Blatantly Ripped Off by Mavis - Can I get a Refund?

I’ll outline my scenario, just for fun.

The truck I owned at the time would lock the rear brakes easily. If I was going over an expansion joint and braking, for example, the rear brakes would lock. I decided to take it to the dealership (out of warranty, mistake 1). They looked at it, drove it, hooked up the scanner, and charged me a diagnostic fee. I think it was a little over 100 bucks. They decided the brake drums were out of round. I replaced the drums and the shoes myself. In doing so, I noticed the rear wheel cylinders had pressure on them with the brake not applied. My first thought is it’s a master cylinder problem. The issue persisted. I took the truck back to the same dealer (mistake 2). I told them the issue was still going on, and I told them that the rear cylinders were under pressure when the brake wasn’t being applied. They bled the brakes, charged me around $300 and sent me on my way. The issue persisted. I took the truck by a local shop and explained the issue to them. The mechanic says “bad master cylinder” immediately. So I let them change it and the issue was resolved. I asked them to state my complaint (rear brakes locking) and the repair to correct it (replace master cylinder) on the invoice, which they were happy to do.

So, I felt like I had a pretty good case that I should at least be refunded the original dealer’s diagnostic fee (they didn’t diagnose squat) and maybe a little off of the brake bleeding (since it wasn’t necessary or related to the problem). Anyhow, I got nothing. I showed the invoices to the service writer/manager and explained the situation. He said he’d call me. He never did. So, after a few days, I attempted to call him, but a lady answered the phone, asked who I was, and told me he’d call me back. After I called a second time and the guy couldn’t talk to me, I just told the lady I wanted to leave a message. I’ll buy my next vehicle elsewhere and I won’t be back, thanks. I never raised my voice or got real accusatory. I just took it to mean they had my money and really didn’t care to discuss it any further. I also decided if “diagnostics” meant taking an educated guess and throwing parts at it, I could do that myself for a lot less money and hassle.

It kinda hacked me off initially, but I got over it pretty quickly. Good luck.

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So, did they replace your relatively young OEM shocks with some cheap aftermarket units that will fail in a year?
Time will tell…

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ouch! salt on the wound. LOL

Maybe they’ll just put the old ones back on if they can find them in the trash.

Yep make sure to rub it in good. :grinning:

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Just an FYI:

You can’t always “SEE” problems in the tread that cause noise. So until the problem is actually fixed, you don’t know what the problem truly was.

Second, even if the problem that caused the tire wear is fixed, new tire wear will take place on top of what is already there - meaning the noise will probably still be there. You have to replace the tires to be sure (or at least rotate the tires front to rear.)

So I see the issue as needing more work to sort this all out.

I consider the automotive business to be very cutthroat, which means that it is buyer-beware at every step. I don’t think the little guy is going to change that system. For me, that means I do a lot of my own work, and it means hire someone, it is someone that I trust. It also means that I have the highest appreciation of the guys I hire, and I don’t complain about their charges. I got kicked out of one shop because they had done too many state inspections without finding a problem they could charge for. Of course, they lost all my future business. That shop now must pay for TV ads to draw in customers, instead of keeping the ones they had.
I would stay away from Mavis forever, having learned an expensive lesson.

In the future, when your vehicle is covered by a warranty, always have it serviced at the dealership. If you’d taken it to the dealership instead of a chain, any fix they recommended on a warrantied part would have been no charge. And you wouldn’t be running non-Honda shocks in the back (which will not be covered by your vehicle warranty).

Also, as @CapriRacer said, tire wear issues aren’t always readily apparent on a visual inspection. It can be hard to spot a cupped tire, especially if the cupping isn’t very bad.

And I agree with the others in that you aren’t going to get any money back. Probably not even if you sue them. The only place that a bad diagnosis generally ever ends in compensation is in the medical field, such as when a doctor misdiagnoses your condition which results in you not getting the treatment you need. And even then, you usually have to have major impacts to your quality of life, or you have to prematurely die, in order to get any money out of the deal, and it’s not guaranteed even then.


It went better than I thought it would, but I am nowhere near out of the woods with a refund in my opinion. Let me start out by saying this which proved his guilt with absolute certain:

He did NOT even put the car up on the lift to see for himself that the tread was fine!!!

At first he simply tried to explain in the typical corrupt way that he saw tread was uneven and it “fixed itself” already. I said no, that’s not possible to have evened out in such a short span of time especially when I have barely driven the car in the last week. I told him again I had it up on a lift with another mechanic the other day and the treads were pristine.

I then told him even if it DID some how quickly even out, the issue is the diagnosis was still wrong, the noise is still there, and no shocks were ever needed. He told me my previous shocks were in fact “bad”. I said do you have them? He said no they have been recycled. As info again, on the day of the repair, he didn’t mention a word about the shocks actually being BAD or what specifically was wrong with them, only that they needed to be replaced to fix the uneven wear.

He asked what I wanted him to do, and I politely said for you to understand that unfortunately a mistake was made here and to please refund me my money. He told me he would email corporate my receipt along with my story with a request for a refund and that it would take up to a week to get an answer. I told him fair enough, even though I’m well aware I’ll be on the phone a week from now trying to get my “answer”. In one of the funniest and most cringe moments of the exchange, at the very end he told me “You know this is Mavis Discount TIRE, not Repair Shop”, implying that since the place specializes in tire treatment that I shouldn’t be mad or feel like I was wronged, lol.

Win or lose here unless it’s maybe a nail in my tire I’ll never step foot into another Mavis again.

That is your best solution to all of this, even for a simple tire repair, given their reputation for shoddy work. As to the rest of what you’re after, I thihk it is going to be nearly impossible. They did the work that you paid for, and it seems to be a toss up as to whether its failure to solve the problem was due to incompetence or a deliberate attempt to take advantage of you. Or maybe they really thought that it would solve the issue, which comes back to simple incompetence. However you slice it, their intentions are not knowable. The amount charged is not insignificant, but neither is it something that should be an all-consuming concern that derails an overall sense of balance in terms of life’s higher priorities. Just my thoughts.


Well, if it’s just “Mavis Tire”, don’t try to sell me shocks, right? :thinking:

I hope it turns out well in the end. Not worth getting too frustrated over.


Your rear has separate shocks and springs. Shocks are $40 each. And 1 hr labor? What does your receipt have for parts and labor?

If a shop buys a part for $40 they are going to sell it for $80 (or they should, if it’s a well-run operation). So $160 for parts, $120 for labor, and sales tax gets you to $300.


Common causes for weird rear tire noises

  • shock problem results in uneven tire treads, washboard effect is usually easily visible
  • tire(s) are out of round, run-out test would prove/disprove.
  • tire(s) have tread separation, move tires from rear to front to see if noise follows tires
  • tires are worn beyond being usable and need to be replaced

I had the either the 3rd or 4th problem on my Corolla a while back, weird tire noises. Sort of sounded like a washing machine. Push test on each corner seemed to indicate the struts remained ok. New tires totally fixed the problem.

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I’ll add rear alignment problem from day one of delivery to dealer. Caused octagon shaped rear tire and noise. Tire dealer diagnosed and added shims to fix it.

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You are the first person to describe my tire noise exactly. It sounds like a washing machine. Sort of a woo-woo-woo-woo-woo. Drives me nuts on newly paved roads. Well according to another (more trusted) local mechanic, he thinks its a wheel bearing. We shall see. Next stop: back to Honda

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That or a helicopter type sound makes me think you have one or more tires separating,


Are all 4 tires worn evenly? Rotated on schedule?

I’m not sure how evenly they are worn but that really wouldn’t matter much as they are balanced. As far rotation goes I can’t say I remember the last time I rotated them to be honest. But then again I’ve been driving for 20 years with the same maintenance habits and never experienced this sound before.

… but you probably haven’t had the same brand/model of tires previously, and I’m pretty sure that you didn’t have the same make and model of car previously.

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