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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here is a "brief" background summary.
*Vehicle is a Gen 5 2002 Camry 4 Cylinder*

Last Saturday my mom went out to buy groceries. She took the Camry and when she comes back to the car the car refuses to start. She was without a cell phone so she had to use the phone inside the grocery store. She was debating between calling a tow truck or calling me to give her a boost. It had been around over 1-2 hours of waiting for me to come give her a boost but in the mean time she kept trying to start the car. Out of no where the car starts, so we decide to drop the car off at National Tire and Battery. We told the situation and left the car their to repair. 6 Hours later, they say the battery is dead and they replaced it plus they flushed the power steering fluid which was dirty. Total bill for the repair- $300 dollars. I would've done it myself but I had to go back to college. The next day (Sunday) she took the car to run some other errands and guess what happens? Yes the car won't start. So she decides to go ahead and have it towed to a different place because the people working at NTB were quite rude and had a major difficulty of doing the repair on a timely manner. The new mechanic shop repairs the car PERFECTLY with a new starter which was the original problem. The Total bill for the start $175. The battery that was already sitting in the Camry BEFORE taking it to NTB was a Toyota Lifetime Battery pro-rated for 60 months and was bought in 02/2009 (relatively fresh charge). I called the NTB manager yesterday, chewed him out a bit and told him to refund me the money for ONLY the battery change, not even the power steering fluid flush which I know for sure was needed- the new battery was not needed at all. I have all my invoices from the starter repair, the battery I purchased at NTB, and the battery I purchased in 02/2009 from the dealer. You know what the manager does? He ignores the issue and states that "he can't refund me the money or help me".

So basically, I'm asking y'all for advice. What should I do? Call the regional manager? What should I say? I seriously want to get my mom's money back because this is ridiculous and such a fraud....:headbang:
 

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Call NTB's Customer Relations Department (although you should have questioned this to begin with as it started on its own without a jump start). BTW all it probably really needed was new internal starter contacts and plunger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Call NTB's Customer Relations Department. BTW all it probably really needed was new internal starter contacts and plunger.
Thanks for the advice. I would've opened it up and done it myself, but I go to college 4 states away so yeah :(. Any advice on what I should say?
 

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Thanks for the advice. I would've opened it up and done it myself, but I go to college 4 states away so yeah :(. Any advice on what I should say?
whatever you do, make sure you question your mom completely. ask her if she "gave permission" to do whatever was NEEDED.......!!!

if she says, YES...........you ain't got a leg to stand on, PLUS, many repair shops REQUIRE a person to sign the repair order BEFORE repairs are made.....

now, if mom didn't give permission, (and make sure you read the bottom where she signs it or not), then you might have something to grope about. the most you might get back is the cost (parts and labor) for the fluid flushing, not the battery.

next, even though you are pissed off, DO NOT start a screaming match on the phone or in person. no matter how much you feel "wronged" you will look like an idiot and they will NOT deal with you. stay cool, calm, collected.

good luck, let us know how this turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What do you mean "she doesn't have a leg to stand on"? If THEY misdiagnosed the repair, I SHOULDN'T pay for something that wasn't necessary. Common sense?
 

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Is this real life?
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Unfortunately, if they said that they were going to replace the battery and she said ok, and signed the order- she has no leg to stand on as she agreed to the repair. As underhanded as that is, and it is- it also protects shops from people (not you, just illustrating) who are on the other side of honesty when, for example, a shop is trying to fix a bad idle- they replace a pressure sensor, an IAC, maybe an EGR, then find out that the EGR tube is cracked. So they replace that and the problem is fixed. So, in the end, they replaced a few parts to fix a problem and the guy could say "well, you didn't really have to replace this, this, and that- so I want my money back for those"

First issue was taking it to NTB- I don't consider chains like that real shops- they'll go for the path of least resistance on everything. Whatever cause for a problem shows up on their flowchart first is what gets fixed. They never consider other issues.

I would just be nice, and go over the other repair bill with them and see if you get anywhere, remember honey vs. vinegar. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Unfortunately, if they said that they were going to replace the battery and she said ok, and signed the order- she has no leg to stand on as she agreed to the repair.
Well she isn't an expert or trained like the mechanics working in the shop. Even though she did sign off on the repair, it was based on the judgment or call by the mechanic- not hers. She didn't tell them to change the battery she was just advised to as this was the "alleged" problem. She specifically told them to check the entire vehicle- mainly the electrical system- and if they failed to find the problem that is their responsibility. I called corporate and spoke to a customer rep who gave me a case number and says it will take a couple of business days to get a reply. But in the mean time, I called a different NTB location to get the manager's boss' number since the manager refused to give me his number. :headbang:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update Guys- Called the Regional Manager and got my money back! Thanks so much for the advice guys! The manager in that location will be handled in a proper manner according the his boss.
Question: Is it normal 2002 4 Cylinder Camry's to have their valve cover gaskets leaking already in 93,xxx miles?
 

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Question: Is it normal 2002 4 Cylinder Camry's to have their valve cover gaskets leaking already in 93,xxx miles?

At around that mileage, you should get a 90k/100k service/

replacing, valve clover gasket, waterpump, tranny fuild, spark pulg, a/c belt, cam seal, a couple of more stuff that is not on top of my head.
 

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Did you say "Trained mechanics" and NTB in the same sentence ?? lmfao, Tires and Batteries, You got one of the two things they sell. Most of these mechanics ( I use this term loosely and didn't say Technician for sure) work in these crap holes like Sears, NTB, Wall mart, Jiffy lube, Quick Lube and other places like them for a reason, There are a few decent ones but most don't have a clue. I don't hire most of these guys when they apply and the ones i do hire are put on my Express Lube team to see if they are teachable.
 

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Congratulations on getting your money back. I feel your frustration with having skills, but being too far away to be of immediate assistance when something goes wrong for a family member. People regularly ask me who I trust for various kinds of work and I have to tell them no one. I contract out almost nothing. Automobile bodywork, machine shop work, suspension alignment, and refrigerant are the things I let people do (and I'm never happy with the results), and I contract out refrigerant only because I can't buy it without a license any more. If I had a 20x40 shop and an HVAC license, I wouldn't contract out a thing.

I've about got my wife convinced that 20 acres in the country would be a good thing, so maybe I'll get my 20x40 shop some day. She gets a barn and at least one horse in return, so it's all good. :)
 

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Glad to hear you got your mom's money back. Good to know that the district Mgr took the necessary action.




Did you say "Trained mechanics" and NTB in the same sentence ?? lmfao, Tires and Batteries, You got one of the two things they sell. Most of these mechanics ( I use this term loosely and didn't say Technician for sure) work in these crap holes like Sears, NTB, Wall mart, Jiffy lube, Quick Lube and other places like them for a reason, There are a few decent ones but most don't have a clue. I don't hire most of these guys when they apply and the ones i do hire are put on my Express Lube team to see if they are teachable.
The folks (I won't call them techs) at these kinds of stores are just "parts changers".
 
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