Former customer waits on Meineke investigation

Former customer waits on Meineke investigation »Play Video
MERIDIAN - Car care company Meineke is taking another look at a Meridian customer's claim thanks to a Truth Squad investigation.

Maryann Matthews says her car died after the Meridian Meineke on Fairview put on the wrong oil filter. Matthews says the corporation denied her claim in November after she called for three straight weeks.

But after a call from the Truth Squad, Meineke attorney Ted Pierce said he was re-opening the investigation into Matthews' claim.

Matthews says a claims adjuster went by her house Wednesday to take pictures of her car and the oil filter, but Matthews isn't celebrating yet.

“I am so skeptical at this point,” Matthews said. “I don't want to malign the corporate lawyer. He says the right things and the company seems to want to do the right thing. But I don't have much hope in them doing the right thing because the shop jerked me around, the corporation jerked me around and now it's somebody else's turn from Meineke to do that."

Matthews says her car is running “very nicely right now,” thanks to her mechanic who installed a used engine into the Nissan Sentra.

“We're on very good terms again,” Matthews said about her car. “All is forgiven.”

But Matthews is not willing to forgive Meineke.

“It still infuriates me as though it just happened,” Matthews said.

The court reporter says she took her car to the Meridian Meineke on Fairview back in June for a $10 oil change. In mid October Matthews' Sentra died. Her mechanic told her the wrong oil filter had been put on her car, and it finally gave out after holding on for four months.

Matthews says Meineke denied her claim on the grounds that if the store installed the wrong filter, it wouldn't have stayed on as long as it did.

Since last week's Truth Squad investigation, 2News has received dozens of phone calls, e-mails and website comments, from alleged customers who claim they had bad experiences at the Meridian Meineke.

Pierce says the company is waiting for the claims' adjuster report before it decides what to do next in Matthew's case.

“We have an adjuster that would go out and look at the oil filter and engine and make a determination,” Pierce said.

Pierce also says Meridian Meineke was under corporate ownership when Matthews' car was serviced in June. He says the current owner had nothing to do with the alleged repair problem.

Dale Dixon, president of the Better Business Bureau of Southwest Idaho and Eastern Oregon says people need to do their research before letting a shop work on their car.

“When it comes to an oil change, it's a great idea to do research,” Dixon
said.

The BBB president says if Matthews had checked with then first, she would have known the organization has given the Meridian Meineke has an 'F' rating.

“The business is telling the consumer, 'If you have an issue with a product or service, more than likely we're not going to respond to you,' based on past history,” Dixon said.

It's her past history trying to work with the company that Matthews says makes her skeptical that Meineke will pay for her repairs. She filed complaints with the BBB and the Attorney General's office, but says the BBB closed her complaint after Meineke failed to respond.