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James Auto Center

(850) 763-0555

1301 East 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401

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Service & Repair Transmission Repair

Customer Reviews (1 review)

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James Auto Center
barfield
August 16, 2014

Business owner tells car owner next time you need to bring the decision maker I can't work with anyone that can't make the decisions. Violates logic.

On 08/14/14, we took our Lexus in for diagnostics at James Auto Center, Incorporated of Panama City, FL.

Upon arrival, James, the owner, wanted to take us for a test drive even though we told both him and his office manager that we needed to leave for a medical appointment at the Mayo Clinic, which is over five hours away. We agreed to the test drive since he kept repeating himself.

Once we return they indicate a fee of nearly $110.00 would be needed just to evaluate the vehicle; using an example of how they are like doctors and cannot "diagnose" a vehicles for free. We agreed. We then remind both James and his office manager that we need to leave for our Mayo Clinic appointment, but they do not hasten whatsoever if anything James goes slower by trying to sell us on getting headlights cleaned for $75 bucks. We let him finish his poorly timed and poorly executed sales spiel then finally depart.

A few hours later they call and tell us the car battery keeps dying due to the alternator. He indicates he could replace the alternator with a rebuilt one with a "part" cost of roughly $450 bucks, two belts need to be replaced as they are causing the noise when the A/C is activated with "part" costs under $30 bucks, and the car would need to be reprogrammed to work correctly with the rebuilt, non-Lexus, alternator. The price he quoted was nearly $1100.00 dollars total. I tell them we will call back speak to the vehicle owner's father who says he will pay to fix it after inspection. I call the auto center back, speak to the office manager, and tell him we wouldn't be using their shop for the repairs given their cost is out of scope for the car owner due to his weekly exorbitant medical costs. He understood.

The following day, 08/15/14, we go to pick up the car after returning from the Mayo Clinic. We go in and wait for a few minutes at which time the office manager brings us to the back and begins the transaction. I then leave and get back in my vehicle while the very sick car owner stays to settle the debt. Then James, the owner, walk in. James immediately talks down to his very sick patron, very rudely -- next time you need to bring the decision maker I can't work with anyone that can't make the decisions -- as an indication James viewed his sick patron as incompetent or indigent. The office manager said to his employer, defending the sick patron, that had it just been a couple belts the car owner would've been the decision maker. The car owner is stunned in disbelief and offended, does not respond, and instead takes his keys, begins to exit the tiny shop with the office manager about to follow to verify the vehicle would turn on. James stops his employee, raises his voice and tells his employee to go deal with another vehicle -- I got him. By this time the sick car owner was nearly at his vehicle when James comes up on him with a tech following shortly after. James arrives at the vehicle and states he "partly" charged the battery and doubted the car would even start, which it didn't given the bad alternator and the fact they didn't charge the battery as promised. The car owner responds he is just driving it to his parents house and prepares to call me to come jump the car. The tech then uses his battery jumper and the car starts. The car made noise immediately and James said oh that's your alternator. The car owner turned the A/C off, the noise stopped, and the shop owner, James, shuts his mouth; his tech remained silent the entire time. We leave.

While following the car owner I notice something attached to the bottom of the vehicle kept bouncing off the road. I have him pull over. After examination, James Auto Center removed a bolt/screw that held the front underneath of the car together (between the front two tires) and did not put it back, which caused damages to the vehicle. So I guess James was right: Had I not seen that issue perhaps that car wouldn't have made the drive given the obvious neglect regardless if from intentional tampering or carelessness.

This outfit, specifically James the owner, was obviously trying to take advantage of his very sick patron further proven by his unprofessional conduct, word choice, borderline yelling at his own employee, likely tampering of a vehicle notwithstanding the harassing and discriminatory behavior he displayed to the patron.

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