Date: Sun, 10 Oct 1999 11:38:32 -0500
From: "Mr Jones" <>
Subject: ECM Rebuilder WARNING

There has been a company advertising their services lately on the auto newsgroups. They "supposedly" rebuild ECM's. I made the mistake of using them when I suspected the computer in my car for being the source of a bad driveability problem. I'll try hard not to bias anyone's view, I'll just post the facts. Thursday 9/1 I call them and ask what they do. "We put it on equipment that tells us if everything's sending the right signals and so forth" " If we find something wrong, it's $125.00 to fix it and if nothing's wrong, we just send it back" (this should have been my first clue) Friday 9/2 I ship my computer to them. Friday 9/10 I get a call from Kathy saying; "Nothing's really wrong with your computer except 2 leaky capacitors and Joe's cleaning it up and we're sending it back and you'll have it tomorrow." Saturday came and went and I shrugged it off as being a screw up on the part of airborne express. So Monday 9/13 comes and I'm anxiously awaiting my computer as it's been almost two weeks that the car's been down and I'm so sure it's coming any minute. All of a sudden I get a call from Kathy. " We found the problem with your computer. There's a wrong part in there. Someone must have put the wrong part in when they serviced it before. So we're finishing up and sending it today." First thing, I never have had it worked on and I'm the original owner. But mostly, they said they were done Friday and I'd have it on Saturday, WTF? Now Monday comes and they're still working on it? That's when I press them on what they do. They have a simple schematic and they use a multimeter to see if things are Ok. That's a long way from finding out if a computer is sending the wrong signals, especially flaky signals. Trying to salvage the situation, I ask them if I could buy a copy of the schematic for my future reference. They say "sure" and that it will be in the box on Tuesday when I get the unit. Tuesday 9/14 No computer. I say again, overnight is never perfect, it'll be here Wednesday. Wednesday 9/15 No computer. Thursday 9/16 The computer shows up. Just the computer. No invoice, no info on how to re-initialize it (They had said they would write it down and throw it in the box) and no schematics like they said that were ALREADY in the box when I talked to them Monday. So I e-mail Joe with three questions: 1. Did you work on my computer 2. Is there a charge 3. Can I buy the schematics from you Let me say right here, that I had noticed a pattern by now with these people. If you call them, they never answer (caller id) and when you hang up, they return your call almost immediately. If you e-mail them, they almost always reply within 5 minutes. So the whole day goes by without a reply to my e-mail and no one would answer the phone. Finally late Thursday night I e-mail Joe again and give him a little jab in the gut with a few words and he almost immediately replies. Instead of simply answering those three questions, he says to call Kathy tomorrow. Friday 9/17 I try to call, but no answer-all day. That night I e-mail Joe again; "Hi Joe. I've been trying to get a hold of Kathy. It looks like a no go. Besides, why can't we work this out with a simple e-mail? You guys could either fax, or e-mail me the schematics. Or you could copy them and send them to me. You could also just simply type out the instructions for re-initializing it. And if you want payment for that stuff, you could just let me know. Why can't you just respond to this e-mail and tell me what I need to know? Why do I specifically have to talk to her? This could be solved in a matter of minutes rather than dragging it out, day after day. Please don't get me wrong, I'll be very appreciative if you can get these things to me, I'm just feeling a little left in the dark as to what you guys actually did to my computer, no invoice detailing work, I don't know if any payment is due or if any work was done. And now with the way this week has dragged out over such a little bit of information, you have to admit, you'd feel like you were getting the run-around too. Tim" So he e-mails me back; "what are your phone and fax numbers?" That's his answer to that big e-mail. He had my numbers, but I sent them to him anyway. Then I waited Saturday, Sunday and Monday with no response from them. Then I sent them the following e-mail: "I sure hate to keep buggin you guys. Maybe we can just get to the punch and make this real simple. Question #1 Did you do anything to my computer? If so, what? Question #2 Is there a charge for any work done? Question #3 Is it possible to buy the schematics from you? I've waited for Monday to end before bothering you again to see if you would pick up the ball on your own, but I'm worried that it won't happen without a little prodding. I'm going to send this e-mail and then wait til the end of Tuesday and whatever happens tomorrow, good or bad, I'll be posting my experience on as many auto newsgroups as I can find. I'll be honest, but you know how I've been treated and only you can decide the outcome of this transaction, as I have nothing to do with how you run your company. I hope you can see it from my point of view. I think you would be just as upset as I am if you were ignored this way. Even if I try to call, you don't answer the caller ID and if I leave a message you don't return it. It's not just circumstances, anyone in business would have gotten back to me by now. Tim" Joe answers me with; "you're absolutely right. please keep calling 1-888-989-8131" I just couldn't believe this was really happening. Really incredible. So I e-mail him back; "I'll keep trying today, but I'm having such a hard time trying to figure out a reason that you can't answer those simple questions via e-mail. This message could have contained the info I needed, but I'll try Kathy one more day. Tim" 9/21 After trying to call for two days, I tried calling them from a different location. Kathy answered when she saw a number on the caller id that she wasn't hiding from. She was obviously shaken when she heard it was me. She quickly gets me off the phone with the oldest lie in the world; "The info you wanted is already in the mail for you and it should have already gotten there. If it's not there tomorrow, give me a call". Of course nothing ever came and now they are totally ignoring me. I e-mailed Joe on 9/24 and just slammed him, his girlfriend and his company. He then e-mails me back and asked me if I felt better after venting and then wrote two paragraphs on how their only sin is that they're busy and that they're pissed at me for being such a thorn in their side with all the e-mails and phone calls. I e-mail him back; "You've got to know that I don't like venting. But if you would once tell me the simple answers I'm looking for, your phone wouldn't have been ringing at all. Now you've told me all of this and still it is too much to ask that my questions be answered. Of course, I suppose since you can't seem to see the customer's side of this, I can't expect a straight, civil answer, but I'll ask one more time. It's sooooooooo simple; Question #1 Did you do anything to my computer? If so, what? Question #2 Is there a charge for any work done? Question #3 Is it possible to buy the schematics from you? If not, where? Thanks Tim" Three days later he e-mails me this; "your computer was repaired. the fee is $100.00. we do not have schematics. probably can get from some aftermarket repair book." Well I ask you all that sat through my long ass post. How long would it take you to stop laughing at his request for payment? The company is Tri-State ECM rebuilders and they are in the area of Valrico FL. I would strongly recommend not using them, plus they told me that they supply (don't know if it's true) a chain of parts stores down there called Discount parts. If there is such a place, I would warn you that they get their rebuilt computers from these losers. Thanks for listening. Tim

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