BAR Investigation

complaintA couple years ago, I got a call one morning from a gentleman who said that he was a representative of the Bureau of Consumer affairs, automotive division. He told me that there was a problem with my business and he and his partner needed to see me right away. I told them where I was going to be the entire day. (That day, I was changing a transmission in Long Beach), and gave him the address.

I went to work as I usually do and started working on the car. About 4 hours later, two men in black business suits and briefcases found me in Long Beach. They had come from Sacramento to see every aspect of my business, so I told them to look around at anything they wanted.

I went back to work on the transmission. After several minutes, they started asking me all sorts of questions, which I answered to the best of my ability. It seems that they had come across my name through a customer whose car I had worked on several years before. She had taken her car in for service at another shop and had a problem with their work. She submitted a complaint to the Bureau of Consumer Affairs. They investigate all claims submitted to them.

In the process, she gave them the past maintenance records for her car which included several of my invoices. Since my registration number is printed right on the top of my invoices, they put my registration number into their computer and came up with nothing.

It showed that I had been in business for 25 years and not had a single complaint against my business in those 25 years. They thought that this had to be a mistake, so they decided to investigate me.

carmechanic_FullWhen they were interviewing me while I was working, they couldn’t find anything wrong. They thought it was impossible for anybody to be in the automotive repair business for 25 years and not have a single complaint against him. I just told them that I treat my customers like my friends. And that if anything was wrong with anything I had done in relation to their car, I would immediately come back and fix it. No arguments, no charges, no problems. That was just the way I run my business.

By then, I had finished replacing the transmission. I started the car and let it warm up for a few minutes. Then, I test drove the car, taking them along. As I pulled out to the street, I floored the throttle, taking them by surprise. I pushed the transmission to it’s limit.

They thought that this was abusing the car, but I explained to them that whenever I test drive a car after working on it, I test it to the limit, because I KNOW what that limit is. If the car can take the limit I give it, I know that the customer will probably never see that limit.

Upon my return, the customer came out and paid for the service. They talked to the customer, asking him several questions. Afterwards, they interviewing me for about an hour, asking about every facet of my business.

They were both satisfied that they had found a legitimate, honest, trustworthy, and dependable businessman. One of them told me that if he had a Honda or Acura automobile, he would drive down from Sacramento to have me service his car.

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