Quality Used Transmissions
From the Better Business Bureau
Quality Used Transmissions, a company that claims to operate in a Grand Rapids, MI office building, appears to be part of a multistate auto parts business that has generated hundreds of Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints nationwide.
BBB advises caution to consumers considering doing business with Quality Used Transmissions, which lists an address at 2525 East Paris Avenue, SE, Suite 100. The building management office told BBB that Quality Used Transmissions never had offices there.
Consumers report similar complaints against all of the businesses, alleging they shipped wrong or broken engines or transmissions, delayed or refused to give refunds, failed to honor warranties and seemed intentionally to frustrate and confuse customers who called with problems. Two weeks ago, BBB serving Western Michigan contacted the business asking it to respond to several questions about its operations and complaint activity. The BBB has not received a response.
The business, under Engine Shopper and its various names, has an «F» grade with BBB, the lowest possible. Customers have filed about 400 complaints against the companies.
Phil Catlett, BBB President and CEO, said Quality Used Transmissions and related businesses don’t deserve the trust of consumers. “People are telling us they are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars for what turns out, in many cases, to be junk,” Catlett said. “These consumers depend on their cars to get them to work, school, the supermarket or doctor’s office. They deserve better.”
BBB has been unable to determine the owners or top managers of the company, but several consumers report dealing with a John Thompson. BBB believes that name is likely a pseudonym.
The company was registered with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs as Quality Used Transmissions LLC, on June 4, 2012. The only organizer listed for the company was Robert J. deJong, an attorney in Milwaukee. The name of deJong is also on registration paperwork for several related companies. DeJong is listed as an organizer with Quality Used Engines in Kansas, Southwest Engines in Wisconsin and SW Transmissions in Missouri.
Quality Used Transmissions appears to be tied to a company in Cudahy, WI, called Engine Shopper or Engine and Transmission World. The Wisconsin location appears to be the hub of a group of companies claiming to operate in Michigan, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. In addition to the Wisconsin and Michigan businesses, related companies include SW Transmissions or Southwest Transmissions of Creve Coeur, MO; Quality Used Engines of Leawood, KS; and Southwest Engines or SW Engines of Tulsa, OK
In addition to the similarities in state registration information, much of the information on the companies’ websites is strikingly similar. All of the websites list virtually identical warranty information and very similar information on the sites’ Frequently Asked Questions page. Most of the sites include an identical contact email and phone number.
Wisconsin BBB issued an alert on Engine and Transmission World in 2011. At that time, BBB had received complaints from 40 states.
Wisconsin BBB’s business review on the company said the company “has failed to correct the underlying reason for complaints.”
Consumers say their dealings with the companies have left them angry and frustrated.
A woman from Delta, Pennsylvania states in her complaint against Quality Used Transmission, “I was sent a 4 cylinder transmission instead of a 6 cylinder transmission. They picked up wrong one and now won’t respond or refund me.”
“They sent me a bad engine and no one will answer the phone,” a Carrollton, Tex., consumer said in a complaint against Southwest Engines.
“They have taken $1,840 from me stating this was a complete and running engine which it is definitely not,” a consumer from Pembroke, N.C., said of Engine Shopper.
A man from Annandale, Va., said he paid Quality Used Engines more than $3,400 for a 2006 Dodge Magnum engine, but instead received a damaged engine for a Dodge 1500 Ram truck.
A couple from St. Clair, Missouri., paid $2,000 to Engine and Transmission World for what was advertised as a working engine. They said the company instead shipped an engine that was inoperable. The wife said company representatives ridiculed them when they phoned the business for help. “Everything was a big joke,” she said. They ultimately were able to recover most of their money, but only after contacting BBB, the Wisconsin attorney general’s office, the local police department in Cudahy and filing a lawsuit in federal court.
Despite numerous recent attempts to obtain answers to questions from the business, BBB has been unable to obtain a response.
BBB offers the following tips when buying merchandise online:
Research the business and owners carefully before signing a contract or paying any money. Check the company’s BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org or by calling 616-774-8236.
Ask for references and contact them.
Read all terms and conditions carefully before completing a purchase. Make sure to read and understand all warranty information. Know your options in the event you receive an item that was not as advertised.
Pay by credit card whenever possible in case you need to challenge the payment.