of them "Isn't sand in my tranmission just as harmful as sand in a motor, causing permenant damage?" was not answered except with "Uhh, Uhh, Uhh".

Plan of action in the morning is to meet with the Service Dept. manager and General Manager over the dealership. I think my last button has been pushed and I will not leave until I know that my tansmission will be within new specifications, including new seals, bearings, bands and whatever else sand could effect. I think giving them a timeline to meet may be required and a possible partial refund for my lost time due to excessive mistakes.

February 26, 2004, 22:47

I am a Shop Foreman / Service Manager in a large Ford dealership.............

DO NOT let them flush the transmission. if it crapped out 12 miles down the road, something major has failed, you suffered complete Hydraulic failure. and more than likely damaged major components. FORDs do not take well to abrasives against aluminum components at all, the tolerances are extremely tight, I imagine Mopar's are no different.

sand? maybe. why was it there? how did it get there? why hasn't the Management team been involved after 7 days of work in progress? they may have their heads up their proverbial posteriors.

I hate to see stuff like this, I make every attempt to see it doesn't in my shop. I can't believe the service manager walked away after hearing the story. It makes ALL Technicians and new car service centers look bad.



February 26, 2004, 23:24
I'm with Gary; sounds to me like they just bought you a new tranny 'Tude.

February 26, 2004, 23:28
Originally posted by Gary_P

sand? maybe. why was it there? how did it get there? why hasn't the Management team been involved after 7 days of work in progress? they may have their heads up their proverbial posteriors.

I hate to see stuff like this, I make every attempt to see it doesn't in my shop. I can't believe the service manager walked away after hearing the story. It makes ALL Technicians and new car service centers look bad.

I'm pretty sure I know how that sand got in there. The whole saga reeks of someone screwing with you 'Tude. This kind of stuff doesn't happen by accident. You need to find out exactly who in the shop is responsible for putting sand down your tranny and deal with him. It might be the same person who 'forgot' about your truck for 3 weeks...

Jim :fal: FALunga

February 27, 2004, 01:11
You really need to contact Chrysler Corperate offices. Was this a 5 star dealer? If not you really need to take it too one. As far as the whole sand issue, watch our six it will probably be blamed on you. At this point flushing will do nothing. The sand has eaten up the first reverse band inside the tranny. Good luck

Hebrew Battle Rifle
February 27, 2004, 04:30
Tude, you need an attorney. At this point, that truck is a pile of scrap iron. Your only chance of getting compensated is a couple of lawsuits.

February 27, 2004, 16:02
To answer some of the questions.

How did the sand get in the trany?
The mechanic told me that a sand storm had blown through during the tear down/reassembly of the trany. His only guess would be that the sand entered the trany at that time. Other than that, he has no clue. Problem is, I was never aware of a sand storm. As a matter of fact, we have been flooded for the majority of the time the truck has been in the shop. Too much rain for sand storms.

Is it a five star dealer?
Yes it is and I believe it is ranked #3 in the state as far as total sales go.

So today I make my way to the service department, past the counter jerks and directly into the service manager' office. I close the door, and start in with my rehearsed rant I had practiced during the 20 minute drive there. The manager is obviously in shock with a semi-irrate customer standing over his desk yammering 100mph, with a wild look in his eyes. I really kept my calm but his facial expressions were worth the visit alone.
I plead my case, lay down the facts of what I expect and want to know what type of compensation I'm to receive for all the delays, lies, and 30 days of frustration without a vehicle I am still paying for.

In the end, I was somewhat happy with the results and the manager was very pleasant as well as patient. I was guaranteed a work up sheet for my transmission that would include measurements of all critical areas inside the trany that would be effected by sand. I was told if the measurements were not in spec, Iwould be receiving another transmission including a warrantee. If the interior of the trany was in spec, they would then replace all the seals, bearings, and other critical parts that may have been effected, sparing no expense and would also include a complete list of parts replaced and including a 2-year warrantee.
The manager didn't think much about the mechanic flushing the trany after a catostophic failure. His plan of action is to start from scratch, pull the trany and rebuild.

I was also told that they would detail the inside and outside of the vehicle and include new floor mats if mine could not be cleaned to a "like new" appearance.
They are also going to recheck my front end and find out just why my front wheels are rubbing and cure the problem correctly if possible at no charge.

I was also given a new Intrepid to drive while my truck was in their possesion. Two porters followed me home and dropped off the loaner car. I was happy about this because they usually charge $30 per day for a replacement vehicle. I asked for a truck to tow my boat but none were available. LOL.

I'm sure there was some heavy-duty butt-chewing going on after I left because the manager was trying to round up everybody in his office that had anything to do with me and my truck.
I only want what is right but stressed the fact that I am out time and money for their mistakes. Maybe i should have made a bigger stink, maybe I did the right thing today. They have one more chance to make this right before I seek outside action. My truck is to be ready for delivery/pick-up on Monday.

UPDATE: They just dropped off a new truck. Now I get to take the boat out and catch 'dem crappie. Watch out Wally Marshall, here I come.

February 27, 2004, 17:42
monday, when you are on your way to the shop, the sun will explode :)


February 27, 2004, 17:58
Sounds like somone is going to get fired over this one, or at least have some lost pay.

February 27, 2004, 19:27
Now I know why some guys call them "stealerships".

I'm curious. You say that the original estimate for the work on the transmission was $1775. The criminal working the service desk tells you that there have been added costs due to difficulties encountered by the mechanic doing the work. You go to the dealership with a check from your insurance company. There the mechanic tells you that there were no problems other than that he just received the work order a couple of days ago. My question is was the check you signed and handed over for the work for $2543? That's $868 in work that never happened.
It sounds to me like you have someone who knows the repairs were being covered by insurance and decided to extract as much cash from it as possible. Ever ask for an itemized hospital bill? First they don't want to give it to you. "The insurance should cover everything" they say. You argue long enough and get the bill. It's like reading a horror novel written during the reign of Caligula. But their perception is "it's not your money, it's insurance money".
It's sad that some have no sense of decency. No sense of old school "do unto others" ( I remember an old t-shirt that read "do unto others...then split":rofl: ). Seriously, though, if I got anything wrong up above, I apologize. I went through a similar experience a few years back and it just really burns me. It's like you look across the table at a guy and say "why would you do this?" and the only response he can honestly give is "because I can!".
I don't post as much as many on this board, but I read alot of posts. You're a cool guy, Faltitude, and from what I've read, you're due for some good things. Keep a sense of humor, it's the strongest armor out there. I hope the fish are biting. Stay strong.

February 27, 2004, 19:48
The added expense was a new torque converter, some (I forget) internal hard part of the trany, and other small parts that added to the whole final cost. In the written estimate, it did mention that other costs may be added if defective parts outside the regular rebuild were found.
Yes, the sense of humor is there.
When they dropped the truck off, my son and I scrambled to walmart as fast as we could to buy a trailer ball so we could tow the boat. We got so hung up looking at the fishing tackle sale, we forgot all about the trailer ball! LOL. We laughed all the way home and jammed out to Free Bird, Baracuda, and Tush, acting like complete fools.

February 27, 2004, 23:27
A 5 Star Chrysler dealerships have to work hard to acheave that status.The wife and I bought a new mini van from one in October of last year. The VERY nice and polite salesman instucted us how to properly fill out the sales survey we would receive in the mail, if not filled out correctly or returned the corperate office would investigate why not. 5 star dealerships have a high mark of excellence, if not they would be stripped of the 5 star award. I would still send a snail mail certified letter to the corperate offices, They[ well one person] have pretty much bent you over and had their[his] way with you. Even though they are now trying to make it somehow seem right. The service punk needs punished, what he did was wrong. If it isnt fixed right this time i would DEMANED a new vehical or you will unleash the dogs of war[lawyer].

February 27, 2004, 23:43
They may be a 5-star dealership but they have a very large turn around of employees, managers, salesman, etc. As far as survey cards, I have purchased 4 vehicles from them in the last 7 years and have yet to receive a survey card.?.

My choices were limted to where I could take my truck. It is a 90-100 miles round trip in either direction to the nearest Dodge dealers and they have far worse reputations and are either owned or co-owned by the same person.

My last letter to headquarters resulted in nothing except "we are investigating". This was due to broken tie rod ends and a defective rack and pinion unit deemed defective by the dealeship yet not supported by corporate officials. Since then, these same issues have made the news and class action law suits are pending for some 400k Durango owners. I have just faced the fact that I bought a lemon. When it runs, it runs good and is fun. When it goes down, it goes down bad.

February 28, 2004, 03:34
Pun intended; it's time to get out of Dodge......;)

Mad Dog 7.62
February 28, 2004, 21:08
Don't forget to gripe long and loud to the insurance people....the insurance people can't tell you where to go for repairs, but they can certainly recommend preferred shops. A call from the insurance adjuster to the general manager may make a big difference. The dealership does not want to lose that business.