Hall of Shame: Engines and Elvis

- This is a business where they're cruel - and this is an Elvis who sings.

This Elvis is also the owner of an auto salvage business. The business is anything but tender to their clients. A bunch of their customers say this place sells you the wrong parts - and if you want your money back they say never.

 Poor Elvis, he's going to be all shook up.

This is Nelson. His transmission was bad. He called Discount Auto Salvage in Mount Clemens. They told him they just so happened to have a transmission for his 2002 Tahoe.

He said he paid $440 but when Nelson brought the transmission to his mechanic, he found out they had sold him the wrong transmission. So Nelson hauled the heavy part back to the salvage place.

Wolchek: "You gave it back to them. So you don't have anything?"

Nelson: "No I don't have anything but a receipt."

Even though the salvage yard gave him the wrong transmission, they said 'no refunds’ and we'll call you when we get the right transmission in. That was in June.

Russel had the exact same problem as Nelson, except he spent $500 on a whole engine.

"It said free delivery with the purchase of an engine," he said. "So they brought an engine. They brought the wrong engine."

Steve and Dianne thought they were buying an engine for a 2002 Jeep. instead, they got one for a 1995 Jeep. It doesn't fit.

"We said it's the wrong motor, they said we have one bring it back and we'll give you the other one," Steve said. "So when we took it back, there was no motor."

Jim was promised one engine - and given a wrong engine. He says he paid for it, but never got it.

Jay is Jim's brother and his mechanic. He brought the bad engine back to Discount Salvage for his customer and was told they'd have the right engine soon. 

"They took my address for my shop and said for your problems we're going to deliver it," Jay said. "We said okay.  There was no delivery."

Christina was bought a transmission and got the wrong transmission. And when she brought it back, the lady behind the glass said they didn't have the right one but would soon. Sorry no refunds.

"You're still telling me I can't get my money back - $400 dollars? And she basically told me no they'll find me another transmission and I haven't heard from them since."

Everybody told me that the lady behind the glass was not very nice - and she would never give up who the real boss was. 

"She kept telling me we don't see him that often," Jim said.

"All of a sudden the owner is never there," Jay said.

I hate to say it, but I have a suspicious mind.

I sent Nelson and an undercover cameraman into Discount Auto Salvage to see if the transmission he paid for, is in yet.

"I've been waiting on a call for over a month now so if you guys don't have it; I'd like my money back." Nelson says.

The customer service lady is busy chowing down on something but is kind enough to walkie talkie to the back, to find out what's up with the transmission for the 2002 Tahoe

"That's due in on Thursday," the voice says.

Kathy responds with "I'll let him know. They said Thursday."

Nelson: "The correct one? (Kathy shrugs shoulders)

"They work the back, I work the counter," she said. "I have no idea."

A week later, Nelson and Rob's cameraman come back. The transmission should be in, right?

"No not yet," she said.

"Can I speak with a manager?" Nelson asks.

She ignores the question and radios back to the yard about Nelson's promised transmission.

"He says he just got one in and he's pulling it and he's working on it," she said. "We'll let you know."

She says Nelson should call back in a few days.

"Who's in charge?" Nelson asks.

"I'm in charge up here," Kathy said.

"Who's the owner?" Nelson said. "What's his name?"

Kathy: "George."

Nelson: "George?"

Kathy: "You can Google it."

Nelson: "You got a contact number for him?"

Kathy: "Google it."

Nelson demands to speak to anyone else who can tell him when he can get the part he paid t$440 for.

Kathy: "If he comes up here you can catch him. I'm not going to call him up here so you can talk to him because he already told you on the radio."

"So when's it going to be ready?" Nelson asks.

"Did you just hear what I told you or are you guys hearing things? What did I just tell you?" she said.

Nelson: "Tell me again, tell me again."

Kathy: "I'm not going to tell you again you already heard me. I didn't tell you. You heard him. I'm not going to say it 10 times. I don't know how many times you want me to say the same thing over and over and over again."

Nelson: "So why don't you give me my money and I'll be gone?"

Kathy: "We don't give back refunds."

Nelson: "Refunds for what? I brought you back the part that you guys gave me wrong."

She's had enough, how dare him want money back for their mistake.

"You know what? you're full of (expletive) get out. Bye," Kathy said.

Discount Auto Salvage has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau with more than 25 complaints.  They've been sued a bunch of times in court. and remember how Nelson was told the owners name was George?

The owner is not "George" it is this guy, Larry Jordan. But if Larry, the owner hides in the back and won't come out to talk to his customers, he sure isn't coming out to talk to a TV reporter. 

Then something struck me. What are all those Elvis ads hanging up in the office? Could it be? My undercover cameraman goes to the advertised Elvis show and holy smokes it's Larry! The guy behind Discount Auto Salvage is an Elvis impersonator. Time for me to take a trip to Graceland. 

Actually, Elvis has a gig in Shelby Township - let's rock. 

Wolchek: "Hey, I've got to ask you about your auto business. I've got a bunch of people complaining about buying auto parts from you and then they bring them back and you don't give them their money back."

Larry: "We've given everybody their money back on any used parts."

Wolchek: "Oh, I don't think so."

Larry: "Oh yeah, check with Mr. Rob Puth, my attorney, he'll tell you that. We paid every one of them back."

Wolchek: "That's not what these people say. You're the owner of the company right?"

Larry: "No sir. "

Wolchek: "It says right here 'Larry owner Discount Auto Salvage.' Isn't that you?"

Larry: "Is that what it says? Okay. we've paid every one of them, sir."

Larry: "We'll see you around and you'll see that you're wrong."

Wolchek: "No I'm not wrong. these are a bunch of people who gave you money and you gave them the wrong auto parts."

Larry: "Ok sir. I have to go."

Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left building - and entered the Hhhhall of Shame."

Larry Jordan released a statement through his attorney: 
"The sale of used auto parts fills an important role in our community as the parts help our neighbors maintain transportation so that they can get to their jobs, doctors and schools. The overwhelming majority of our customers are satisfied.  Unfortunately, some just folks have unrealistic expectations or simply change their minds after their purchase.  We exchange electrical parts that are returned within two days of purchase.  Otherwise as the many signs indicate, we do not permit items to be returned.
"Still, some people have sought to use our court system to seek compensation for parts that they purchased.  Often these claims are for many times the actual purchase price of the part.  In those cases, we have obtained a fair resolution and we have paid all of the judgments.  Our records reflect $61,000 in claims have been so resolved.
"Today FOX 2 also brought to light that the Secretary of State is seeking a hearing with respect to sales attributable to our license to sell cars. This is the first we have heard of it and believe it may be attributable to an agent that is operating off of our premises.  We are gathering information and will respond the Secretary of State.  In the meantime, I will strive to help keep people on the road and provide them some time away from their issues while taking in an Elvis show. "

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