I took my 1990 GEO Prism to AAMCO for a free estimate on 9-27-99 at
11:00 a.m. after noticing a few drops of transmission fluid on my
driveway. The car had been running great for over five years. I
just wanted the transmission checked to see what was causing this
The manager, Mark Sullivan, told me he would call me later in the
day with the estimate and had an employee drive me home.
I called at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 and the car had not been looked at.
At 5:30 Mark Sullivan called me and said it would be the next day
before he could look at the car. I left my car at AAMCO overnight
and the the next day, 09-28-99, Mark Sullivan called me at 10:30
a.m. and said it would cost $1415.00 to repair my car.
I told Mark that was outrageous, that my car was running fine, and
that I would be there shortly to pick up it up. He told me my car
had been taken apart and I was told he did not know when they would
be able to put it back together.
I said I had to have my car that day. Mark Sullivan told me I
really should let them do the repairs while they had it apart. I
said no. I would get another estimate.
When I arrived to get my car it was still in pieces and I had to
wait an hour and a half for it to be ready. Finally at 5:45 the car
was put back together, but Mark Sullivan would not let me test
drive my car. HE TOOK ME for a short test drive around the parking
lot in my car and then DEMANDED a $325.00 REASSEMBLY fee before I
could have my keys. It was "rush-rush-rush". "Hurry up! Pay me!
Sign here and here and here if you want your car back". Faced with
another day without a car I wrote a check to AAMCO and was also
forced to sign their contract in three different places. (All this
for a "free estimate"). As I got in my car Mark closed the business
for the day and almost beat me out of the parking lot.
By now it was after 6:15 p.m. and the weather was getting bad. As I
was driving home I stopped at a traffic light a few blocks from
AAMCO and my transmission siezed up in the middle of the road and
everything on my car quit working. My car would not go in to
forward or reverse and it was smoking and there was a distinct
smell like it was burning up. It was raining and getting dark.
There was no one at AAMCO to call so I had to have it towed to
another shop and was told the transmission had burned up from lack
Either due to a SCAM, thinking I would be back for repairs, or
negligence, or retaliation because I wanted to get another estimate
and would not pay their outrageous fee for a simple gasket leak,
AAMCO did not put fluid in my transmission after it was
reassembled. Mark Sullivan, being an employed Manager of AAMCO and
suppossed expert at transmission repair had to know the fluid had
been left out. I am certain Mark knew what was happening when he
took me for a test drive and demanded payment. AAMCO and any
employees that put my car back together must have deliberately left
the fluid out. Certainly the Manager, Mark Sullivan, knew something
was not right when HE TEST DROVE the car after it was reassembled.
My car had absolutely no mechanical problems before I went to AAMCO
for my "free estimate".
But the story does not end here, in fact it is just beginning.
I stopped payment on my check to AAMCO for their bogus reassembly
fee and began daily protest beside their business on 9-30-99. AAMCO
put out signs saying I was a "crazy lady". The manager, Mark
Sullivan, confronted me and said I was "taking food off of his
table". He also threatened to sue me for slander. He ended the
confrontation by making obscene hand gestures at me and storming
back to AAMCO.
I had to pay $1845.00 at another transmission shop to have the
transmission replaced that AAMCO caused to burnup. The car was
repaired satisfactorily within a few days. In fact, I was parking
it near AAMCO during my daily demonstrations in front of their
I called the AAMCO International Customer Service department and
spoke to Barbara (1-800 523-0401, ext. 322). She made no effort to
assist me. After reading other stories it is obvious she is just
a corporate flunky with no interest in truly helping a dis-
satisfied customer. Particularly if it goes against AAMCO's SCAM of
100% customer satisfaction.
When it became obvious to them that I was not going to quit
protesting they responded by having my car TOWED FROM MY HOME for
stopping payment of the fraudulent $325.00 reassembly fee.
My car was in my driveway on October 6 around 5:30 p.m. when we
began hearing this awful squealling sound. By the time we got
outside the wrecker driver had towed my car about seventy five
yards down the street with the emergency brake on. He assured me
this did not damage the vehicle (right!) but he would not release
it from his tow truck. I did get pictures and did call the police
but under Texas law AAMCO had the right to file a lein on the
vehicle because of the stop payment for mechanical repairs.
What is not in the law is that the towing actually has little to do
with the stop payment. AAMCO and Mark Sullivan know they are wrong.
They know they tried to SCAM me and are doing anything possible to
prevent my daily demonstrations in front of AAMCO #18572.
Due to their lack of professionalism and fraudulent business
practices they have resorted to personal attacks on me to prevent
me from protesting against their business.
As of today, 10-10-99 my "free estimate" has cost me: $1845.00 for
replacement of a transmission that was working great before AAMCO
took it apart without authorization, and left fluid out when they
reassembled it. $ 94.72 to rent a car after AAMCO towed my car.
$25.00 stop payment fee. The way it stands right now I am going to
have to pay $325.00, plus $60.00 towing fee, plus whatever the
daily storage fee is (probably $10 or $15 dollars per day). All
this because of an AAMCO RIP-OFF that ruined my car. Then had it
towed from my home because of stopping payment of their fraudulent
reassmbly fee. All this in a futile effort to stop me from
demonstrating in front of their business.
$2439.72 plus legal fees,plus time and emotional distress, plus
personal expenses and inconvenience from being without a car due
to AAMCO's fraudulent business practices.
I am seeking help from anyone who has had a similar experience. I
welcome anyone to join me with my daily picketing at AAMCO #18572,
2610 S. Shaver St., Pasadena, TX 77502. Or call Mark Sullivan at
(713) 946-0286 and ask him what kind of businessman he is. If Mark
is not there ask for Tim. Tell them what you think of AAMCO.
AAMCO ruined my car and then had it towed after I got it repaired
somewhere else. This is truly a RIP-OFF. At the very least don't
let the same thing happen to you!
email: [email protected]
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