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We got Scammed by the mechanic shop.

Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine this scenario where I am being scammed by our hometown mechanic shop. But that's what has happened and I am here to warn you, it could happen to you too!



Coming back to America from Europe and Asia, we anticipated higher costs brought on by hyperinflation.

We knew, for instance, that, food would be higher, medical would be astronomically higher, and everyday items would cost more. We even anticipated the high cost of emergency motorhome maintenance and put a few thousand away in a separate savings account for just such emergencies.




After a seamless purchase day at Marquardt RV in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, we headed out west for Fargo, North Dakota to see the kids and hang out with friends as we upgraded what we needed to in the RV to make it road worthy and comfortable for full-time living.


At about 30 miles out of the dealership, we started to feel a little wiggle when we hit the brakes. Knowing that this was a 1995 Coachmen Leprechaun motorhome, we chalked it up to old parts that sat too long and when we got to Fargo, we booked an appointment for that Sunday with the only local shop that could lift our RV off the ground and asked them to do an oil change and check the brakes for us.

(I CAN NOT SHOW A PICTURE DUE TO COPYRIGHT LAW)


That Sunday we came in at 930am and by 530pm, we were finally told that we indeed needed brake pads for the front so we approved that repair, and 2 hours later we left, feeling like we had done our due diligence in keeping our RV in tiptop shape.


Not more than 3 miles away from the shop, however, we felt a huge wobble in the front shaking us so hard, we immediately called the shop back and told them what was happening.

They said to bring it back in the morning as they were now closed. We had to wait a couple of hours for the wheel to cool off as it was too hot to touch and then made our way slowly back over and parked for the night in the truck stop next door. So far our total spent was $696.50 for the brake pads and oil change.

We knew the bearings and the rotors were fine because they checked them and told us outright that they were!

The Mechanic who did this locked up our brakes so badly that it ruined the rotors and bearings!


The next morning, we got right in at 730am and spent the entire day in the waiting room. By 530pm, we came down and asked how it was going and were handed a bill for $2004.50 and our jaws dropped.


The sign on the wall showed a labor charge of $280. Per hour for an RV and $180. Per hour for deisel trucks. So we thought it would be about $1000. Bucks or less since my husband, who has been working for Ford for over 16 years, knew that a front brake job books out at about 3 hours.


They informed us that our rotors, which the day before were perfect, were now warped pretty badly and the calipers were shot as well so we needed a complete brake system replacement.


They showed a 7.5-hour labor charge on the NEW Bill and said that they would cover the cost of the brake pads because they knew they should have caught it the first time.


This would bring our total labor hours to 10.5 hours which was 3 times the allocated hours this job should take. When we complained about this we were told "it is what it is" and "those are just guidelines, not real times"


We had to take the RV and park next door again and we called Marquardt RV, we told them what was happening and they offered to pay $1000. of our bill for us! I was elated and grateful as we did buy the rv used/as is. Our sales guy Dave, called Walworks and gave them the credit card number, and said he wanted to pay the bill. They insisted there was only $560.50 left to pay and that there were no other charges. Dave asked specifically "Are you sure? Because we are willing to pay $1000. Toward thier bill" The service manager, Brock told Dave, "nope, that's it" and we thought we were home free.


Today we came in again at 730am. We were immediately pulled into a stall. It's now 3 pm and we were just told that they don't see any payment from Marquardt RV and that we owe another $2004.50 for today's services. Bringing our total to $3261.50 for a simple brake job and oil change.


I do not mind paying for my parts, and I am even expecting a little upcharge. That's how shops make a little money and that's fair.

I don't even care about the $280. Per hour fee as this is plain as day, on the wall and we expected this.

What I have an issue with is charging me for 3 days of labor when the jobs should have taken 3.5 hours.

I'm also wondering how you take money from a dealership and then lose it, leaving me to pay for yet another of your shops' mistakes.

To top it all off, they used aftermarket parts when my husband specifically asked for OEM. (Somehow these aftermarket parts were much more expensive than original factory parts).

Then they left the windows down, letting our cats have an escape route into a busy and dangerous shop when we specifically told them every single day that we have kitties in the camper. (Luckily our babies were safe)

I don't judge you for mistakes, but I do ask that you pay for them.

If this job had gone the way it should have, we would have had our camper fixed and on the road in 4 to 5 hours the first day with a cost of about a thousand dollars.

Our bill is now more than 3 times that and we are terrified that they could be doing a bad job intentionally now and will have to take it somewhere else as soon as we can find a place, that will recheck their work so we are safe.

It's bad enough that places like this target rv owners for nearly double the labor fees when a good percentage of full-timers are retired and on fixed incomes, but to completely scam people is unacceptable and criminal.


I am talking to a civil litigator at this time and will be updating this story as we progress.


UPDATE; We did talk to an attorney who said it would be more than the RV bill to sue them. We also used an intermediary to see if they could take a second look to see what they could do about this.

In the end, there was nothing anyone could do and we just had to take it.


I write this story to warn others that they will need to be extremely vigilant when it comes to getting RV service done. There are good places, and there are bad, but as we travel through the Oregon trail from Wisconsin, we are still grateful to have this amazing life we are blessed with.

Please email me for anything related to our trip as I would rather you take my time than spend your entire emergency fund for nothing.

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