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Sears Auto / terrible experience!

1 7200 Harrison AveRockford, IL, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: (815) 332-3595

On 3/12/08, my wife and I were fleeced by the Sears Auto center at Cherry Vale Mall in Rockford, Illinois. My wife took our vehicle in for a simple alignment, which she was quoted would cost $69.99. Our primary mechanic had already checked out the ball joints a week ago and confirmed that they did not need replaced. He recommended the alignment, though.

However, my wife received a call from Sears Auto after dropping off the vehicle, and they informed her that it needed new ball joints. She told them that she did NOT want them to replace the ball joints and ONLY wanted the alignment. If we needed new ball joints, our primary mechanic would handle that for us. The person she spoke to at Sears Auto seemed to understand, and that was the end of the conversation.

We were shocked when we went to pick up the Durango, and we were presented a bill for $435.00, which incuded the new ball joints. We were anticipating a bill only for the alignment we authorized. The service manager insisted that we MUST have authorized the additional work, but I assure you that we did not. We were told that if we took the car without paying the entire bill, that we would be turned in for "theft of service". After about 45-minutes of back-and-forth, they took off the labor and dropped the total bill to a little over $200. This made it more palatable than $435, so we paid the charge just to be able to take our car home without being on the hook for "theft of service".

However, I find the whole situation unsatisfactory at best and absolutely shady at the worst. Work was performed on our vehicle WITHOUT our consent, and we were cornered into either leaving the car there, paying for it on the spot, or dealing with whatever the legal ramifications are for "theft of service". We will never take another vehicle to this Sears Auto location, and we will absolutely discourage anyone we know from making the same mistake we made.

Je
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Comments

  • Ka
      29th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    Its awlful what auto repair places are getting away with these days
    I took a mini van in for a small radiator fluid leak at this little plastic "t" joint (rear heater connector) and leaving it there some mechanic 'BEAT" MY VAN - breaking two tie rod ends, swapped my drive shaft and new front tires for junk yard drive shaft and tires with the belts seperating - plus on another car I was charged for rotors and calipers ($250.00) and was only given brake pads ($10.00) - I only find it out after my car lost control on the interstate when the calipers locked up (the old ones !) and snapped the steel support beam that sailed into my rear tire and almost had me into oncoming traffic on the expressway
    Theft (over $1000.) and Fraud (over 1000.00) the cops told me it was a 'civil' matter (give me a break )

  • La
      19th of Sep, 2008
    -1 Votes

    I too, just had a terrible experience at Sears Castleton Store in Indianapolis, IN. I told the service rep, Steve, what my car was doing. He had me sign a work order so the he could inspect the car. We discussed that he would CHECK OUT the items on the order before making any repairs. When he came into the lounge and brought me back to his computer, he showed me a bill for over $500. He said that he had already done all the work that was on the order. I said I thought he would do an inspection and then let me decide what to do. He said, no I authorized him to do the work. As we were talking (I was yelling) the mechanic came in and said "Do you want me to do those brakes now?" I screamed - Wait! You haven't done the work? The mechanic said no. I told him not to do it.
    Steve stood there looking like O.K. you caught me. After taking off all the bogus charges, my final bill was only $84.79. I believe that in order to be a service rep at Sears you have to be dishonest. I wish that the Attorney Generals in all 50 states would do an undercover investigation of all Sears Automotive Centers
    I heard from others that Sears now has a scam going when you get oil changes.

  • Wh
      16th of Aug, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I have been in the automotive repair business for over 25 years. I know first hand, that roughly 10% of all registered complaints are due to customers signing repair orders when they are not sure of what they are signing. Stop signing work orders authorizing repairs before you read them. This would eliminate 90% of all automotive repair disputes. Ask questions and make sure you fully understand the work being performed.
    If you leave a phone number so the shop can call you after the inspection is performed, answer the phone when the shop calls, don't wait until the end of the day to return the call, answer it right away!
    Communication is important, don't assume anything!
    I have worked for 6 different automotive repair facilities over my 25 years in the business, none of which has unethical business practices. No shop does $700.00 of work to a car without getting the customers approval, or any amount for that matter!
    I don't even install an air filter without the customers approval. Customers need to authorize diagnostics and not just demand a part be replaced. If you tell me to replace your alternator, I will do that. If you ask me to diagnose your battery going dead, I will do that also.
    Don't blame the shop for your problems when you have some back yard mechanic diagnose it for free. No diagnosis equals no warranty on the repair!
    I see alot of this everyday, people trying to save a $20.00 -$90.00 inspection fee (diagnosis)
    Then when the problem is not fixed, they come on these forums and blame the shop for their own negligence.
    Most of what I am reading in this forum is uninformed customers making uninformed decisions.
    Stop blaming and start taking responsibility for your vehicles maintenance.

  • An
      29th of Mar, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I agree with "wheelguy", I’m a mechanic too, and I agree with everything he said. We had a lady that was recorded by another customer be accidently, (he was recording his little toddler playing while he waited). The store manager told a lady it’s a $90 Diagnosis fee, if they find the problem and fix it, they would waive the diagnosis fee, but if she just wants the diagnosis its $90. This was all recorded by a 3rd party(another customer) well after it was inspected and they found that her rotors are warped and her pads are down to the metal, and her right caliper was damaged and needed replacement, she said ok, I’ll just pick up the car, . I don’t want it done right now. She was presented with a bill of $90 and she swore to her "GOD" that she told it was going to be free. The manager told her over 3 times exactly what he said to her, I was there too, and she kept on swearing to her god. I guess the other customer got tired of listening and just said he had it all recorded and he played the video of his son playing, but the audio of the verbal agreement. She cussed up a storm and said that she was never coming here again and she was going to report this online... WOW, the manager was going to do a nice thing foe her and waive the diagnosis if she got the work done in his shop, but she went out to screw him even out of the diagnosis fee..

  • Mr
      9th of Dec, 2011
    0 Votes

    I just called Sears to find out where my tires were that I "ordered" 3 weeks ago. They said they would call in a few days as soon as they arrived. Today, I was told they were never ordered, because I never stopped in to make the deposit. Maybe they should have told me that inthe first place? Every time I have taken a vehicle there, they have forgotten to write something down, forgot to do the oil change I asked for, etc. This was the last time I will call or visit Sears Auto.

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