On 03/12/2007 I dropped my car off at Desert Toyota for a transmission problem. Later that day the service tech (Kyle) called me to let me know that the transmission did indeed have a problem. Luck would have it that I had an extended warranty on the vehicle, however, according to Kyle my warranty company Phoenix American would not cover a new transmission, but instead required my transmission be re-built. Kyle stated that Toyota did not re-build transmission’s but they could recommend a wonderful company that could. The name of that company was: Aastro Transmission and Automotive Repair, located at 8150 E 22nd St Tucson AZ 85710. I believed Toyota would recommend a quality repair shop, and also knowing I had an extended warranty, I went ahead and gave Toyota permission to take my car over to Aastro for the rebuild. On 03/13/2007 I spoke to George at Aastro, he stated that they indeed could repair my car and that they worked very well with warranty companies. He stated that he had worked with Phoenix American before and on a scale of 1 – 10. Ten being the best he rated Phoenix American a seven. He stated that in order to start the process with the claim for Phoenix American, he would need to remove my transmission and diagnose the problem and in order to do that I would need to sign a release form for removal and diagnose of the transmission. This release form would have a $500.00 charge, but that I should not worry about that charge, that I would only have to pay this $500.00 if for some reason my warranty company would not pay for the claim. He stated that since I had a 7″ rated warranty company they it was highly unlikely the claim would not be approved, and that this form was just to cover Aastro for that unlikely case in which the claim was turned down. He assured me this would not happen, and that he would take good care of me. George faxed this release form to my work and I faxed it back so that work could get started on my claim. I asked George how long this process would take, he said he hoped to have my car back to me by 03/16/2007. On or about 03/15/2007 George called to say that a claims adjuster was scheduled to come out and inspect my transmission on 03/16/2007 so that work would probably not be able to begin until 03/19/2007. On or about 03/19/2007 I spoke to George and he stated that the inspector had come by and inspected my transmission and that they were preparing an estimate to fax up to the warranty company for approval. On or about 03/20/2007 I again spoke to George and he stated that there was a problem. The problem he stated was that Aastro transmission submitted a claim for a re-build, however my warranty company wanted to send a used transmission to Aastro to be installed instead. I asked George why this was and he stated he did not know, and that Aastro does not install used transmissions. I then called my warranty company to find out what the problem was. They stated that Aastro’s claim was so far out of the ball park that it would be much more cost effective to send a used transmission which would come with a one year warranty. I asked my warranty company why they would not cover the cost of a re-build and they stated that in fact they would cover up to two thousand dollars to re-build the transmission. They stated that if the transmission company would give a 3 yr warranty on the re-build they could even go up to twenty five hundred dollars. I called George and asked how much Aastro’s claim was for them to re-build my transmission, he stated the cost was $3700.00 I asked if he could work with me on the price for my warranty company would only pay $2500.00. He stated he would work with me but not them, whatever that meant I still do not know. Isn’t me or them the same thing in the long run?t This went on for days, George stated that the warranty company was the problem, and the warranty company stating Aastro was way out of line with their price. I have a friend who is a mechanic, I spoke to him and asked him who he would recommend for a transmission repair (something I wish I would have done in the very beginning, however with the warranty who better to trust than Toyota…) They gave me the number to Mr. Clutch, here in Tucson. I called a gentleman by the name of John (Manager) I did not disclose to John that my car was already at Aastro Transmission’s. I just inquired of the price to rebuild a transmission for a 2002 Toyota Camry. He stated that the cost would be somewhere between two thousand up to twenty five hundred dollars max to do a complete rebuild of the transmission. With this information I called George at Aastro, I did not mention my call to Mr. Clutch being I did not want to start a hostile situation between us about him over-charging. Instead I asked George to help me out on the price being my warranty company did not want to cover more than two thousand dollars. George again made the comment, I told you I would help you but not them. (Again, isn’t it the same thing??) He then stated that the best he could do would be thirty one hundred dollars. I told him we were still eleven hundred dollars apart. He stated that was the best he could do. Being at a stand still, and now, my car had been out of commission for over a week I called to ask for Toyota’s help. Kyle at Toyota was also in shock of the cost that Aastro was charging for a re-build of my transmission. He apologized profusely and told me he would make some calls and see if he could help. I called him a day later and he told he that Aastro would not budge on their price. Even if Toyota stopped sending business to them. On or about 03/21/2007 I called the General Manager of Aastro. A gentleman by the name of Mike. I explained my situation, I also told him I had done my homework and it was clear I was being over-charged for the re-build, he told me he would look into it and get back to me. The next day he called to let me know that there was nothing that he could do, the price was the price. I asked to speak to the owner, he told me he was out of town. I asked if I could have his number or voice mail, he told me that was not possible and that he would leave him a message. On or about 3/22/2007 I called Aastro to ask them what I needed to do to get me car back from them so that I could take it to another shop. They said it would cost me 650.00 plus tax. Five hundred for the removal and inspection fee, and one hundred and fifty for a electronic diagnosis fee. I asked what would happen if I refuse to pay this charge? They stated my car would not be released without me paying these charges. I then called the GM (Mike) at Aastro and asked if he would work with me on these charges to release my car. I told him I had called some transmission shops and that the going charge to remove and diagnose a transmission was three hundred dollars. I asked if he could do that and we would be done with each other. He refused. On 03/23/2007 I went down to Aastro with a tow truck and an officer from the Tucson Police dept. I asked the officer if he could please get me property released from Aastro transmission. After some back and forth banter my car was released but the police informed me that the law stated he had a mechanic’s lien when I signed that release paper. With that I would have to pay 525.95 not the 650.00 they originally stated. The officer instructed me that if I disagreed I could file a law suit if I felt I was taken advantage of. My car was released and I asked the officer to stay and make sure my transmission was also released. He did so, we were told the transmission and parts would be in the trunk of the car. We looked and sure enough there was an abundance of parts in my truck. We watched as my car was loaded on a flat bed and on its way to Mr. Clutch. On or about 03/27/2007 Mr Clutch called to tell me that there were several missing parts to my transmission. He stated that this happens in these situation’s and that because of the bad blood between Aastro and myself he would call Aastro and try to locate my parts, that most the time they eventually find them. This went on the a couple more days and then finally Mr Clutch called me on 03/29/2007 to tell me that the parts had not been found. I called the Mike the GM at Aastro, he told me he would look into it and call me back. He did call to tell me that the parts left Aastro in the trunk, I told him that was not possible, I told him that the police officer and I witnessed the car being loaded on the flat bed and that it went straight over to Mr. Clutch, he responded by saying that maybe it was the tow truck driver that took the parts! I then told Mike that I had enough and that I had no choice but to take legal action, including contacting the better business bureau and Attorney generals office and anyone else that would listen. He stated he would call me back. He did call me back and this time we were on a three way with the Owner by the name of Jim Marshall. I explained to Mr Marshall my frustrations, he told me he would look into my missing parts. I explained that I felt that I had been purposely sabotaged due to the hostile situation in which I removed my car from Aastro. The parts never showed up, and it was not until 03/30/07 (a week after my car left Aastro) that I spoke to Aastro and they stated that they located a used transmission in Phoenix that they were going replace the missing parts with. On 04/02/07 they finally delivered those parts to Mr. Clutch. Mr Clutch is now working with my warranty company and has been approved to do the work at the two thousand dollars that they offered Aastro. My car should be finally done within the next day or two. It should be noted that Aastro had my car from 03/13/2007 and it was not until 04/02/2007 that my parts were delivered so that Mr Clutch could do the repair. My car has been out of commission for three weeks now. I accuse Aastro transmission of price gouging ( charging and outrageous amount of money that no warranty company would possibly pay) It’s obvious to me that they get every penny from the warranty company and then go after the owner of the car for the rest. George at Aastro was a master of assuring me that there would be no problem with the warranty company paying the claim. He just failed to mention that they may not pay the full amount of the claim and that I )the customer) would be responsible for the rest. The scam that was used was a classic bait and switch, taking my attention away from the amount of the claim and instead making it about if the claim would be approved or not. He not once mentioned that I may have to pay what a warranty company would not. I also accuse Aastro of theft, it is obvious my parts were purposely removed, Mr Clutch stated that many times in these situation parts are misplaced, however, never had they seen this many parts, and for them not to show up at all. It was done for retaliation purposes. I request that Aastro refund my $525.95 that was paid to them for the release of my car. I have been without a car now for almost one month for a job that they estimated at 3 days! The time and aggravation spent well out ways the money they have taken for a job they failed at. I still am in shock that they wanted over three thousand dollars for a job that Mr Clutch is doing for two thousand dollars. Aastro made a comment that the reason the estimate was so high is that the valve body of my transmission needed to be replaced. When I asked Mr. Clutch about the valve body they stated that they could see no damage to the valve body. Aastro needs to do the right thing and refund my money for the hassle they have caused me. Dana Tucson, ArizonaU.S.A.
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