The short: parts and labor cost were not transparent, overall customer service was mediocre. I was interested in trying King's Automotive based on the number of high ratings they have received but unfortunately my experience did not reflect what others are noting. My initial interaction was excellent when I called to explain the issue with my vehicle and schedule an appointment, however, once the vehicle was dropped off and in possession of the shop some red flags and issues arose. This was my first time working with King's automotive and I hired them to repair a straightforward issue that was well documented, a broken washer reservoir pump plug and a tire rotation. My expectation from my first conversation with King's, and experience with other mechanics, is that they would provide a quote for the work, I'd sign off, and they would complete the repair. However this was not the process that King's automotive followed. When dropping off the vehicle I was made aware that there would be a $180 cost to diagnose the issue, after some discussion it was reduced to $80 since I had detailed photos of the exact plug that needed to be replaced and a description of the issue. I was understanding of the diagnosis 'cost' as it was possible other issues existed that I was not aware of. The first red flag occurred when I received a text that a (singular) lug and lug nut was cross threaded and needed to be replaced. This was quoted out at $96 including labor which is way out of spec so I requested photos of the issue. The request could not be completed but the service advisor said they would send them with my full quote. Upon receiving the full quote it was apparent that both labor and parts costs were exaggerated, with the connector for the washer reservoir being marked up around 100% and the entire job consisting of pig tailing a connector (2 wires) and a tire rotation now requiring 2hrs of labor billed at roughly $160/hr. The work order did not provide ANY breakdown of hours required per job, just cost. When I contacted the service advisor to get some clarity on where the labor was required I was immediately forwarded to the manager. The manager, Adam, seemed very defensive and frustrated that I was asking for a breakdown of labor, that I was curious about the damage to wheel lugs and lug nuts, and that I felt the price for parts was unreasonably marked up. I was also made aware that the inflated labor reflected 2x damaged lugs and lug nuts as opposed to the 1x mentioned previously. I was not able to get clear answers to these questions and any time I explained that I wanted a good working relationship it was met with being talked over, interrupted, and lecturing about 'margins' and protecting his shops bottom line. We both agreed the best path forward was the not continue forward on the job and I picked up the vehicle. Upon pick up the technician had not correctly fit the dust guard on the drivers side front brake, the same hub/wheel that had been damaged, and it had to be put on a lift again to pull the dust guard in place. Unfortunately after this experience I cannot recommend Kings Automotive, however, they did provide continual communication via text and email for work orders, invoices, and updates which is appreciated.
At King’s, we strive for transparency and that is what we delivered. We obtain permission to inspect what is broken, quote what is needed to repair, present the costs and then perform approved work. We also, as in this instance, stop work on a vehicle when a problem arises, (lug nuts that were cross threaded and stuck when starting to remove) and ask our clients if they want to proceed with cost estimates. If we are told to leave the issue alone, we will stop moving forward. Secondly, our pricing is fair, in line with local pricing, and allows us to continue supporting our employees, training, advanced equipment and overhead. Also, for posterity purposes, the part we had sourced was not marked up %100 as claimed. Lastly, It is our responsibility to explain the process, results and methodology. We adhere to logic, the scientific method, and data. When communication fails for lack of these, then there is little room to continue. We elected to charge $0 to the client. We paid for the labor and parts ourselves as a resolution to this conflict.
- King's Auto Center