|Recently I bought a used 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee that had no heat. Only cold air would blow out regardless of the temp setting. I took the Jeep to Meineke Car Care in Cockeysville across from the Target on York Road. After inspection, Jun at Meineke informed me I needed a new heater core and several other related parts to get everything working correctly. I was told that not only did the heater core need to be replaced, but several other parts that controlled the air flow as well. I was put off at the high estimate given to get heat completely fixed, but with winter right around the corner, I gave them the green light to make the necessary repairs.|
After a couple of days, I get a call that the car's ready. I go to pick up the car and the manager tells me everything is working perfectly. After writing a check for more than $3000, I go to start my car and drive out onto York Road. The car immediately begins shaking violently like the wheels are about to fall off and I pulled off onto a side street as fast as I could half scared out of my mind. A second later, their mechanic, who must have watched me pull out and saw the violent shaking, pulls up in his car behind me yelling out his window, "DON'T MOVE! DON'T MOVE!" He gets out of his vehicle and comes over to my car with a huge wrench in his hand. They forgot to tighten the bolts on the wheels ... unbelievable. This, even after the mechanic drove the car out of the bay and parked it out front for me.
After I settle down, I ask the mechanic to take a test drive with me to make sure the wheels actually stay attached to the vehicle and to check out the heating system. We come back in to the shop 10-12 minutes later ... no heat whatsoever. I tell the mechanic that I can hardly believe it would take over 12 minutes to feel any heat whatsoever coming out of the vent. The manager says to leave the car and he'll have to look into it further. What else could I do? I already paid the total bill for the repairs.
Meineke calls me a day or two later telling me another motor related to the heater now needs to be replaced. As you'll recall, he said previously that everything was working perfectly the last time I came for the car. The next day I get a call that the car is ready again. Extremely wary of the whole Meineke experience by this point, I go in to pick up the car. I'm told again that everything is working perfectly. I check that heat is coming out of the vent this time after paying the bill and quietly leave ... probably at this point never to return again.
A few weeks later, I had the occasion to use the air conditioning on a hot day, and after a few minutes my wife complains that heat is coming out on the passenger side. Not having time to check it out myself, I just turned the air off and we dealt with the hot drive. The next day I check it out and sure enough, turning on the air conditioning now dispenses cool air on the driver side and heat on the passenger side! I try the heater again ... heat on the driver side and room temp air on the passenger side.
I call Meineke again explaining that I'm dropping the car off that evening after hours and will drop by in the morning to give them the keys. At the time of drop-off, my Jeep is the only car on their lot. Two days pass ... no call. I pass by the Meineke Car Care Center where I dropped it ... my car is sitting in the exact same spot I parked it in. I finally call and one of the mechanics, Dean, answers. He tells me the manager is off so I'll have to call back the next day. I conveyed my angst regarding the whole distasteful service experience to Dean and asked that he pass along to the manager that I want the heater fixed ... and I am not expecting to incur any further costs to get this work completed. In the middle of my tirade to Dean, I asked him how he would have felt if he took his car to a shop and had a similar experience. He was in agreement that my experience was unacceptable. That settled me down slightly as I'm thinking that at least they realize it is a completely unacceptable experience for the customer (me), and I figured they would quickly resolve the matter to my satisfaction. Stupid me ...
The next morning the manager finally calls me back. He explains that NOW ANOTHER NEW PART IS NEEDED TO MAKE THE HEATER WORK PROPERLY! I conveyed my extreme distaste with the entire experience and indicated that I expect Meineke to get the heater in my vehicle working at no further cost to me (at this point, I have handed almost $3500 over to Meineke for the heat and a couple other unrelated repairs). I probably talked to the manager for over 30 mins while he steadfastly maintained that he will not make any further repairs to the heater without ANOTHER PAYMENT from me to cover yet another part directly related to normal heater operation in my car. During the conversation the manager revealed that he personally tested everything related to the heater when I picked up the car and that everything was working. I inquired as to whether they guarantee their work? He told me yes, and I countered with the fact that the guarantee should then kick in because the heater is malfunctioning a mere month later (and I'm sure probably was from the day of pick-up but I didn't think of checking the passenger side air flow when I drove the car home). He indicated that since he found YET ANOTHER PART that needed to be replaced, he wouldn't honor that. At one point in the conversation this guy had the gall to tell me my car needed so much work and that I made "a bad buy" as if that ridiculous and insulting statement somehow relieves him of the responsibility to deliver courteous, honest and upright customer service and satisfaction. I overlooked the senseless insult and continued trying to support my position. In my final attempt to reach a resolution, I asked the manager to answer me THIS ONE FINAL QUESTION - does he believe I received satisfactory customer service through this experience at his shop? His answer ... "Absolutely."