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AAMCO Transmision - Humble, TXdeceptive trade practice

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P Review updated:

Unfortunately, on April 4, '10 (Easter) my wife's 97 Toyota 4 Runner broke down due to a transmission problem. Being Easter Sunday, I had intended to tow our vehicle home and while doing so managed to get a person on the line from AAMCO Transmission. Note, I called several repair shops but being Easter most, if not all shops, were closed. Jay, the owner, seemed like a nice enough guy and being Easter Sunday, I was surprized to actually have gotten ahold of someone live. Jay informed me that based on rebuilding hundreds of these types of transmissions, worst case scenario would not exceed $2200. And, that before I authorize repairs there would be not cost. Simple enough, so I went ahead and had the car towed to his shop on FM 1960 E of 59.

Two days later, another guy (a shop lead mechanic) called and said that for $475 they would have to remove the transmission to determine what the problem is and that this would be added to the total charge if I decide to fix it. Remembering what I was told by the owner, it wouldn't cost anything to determine problem and total cost would not exceed $2200 as worst case. With some reluctance, I went ahead and allowed them to pull the transmission.

Following the next day, the same mechanic called and started to run down a comprehensive list of issues with the transmission and all could be fixed for $3700.00. When question why the owner said the cost would not exceed $2200, the mechanic said he should have not said that! Surely, the owner would be completely aware of parts and labor costs charged by his mechanics since they've rebuilt hundreds of them just like it!

OK, I'm a reasonable person, so informed AAMCO to hold the work. I started calling other transmission repair shops and all were quoting what the owner, Jay originally quoted - without the need to even having to look at it! I even called the local Toyota Dealer and they were $500 less in parts and labor with a new tranmission, not a rebuild?

When I called the lead mechanic back, I had informed him that I may choose to buy a new transmission from Toyota and would they install it (remember the $475 already commited?), he replied that he wasn't sure AAMCO would allow him to do this. But went on to try convincing me a rebuild would the same as buying a new tranmission from the Dealer. I was floored when hearing this! New vs. Rebuilt. How many times have they used this line?

Since, I plan to move my wife's truck and have it repaired elsewhere, I can't really comment on quality of
their work. But, I can tell you this feels a little deceptive in pricing and to my knowledge, could be a violation of Texas Deceptive Trade Practices. I just wanted to warn everyone to do a better job than I did and to not believe what a person tells you over the phone. Please do your own due diligence, but just thought that it would be a good idea to put this out there. By the way, Jay has never contacted me to explain the difference. I also notice that a lack of response to other complaints far worse than my experience are listed on the Houston BBB. They have a grade of "F" the lowest grade BBB assigns to a business.

Responses

  • T
      Apr 08, 2010

    I ALSO OWN A TRANSMISSION SHOP AND CAN TELL YOU THAT TRERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "NEW" 1997 TOYOTA TRANSMISSION OFFERED, THEY ARE SO CALLED CERTIFIED REBUILDS.NOTHING DIFFERENT FROM WHAT THE INDEPENDT TRANSMISSION SHOPS OFFER.I HAVE A CERTIFIED REBUILDER AND I HAVE BUILT TRANSMISSIONS FOR THE TOYOTA DEALER IN HUMBLE TEXAS.THERE IS NO REASON THAT ANYONE SHOULD GIVE A PRICE FOR A TRANSMISSION REPAIR, DUE TO THE FACT OF NOT KNOWING WHATS WRONG, BROKEN OR WORN.ALL TRANSMISSION SHOPS HAVE TO OPEN IT TO SEE.LABOR IS NOT FREE FOR US OR YOU.I WISH IT WAS EXPLAINED TO YOU THAT WAY INSTEAD OF A "BLIND" PRICE THAT MAKES US ALL LOOK BAD IF YOU ARE BEING TRUTHFULL

    0 Votes
  • J
      Oct 22, 2010

    Sounds very similar to my experience with Aamco/Humble Transmission. Regretting now that I did not do better research before taking my van there.

    On 10/4/2010 my 2003 Honda Odyssey was in the shop at a Honda dealership. I was told that it needed a new transmission and quoted a price of $4, 500. The van was not worth spending that amount of money so I called Aamco located at 1904 East FM 1960 Bypass in Humble, TX. I spoke with Jay. He was friendly, courteous, and seemed to be familiar with the Odyssey transmissions. I told Jay the problem I was having and the diagnosis I had received from the Honda Dealership. I asked him what I was looking at in a worse case scenario for a complete rebuild and was told it would be around $2000.

    On 10/5/2010 I picked my van up from the Honda dealership and drove it to Aamco. Jay was not there so I spoke with George when I dropped it off. George said that Jay had told him that I was coming in. George called me later in the day and said he needed to remove the transmission. It would cost $475 for diagnosis if I decided not to fix it. Since Jay had told me it would be around $2000 I gave George the authorization to disassemble the transmission. George called me back at about 4:30 and told me it would cost $3600 to rebuild my transmission. I asked George why it was so much more than Jay had told me and he said that it had a different transmission. Jay did not disclose to me that the Odyssey could have more than one transmission and that the price would be different. I told George to hold off and I would call him the next day.

    On 10/6/2010 I called George and informed him that I was not happy and felt that I had been dealt with dishonestly. I stated that had I been told the correct cost I would not have allowed them to remove the transmission. George told me that if I picked the van up I owed $475 and the transmission would be disassembled in a box. He said he could do the rebuild for $3242 but could not go any lower than that. George stated that he couldn't discount the labor ($1543.82) and had to make at least 29% profit on the parts.

    After doing some research I felt trapped. If I picked the van up I would have to pay $475, have it towed, and pay someone else to rebuild a transmission that they did not disassemble. I also investigated selling the van as-is but discovered that it was worth more with a bad transmission than with the transmission removed. I called George back and told him to go ahead and repair the van for $3242.

    On 10/08/10 I picked the van up. George did give me the 3yr/36k mile warranty which I appreciate. However, I would not have done the repair had I known it would cost so much. I feel i was dealt with dishonestly by this Aamco and trapped into paying more once the transmission was removed and I had few other options. I do not see myself using another Aamco in the future.

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  • J
      Jun 10, 2016

    Jay, one of the owners of this business, threatening people on Facebook and expressing extreme bigotry towards trans people.

    Don't do business with ### like these guys.

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