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Where to report a bad, dishonest mechanic

A friend recently got ripped off by her local mechanic--he not only failed to fix the problem and overcharged her $100, but it turned out that the problem he failed to fix was a broken caliper and brake fluid that had leaked onto her brake pads--an accident waiting to happen, according to my trustworthy mechanic, to whom we took her Jeep when her driver's side front wheel kept getting coating in oily substance (brake fluid, as it turned out). We took the Jeep back to the original mechanic TWICE when this substance kept coating her left front hubcap, and TWICE he said he'd checked it and found nothing wrong. Where can we report him? We're in Brookline, Mass., and I know we can go to the Better Business Bureau and the state's attorney general--and we will--but we'd like to warn others not to use this dishonest shop that could have caused my friend her life. I tried Angie's list but you have to pay to use that site. We're looking for free online resources we can report this shop. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!


  • edited April 2010
    First decide what you are going to report, is it something criminal? (actually criminal, not what could have happened).

    Make a 'sandwich board" and walk the sidewalk in front of his place.

    TV stations and newspapers could care less, these type things lost their ability to draw viewers long ago.
  • edited April 2010
    Be careful about making a "public" warning. It can be used to sue you for defamation. I know it's tempting to do but the courts take a dim view of public opinions. Public opinions are records that can be used in court. The guy may be the worst mechanic in the world and a thief to boot but don't lose your financial future because of it. If you don't have a court judgement against him your "case" is just an opinion. An opinion is not proof of wrongdoing.
  • edited April 2010
    I agree with oldschool. There is a difference between dishonesty and incompetence. There is no law against the latter.
  • edited April 2010
    Yes, well, I'm not suggesting that the bad mechanic be put in jail. I just want to warn others not to patronize his shop. We assumed that his $100 overcharge was an honest mistake until we discovered that he had lied to us outright--telling us he checked the problem, twice--when in fact he couldn't have, or he would have discovered the broken caliper and leaking brake fluid. We then had to wonder whether the $100 overcharge was deliberate. But the point is that he didn't fix the problem in the first place, charged my friend $2,800, sent her off with a broken and dangerous vehicle, and then failed twice to fix, or even CHECK, the problem when we brought the Jeep back to him. Her car was in an accident and had a broken front axle: she took it to the nearest mechanic, Brighton Auto Clinic on Washington Street on the Brookline/Brighton line, where Ronaldo charged her $2,800 to fix it but did not in fact fix the broken caliper, which caused brake fluid to leak into the brake pads. When she took the car back and asked why the front driver's-side wheel kept getting coated with black oil, he told her (a) it was from "the elements," (b) it must have been splashed onto the hubcap from a passing vehicle (even though it was only the front wheel, not both left-side wheels), and similar non-answers. The second time she took the car back to him, a couple of months after he did the work, he told her again that he'd taken the wheel off and checked everything out and found nothing wrong. The car was parked in the exact same spot where she'd left it--and when we then took it to my mechanic across town, who immediately found and fixed the broken caliper, we concluded that the bad mechanic hadn't even bothered to move her car, let alone actually look at it. This is the kind of dishonest, unscrupulous mechanic that we would like to warn others about, especially in a case like this, where the broken caliper and leaked fluid could have caused her to have a serious accident.
  • edited April 2010
    About the best you can do is to warn your friends and neighbors not to use that mechanic. That will result in lost business. If enough people have bad experiences and warn everyone they know about the place, it will eventually go out of business.
  • edited April 2010
    It sounds clearly like he made a mistake more than a malicious act. Also $100 overcharge in what way? Remember prices differ shop to shop and parts used differ also.

    You also are not the direct part involved and may be missing some information between (unless you were there).
  • edited April 2010
    The $2,800+ bill was itemized. My friend checked the auto shop's arithmetic--she added up all the amounts on the bill--and the total she got was $100 less than the bottom line on the bill. She went back to the shop and they refunded her the $100 overcharge.

    I am not accusing the shop of "malice" in failing to perform the needed repair--but of incompetence of the first order. I accompanied her to the shop on her second return visit to find out the source of the leaking fluid on the driver's side front hubcap, and I went with her to pick up the car and saw it exactly where we left it, and listened to Ronaldo's BS explanation that there was nothing wrong, that the wheel must have been splashed by a passing car. I also looked at her itemized receipt, and I took a copy of said receipt to my own mechanic, who, as I say, took the wheel off and immediately found the broken caliper and leaking brake fluid.

    All I want to know is whether anyone can suggest where to report the auto shop for incompetence and negligence. I am not in the least worried about being sued for "defamation" or anything else: Ronaldo and his auto shop is lucky we don't sue HIM.
  • edited April 2010
    Word of mouth is very effective here in "Mayberry, USA." Even though Brookline is likely a much larger town a bad reputation would still likely keep the shop owner beat down to catering to the junkiest work at the rock bottom price. It's funny how that works.
  • edited April 2010
    I don't think it's just the mechanic who's incompetent. You took it back TWICE? That makes a total of three visits when you already had a "trustworthy mechanic."

    You've already posted the information about the shop and the mechanic, so there's your free online resource.

    It might be interesting for you to google "Brighton Audio Clinic"... as far as I know, Google is still free. Sounds like maybe BAC wouldn't be my first choice. My suggestion to you is just walk away.
  • edited April 2010
    Well, gee, thanks for your input, ZombieWoof. My friend whose car this is is a new friend to me. We've known each other about 4 months, and when she told me about her experience, I suggested we take the car to my mechanic, who solved the problem.

    We have of course "walked away" from the auto shop. I was just trying to spare others a similar experience. Thanks so much for your helpful advice.
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