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Hartford repair shop story (atten: P.Waterloo) (No Audi content)

Hey all,
    I would have written this directly to Paul.. but since I can't find his
e-mail address, I'm forced to use the list. Apologies about the bandwidth.
This is about a friend of mine who has exprienced a disgusting case of
repair-shop ripoff, and since it's in Hartford CT, I thought Paul might have
some input..
    Here's how it goes.. About a year ago, she had her clutch replaced by an
outfit called AC auto repair in Hartford. NO problems for a year. Then her
timing belt breaks on her about two weeks ago (I told her two months ago to
replace it too!). She has the timing belt replaced and takes the car home. It
runs AWFUL... so she takes it back to AC automotive. They look at the car and
tell it needs a new clutch, again, but they can't do it because somebody (not
realizing it was THEM) had screwed up the transmission and it was impossible to
get at. 
     So, maxing out her AAA card, she has it towed to a tranny shop. They put
the car on the lift and, accourding to her, show her the problem. apparently
some bolts that hold the transmission up (don't know exactly what we are
talking about here, haven't seen the car) were stripped badly. The mechanic
told her the reason her clutch is shot is because she has tons of slop. The
engine and transmission have been sliding while it's running. They told her tha
it would be at LEAST a grand to fix the car. They told her it was the result of
a very sloppy clutch job where somebody had screwed up big time with a impact
wrench. The mechanic couldn't believe the damage to the car...
     So, she calls AAA to have it towed back to her apartment while she
considers what to do about the situation. Here's where it gets REALLY
interesting. AAA sends out AC auto to pick up the car from the tranny shop and
bring it to her apartment. For some reason, AC auto was going to handle the
tow, so she asked the owner to put a statement about why the car couldn't be
fixed inside it when they dropped it off. This took some convincing, and she
was talking to the owner...
      Anyway.. my friend is waiting for the truck to show up at her apartment.
Eventually, she gets tired of waiting and calls AAA. They tell her that car has
already been dropped off at her apartment! She hangs up.. and calls security.
They tell her that no car and no tow-truck had been spotted. She steps onto the
balcony, and she sees the AC tow truck (without her car) tearing down the
street. She calls back AAA, and tells the operator. The operator tries to call
the tow-truck, but the guy wouldn't answer the calls in the truck. He shut off
his receiver! My friend runs intot he street and half a block up.. finds her
car.. in another apartment lot.. with the keys in the ignition.. unlocked...
with a note saying "clutch unrepairable.." Except the note is unsigned,
undated, and from another company!!! 
        Note.. she never signed anything for the car when it was dropped off. A
clear violation of AAA policy. I've used AAA several times and I've always had
to be present to sign.
	It was amazing that the car wasn't stolen. This section of Hartford is
ridiculously bad. She has her security guard call the other apartment building,
and luckily the security guy over there was able to send back the city-tow
truck that had been dispatched to remove this strange car. 
     So far.. she's called AAA and they have very unhelpful. They told some BS
reason why AC couldn't repair the tranny. She's called the BBB, and they've
sent her a package to fill out. 
     Right now, she's spending $600 a week on a rental beater and very little
idea of what to do. I haven't talked to her in a few days, but this is the
confusing story I received over the phone. I told her that get rid of the
rental because it was ridiculous to pay that much. I also told her that she
should forget the AAA since they were clearly taking the side of AC auto and
that she shouldn't wait for BBB, but instead get herself a lawyer.
     SO.. Paul.. have you heard of this outfit? Anybody have anysuggestions on
how to proceed in getting her money back? How about the cost of the repair?
I don't know if you Audians could make head nor tail of this post, but
essentially in a nut-shell she's being royally sc*wed. Unfortuately, I believe
alot of this is because she is a woman and doesn't know much of anything about
cars. I'm not saying that Woman don't know much about cars, I'm saying that she
doesn't know much about cars AND she's a woman. (lower raised eyebrows) 
If I had the time, I would go down there and look it over (not that I
know anything) but I don't have the time. 
     Incidentally, the car is a 91 Plymouth Laser five speed. Again, sorry
about the bandwidth and thanks for any help.
                               -Osman Parvez
                                89 200q
                                Siena College
                                Albany NY