Tales of a Traveling Airbrush

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Foreign Accents

Review; Foreign Accents Auto Repair
5316 W Market St
Greensboro, North Carolina 27409

The least favorite part of travel across this wonderful land in my antique VW bus is when I have mechanical issues. I prefer to get all of this work done at home by the mechanic that takes good care of me. Recently, two months into my annual tour of the country, my 1978 bus began running rough, became hard to start, would die while waiting at intersections and even backfired once. My attempts to find the culprit of this issue failed and I sought a repair facility in North Carolina, and through a service provider listed in the Transporter newsletter was referred to Foreign Accents in Greensboro. I was assured over the phone that, yes, they had the ability to get on it, and in the process of determining if a significant part was bad, they also had a bus similar to mine to swap parts with. I got the bus to them. They immediately noticed the burst muffler and announced to me their intentions to zero in on the first suspect; the points. I wasn’t suspicious of the points because of the recent tune up with my regular mechanic back home.
Although the repair was completed in a timely manner, the fee for a set of points and a muffler was a hefty 700 bucks, establishing this as a place that clearly takes advantage of the unwary traveler. After the shock, I realized my first mistake was not asking them to calculate the fee prior to doing any work. If I would have received that courtesy, I would have selected to live with the burst muffler and only spent $300 bucks for the set of points.
            If there is any question about their motives, the touchstone that made an indelible impression occurred when I did an inspection of the work they did. During the installation of the muffler, the trailer hitch had to be removed. Although the device was bolted on prior to my visit, I discovered that the steel structure was now held on with a wire tie. Breaking a bolt and not replacing the bolt clearly establishes the caliber of integrity that takes place at this facility. Traveler beware. I had to go to another repairman with a lift that actually created and welded on a better fastening solution for an additional fee of $75. raising the total cost of the repairs.
It was naive on my part to translate the exuberance for the VW bus radiated when I arrived, as genuine regard for my well being. They are in business for one reason. They knew I was from out of town and at a disadvantage with that situation. They also knew they only had one chance to get all they could from me. If I had it to do again, I would forgo the muffler, investigate alternatives, and after finding out that the points were bad, entered into only that portion of the exchange to put me back in business. Buyer beware of Foreign Accents of Greensboro, NC


Dave Knoderer