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Ask Dimitry Esquire Your Own Question
Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Licensed in PA & NJ, Experienced attorney.
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Meinke mechanic said they put in a new starter, just took it

Customer Question

Meinke mechanic said they put in a new starter, just took it to the dealership, and it is the original starter, also new battery is rated too low for my vehicle. What should I do? I have all the paperwork.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
In what state did you receive these repairs? Did you contact that location to inform them of the fraud, or not yet?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Massachusetts. I have not contacted that location, as I just went to my dealership this morning.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The dealership said it it was the original starter and that the new battery they installed is sub-par for my vehicle.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I paid them $700. No new starter and a cheap battery...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What do you advise I do?
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 2 years ago.
You have a few options. I will list them for you so that you can decide on whether you want to pursue one, some, or all of them.
1. If they failed to perform the job and you have evidence that they failed to adequately provide the service, you can contact the original mechanic, provide proof, and demand free repairs to make the vehicle compliant with promises made.
2. Instead, you can also contact your new mechanic, have him make repairs, and then turn around and sue the first mechanic for fraud and for whatever overage costs you had when you were forced to make repairs. Typically you do owe a bit of a duty to permit the original party to fix the issue, but if you no longer trust them, you can go to someone else.
3. Likewise you can either threaten them (if they refuse to make repairs), or simply contact the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, speak with their consumer protection division, and file a grievance directly over fraud and deceptive trade practices.
4. Finally, you can just turn around and sue for damages and costs.
Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So I really never really needed a new starter...I really just want my money back, and for them to put a better battery in...I am a bit afraid that they may become hostile...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When you say "threaten" makes me a bit nervous.
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 2 years ago.
Ah, so they just pretended that you did, and still charged you for it. That is fraud, pure and simple, and one that you can demand that they return money for or you will file a grievance with the state. No business wants the state to investigate, so if you file something or threaten to, I suspect that they will very quickly turn around and issue a refund with the hope you won't actually file against against them. As far as hostility, they stole your money under false pretenses, and then failed to even make the claimed repairs--they have more to fear from you then you from if they do become hostile, walk out and file against them, and then sue in small claims. Provided you remain committed, this is a classic situation where you will prevail against them. As far as 'threaten', I mean exactly that--let them know that if they do not refund, you will file a complaint and then pursue all legal options available. This is a threat, but a lawful one...and a threat does not have to have a claim of physical harm behind it to be effective.
Dimitry, Esq.