To the editor:
This is an open letter to the Paris mayor and the City Commission with a suggestion for solving complaints and disputes and minor disagreements.
Sirs, in the fact that I have myself run into a brick wall early this month, trying to file a complaint against a local business and reaching no one, I would like to suggest that the City of Paris look into finding a consumer protection advocate to settle some of these problems, since the Better Business Bureau is totally ineffective and the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t want to be involved.
Because of reckless endangerment, I was almost seriously injured and exposed to death. A party who was supposed to flush my brakes and adjust them on two occasions, spanning June 6 to July 2, placed my life at risk twice.
The first time was after telling me I had to “replace” a brand new master cylinder that had worked satisfactory for 216 miles (in my classic Chevy); I was told to buy a new one.
There was nothing wrong with the one in the vehicle, but the young incompetent mechanic knew “everything” and said that was my problem.
That was after he said the car was ready to go, but the brakes were slushy.
I paid most of the outrageous bill and drove the car 1.5 blocks to discover that I had no brakes whatsoever unless I pumped them five or six times. I almost rear-ended a car at the light by the Krider Center.
I took the car back and told them they didn’t adjust the brakes, and to please do it correctly! This was June 9. The car sat in his lot until June 28, when he put it on a lift and left the hood open.
On July 2, I was told to get my car. Words were exchanged in a nasty manner. I got in the car and started home.
The car seemed sluggish, and when I took my foot off the gas, the car would almost come to a stop by itself. By the time I had reached Foundation Bank, I could smell my brakes burning! By the time I got to Trolinger’s, I could see the smoke. I pulled into [a repair shop] and, while the car cooled off, I talked to the owner; 15 minutes later, the head mechanic put it in a bay, worked on it for 20 minutes and solved the problem.
It cost me another $69.50. Now the owner of the first outfit wants me to pay him $63.71, which I have refused. If he wants to get his $63, then he will have to reimburse me for the $69.52 spent to fix his screw-up.
I will not do business there (after 21 years of loyalty to his father) anymore. I don’t have the time or the money to take him to court. There are so many other people like me who find themselves in a similar position.
He has supposedly turned me into a bill collector. Who do I turn him into? How about equal protection and equal rights?
Thus my proposal for a town “problem” solver in the form of a consumer affairs advocate, a mediator, someone without the prejudice to automatically support the business that was the “transgressor.”
A business, in my opinion, should not take on work they are not qualified to do. That should be told to the customer right up front. And the part of doing the work when they “get around to it” or feel like it has got to be erased!
I made an appointment June 24 or 25, and was told to bring it in July 6. They couldn’t do the front-wheel alignment because the kid did not have the proper training. They did fix the faulty gas gauge in the fuel tank. However, they cost me another $180 for parts that I didn’t need.
[The place that actually fixed the car] has had a lot of unhappy customers come to his business to fix the mistakes of [the other business].
Terry W. Kelly
124 Hoffman Lane