Once upon a time I drove a crappy 87 Chrysler LeBaron. I really hated this car, but like so many people it was all I had. In December 2003 the engine blew from an oil leak, so I took her car to Barnett’s Garage where I’d had pleasurable enough dealings with them before. I purchased a rebuilt engine with a 3 year warranty for $2700. They told me it would take a week to install the engine. I didn’t see my car again for a month. Everytime I called to check on it I was told, “We’re working on it. We’re really busy.” Upon getting the car back I found out quickly I still had an oil leak. Jim Barnett said to bring the car back in and he’d have it fixed, but I couldn’t be without my car for another month. I sucked it up and kept topping the oil off. On March 31 2004 I pulled out of a parking lot and my car would barely move. The odometer said I was going 200 MPH but I was lucky to make it across the street. Not aware of the true problem, I called Barnett’s and had them tow it in. The inital diagnoses was the transmission. Luckily before they could take me for a ride on that, it was discovered I’d bent my frame during an ice storm that January and the right axle broke when I hit a bump pulling out. Barnett’s said they could fix the axle but I needed to take it to a body shop to get the frame repaired. I asked for a referral and was directed to Bobo’s. I called Bobo’s, confirmed they could give me an estimate if Barnett’s towed it to them, then called Barnett’s back and authorized them to tow it to Bobo’s. After 4 days of no word from Bobo’s I called only to discover Barnett’s had NOT towed my car there. My father (the registered owner of the car) called Barnett’s and found they sent the car to Campbell’s and authorized them to fix the frame. I was ready to call the police, but appparently Jim Barnett worked some Jedi Mind Trick on my father and convinced him he was trying to save us a buck. Since I was denied an estimate, I guess we’ll never know. The total price tag for that repair was $900. To this day I still use that as ammunition against my father. The axle broke two more times between June and October. Barnett’s blamed Campbell’s for a crappy repair job on the frame, Campbell’s blamed Barnett’s for the crappy repair job on the axle. I had a friend of the family look at the car for me after the second repair. He said it was Barnett’s fault and that I had bad bearings and there was a problem in the left axle they neglected to fix. He repaired both wheels for $50 plus parts. The second axle repair was on the house, the third was $350. The second time I explictly told the tow truck driver I wanted an estimate only. They fixed it anyway and when my then fiance demanded to know why they did, the mechanic who answered the phone had the audacity to say, “What, are you mad we fixed your car? You had it towed here. What did you expect us to do?” Daddy’s guilt for the whole situation handled that bill. The car drove as fine as a piece of crap will until April 5 — three days after my wedding. I was driving down the road at about midnight when the car stopped accelerating and broke again. My husband and I pushed the car into a parking lot. A good samaritan looked under my hood and proclaimed a broken head gasket. The next day we had it towed to Barnett’s only because of the warranty on the engine. The first call I received from Jim Barnett was a grim one confirming the broken head gasket. He recommended scrapping the car, convieniently “forgetting” I had a warranty on the engine. The next step was taking the receipt for the original engine repair to the garage so I could prove the warranty. The last time I spoke to Jim Barnett, about a week after the car was taken in, he informed me they were very busy and not to call them, they would call us. May 31, 2005, my husband called Barnett’s to see what was taking two months (althought I wasn’t surprised). Mike Barnett informed us that the engine had overheated, it was my fault, and they would not honor the warranty after all. When asked why no one called us with this news, Mike said they’d lost my number and was waiting for us to call back. I called them back and spent a frustrating 10-20 minutes on the phone with Mike. He repeated what he told my husband and added “We lost your number. We had your father’s, but not yours,” to which I countered, “And how hard would it have been for someone to call him and give us a heads up?” He admitted it wouldn’t have been hard and apologized. In reality I know they didn’t call him because they didn’t want to deal with my father. They expected me to roll over like a good little girl and accept it. Nope. At this point Mike is calling the factory that actually fixes the engines to see if they will honor the warranty. This. Is. BULL. I am very lucky in that I have since gotten another vehicle and do not have to rely on the car Barnett’s is neglecting. Laura Spartanburg, South CarolinaU.S.A.
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