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.