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Toyota of bountiful ripoff

I originally sent this letter to Toyota of Bountiful on July 22. I resent it a month later. It has been ignored. I’m posting it on Yelp, and on a number of state, federal and corporate websites. Maybe I’m a whiner. You decide. On June 13, the electrical system on my 2006 Toyota Tundra shut down in Bountiful while I was driving from my home in Clinton to my place of work in Price, UT. I had it towed to Toyota of Bountiful. I had experienced this trouble the previous day, so I had personally replaced the battery and the alternator that afternoon. I spoke with one of the service representatives, Brandon. He assured me they would find and fix the real problem. Eventually, he told me that the problem was with the negative battery cable terminal. He informed me that they could either repair the terminal, for about $200, or replace the battery cable, which he told me would cost about $1,000. That seemed an awfully high price for a battery cable, but he just shrugged and said he didn’t know why it cost so much. I don’t live in Bountiful, and I had to get to work, so I told him to go ahead and repair the battery terminal. A while later, Brandon came back and informed me that the battery I had just purchased was faulty, and that one of the cells was completely useless. He told me I would need a new battery in order to drive the truck. Again, I was stuck in Bountiful, so I agreed to replace the battery, which cost about $185, including an $18 charging fee. I asked why they didn’t sell batteries without a charging fee, but I just got a shrug. I paid the bill of $372.83 and got in the truck and drove off. I work in Price, UT, which is about a two-hour drive from Bountiful. Just before I got the Price, the truck lost electrical power and shut down again. I called another tow truck. I asked the driver to recommend a mechanic, and he suggested I take the vehicle to Supreme Muffler in Price. When I got there, I talked with the owner, Joe Piccolo, and explained what had been happening. He assured me they would figure it out. My job requires me to work in a remote location for a nine-day shift, and I told Joe I wouldn’t be able to pick the vehicle up until the end of my shift, but that I could periodically check my voicemail. He told me he would leave a message when they had diagnosed the problem. When I checked in with him two days later, he told me that they would have to replace the alternator, because it had been burned out. He asked where I had purchased it, and I told him I had gotten it at an Auto Zone store. He told me he would drive it over to Auto Zone and get a free replacement, and that I would only have to pay for the labor. I thanked him and told him I would call back the next day. When I checked back, another mechanic, Carl Potter, told me they had replaced the alternator, but then discovered the battery cable was actually at fault. It had high electrical resistance and was actually melting the fuse block. He said a replacement cable would cost $19.95. That’s a lot less than the $1,000 I’d been quoted by Toyota of Bountiful. (See attached receipt from Supreme Muffler.) He told me the power cable was the truck’s original problem. I asked him if that was an uncommon problem, and he said it was, but that whenever someone comes into his shop with an electrical issue it’s one of the first things they check. “We always check the connections,” he told me. Apparently, that is not the practice at Toyota of Bountiful. A few days later I picked up the truck. It works just fine. I highly recommend Supreme Muffler in Price to anyone who needs work done on their vehicle. They were honest and straightforward and they went out of their way to save me almost $200 by exchanging alternators. Joe even called me the following day to make sure the truck was operating properly. The day after I got home to Clinton, I took the supposedly defective battery back to the Layton Napa Auto Parts store where I had purchased it. I told one of the salesmen that I had been told by Toyota of Bountiful that one of the cells was burnt out. He put it on the battery tester and told me that there was nothing wrong with it other than being discharged. (See the attached battery test results.) He told me if I returned in an hour it would be as good as new. I came back an hour later and he told me it was ready. He knew I had a new battery from Toyota, so he said he would be happy to refund my money. I told him that I would keep the Napa battery, which cost about $70, and return the Toyota battery, which cost almost $200. So I drove to Toyota of Bountiful. I wasn’t happy that they had misdiagnosed the problem so badly, but I figured I wouldn’t argue about the work they had done not fixing my power cable, but I assumed they would cheerfully refund my money for the unnecessary battery. Nope. After I told my story, Brandon told me that I had authorized the purchase of the battery and that he couldn’t do anything about it. I was a bit surprised, but I pointed out that he had told me the battery was defective, and that wasn’t the case. I told him they could have just charged the battery while they were working on the wrong problem and I wouldn’t have needed another battery. He told me he would bring out the parts manager, and when he showed up, he told me they couldn’t replace the battery because they don’t sell used batteries. “So,” I said, “You won’t refund my money for a battery I didn’t need because you don’t sell used batteries?” I got another shrug. I asked what the store’s policy was when they misdiagnosed a mechanical problem, Brandon told me: “We got you back on the road.” That is true. They got me back on the road for two hours and then the problem reappeared. They charged me $372.83 for a problem they didn’t fix and for a battery I didn’t need. I asked to speak to the service manager or the store manager. Brandon told me that the service manager, John Pollet, wasn’t available that day, which was a Friday, but that he would have him call me Monday. That was more than four months ago, and I haven’t heard a word from him. I did get a nice little flyer from Toyota of Bountiful in my mail about a week later, thanking me for my business and then asking me to sell my vehicle to them. To sum up, Toyota of Bountiful does not stand behind their work. If they don’t get it right, well, it’s your fault for not knowing what was wrong. I would recommend that anyone living in the Bountiful area take their Toyota vehicles to the muffler shop in Price rather than to the Toyota-certified mechanics at Toyota of Bountiful. The waiting room in Bountiful is much nicer, but they apparently prefer to spend money on a nice waiting area rather than on mechanic training. I am requesting a full and complete refund of the money I was charged at Toyota of Bountiful. I will pursue this further with the organizations listed below if I am not satisfied with your response.
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ID
#937009 Review #937009 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Bountiful, Utah
Service
Toyota Of Bountiful Car Repair
Reason of review
Not as described/ advertised
Loss
$373
Preferred solution
Full refund

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