By on June 30, 2014

satisfaction. Shutterstock user Wynn Dhyana

TTAC commentator M0L0TOV has an update for us:

Hey Sajeev,

I figured I’d send you an update so people would know what happened to my situation. Well, I went ahead and tried to contact AAMCO. First I tried contacting them via their website but almost a week had passed and no response. So I contact them via their Facebook page, the next day I got a response with a phone number, name, and e-mail address of somebody at corporate to contact. I sent them an e-mail, I got a call from the owner of the Aamco where I had originally taken my car within ten minutes.

He stated he was notified by the customer service department and we had a disagreement. He offered to not charge me for the labor and I would pay for the part. I was perfectly fine with paying for the part, I wasn’t looking for a free ride. I thought their offer was fair because it would have been replaced when the work was originally being done. I picked up my car today and paid $214.00 and I get a 90 day warranty. So yes, the system works. I appreciate everybody’s advice on this matter and I was able to force their hand.

Thanks for all your help Sajeev and the rest of the TTAC readers!

Sajeev answers:

Behold the power of social media.


Between what you experienced, my firsthand experiences (disclosure: social media is my full time gig) and “little” things like the Arab Spring or whatever makes people love Justin Bieber, there’s no doubt social media is a powerful tool for customer service.  Or a service for powerful tools…but I digress.

The system works, with pleases me immensely.  So kudos to AAMCO for doing the right thing, once they heard about it.  And doing it rather quickly: it’s rare ’round these Piston Slap bloggy parts when a company interacts with one of us and does the right thing. So let’s relish this moment of (seemingly) good karma.

Happy Monday to you, Dear Reader.

[Image: Shutterstock user Wynn Dhyana]

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.


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15 Comments on “Piston Slap: Double A (Beep! Beep!) Em, Cee, Oh… (Part II)...”

  • avatar

    You still got screwed, just less so now that you complained to HQ. You were entitled to a non-cracked leak-free case the first time you came in. Or is an intact case an extra $214 option?

    • 0 avatar

      It was my understanding that AAMCO rebuilt his transmission, and that particular transmission had come from a junkyard. The issue was that they should have caught the crack during the rebuild, as its cheap to find another core to rebuild

      • 0 avatar

        Oh, they caught the crack alright, and tried to get away with a slapdash band-aid repair. Now they’re making MOLOTOV pay extra now for a case to replace the one that should have been rejected in the first place.

        • 0 avatar

          He would have still needed to pay more for the case even in the first case, so I think he came out right where he should be. Fair on both sides.

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t know that I’d agree. He paid what he should have in the first place, this is true, but all they had to do was call him and let him know that it was cracked when they did the work. At this point he has spent a lot of time questioning the car (or without it) that he wouldn’t have if they had done it right the first time.

            A half-decent result, but it still doesn’t show respect for the time and effort of the customer, IMHO. If they passed on the wholesale price on the part, that would be an effect, but they probably still should have discounted beyond that. The problem is clearly that this shop doesn’t get or care about repeat customers.

          • 0 avatar

            You’d be right if AAMCO had told him something like “We saved you some money on this trans because the case has a small crack. If you want a perfect case it’ll be $214 more.”

          • 0 avatar

            You’d be right if AAMCO had told him something like “We saved you some money on this trans because the case has a small crack. If you want a perfect case it’ll be $214 more.”

          • 0 avatar

            There is also a possibility that the shop’s actions in the beginning were not malicious: They saw an older car on its 4th transmission come in the door and made a judgement call to try and save the customer some money by attempting a repair on non-critical area of the case (which ultimately did fail).

            Yeah, it’s very poor judgement and professionalism not to tell the customer of the problem and at least give him the choice to fix it properly, but it’s not necessarily done with the goal of ripping him off. After all, by doing the silicone fix on the first install, the shop lost the ~100% markup of selling him a new case.

          • 0 avatar

            @Vulpine – Large part of what you’re paying Aamco for is to find and replace all worn/damaged parts. Had Aamco found the cracked case after the tear down and before the rebuild, darn right they would’ve tried to up-sell a new (used) case. Hard parts are what they’re in business for, not the rebuilds.

            Had M0L0TOV declined it and suggested a silicon patch himself, Aamco would’ve advised against it and refused to warranty the trans with a shoddy fix.

            That’s if M0L0TOV didn’t already pay for the new (used) case.

            So no, Aamco found the crack after the rebuild and didn’t want to eat the rebuild and rebuild kit.

            Plus all shops know, no good deed goes unpunished.

  • avatar

    It works…sometimes. It all depends on the brand.

    Friend of mine got ripped off on gas by Parkers and got nowhere complaining to management. He took his complaint to their Facebook and they made a show of trying to make contact with him to make it right but then never followed up with him when he gave the info they requested to take the conversation offline. Then they kept deleting his followup requests for contact.

  • avatar

    Is my understanding correct that you’re paying $214 for a part that doesn’t work properly?

    • 0 avatar

      No, he paid $214 for a replacement part that should have been replaced originally rather than just ‘masked’. As it is, the housing is brand new while the innards are all still ‘junkyard’.

      • 0 avatar

        The new housing is going to be “good used” too. A new case from Ford would be way more than $214. They most likely stripped another core and took the case or ordered a good used one from another shop.

  • avatar

    Twitter and Facebook are the fastest ways to get customer service. My wife has proven this to me enough times that I’ve stopped arguing.

  • avatar

    This isn’t about taking up The Sword of Justice and righting all the past wrongs of the automotive universe. For a couple of hundred bucks on top of the original $2500 rebuild charge the owner now has a fixed transmission and a (rather minimal) 90-day warranty. Yeah, he shouldn’t have had to work that hard to make it happen, but that’s done.

    Two lessons going forward:
    – Don’t buy any more damn transmissions for this car. If this one conks out, accept that you’re done, you’ve got your money’s worth, time to move on. Recognize a clear message from the automotive gods when you see one!
    – Should some future occasion arise, don’t patronize this particular Aamco franchisee again.

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