Am I Entitled to a Refund?


#1

I went to my local Midas this weekend to get a wheel bearing hub replaced. Total cost of parts & labor was about $300.



Mechanic replaced the bad hub, and said that whoever worked on the old one did a really crappy job - which is why it wore out so fast.



So I go home, find my old receipt to see who worked on this part last. Lo and behold, I find the receipt showing that it was this exact Midas franchise – and they replaced it just 10 months ago.



I bring the receipt back to the mechanic and with much hemming and hawing, now says the old hub was defective – and he’ll need to talk to the manufacturer to see if HE can get a credit for that part before giving ME a refund.



So from what I can tell, either Midas did sell me a defective part, or the mechanic was attempting to cover his shoddy work.



Is it reasonable to expect a refund of $300? Or does 10 months exceed the statue of limitations? Midas does have a 90-day guarantee on parts & labor, but clearly the defect or shoddy work was not visible within that time frame.



Thoughts?


#2

Mechanic replaced the bad hub, and said that whoever worked on the old one did a really crappy job - which is why it wore out so fast.

This is call SPIN. So typical of places like Midas. For situations like yours they’ll ALWAYS say the person who previously did the job screwed it up…no matter if it was screwed up or not. The reason they do is a good portion of the people believe them and think now that this guy is a genius and trustworthy and the previous place is crap. However it back fires on them when it turns out the previous place was also them.

Yes I do think you are entitled to a refund. Very difficult to get one though.

Second…stay away from places like Midas. There are numerous complaints about them all over the place. Their mechanics work on commission so they are ALWAYS trying to sell you parts (a good portion of the time the parts aren’t needed).

Find a good local mechanic. They are usually far less of a problem and it’s a lot easier to deal with a local mechanic then a faceless VP 1500 miles away.


#3

The Man With The “What Kind Of A Touch?”

Give them a couple of days and call and give them a deadline.
It’s You’re word against their’s in Small Claims Court. Filing in your locale shouldn’t cost you much. If you can get time off to go, you might win based on the clown’s blaming his own facility for shoddy workmanship. All you have to do is be truthful, and that’s easy. I don’t think you can win on shoddy parts as the warranty is clear on that. However, I think it’s reasonable to assume that the warrantied workmanship would be done correctly from the get go. Tell the judge that you could have been killed if the poor work caused your wheel to come off. If you are lucky, the judge has had similar bad experiences. If you’re not lucky, you could just be out the filing fee and an hour off work. Be sure to take all your paper work.

Sometimes, just their receiving a notice to appear will rock things into a solution, prior to the court date. I wish I could go for you. It sounds like fun!
Good Luck!


#4

I doubt very very seriously you got a bad part; especially on something like a wheel bearing hub.
They’re simply going into their cover the tail mode.

JMHO, but you should not be paying twice for this repair and one of those two should be refunded.
I would politely but firmly tell the store manager to make good on this and if not fire off a letter to Midas corporate headquarters relating the entire story.

Maybe there’s a possibility that Midas never replaced the original, and allegedly bad, hub the first time if the hub was only borderline bad. Or not bad at all.


#5

I wish I could go for you. It sounds like fun!

I wish I could go too. I would love to watch you argue that a 90 day warranty should be honored even though more than 3 times that time has elapsed since the repair. It would be short, but fun.

Tell the judge that you could have been killed if the poor work caused your wheel to come off.

Imagine what the courts would be like if we could sue someone for what might have happened.

They may do a goodwill fix but by no means are they obligated to do so, legally.


#6

Something the OP might do is ask for the recently removed wheel bearing hub. Odds are there are some parts numbers stamped on it.
It would be interesting to see if that hub has aftermarket numbers or the OEM factory numbers from the car maker (whatever make of car it happens to be).

It would also be interesting to know what the symptoms were the first time around and the symptoms on this go-around.


#7

I viewed the recently removed hub yesterday when I challenged the mechanic on the work. It looked eerily similar to an original one from 1999, (which was also replaced) – same amount of rust – virtually identical. When I commented on that, he said that it’s normal for a part to rust quickly in this weather (Syracuse). But he knew I was skeptical that the original work hadn’t been done.

Anyhow, I think my chances of ever seeing those parts again are extremely slim, and they’ve probably been “shipped back to the manufacturer” to destroy any evidence of this incident…but I will check just for the hell of it.

Original symptoms were consistent with bad hub… loud rumbling from wheel well, sounded like driving on gravel. Same symptoms 10 months later.


#8

i went to midas once.they tried pulling that spin trick on me also.never been back that was over 12 years ago.you need to find a local mechanic in your area.ask a friend ask a few people who they have their car serviced buy.their is also a website on here if you go to the home page and scrool down to mechanic x.then you put in your zip code to see who recommended a mechanic close to you. good luck on this b/s that you have to deal with.we all have been in your position one way or anthoer. dominic


#9

[i]Have You Ever Won A Car Repair Claim In Small Claims? I Have! It Was Fun![/i]

I wish I could go too. I would love to watch you argue that a 90 day warranty should be honored even though more than 3 times that time has elapsed since the repair. It would be short, but fun.

You are in agreement with me here. Reread what I said, “I don’t think you can win on shoddy parts as the warranty is clear on that.”

Imagine what the courts would be like if we could sue someone for what might have happened.

You don’t have to use much imagination as the courts are full of this stuff. People win class action lawsuits after taking questionable medicines or having questionable medical devices installed without even proving damages. You have to have seen the same car lawsuits I’ve seen won in the news. They’re insane. My Dodge Caravan won the right to have her clockspring replaced forever, even though there is no problem with it!

Small Claims is like no other court. You have your say and depending on what is said or done and what kind of mood the judge is in or what kind of (car repair)experiences he/ she has had, a decision is reached, right or wrong, logical or not, and that’s it! Also liers often get very nervous when swearing to tell the truth and either screw up or are caught by judges who are very good at spotting lies.

I also stated, “If you’re not lucky, you could just be out the filing fee and an hour off work.” In other words “You may not win!”

Also, I suggested waiting. If not getting anywhere, one can use the court as a last option. Besides that, as I said, “Sometimes, just their receiving a notice to appear will rock things into a solution, prior to the court date.”

Good Day!


#10

UPDATE

Well, the Midas mechanic said he’d give me a call today to “see what he could do”. And big shocker: he never called. So I repaid him another visit to remind him, and apparently he didn’t forget about me, he just didn’t have time to call the manufacturer today. Meanwhile it’s about 6pm and he and his little cronies are in the middle of what appears to be a very important meeting of the minds at the little desk of the garage. Oh…and the place is completely empty, as the last customer of the day just drove off right as I walked in.

So anyway, he assures me it will be taken care of and offers me a partial refund and partial store credit for the amount of the part. And while I won’t be heading back there anytime…ever…I appreciate what appears to be an honest effort to resolve this situation.

As for all of the responses thus far, I very much appreciate your advice and insight! Thanks for your help.


#11

Are you concerned about the hub they just installed?


#12

One thing I can practically guarantee you is that they are not for one minute going to call the manufacturer of that bearing hub assembly. The company that made it is probably located in Mexico, Indonesia, or China.

Don’t worry about rust. These parts are bare metal and rust is entirely normal. It can rust up solid in 2 weeks times depending on the conditions.

The rumbing would point to a bad bearing in the hub, no doubt about it. Now; this was the same side wasn’t it?


#13

You are in agreement with me here. Reread what I said, “I don’t think you can win on shoddy parts as the warranty is clear on that.”

So on what basis do you think they have a claim then? It’s clearly laid out in the warranty, parts and labor 90 days. You think one comment from a mechanic is going to lock this case in their favor based on shoddy workmanship? I would like to hear a plausible argument as to how a mechanic can look at a wheel hub bearing and conclude the prior installer did a crappy job. Remember, this is 10 months down the road. What part of that install labor can be screwed up so that the bearing will last 10 months and the next guy can spot the error?

People win class action lawsuits after taking questionable medicines or having questionable medical devices installed without even proving damages.

Name one. Class action lawsuits are not granted class action unless quite a few people have been harmed. Damages? How about the expense of removal and reinstallation? If for example you had a pacemaker that had serious safety risks as quite a few had problems but yours had not exhibited any anomolies, does that mean you have no damages if it has to be replaced? Give me your example.

My Dodge Caravan won the right to have her clockspring replaced forever, even though there is no problem with it!

That’s because it’s been recalled! Apparently, a lot of other people DID have problems so they recalled all of them. This is a KNOWN safety issue. Just how does this situation compare to the OP’s problem?

You have your say and depending on what is said or done and what kind of mood the judge is in or what kind of (car repair)experiences he/ she has had, a decision is reached, right or wrong, logical or not, and that’s it!

Nonsense, you can appeal a small claims verdict. It happens all the time. Case in point- boat sale as is. Buyer blows up outboard next day. Small claims court presided over by a lawyer, not a judge. Rules against seller. Seller appeals, gets judge and case dismissed.

Also, I suggested waiting. If not getting anywhere, one can use the court as a last option. Besides that, as I said, “Sometimes, just their receiving a notice to appear will rock things into a solution, prior to the court date.”

This part I agree with but only as a last resort. Too many times I see people threaten litigation way too early in the process. You catch more flies with sugar, as they say…


#14

This Is My Point And I Did Explain This …
You have your say and depending on what is said or done and what kind of mood the judge is in or what kind of (car repair)experiences he/ she has had, a decision is reached, right or wrong, logical or not, and that’s it!
Nonsense, you can appeal a small claims verdict. It happens all the time. Case in point- boat sale as is. Buyer blows up outboard next day. Small claims court presided over by a lawyer, not a judge. Rules against seller. Seller appeals, gets judge and case dismissed

When all else fails, you may win in Small Claims, you may lose, you may win and then lose (appeal). You have nothing to lose and I still insist it’s not based entirely on logic or facts, but rather sometimes, perception. Basically the case involves a “mechanic” stating that his shop’s own repair caused a potentially dangerous failure to occur in a part that should have lasted much longer than it did. This negates the 90 day labor warranty because a reasonable person would have to assume proper and safe repair procedures would be followed at a place in this line of work. I’ve sat on too many juries. It’s a roll of the dice, last resort, and when you are on the side of truth, can be fun!

You can have the last word. I haven’t changed my position or advice. I would still love to go!


#15

I do not think you are entitled to anything. However you do have a case for partial up to full refund of the work.

Give them a few days time to work it out amongst themselves. Also have you inquired with the manager(superior) of establishment yet? They have authority to do something not a mechanic.

Obviously you will not return here. But I would suggest using an independent or other establishment that has a reasonable warranty on related work parts & labor (typically 1yr/12,000miles) if you are going to fret over these do overs. Midas and chains can be okay dependent on mechanic who works on your vehicle. The trouble is you cannot expect ANY consistency at a chain.


#16

LOL…actually I’ve been so concerned about getting some type of compensation, I haven’t really thought about it! But as other posters recommended…I’m going to find a local independent mechanic in the near future.

The good news is that the symptoms of the bad hub are gone…so I can only assume they properly installed the new part.


#17

One of the more humorous parts of this story is that my mechanic IS the manager! And he (unknowingly) told me himself that his shop did shoddy work. And now he’s working on “calling the manufacturer” and “finding where that defective part came from”

Sort of like O.J. looking for the “real killer”.

And based on what other posters have said, this is VERY unlikely. I expect he’s just trying to find a way to write this off of his books without making it look suspicious to his regional manager or corporate office.


#18

Initial repair of hub bearing: $300
Subsequent repair of same bearing: $300
Watching the owner squirm after inserting both feet into his mouth: pricele$$

I’d keep on him and gently keep reminding him of his faux pas.
I’d want the labor free and only pay for the part- at their cost.
I betting he will accept that compromise.


#19

OP, I’m still curious.
Is the bearing hub that was just replaced the same one that was replaced 10 months ago or was it the opposite side?

Any chance of confusion here on either your part or the mechanic as to which one was replaced?