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Midas tried to install cheaper parts than what is on the invoice

travisteetravistee Registered User regular
I had my brakes done at MIDAS. They gave me an invoice that listed the high quality parts that I ordered. They told me I could get a ride home and they would bring me back when it was done. They called to tell me that the caliper brackets had broken bolts and they had to order new bolts that take three days to get. While I was there I saw that all of the parts they were trying to put on my car were the cheapest available and not what was on my invoice. If the bolts did not brake they would have finished the job and I would not have known what I had. They agreed to get the parts that I originally ordered. I think I should report this to the police since they were caught in the act of trying to rob me. Besides the cheap parts I would have had no warranties since the parts did not match the invoice. It sounds like they were caught in the act of robbing me.

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Posts

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    travistee wrote: »
    I had my brakes done at MIDAS. They gave me an invoice that listed the high quality parts that I ordered. They told me I could get a ride home and they would bring me back when it was done. They called to tell me that the caliper brackets had broken bolts and they had to order new bolts that take three days to get. While I was there I saw that all of the parts they were trying to put on my car were the cheapest available and not what was on my invoice. If the bolts did not brake they would have finished the job and I would not have known what I had. They agreed to get the parts that I originally ordered. I think I should report this to the police since they were caught in the act of trying to rob me. Besides the cheap parts I would have had no warranties since the parts did not match the invoice. It sounds like they were caught in the act of robbing me.
    For terminology purposes this is fraud, Calling the police and filling out a police report is a reasonable action. Filing a complaint with their corporate office, and ask them to investigate the franchise owner may be effective. It may not it’s hard to get police traction on something they may consider to be a civil matter.

    Definitely go to town on yelp twitter, and double check the parts before you pay them.

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  • travisteetravistee Registered User regular
    edited March 10
    That's what I'm trying to find out before I go to the police. If it's fraud it's not a civil matter as I see it. I also posted this on a legal forum where I may be able to get more reliable advice than here. Of course I appreciate the advice I get here also. This was expected to be a $1600 job and I really did need the work. The reason I think it's a police matter is the potential legal issues that could come up if there was an accident due to brake failure, since they could claim it was not their work since the parts to not match the invoice, in addition to the obvious use of cheaper parts than what I paid for.
    I'm not trying to flame midas , they already have enough of that, so I'm not going to post all over the web.
    I just want advice before I go to the police.

    travistee on
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    travistee wrote: »
    That's what I'm trying to find out before I go to the police. If it's fraud it's not a civil matter as I see it. I also posted this on a legal forum where I may be able to get more reliable advice than here. Of course I appreciate the advice I get here also. This was expected to be a $1600 job and I really did need the work. The reason I think it's a police matter is the potential legal issues that could come up if there was an accident due to brake failure, since they could claim it was not their work since the parts to not match the invoice, in addition to the obvious use of cheaper parts than what I paid for.
    I'm not trying to flame midas , they already have enough of that, so I'm not going to post all over the web.
    I just want advice before I go to the police.
    You should file the report for personal reasons, but likely no one will go to jail (unless there is a pattern), what they will say is, the guy on the floor pulled the wrong parts, when it was pointed out we installed the correct parts, they warent defrauded because it was just a mistake and what is on the invoice matches what is in the car.

    The reason you fill out the report is if there is an issue later on you have a record, and it establishes the start of a pattern.

    ElvenshaeDisruptedCapitalistL Ron Howard
  • LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    travistee wrote: »
    That's what I'm trying to find out before I go to the police. If it's fraud it's not a civil matter as I see it. I also posted this on a legal forum where I may be able to get more reliable advice than here. Of course I appreciate the advice I get here also. This was expected to be a $1600 job and I really did need the work. The reason I think it's a police matter is the potential legal issues that could come up if there was an accident due to brake failure, since they could claim it was not their work since the parts to not match the invoice, in addition to the obvious use of cheaper parts than what I paid for.
    I'm not trying to flame midas , they already have enough of that, so I'm not going to post all over the web.
    I just want advice before I go to the police.

    They have enough of that because they regularly do things like you are describing and are a shady company. This is not the first time I’ve heard about something like this where they overcharge for the part they are using.

    SkeithDarkPrimusMoridin889ElvenshaeL Ron Howard
  • travisteetravistee Registered User regular
    edited March 10
    I'm not that concerned about if anyone goes to jail. I just want to know if the police will take a complaint about it.
    Don't forget, if the caliper bracket bolts did not break they would have completed the job with the wrong parts and I would not have known.
    If there would have been an accident due to the brakes, they would have said it was not their work since the parts did not match the invoice.
    IMO, I think the police should be interested in an crime like that. I don't think they can say it was just a mistake because they would have gotten away with it if the the bolts did not break.
    Actually if I am confident that the police will take the complaint I am thinking about using that as a negotiation point to lower the price in exchange for not going to the police. It's only fair that they pay a price for what they did.
    BTW, they didn't pull any wrong parts. The manager has to order the parts from a parts store as needed, so he knew what he was doing.

    travistee on
  • TNTrooperTNTrooper Registered User regular
    Just call the police worst case you waste some time on a phone call.
    Actually if I am confident that the police will take the complaint I am thinking about using that as a negotiation point to lower the price in exchange for not going to the police.

    Don't use the threat of going to the cops too extort money from them.

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  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Yeah but then they just go on scamming around other people. I mean sure negotiate the thing down but you should really report it either way.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    Police report is reasonable, but if it comes down to it action will probably need to be civil. Small claims is easy to deal with, nobody is allowed a lawyer and it's mostly showing damage, not knowing the law.

    If you catch them, I guarantee they'll fix it. This is a scam a lot of places run on computers, too. I even lost a job for fixing it too often.

    Here's how it works: somebody pays for, say, a 7800. You throw a Galaxy card in there instead, it'll show the same in device manager. Most customers who will be able to tell are going to be customers buying the card retail and installing it at home. Maybe a quarter of customers catch you, and of those half take a correction and half take a discount which is usually not the full difference.

    The scam does t work if you stick to your guns and try to fight a lawsuit.

    zepherin
  • travisteetravistee Registered User regular
    Ok. using the threat of going to the police to get a lower price may not be a good idea.
    I think the police should take it seriously. In the case of an accident they would have covered up their responsibility by having no record of the parts they were putting in.
    They could have sabotaged the brakes and hidden their responsibility. Sounds like a crime to me.
    Also the fact that if the caliper bracket bolts did not break they would have gotten away with it.
    Seems police should investigate crimes. I have some questions to online legal sources. We will see what they say.
    They are fixing it, but if someone tries to rob me or kill me I would report it to the police even if they failed.

    zepherin
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited March 10
    Threatening to go to the police unless they cut costs may be a more severe crime than fraud, it skirts dangerously close to extortion/blackmail and into asking a lawyer territory.

    Call the non emergency police number file your report pay for what was installed and double check to make sure it is correct.

    For example where I live blackmail is defined the extortion of money, property, or services from another by threatening to expose the person for a criminal act or other disreputable conduct. It is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

    They are only risking 18 months Prison and the intent is way easier to prove for blackmail.

    zepherin on
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  • travisteetravistee Registered User regular
    Yes. I already agreed that the blackmail idea was not a good idea.
    Could they get 18 months for what they did?
    If I am not happy with the end result and they don't correct it then could I tell them that I will go to the police without it being blackmail?

  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited March 11
    If Jim Bob Joe did this in his shed, he might get 18 months. Like 50 maybes on that but it's a conceivable outcome.

    Midas on a bad day will have to pay for you to get the job done again at a different garage.


    Pick the car up, pay, and immediately go home, put it up on a jack and take one of the wheels off, if it's the wrong parts photograph it in detail. Repeat on the other wheel. Call the police and make your report.

    High chance they will pull the "it's a civil matter," and do nothing past the report. You've got a few options now:

    1. Go back and confront them. I guarantee they'll either fix it or offer a discount - I advise you settle for nothing except the right parts or a full refund, no partial refunds because that's a common part of the scam, refund 20% when the price difference would be 25% and still come out ahead. Keeping the scam going means always admitting the "mistake" when it's caught, you'll never do more than you were paid for and sometimes get away with less. Follow this with a complaint to corporate about the location and copious online reviews. Include the pictures in the reviews for sites that allow it.
    2. Sue for what you paid.
    3. Go somewhere else and get a quote for doing it correctly, sue for that amount as the cost of correcting the damage they did. Feel free to go to that really expensive place everyone hates because generally the plaintiff doesn't have an onus to find the best deal before suing to be made whole. You might not get any more out of it, since the money goes to the repair, but it'll hit them harder.

    In both cases you may only get what you paid or the difference between what you paid and what they actually did - different places have different nuances to exactly what being made whole means. The more legwork you do the easier things usually go, though, preparation is good.

    2 and 3 are easy. Small claims isn't really about "the law" so much as showing damage. They charged for A but only did C+, you are damaged and want to be made whole - defendants don't necessarily need to have broken the law as long as their action or inaction has caused you a loss. Dress well and be professional as if this is all just a mild annoyance, not much to it really.

    Hevach on
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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited March 11
    travistee wrote: »
    Yes. I already agreed that the blackmail idea was not a good idea.
    Could they get 18 months for what they did?
    If I am not happy with the end result and they don't correct it then could I tell them that I will go to the police without it being blackmail?
    So you should go to the police anyways in case they billed for something and it wasn't done correctly. Even if the police do nothing (likely) it creates a record. Your state may also have a consumer protection agency.

    What you can also do is make them show you the proper parts that were installed. Really do this, it is not unknown for them to say they are putting in the correct parts and not.

    You can also ask for a discount for your inconvenience. Results will vary.

    Other options involving small claims are not likely to be worth your time unless you are out of your car weeks and have significant damages.

    Hevach is dead on. Although I've used The proverbial Jim Bob and usually he's like bring the parts you want put on and I'll put it on for 150 bucks.

    zepherin on
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Why would you even keep your car there at this point?

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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    You can file a police report (you can file a report for practically anything) but unless there’s a long pattern of this at that shop it’s a virtual certainty there’ll be no prosecution; it could easily have been an error and was corrected before harm was done.

    If you want reimbursement and/or to ensure that the shop is appropriately penalized, complaining to corporate is the correct course.

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  • travisteetravistee Registered User regular
    I decided that they can keep the car. It may be worth more than $1600 but not by much.
    It will probably be returned with something else defective.

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