• Report:  #718

Complaint Review: Aamco - Alb. New Mexico

Reported By:

Albuquerque, (and main office in Pennsylvania) Alb., New Mexico, U.S.A.
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BEFORE YOU LET AAMCO WORK ON YOUR TRANSMISSION PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: AAMCO, America's Transmission Specialists? This is the story of one man's ordeal with AAMCO, in his own words, with every detail, (which is documented in writing, by receipts, etc.) On March 24th, 1999, I picked up my 1984 Ford 250 Diesel Dually, from Central Auto Service, in Grants, New Mexico. I paid the sum of $1887.05 for "a rebuilt transmission from AAMCO" (which came from the AAMCO in Albuquerque, N.M.) and a rebuilt torque converter, a new flex plate, and misceleanous other labor. The owner, "Harry" assured me that the transmission did indeed come from Aamco in Albuquerque, and that it carried the "normal" AAMCO warranty. (Which I inquired about from AAMCO and was informed it was a 12 months, unlimited mileage, warranty.) My wife and I drove the Ford pickup out of the shop, drove it to Plainview, Texas, where we live, then drove it around a few days, checking the tranmission fluid, regularly. After about 1 week, we drove it to Elk City, Oklahoma, on business, and were there for several days. After concluding our business there, we left Elk City for Plainview, Texas. We drove aproximate 45 miles, and "surprise" surprise".... THE TRANSMISSION WENT OUT AGAIN! I checked the fluid, (it was full) and then walked 1 1/2 miles to a "nearby" restaurant, where I phone the 1-800 AAMCO number, for the customer service. The person who answered there, (Pennsylvania) told me, "...you must contact the shop where the transmission was rebuilt, as our policy is for the customer to return to the shop where the work was done..." I immediately phoned "Harry" at Central Auto, in Grants, N.M. and , to say the least, he was quite irate! "Harry" said, "I'll rip that so-and-so's [expletives deleted] head off his shoulders! You hang on and I'll phone him, and straighten him out." I again phoned AAMCO in Albuquerque and talked to "Harry", who said, "Well, "Harry" in Grants, did get the transmission from me, I did rebuild it... but he didn't pay me for it." I shortly thereafter called Grants again and that 'Harry' told me, "It is true, I have a credit account with AAMCO in Albuquerque. They always bill me for the transmissions I get there, and I pay for them when I get their invoice." So you can see the pattern of dishonesty emerging. AAMCO's "Harry" continued to tell me, "You'll have to return the tranmission to me by freight, and I'll rebuild it and send it back to you." I called AAMCO Customer Service at least 3 times in the interim, and received conflicting information, and suggestions. First, a man (I believe his name was John) in Pennsylvania AAMCO, after finding out I lived in Plainview, Texas, and that the nearest AAMCO dealer was Rick Bighams AAMCO, in Lubbock, Texas, told me, "Take the vehicle to Lubbock and they will see to it." It turned out, I couldn't take it to Lubbock, a distance of over 200 miles, so had it towed back to Elk City, Okla. (45 miles away) and had a tranmission shop there (an independent, as there is no AAMCO dealer there) remove the transmission. In the meantime, I spoke with a "Barbara" at 1-800-523-0401 (in Pennsylvania, AAMCO Customer Relations) at extension 322. After about 3 hours on the phone with her, telling and retelling this story in minute details, SHE told me to have the mechanic in Elk City take the transmission to the AAMCO agency at 3130 NW 39thSt., In Okla. City, OK. I phoned there and spoke to a woman who said she "was in charge" and she asked me to "fax her any paperwork I have on the transmission", which I promptly did. When the man in Elk City took the transmission to her shop, she phoned me and told me "We won't do anything with this transmission, it MUST be shipped back to AAMCO in Albuquerque, N.M." I told her, "So, go ahead and ship it...." The Okla. City AAMCO distribuitorship sent it to the AAMCO shop in Albuquerque. I recieved a phone call telling me they had shipped it. After a week, I phoned AAMCO in Albuquerque, at 505-265-8848 and, after being given the runaround by a "Mark", telling me he knew nothing of my transmission, and that "Harry" was not there, I finally, (after 5 phone calls,) talked to "Harry". "Harry" said, "I will rebuild the transmission and return it to Elk City, Okla." He asked me for the address, and I told him where to send it. He told me, "I'll ship it in about 5 days." (The 2nd breakdown, after leaving Elk City, occurred on April 26, 1999) It is now May 4th., 1999.) On May 10th, I phoned the shop in Elk City, Okla. to see if the transmission had arrived. In fact, IT HAD NOT ARRIVED, so I phoned AAMCO "Harry" again, to see what was going on. I was repeatedly "stonewalled", and lied to by "Mark" and "Harry", who made every implausable excuse anyone could ever dream up. (During this course of events, 9 weeks passed, which brought us into the middle of June, and numerous phone calls were made.) Finally I demanded to know when the unit was going to be shipped. "Harry" promised to ship it "tomorrow"... and about 5 days later, it arrived in Elk City, Okla. minus all but four of the pan bolts, and minus the internal shift rod and linkage! Four more phone calls, and one week later, the proper materials finally arrived in Elk City, Okla., and the shop there installed the transmission. My wife and I went to Elk City, on JUly 5th, and picked up the Ford Pickup, drove it 220 miles to Plainview, Texas. Four days later, on July 9th, we left in the Ford Pickup to drive to Phoenix, AZ. We drove only 38 miles, to Spring Lake, Texas and GUESS WHAT? THE TRANSMISSION WENT OUT AGAIN! We had it towed back to Plainview, and because of a tight schedule, we drove our Dodge Van to Phoenix, Arizona. We were in Phoenix, for the remaineder of the month, returning to Texas on August 1. After a few days rest, I sent an email "Consumer Comments Form" to AAMCO, and the next day, I recieved a phone call from a man named "Steve" in Pennsylvania Customer Relations Dept. asking me "if there was some problem..." I then proceeded to fill in "Steve" with this story, and told him numerous times, "The whole sordid story is logged on the computer in 'Barbara's' office." Steve promised to "take care of it," promising to call me "right back". It was, in fact, 2 days before I heard from "Steve" again. When he called, he told me to take the pickup to Rick Bigham's AAMCO, in Lubbock, Texas, where "they would take care of it," but that I "would have to pay the labor to remove and replace the transmission." (At this point, the prospect of getting anything done was indeed delightful, so I agreed to "pay the labor" to remove and replace the transmission. (Aprox. $300.00+ dollars) We towed the Ford pickup to Lubbock AAMCO, on Thursday, August 5th, 1999 and I spoke personally to Rick Bigham, and Sam Long, two apparent "managers" there. They assured me they "would take care of it." I authorized them to check the transmission, (by removing the pan, and the valve body) to assertain what might be wrong with it. The following morning, I recieved a call from "Sam"... "We have removed the transmission and it is burned out... We will not fix it unless you pay for it. You have 3 options, you can pay $1300.00+ for one year warranty, or pay $2100.00 for 2 year warranty or $2800.00 for a lifetime warranty." I asked them what they had done. "Sam" said, "We have removed the transmission, totally dismantled it, and have started rebuilding it." I replied, "You have forgotten another option I have, I can come and get the vehicle, and tow it home, and forget you." I told them to "do nothing", and put the transmission in the back of the pickup, that I would be down to get the pickup on Monday.Aug 9th. We went down on Monday, August 9th, towed the pickup back to Plainview, to a local independently owned shop, and found that Lubbock AAMCO, had not only totally dismantled the transmission, (they were attempting to, and planning on, rebuilding it without my authorization, and "holding the pickup hostage" to force me to pay their absorbitant price) but that they had totally dismantled my 2- speed gear box (which cost $1800.00) and threw the parts into a box in the back of the pickup. I sent another email to AAMCO Customer Relations in Pennsylvania, and told them exactly what had happened and that, in my opinion, "they were all crooks, cutthroats, and highway robbers", and that "I would do my best to get the word out about how AAMCO REALLY is." The next day, I got another phone call from "Steve". He asked me again, "what is the problem?..." I replied, "You read my email and you don't know what the problem is?" I told him in great detail what had happened, and that I wanted my 2-speed gearbox reassembled, "at no charge to me." "Steve" said, "I'll talk to them and call you right back." This was about 4:45 P.M. on August 11th. He in fact, did not call me again until August 12, in the afternoon. "Steve" said, "Tthey have agreed to reassemble your 2-speed, at no cost to you. They apolagize..." (Most certainly they would, after all the waves I made.) In all fairness, I took the 2-speed to AAMCO in Lubbock, and they did reassemble it, however, when I arrived, they told me, "We go it tomorrow"... to which I replied, "Oh, no you won't. I drove 50 miles to bring this, and I'm not making another trip. You were never authorized to touch it, and you will assemble it NOW. I'll check back in one hour". "Sam" replied, "It'll take longer than that." To which I replied, "I'll check back in one hour anyway." I took the reassembled 2-speed gear box, (It was ready in 1 1/2 hours) to the local independent shop here in Plainview, and they installed it behind the rebuilt transmission. IT TOOK THEM ONLY 2 DAYS TO GET THE TRANSMISSION REBUILT, NOT 9 1/2 WEEKS! The local shop only charged me $475.00 TOTAL COST, parts AND labor. AAMCO's "cheapest" price was $1300.00! TELL ME WHO IS RIPPING WHOM OFF? A personal word to anyone even remotely considering AAMCO for any repairs: LET THE BUYER BEWARE! YOU COULD BE THE NEXT "BLEEDING" VICTIM IN THE CONTINUING AAMCO SAGA! -------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------ DO YOU HAVE A BAD AAMCO EXPERIENCE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE? If so, please email me at: [email protected] and I will be happy to add your story or your link to mine. No profanity please. -------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------ *By the way, most businesses encourage people to link to their web web sites, it brings in more traffic and gets the word out. Our webmaster has received many free gifts from companies as a thank you gesture for linking to them. AAMCO does not allow anyone to link to their web site without prior written permission. What are they trying to avoid? What are they trying to hide? Hey AAMCO, why don't you WANT the word to get out??

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