All Business, Good & Bad

Sometimes, an awful consumer experience. Let's call them out. Okay, mostly. But sometimes awards. Yes? All the accounts are truthful. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike. Email me with your stories and I'll include them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Affordable Muffler Scam Game

Today we're discussing:

Affordable Muffler Inc
13130 Lorain Ave
Cleveland, OH 44111

Two years ago, we had a bad catalytic converter in the '99 CRV and had it replaced with an aftermarket piece. Peace of mind? The owner's signature under the handwritten words "5 year warranty."

A while back we had a rattle and soon after a check light and had it checked out: catalytic converter failure (the rattle was a piece of the converter dancing around in the tailpipe). Since we can't just drop everything and drive into Cleveland at a moment's notice, it took some time to get up there. Three weeks ago I took it back to Affordable Muffler with the original, hand-signed receipt. Mr. Owner's response? The converter has melted down and his warranty does not cover meltdown. It's running too rich; take it to a dealership and get the engine fixed, but no free converter either way.

So we took it to a Honda dealership with all the pomp and circumstance that that entails and they said exactly what we knew: the converter sucks, is falling apart, and there is absolutely nothing else wrong with the engine - no rich, no lean, no problem.

Then we returned to Cleveland with this dealership-endorsed revelation and the man in charge at Affordable Muffler was stone-faced: It's melted down; my warranty does not cover meltdown. Seeing as the warranty was a signature on a piece of paper, how were we to know? "I'm telling you right now," he stated rather gruffly.

If there's nothing wrong with the engine, then the failure of the catalytic converter is the cause in and of itself of any further fall-apart or meltdown, since a check engine light switches up the programming and dumps extra fuel which could cause extra heat. But the converter is and was the only thing wrong. Besides that, a catalytic converter should certainly not fail in only two years.

Affordable Muffler, you win a Bad Business Award for providing
poor quality parts, shady service, and a warranty on whatever terms you decide at the time. For shame.

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