Demanding A Refund?
BREAKING NEWS: Court-Ordered Complaint Resolution Programs Uncovered!
On February 18th, 1987, the States of Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin entered consent judgments against Aamco Transmissions Inc. containing identical substantive terms. Along with ordering Aamco to prevent the fraudulent practices of its franchisees, the judgments address the issue of resolving Aamco’s customer complaints. Pursuant to Aamco’s 2009 Franchise Disclosure Document, those judgments were still in effect at the time this website was created in September, 2009.
Even though fourteen states entered the judgments against Aamco in 1987, during a later action entitled Robert Layton v. Aamco Transmissions Inc., (D. Md. 1989), U.S. District Court Judge, J. Frederick Motz, stated in a July 25th, 1989 memorandum that: “[w]hen it decided to enter into the consent judgments in February, 1987, Aamco also decided to require all of its franchisees, wherever located, to follow the modified procedure”.
Those consent judgments were found nowhere on the internet, and uncovered by the author only after months of in-depth investigation, rummaging through state archives, court records, and Attorney General’s offices around the U.S..
Among the terms of the judgments include provisions for Aamco’s resolution of its customer complaints. Those terms, contained in paragraph 10 of the judgments, read as follows: “ATI [Aamco Transmissions Inc.] and the Attorney General shall implement a program to resolve, by way of mediation and arbitration, qualifying customer complaints in accordance with procedures agreed upon by ATI and the Attorney General”.
This is great news for the consumer! The Attorney General’s Office of your participating state has wisely planned and prepared for your phone call. You can find your Attorney General’s phone number, or access their on-line complaint website below, and examples of qualifying complaints can be viewed by clicking on p.11 of the “14 State Consent Judgment” page of this site.
As such, if you received service at an Aamco in one of the above states and were dealt with less than fairly, you could consider contacting the Attorney General’s office of such state and demand a refund pursuant to paragraph 10 of the 1987 judgment (for your Atty. Gen. phone number click here, or to file an on-line complaint with your state’s government agency click here). The Attorney General’s office is already aware of the practices Aamco is capable of, and you should find them eager to enforce the terms of the judgment.
While you have your Attorney General’s attention, they should be very interested in knowing if the Aamco center you visited failed to display a large, prominent sign containing the text as mandated on page 9 of the judgment, and printed in not less than 96 point bold type (click here and read paragraph 4 to view sign text). The sign is intended to be one of the judgment’s front-line protection devices to help prevent harm from coming to Aamco’s customers. It was designed by state authorities to provide consumers advanced notification of certain entitlements afforded under the judgment terms, before authorizing repairs. The Attorneys General also had very good reasons for mandating the 96 point bold text. Reporting a shop’s failure to post the sign will help prevent abusive practices. In addition, though the results may not be readily available to the public, you can also request that the Attorney General demand a due diligence report from Aamco pursuant to paragraph 2(g) of the judgment. Such report provides the Attorney General information relevant to Aamco’s compliance with the orders.
In the alternative, regardless of the state your automobile was serviced in, if the repair center fails to acknowledge the entitlements referred to in the respective federal and/or state orders, you could consider writing a short and simple demand letter to Aamco headquarters, or perhaps just a phone call to Aamco’s home office, explaining you have uncovered the terms of those orders and are demanding refund for whatever qualifying complaint you may have (keep in mind, the 1970 FTC order was found incorporated in a 2006, 15-year term franchise agreement). Aamco may wish to settle differences with you, rather than risk you going to the Attorney General, or to your own attorney, with these highly implicating and long-suppressed documents. However, I would not count on immediate cooperation from Aamco, and the quickest results might be achieved by contacting your Attorney General’s office. You can also go to the “Filing A Claim On Aamco’s Bond or Trust Account” page of this website to learn about reimbursement for damages through any state required bonds or trust accounts.
Along with multitudes of allegations of sheer incompetence (see The “Experts” at Aamco page), many complaints reviewed by the author have included allegations of vehicles being held hostage in lieu of payment for unauthorized services, failing to honor warranties, communicating threats, fraud, bait and switch practices, negligence, extortion, severe emotional distress, and even physical assault. If such is the case with you, regardless the state you live in, you may wish to consider the advice of a licensed attorney in which to seek redress for all damages. In addition, if you call an attorney to schedule a consultation, it might be a good idea to give the attorney this website address, Aamcolawsuit.wordpress.com, so he or she can review the information provided here, before you meet. Our site contains specific supporting element information an attorney would likely want to know, that could easily be overlooked by the consumer. In fact, while we cover many topics of public interest, our site largely focuses on the needs of the legal profession, and we strongly recommend you direct your attorney to this website and act only upon his or her advice.
Here’s some closing thoughts. During negotiations and settlement of a dispute, some companies demand that a Confidentiality Agreement be entered. Some may even unlawfully threaten to withhold payment until such agreement is signed, or perhaps until a previously stated truthful comment is rescinded. When such agreement is entered, one is barred from speaking further about the matter in dispute. While this may be a common practice in many settlements, nothing requires the arbitrary forfeiture of such privilege without being fairly compensated. Indeed, remaining silent often provides opportunity for a company to continue the practices that led to the dispute. Just like my house or other property, my freedom to speak has a monetary value, and may not be infringed upon to coerce an unrelated action. While there may be other formulas, some calculate the value of such privilege to be equal to that of the matter in dispute.
In addition to the above named state actions, the States of California, Illinois, New York, Washington and Minnesota have entered separate judgments against Aamco in which govern advertising procedures, Franchise Disclosure requirements, servicing and repair of transmissions, and/or maintaining compliance programs.
Lastly, the author is happy to share with you, free of charge, the results of his two-year investigation. We kindly request you take a few moments and add your comments below. It can help keep others safe from the harm you may have incurred.
If you demand a refund from your state’s Attorney General’s office, Aamco headquarters, or the franchisee, be sure to visit us again to let others know the outcome.
Distinguished Visitor List
Aamco Lawsuit Investigation takes this time to acknowledge some of its most distinguished visitors over the years. Special Thanks go out to Mr. Jonathon Fortman and Ms. Kelly Spann of the law offices of Jonathon E. Fortman for their dedicated and devoted efforts on behalf of franchisees of Aamco Transmissions. ALI also thanks those distinguished visitors that have provided assistance on behalf of consumers of Aamco Transmissions.
1.) The Executive Office of the President, Washington D.C.
2.) The United States Senate
3.) The Federal Trade Commission
4.) U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
5.) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
6.) The United States Attorney General’s Office
7.) The Federal Bureau of Investigations
8.) U.S. Department of Justice
9.) The United States Veterans Administration
10.) The U.S. Small Business Administration
11.) State Attorney General Offices
12.) Private, Highly Acclaimed and Super Lawyers
ALI Launches Operation POUNCE!
January 22nd, 2014 – In its latest consumer and franchisee advocacy campaign, Aamco Lawsuit Investigation has launched a massive multi-stage initiative to help bring redress to those abused by Aamco Transmissions. ALI has called upon federal and state governments across our nation to investigate the criminal and civil allegations of abuse that consumers and franchisees have maintained for years. In the first stage of this campaign, ALI has addressed letters to more than 45 federal and state governments and government associations demanding immediate action. Below, you can monitor the 6 stage progress “pulse” of Operation POUNCE.
Current Status of Operation POUNCE:
Stage 1.) Forward demand letters to all respective Federal and State regulatory agencies for investigation and restitution for consumers and franchisees: Status- INITIATED.
Stage 2.) Forward request to the National Association of Attorneys General (Consumer Protection Committee) to revisit the 1987 collaborative efforts that enjoin Aamco’s fraudulent business practices, and to ensure compliance and enforcement of those court orders: Status- INITIATED.
Stage 3.) Follow-up letters addressed to the Governor of each respective State to help ensure State Attorneys General prompt and appropriate action: Status- INITIATED.
Stage 4.) Reasonable pause (normally 4 to 6 months) to allow investigations to be completed: Status- INITIATED.
Stage 5.) Requests under Federal and State freedom of information laws for investigation progress, results and supporting documents: Status- SCHEDULED- August 11th, 2014
While ALI continues its monitoring and communications with the vast majority of authorities, we encourage consumers and franchisees to support ALI’s efforts by writing a short letter of support to the following three email addresses (don’t forget to add a link to ALI):
U.S. Department of Justice, Fraud Section – firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Association of Attorneys General, Consumer Protection Committee - Attention: Mr. Mark Neil – MNeil@naag.org
Federal Trade Commission – email@example.com
Emailing your letters of support to all three agencies of ALI’s call to action will greatly increase this effort! Thank You for your help.
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