Update by user Aug 21, 2013
On August 19, the president of McCluskey Chevrolet has contacted me and has acknowledged my dissatisfaction with my experience. He has agreed to fairly compensate me. McCluskey Chevrolet has acted in good faith to satisfactorily resolve this situation and I no longer feel wronged.
Original review posted by user Aug 08, 2013
Avoid McCluskey Chevrolet’s service department at all cost, especially if you have an older model. Technicians are incompetent; management is dishonest, abusive and unconcerned about their customers’ safety. Please disregard this company’s A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. McCluskey has failed to respond to the detailed complaint I have filed with the BBB and has refused to negotiate with me directly regarding my damages. From January 3 through June 28, 2013, I had substantial work done by McCluskey on my 2002 Prizm, much of which involved the electrical system, including the horn, heater and air conditioning system. I also purchased numerous other items including new tires and a windshield. I paid about $3000 to McCluskey’s service department during this period. On June 21, the car broke down and was brought to McCluskey’s service center at 9673 King’s Automall. I was informed that this was due to another problem in the electrical system. I was told the entire electrical system would have to be checked to trace the source of the problem. I repeatedly told the customer service advisor, Tommi Hamilton, that I was planning an extended trip to Virginia, and that I wanted the car thoroughly inspected for safety. I strongly felt that the technician, “Paul,” who worked on my car was not giving it his full attention and lacked enthusiasm for his work. He gave me contradictory messages that he could not guarantee the repairs to the electrical system and later told me that everything was fine. I also was given contradictory information by service advisor Hamilton when I called to determine the status of the repair work, including being told that the headlight module had been replaced. After I mentioned that the headlight module had already been replaced in December 2012, she later told me that the headlight module was not the problem. I also found it extremely frustrating that she was unable to provide clear information on the status of the repairs or tell me when the work would be completed. When I finally picked up the car on June 28, I was told that the daytime running lights relay circuit board had been replaced. I was also assured that the electrical system had been completely tested and was working properly and that the car was safe to drive. I was charged $845.75. (I also had to pay $150.19 to rent a car for a week.) However, I discovered on the way home that the sunroof was not working. I immediately returned to the shop and was told the technician had forgotten to reconnect the switch. That day, I also noticed the grinding noise in the engine. In addition, I found screws, screw covers, electric tape and other debris on the floor of the car. Because I was concerned about the safety of the car, I returned to the service department on June 29, before leaving for Virginia, to have a safety check. I asked to see a supervisor, but was told by the service advisor working that day that there was no supervisor available on Saturday. I repeatedly asked to have a mechanic other than Paul check the car, but I was ignored. When I asked Paul about the screws, saying I was concerned that some parts were missing screws and may not have been connected, he took the screws from the service advisor and said that they were “his screws.” The service advisor test drove the car, attributed the grinding noise to the A/C and told me that the car was safe. I left for Virginia and, almost immediately, realized that the car was having drivability and electrical problems that did not exist when I brought the car to McCluskey. These problems included the following: the brake warning light coming on when the turn signals or hazard warning lights were activated, no dashboard illumination and a non-functioning high-beam indicator light. Also, the headlights were barely functioning, the engine made a grinding noise when accelerating and braking and there was a serious vibration in the steering at highway speed. I was unable to continue driving when it got dark and had to stop overnight. Upon arrival in Virginia, I took the car to the repair shop I patronized when I lived there. They had not previously seen this car, which I purchased after moving to Ohio. I was informed that fixing the dashboard light problems would require removing the dashboard, replacing any burnt out bulbs, and testing each of the circuits in the dashboard, involving a substantial amount of diagnostic work. This is work which I had already paid McCluskey’s service department to perform. In addition, although I had requested McCluskey do a safety check before I took the car, the Virginia mechanics found that the car had a failing belt tensioner, causing the grinding noise, a broken headlight mounting on the left headlight and two burnt out tail light bulbs. Also, the front wheels were out of balance (I had purchased four new tires and an alignment from McCluskey on January 15) and the rear brakes were 95% worn. I decided to have these problems repaired in Virginia because of my concern for my safety. I was told that the flashing brake warning light was not a safety problem and that it would take too much time and money to trace the problem. Again, this problem occurred only after McCluskey had worked on the car. The owner of the repair shop told me that my car was basically good, but that the electrical system had been badly abused by unskilled mechanics. He kindly did not charge me for 10 hours of the labor he spent repairing damage to the electrical system caused by McCluskey. On July 8, following my return to Cincinnati, I stopped at McCluskey and spoke to service manager Gary Dozier about the terrible quality of the service I had received. I showed Dozier the invoice from my Virginia mechanic. Dozier asserted that the work they had done was unnecessary and that all the wiring work had been properly done by his technician. When I said that I was concerned that the dashboard lights were still not operating properly and that the brake warning light kept popping up, Dozier told me to return on July 9, saying he would take care of any remaining problems. When I met Dozier, I told him I was thinking of writing to management regarding my experiences. He offered to refund the entire $845.75 I had paid McCluskey Chevrolet for the wiring work and told me I should “go somewhere else” for service. Then he told me that he would like to “make me happy.” He looked at the car for about 10 minutes and told me everything was fine. I mentioned that my mechanic in Virginia had also spotted an oil leak. I told him, that although I had brought the car to McCluskey Chevrolet for service numerous times over the past months, no one had mentioned this. I said that this was yet another safety issue that had not been detected and was concerned that the oil warning lamp may have been disabled by the technician who had worked on the dashboard. At this point Dozier lost his temper and became extremely abusive and told me that the service department had done nothing wrong and that he would not refund any of my money. He refused to acknowledge my concerns about the way the repair had been handled, the contradictory information I received from the mechanic and Tommi Hamilton, and the failure to do an adequate safety check before returning the car. He said he was “too busy” to deal with me, since he had “80 other customers.” He said that a 2002 Prizm was “old junk” that could “break down any minute.” He added that the car was a “mechanic’s nightmare” that would “drive any mechanic crazy” and that it was “crazy” to take it on a long trip. He then told me he was through dealing with me and that I should leave. Considering the amount of money I have paid McCluskey’s service department, this treatment was humiliating, completely uncalled for and a sign of a serious lack of ethics. I had been told by two other repair shops that the Prizm is basically a good, durable car, so I was shocked to hear Mr. Dozier insulting both a customer and the quality of a GM product. On July 12 the car developed exactly the same problem which it had on June 28. I took it to another repair shop in Cincinnati, which correctly diagnosed the problem as a bad MAF sensor. The car has been running fine since then and I have just driven to Detroit and back without incident. The owner of this shop told me it is common knowledge that McCluskey cannot handle repairs on older cars. He assured me my car is in good enough shape to drive to California. Essentially, McCluskey messed up my car’s electrical system, charged me $845.75 for unnecessary work which made the situation worse and failed to diagnose the real problem. Instead of receiving service at McCluskey, my car was suffering abuse at the hands of incompetent and unskilled mechanics. The financial harm I have suffered has been substantial: I have had to pay two repair shops almost $1500 additional to correct McCluskey’s incompetent work, fix the true cause of the breakdown, and fix safety problems McCluskey did not detect. In addition, I have received an estimate of nearly $2000 for the further complete repairs. I have attempted in good faith to recover, at a minimum, the amount I paid for McCluskey’s incompetent and unnecessary work by first sending a certified letter to McCluskey’s CEO, Keith McCluskey, detailing my dissatisfaction. I have received no response. I then filed a detailed complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Three weeks after my filing, McCluskey’s president, Mike Kelsey, has filed a two sentence response saying McCluskey is not responsible for any of these problems. At this point, I do not expect any fair dealing from McCluskey or assistance from the BBB. I hope that posting my experiences will encourage other consumers to take their auto repairs to a more ethical and competent business.