Complaint / review text:
My family have been customers of Monro Muffler for many years, but Sat. Jan. 19th @ 10:00 AM, I took my 2006 Saturn Vue to the Dewey/Latta location in Rochester for a simple inspection. My SUV had been running perfectly all year long, no rough starts, no stalling, no hesitations, no strange sounds, no gage warning signals - PERFECT. I started it on the first try that very morning to bring it in, and the mechanic at Monro had no problem driving it into the garage. I have a personal mechanic that goes over my SUV regularly to make sure it is in good running condition. I had no reason to suspect it had ANY problems. As I expected, I was told it passed inspection, but they wanted to know if they could take care of a couple detail lights. I said Ok. Then I waited for approximately half an hour when the person at the desk, Tony, finally came out looking very upset. He asked me if I had been having trouble starting the car. I said "Absolutely not, ever". I told him that even when it sat out on the parking lot all day at work at nearly 0 degrees temperature, it started immediately, first try. It ran like a top and it never stalled, ever. This answer appeared to be disturbing to him. He then proceeded to tell me that my battery was old, and appeared to be the original and said "We can't start your car". Then he asked me an odd question which he never explained. He asked me if I knew how much fuel was in it when I brought it in. I told him "Yes, I had 3/4 of a tank". He seemed bothered by that answer as well. Then he said he'd work on it more to see if they could get it started. Sometime after 12:30, Tony came back and told me that they had tried everything they knew to do, but still couldn’t start it. Then he said they would have it towed to Bob Johnson's because they thought it had something to do with the remote start, and Bob Johnson had specialists. They offered to tow it at their expense. They never made it clear at that point who would be responsible for expenses incurred from that point. I asked to pay for the inspection, and they said I should wait until the problem was resolved first. They didn't even give me any paper work to prove they had inspected it or to explain what they had done, (particularly in the effort to start it). I was told verbally that they had charged the battery. Since "they" were sending it to Bob Johnson, I mistakenly thought they would explain to Bob Johnson why they sent it. (They drove me home.)
Hours later, I got a call from the mechanic at Bob Johnson telling me I need a new battery, that it was fried. (Remember this was a vehicle that started first try even in severe weather conditions.) He also mentioned a couple unimportant issues that I was already aware of which clued me in that he had no idea as to why the SUV was there. He did not even know Monro was the one who sent it there. He had no idea that there was a specific problem for them to work on (rather than simply routine). I had to tell him that Monro sent it and why. Of course, then, I couldn't tell him what all Monro had done, because they hadn't told me, and I was still under the impression that Monro was in charge. I was upset, understandably, and told him he should be talking to Monro about it. From this time on, there was a triangle of communication problems and I was getting nowhere and hearing nothing, and for two weeks, I was without my car.
At this point, I was told by Kyle in customer service that Monro will only pay if there is clear concrete PROOF that THEY did this to my car. I asked to talk to a district manager. He refused to let me. I insisted till he finally told me he can't give me that information. I said "Fine, then just tell him to call me". He said that he would do that, but there would be no guarantee that the district manager would call because he is very busy. I don't believe he had any intention of asking him to call me, but I gave the benefit of a doubt. I never got a phone call from the district manager. At least at that point, Kyle began to gather information. I had a little hope. But the more I talked to him the more obvious it became that Monro really just wanted proof that there is no way THEY caused the problem, (I have since found out that Monro tried to get Bob Johnson’s mechanic to send them a voucher saying that they were not at fault - I've been told this is illegal, but I will check with my lawyer. Never-the-less, Bob Johnson refused to give the voucher.) But if it cannot be proven that they did NOT cause the problem, that is a non-issue to Monro, and now Kyle has said that the receipt doesn’t say that THEY caused it; so therefore they will NOT pay for it. Of course it doesn’t say that Monro caused it, it is a receipt for the work the mechanic at Bob Johnson did.
I talked to the mechanic at Bob Johnson who got it sorted out with me finally as to what I could expect from their end. He made it clear that I was "his" customer once the SUV came to him, not Monro's, and he would repair my car to my satisfaction. It would be my problem to get Monro to pay. Bob Johnson said, the battery, (which was fine when I drove to Monro), was “fried, ” “It had a dead cell, ” and the ECM was destroyed and had to be replaced. I was told that this could have occurred when they charged the battery, if a surge went through the computer system. I have consulted with 4 trusted mechanics, including one at Doan. Every one of them said that it is highly unlikely that this would happen with no warning signals such as stalling, starting problems, signal in the gages, etc., but it is REMOTELY possible, but my car is only 6 years old and driven little, which means it is even LESS likely. They said, therefore, it is even LESS likely that it would happen while just sitting in Monro’s garage unless someone did something to cause it. One went as far as to say they could have depleted the battery if they hooked up the analyzer incorrectly, and then charging the battery would have thrown off the computer. My son has now also done research and found out the same. He said after his research that there would be one chance in a million that this would just happen without warning, but one chance in about 2 million that it would happen without warning, randomly, in your garage, unless someone caused it. All 4 mechanics said that by charging the battery, which they did, a surge could run through the computer system resulting in the destruction of the ECM. Bob Johnson’s mechanic also stated over the phone that since Monro had COMPLETED the inspection, and PASSED IT, that IF there had been a problem with the ECM, it would have been revealed IN the inspection, which it did NOT.
I was without a vehicle for two weeks! All I have from Monro Muffler is a very weak “Sorry”. I am beside myself! I have gone from having a wonderful car with no problems to this, simply because I chose Monro to do an inspection. I have talked to many people now who have been telling me all THEIR horror stories and telling me to NEVER go to Monro for ANYTHING. I wish I had heard this before I went there. I don't think this is the reputation YOU want. You have lost my business and the business of my entire family. You still have a chance to make this right, but if you choose not to, there is BBB and a multitude of friends that I will be telling about my Monro experience both in person and on facebook. All my family and friends will be doing the same. I hope you have the integrity to admit that it is unlikely that Monro Muffler had nothing to do with the damage to my SUV and will do the right thing.
One very unhappy custome