Date registered: Jul 2009
Vehicle: 1999 E300D-TD, 1984 300TD
Location: Santa Clarita
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Based on the recommendation of this board, I used Roland Schmidt, who is listed under the Maryland shops. He was positively a great, knowledgeable guy, but a bit far from me in VA.
Today, I went to Don Pool in Arlington, again, based on the recommendation here. Biggest mistake EVER.
The "nice, friendly" guy mentioned above, Chuck, was a complete a$$hole from the second I spoke with him on the phone, guffawing at every question I asked. That didn't change when I showed up at the shop. Same attitude from the same guy.
All I wanted was for them to put my car on the lift and run a UV light unerneath to see if he could track down a trans leak, as I had already put UV dye in the trans fluid. Basically a job that would take 10 minutes, so he could order the proper parts and make an appointment to do the car.
Despite having no work going on due to the snow and all lifts empty, he flat out refused to do it, telling me they weren't going to do any work today, even though the shop was open and staffed. To add insult to injury, three techs were sitting down inside the shop doing nothing, literally.
The story only gets better. My car got stuck on a snow pile in their parking lot, which all four of the guys (including Chuck) had seen. Not one of them offered to help me get my car free. I ended up having to borrow their snow shovel and dig my car out on my own, while they watched from inside. Nice, friendly guys indeed.
I was going to send quite a bit of work their way just from this car, as I planned on having them drop the trans and do a complete re-seal, in addition to having them pull the front glass and dash to completely rebuild my AC and vacuum vent system.
I'll be going back to Roland Schmidt in Rockville, MD despite the distance. It would pay just to have the car flat bedded there if required.
A shop's true colors come out in trying times, and Don Pool's colors shone brightly today.
I am more than willing back up my opinions expressed here, anytime. Just e-mail me if you have any questions.
P.S. My location listed in my profile is different than VA. I am here on extended work travel and drove my car out from the West Coast, just in case anybody is wondering the veracity of my statement.