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Steinlaw, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience:  Consumer law attorney, author of California Debt Blog, top foreclosure attorney
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I have had ongoing issues with a auto repair shop since February

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I have had ongoing issues with a auto repair shop since February of this year. This business has an A+ rating with the BBB, is ASE certified with the Blue Seal of Excellence. I thought, "How could I go wrong?'' The repair shop incorrectly installed the shocks and struts on my vehicle. The shocks were incorrectly installed by the first mechanic of the repair shop twice. There were very audible metal on metal grinding noises the first time and a metallic rattling the second time. In less than 1,500 miles after the 2nd repair visit, the rear shock that this same shop had replaced went out, and was claimed to be defective by the shop. Upon on the 3rd visit to replace the shock, the shop foreman replaced it after test riding the vehicle with me. Shortly after the replacement, my car rode much differently. There was an excessive bouncing that was most prominent on the freeway, and my car felt very unstable at times. I had an authorized dealer ride my car, and they had also noticed the overly bouncy ride. They recommended replacing the shocks. I exchanged many emails with the owner of Salem Boys Auto who had replaced the shocks. Basically, he made an offer which was the shock mfg's own 90 day ride guarantee policy. I had to schedule an appointment with another shop, have the shocks replaced, and ship the mfg's shocks back to get a partial refund. I had to pay the other shop to do all this work, and they discovered that the Salem Boys Auto had once again incorrectly installed the front struts. This information is also in the repair order. When I went back to Mark Salem, the owner of the Salem Boys Auto, he said he already made an offer, and had worked hard to make me happy. I asked for a refund for all labor charges and any parts not covered by the mfg's warranty ($500). Salem's comment was that since he has the A+ rating w/the BBB he "preferred" not to get into a dispute with the shop that found his shop's mistakes since the other shop had a D- rating. The other shop did the job correctly the first time and at a lower price. I filed a complaint with the AG's Office and the BBB. Salem Boys is not willing to negotiate, and finds nothing wrong with a $500 profit for doing a job incorrectly. I am going to have to close the BBB case as disputed/unresolved, and would like to take a chance in small claims court since $500 is a lot of money for me. I see an ethical issue with what was done, but I'm sure of any consumer/legal statutes. When I accepted the offer made by Salem Boys, I was under the assumption that the problem may not have been the repair but the parts. When I found out that the installation was incorrectly performed, I was upset to say the least. I like to think I have a chance in small claims court, and was wondering what my best bet would be. Thank you! Kevin H.
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Steinlaw :

How much did you spend on the job total? And how much are your repairs to get the job fixed?

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I spent $1,195.39 to Salem Boys Auto (1st shop) and $946.76 to the other shop. The mfg refunded me $641.08. Salem Boys Auto added $50 to the refund. I have not cashed either check.
You are out of pocket roughly $2,100. You have received about $700 back. You need to sue Salem for $1,400. I would send them a demand letter. You can find samples online, including at Give them 14 days to pay you. If they do not, sue them in small claims court. You have a strong case and a Judge will award you money.
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