Intellishop caused me $300 in financial damages

any suggestions?

recently i performed a free brake inspection shop for a top mystery shopping company, universally known.

however, their client (also universally known) broke every rule in the book by not displaying or having me sign three different consent forms (brake inspection result form, price estimate and potential invoice.)

as i was waiting for a price quote estimate, they started a $300 service job without even telling me that they were beginning work on my car.

no notification, no consent. nothing.

they handed me the last two consent forms only after work had begun, which i did not sign. ironically, tax was not even charged on the itemized invoice.

i paid the charge, because i know they would attempt to destroy my perfect credit, and i don't want creditors after me on top of it all.

the shop report itself (which i retain a copy of) has the evidence against them, that they were required to give me the forms to sign, before work could be authorized.

any suggestions?

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Frankly, I won't do the brake inspection shops because if the client takes your brakes apart and decides there is a driveability issue, in many states they are not permitted to allow you to drive the car away. And the determination of whether it is a driveability issue or not is up to them. Could you get it towed somewhere else? Yes. But this is a shop I will not do for that reason.

For you, I think that you are stuck having to deal withe client, then with the district office of the client, and then with your state's comsumer protection agency if the state mandates that you be given those consent forms and you were not. It is not likely to be easy or simple, but the money involved makes it worth pursuing. Maybe others have actually had similar issues, and can provide guidance. It would probably help if you told us the state in which the service was performed, becayuse state laws all differ.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
@myst4au wrote:

It would probably help if you told us the state in which the service was performed, becayuse state laws all differ.
i'm in illinois.
I will not do a brake inspection for just these reasons. They say they found a serious problem and will not put your brakes back together again. Thy hold your car hostage. I had this happen at a Midas many years ago and will never do business with them again. I did eventually get them to put my brakes back on after an hour.
@siamese5555 wrote:

I will not do a brake inspection for just these reasons. They say they found a serious problem and will not put your brakes back together again. Thy hold your car hostage. I had this happen at a Midas many years ago and will never do business with them again. I did eventually get them to put my brakes back on after an hour.
i knew that they would hold my vehicle hostage when they didn't let it down when i had to go to a doctor's appointment.
I do my own brake work. The one time I took it in to have them check it, they removed the two caliper bolts and literally let the weight of the entire brake caliper HANG on the brake hose while they brought me the pad that still had 30,000 miles worth of meat on it. (Not even half worn) and told me the OEM rotors I replaced las time I did the pads were worn out and needed replacing. They did not have a scratch and were not heat warped. This is when I walked into the garage and saw my caliper dangling by the hose and took a photo of it. I threatened to post that photo on Yelp and the manager agreed to replace the hose if it leaked and then admitted there was nothing wrong with my brakes.

He then asked me, "If you do your own brakes, then why did you come in for the free brake inspection in the first place?"


Now I NEVER let my car out of my sight when I take it in for even an oil change. If I have to observe the waiting room or the restrooms, I do that before they have a chance to pull my car in. I will stand on the other side of the yellow chain if the car is on a lift. If it is an oil change, I set down an old bath mat and get low enough to see what they are doing or not doing.

I have had the following things done to me having a simple oil change done:

1. Simply not change the oil filter at all.

2. Not lubricate the rubber gasket on the oil filter. (This can cause it to not seat correctly and leak)

3. Attempt to use a pair of Channel Locks on my oil plug bolt. (I yelled into the shop and stopped them before they ruined it.)

4. Over filled the engine by a quart of oil.

5. Put the wrong weight oil in the car. (I made them drain it and replace the filter again.)

6. I payed for full synthetic oil and they just pumped it full of the normal oil from the 55 gallon barrel. (The synthetic was stacked in quart bottles against the wall of the shop.)

7. Not know how to open the air filter cover and break a retaining clip off the cover. (They had to pay the dealer for a new cover. $95)

8. I watched them take my perfectly good wiper blade and use a razor knife to start a tear and pull apart two inches off the end of one of them and then almost ruin the arm trying to remove it without hitting the release clip.) They didn't see me standing there. The wiper blades was less than two weeks old. Once again, I yelled at them and refused the cheap blades they were begging me to install for free at this point. Under threat of calling more than the corporate office, they went to the auto store and bought the exact one they damaged and replaced it.)

9. My car requires a ODB2 scan tool to reset the oil change indicator light. There is a method of cycling the ignition x times and tapping the brakes on a sequence that works after a few attempts that I can do. (They fail at this 50% of the time.


Tire rotation can even be a real problem if they do not use the proper torque stick and over tighten the lug nuts and strip the studs. If I buy new tires, I bring my own torque wrench set to the proper tightness and hand it to them with the lug nut lock tool. I demand that they hand tighten the lugs until the wrench clicks. Torque sticks are not very accurate.
Last fall I was visiting in Colorado, and completed the brake inspection shop, also at the yellow sign shop. The lady at the counter came to the counter part way through the visit and told me I had an issue. I asked how much it would cost and she told me $150.00. I told her I did not want the work done. She said they already started the work. I said they needed to stop. She was not happy and said, in a huff, that she would have them stop. Never was an estimate given to me in writing. I was not asked to sign anything. Honestly, it wasn't the money as much as fear of not following the guidelines.
I do the same shop in Michigan, and have never had an issue. If there is ever a problem, I am always given a written estimate, and asked to sign, which I always refuse, due to guidelines.
@scanman1 you would be perfect for the shops that have you go
to your trusted mechanic first to confirm various things then
take it to ones of these places to see if their honest.

= + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = + = +
There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots
==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==
When you try to please everybody, you end up pleasing nobody
I have one to add to Scanman's list. I had an oil change done as a shop at the Yellow place. They did not put the oil fill cap back on. It made a mess as the oil sprayed out of the filler hole. I went back and had them change the oil again, with a new oil filter (for free). I now advise all of my friends to take a photo of the inside of their hood with their cell phone, and to open the hood after any work and see if it looks the same. Many of the car manufacturers color code the user serviceable parts (bright yellow for Ford) so they are easy to see in the photograph. I thought of that one oil change too late, but luckily caught the problem before all of the oil drained out (which would have made the engine seize).

BTW, Costco calibrates their torque wrench every day. Every day, first thing in the morning. I have watched them do it. And they ask customers to come back after driving 200 miles so that they can retorque the lug nuts any time they remove the lug nuts. No additional charge. Several different car dealers have told me that their use of calibrated torque wrenches differentiates them from service stations which use pnuematic wrenches, but none of them have ever claimed to calibrate their torque wrenches every day, and none of them has ever told me to come back to have the lug nuts retorqued.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
@laura007 wrote:

Last fall I was visiting in Colorado, and completed the brake inspection shop, also at the yellow sign shop. The lady at the counter came to the counter part way through the visit and told me I had an issue. I asked how much it would cost and she told me $150.00. I told her I did not want the work done. She said they already started the work. I said they needed to stop. She was not happy and said, in a huff, that she would have them stop. Never was an estimate given to me in writing. I was not asked to sign anything. Honestly, it wasn't the money as much as fear of not following the guidelines.
I do the same shop in Michigan, and have never had an issue. If there is ever a problem, I am always given a written estimate, and asked to sign, which I always refuse, due to guidelines.
this is exactly what happened to me. except he wouldn't stop the work once it had begun.
@scanman1 wrote:

I do my own brake work. The one time I took it in to have them check it, they removed the two caliper bolts and literally let the weight of the entire brake caliper HANG on the brake hose while they brought me the pad that still had 30,000 miles worth of meat on it. (Not even half worn) and told me the OEM rotors I replaced las time I did the pads were worn out and needed replacing. They did not have a scratch and were not heat warped. This is when I walked into the garage and saw my caliper dangling by the hose and took a photo of it. I threatened to post that photo on Yelp and the manager agreed to replace the hose if it leaked and then admitted there was nothing wrong with my brakes.
wow.
If they refused to give my car back...I would inform them that I knew for a fact that my brakes were fine since this was a mystery shop and my trusted mechanic already told me it was good recently....and if they continue to insist that the brakes are bad, they can release my car and I will have it towed to my TRUSTED mechanic...at which time it will be proven they are lying and they will be SUED for the cost of the tow..and reported to every agency..and TV news station...

and so what if I outed myself as a shopper...i would be done with that program anyway....not worth it.


There is no way I would have paid on the spot...and I would have told them why..I DID NOT AUTHORIZE THE WORK. you could have tried contacting the police ..but that could go either way.

You could try to report it as fraud to your credit card...but that can go either way.
That awful I am sorry that happen. You could dispute it on your credit card.

Life is a Giggle - Embrace every moment
I would tell them I am with 20/20 on ABC News and have a hidden camera in my shirt, and that if they don't put my car back without charging me (without my permission to do work) that I will run this segment on the next episode of the show smiling smiley (Of course, this would NOT be a for shop) I would only do this if it were just me getting services on my own dime...
If I understand the Op correctly, you signed the work order (eventually). This gives legal consent for the repair shop to do the work.

Had you not signed it, the work would have been for free as they cannot enforce payment without a signed work order (based on Canadian law).

Now, you have little legal recourse. However, you could take this to the corporate Customer Satisfaction Centre and try to obtain your money back.

In the end, you signed the document. You are obligated to pay.

.
Mike T
Looking for shops in Western Canada

"Life is good because the alternative is forever "
@miketfse wrote:

If I understand the Op correctly, you signed the work order (eventually). This gives legal consent for the repair shop to do the work.
no, this is incorrect. i never signed the work order. i merely stated that they gave me a copy of the work order after they had already started the work.

@ wrote:

In the end, you signed the document. You are obligated to pay.
nope, i never signed the work order. nor the estimate. i have copies of both, unsigned.
@jmitw wrote:

There is no way I would have paid on the spot...and I would have told them why..I DID NOT AUTHORIZE THE WORK. you could have tried contacting the police ..but that could go either way.

You could try to report it as fraud to your credit card...but that can go either way.
the problem here is that if i were to refuse payment, then they would destroy my perfect credit .. and that could go either way. better to pay and dispute it later.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2015 11:32PM by vince.
Yes, I had a problem with the company doing the car work n the past 2 years. Since then, I won't take any assignments for car assignments. For the brake inspection 2 years ago, the franchise guy who did the work didn't put back the caliper bolt when they reassembled it. It cost me $100 to find out what was wrong with my left front brake and get it fixed. Last year, I did an oil change assignment. The guy who did the oil change didn't tighten the drain plug so it had a slow leak. I was lucky I found it 4 hours later as I saw a small puddle under the car at the shopping mall I had stopped it after the oil change. They seem to do shoddy work.
scanman1, you are amazing!! Anyway, no more (Mod note: client name removed) shops for me and no more signing anything that gives them permission to do any work on the car. Is that the same for dealerships?
@jmitw wrote:

How do they destroy your credit? They would have to take you to court and sue.
no, they would just have to send a collection agency after me. then it gets reported to the credit bureau. credit destroyed.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2015 02:24AM by vince.
so you had time to dispute it...you could have at least delayed paying it to try to fight it.....and they might not send collections knowing they violated the law...

you could take them to small claims to get a refund...
I think that the reality is that if he had not paid them on the spot, that they would not have given him the keys to the car.

IMHO, "free" brake inspection shops are disasters waiting to happen. I can be vigilant with oil change shops, but I am unwilling to be the victim of an unscrupulous brake inspection. IMHO, the fee is not enough to pay for the time it can take to do the shop (I did one years ago before I realized the issues and waited there for hours), let alone the pain that might ensue when they find something which makes the car undriveable.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
If they refused to give me the car--I would have called the police first...it should be considered to be auto theft....but at the very least they can try to get the car back....especially when they see the forms were not signed
@jmitw wrote:

so you had time to dispute it...you could have at least delayed paying it to try to fight it.....and they might not send collections knowing they violated the law...
the transaction took place on the yellow card three days ago (friday). they first allowed me to dispute it yesterday after the transaction posted on their end, but i must wait several weeks for a written response.
@myst4au wrote:

I think that the reality is that if he had not paid them on the spot, that they would not have given him the keys to the car.
exactly. and they would have destroyed my perfect credit by sending an unpaid bill to collections on top of it.
The police would have seen an unpaid bill. In most states, the place which did the work would then hold a "mechanic's lien" on the car and could hold it pending payment. Of course, this could be debated in court, but the police are not the court. I think that in the short term, the OP would have ended up without a car. Maybe the police would have recognized the absence of written approval, but I believe that they would have simply said, "resolve it in court."
@jmitw wrote:

If they refused to give me the car--I would have called the police first...it should be considered to be auto theft....but at the very least they can try to get the car back....especially when they see the forms were not signed

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
@myst4au wrote:

The police would have seen an unpaid bill. In most states, the place which did the work would then hold a "mechanic's lien" on the car and could hold it pending payment. Of course, this could be debated in court, but the police are not the court. I think that in the short term, the OP would have ended up without a car. Maybe the police would have recognized the absence of written approval, but I believe that they would have simply said, "resolve it in court."
exactly!!

i'd have no car AND my credit would be ruined by a collection agency for non-payment. all they would do is report the non-payment to transunion/equifax/experion.

yes, i could debate these in court. but i wouldn't have a car to get to court and i wouldn't be able to afford a cab to get to court either after they destroy my credit.

maybe a year later, i'd get my car back and have my credit cleared again, after i lose my home and become homeless during the court battle that i can't afford without a job that requires a car.

better off to pay now and dispute it later.
@vince wrote:

@myst4au wrote:

The police would have seen an unpaid bill. In most states, the place which did the work would then hold a "mechanic's lien" on the car and could hold it pending payment. Of course, this could be debated in court, but the police are not the court. I think that in the short term, the OP would have ended up without a car. Maybe the police would have recognized the absence of written approval, but I believe that they would have simply said, "resolve it in court."
exactly!!

i'd have no car AND my credit would be ruined by a collection agency for non-payment. all they would do is report the non-payment to transunion/equifax/experion.

yes, i could debate these in court. but i wouldn't have a car to get to court and i wouldn't be able to afford a cab to get to court either after they destroy my credit.

maybe a year later, i'd get my car back and have my credit cleared again, after i lose my home and become homeless during the court battle that i can't afford without a job that requires a car.

better off to pay now and dispute it later.

I have had to dispute two auto repair shops (not mystery shops) in the last 5 months. I will never do another auto repair shop because I think that is where the trouble started.

****************


Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.
@myst4au wrote:

The police would have seen an unpaid bill. In most states, the place which did the work would then hold a "mechanic's lien" on the car and could hold it pending payment. Of course, this could be debated in court, but the police are not the court. I think that in the short term, the OP would have ended up without a car. Maybe the police would have recognized the absence of written approval, but I believe that they would have simply said, "resolve it in court."
@jmitw wrote:

If they refused to give me the car--I would have called the police first...it should be considered to be auto theft....but at the very least they can try to get the car back....especially when they see the forms were not signed


BUT IF THE WORK ORDER WAS NOT SIGNED-- A GOOD COP WOULD SEE UNAUTHORIZED WORK-NOT AN UNPAID BILL.>>AND YES THEY WOULD PROBABLY SAY RESOLVE THE BILL IN COURT...BUT TELL THE SHOP TO RELEASE THE CAR..AND THEN TAKE IT TO COURT..the point is to get the car released while the bill is disputed....at least it would have been a chance.

if that didn't work...i'd get a poster board and sharpie marker and stand on the sidewalk with a sign saying what is going on.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2015 07:09PM by jmitw.
recently i performed a shop which was represented by intellishop as a free brake inspection.

however, their client (the yellow shop) broke every rule in the book by not displaying or having me sign three different consent forms (brake inspection result form, price estimate and potential invoice.) intellishop paid me $25 to be abused by their client.

as i was waiting for a price quote estimate, the yellow shop started a $300 service job without even telling me that they were beginning work on my car.

no notification, no consent. nothing.

i had to pay the $300 to get my car back.

thank you, intellishop. you cost me $300 so your client could abuse me or hold my car for ransom. you pulled a switcheroo. there was nothing free about this shop.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/30/2015 11:36AM by vince.
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