Better Business Bureau is issuing a nationwide alert about a Cudahy, Wis.-based, online company that has received more than 150 complaints from consumers all across the country.
Complaints against Engine & Transmission World, which sells used automobile engines and transmissions through its website, have come from consumers in 40 states, with the highest number of complaints coming from California (13), Texas (11), Tennessee (9), Florida (7) and Washington (7). Three complainants are from Wisconsin.
Complaints concern product quality issues, delay in shipment and delivery of goods, refund and exchange issues, and advertising and selling practices. Consumers report receiving products that are dirty, damaged and faulty. They also report difficulty in obtaining refunds.
Engine & Transmission World, which may also do business under the name SW Engines, has an “F” rating with BBB. The company has fifteen unresolved complaints to date.
Matthew L. of Mission Hills, California, states that he purchased an engine with an advertised 36,000 miles for $2,390 from Engine & Transmission World in August. He says he received the engine nineteen days later and noticed some problems.
“They claim that they inspect and test each engine before selling them,” he wrote in his complaint to BBB. “Upon opening the crate I found an engine that had signs of rust all over it. They had painted the engine with a metallic color to attempt to make it look new. No way did it have 36,000 miles on it. The timing belt and spark plugs were not original and they aren’t supposed to be replaced until 90,000 miles.”
The consumer claims he ultimately had to pay an additional $1,800 to repair the damaged engine he purchased.
Gregory P. of Easton, Pennsylvania had similar complaints.
“The engine was listed as having approximately 45,822 miles on it. It was also advertised as CARFAX verified and the CARFAX would be shipped with the engine.” Gregory reported that the engine was shipped thirteen days later without the CARFAX report.
He said, “The certified mechanics that were going to install the engine took a very close look at the inner parts and overall engine and related that this engine indeed has well more than 45,822 miles on it. There are also no serial numbers anywhere on the engine which leaves it virtually untraceable.”
The consumer added that when he complained to Engine & Transmission World he was told he would be charged a 25 percent restocking fee.
“That means I would be charged $672.50 because this company is selling false promises,” he said.
In addition, multiple complainants said they incurred large labor charges after a faulty or incorrect engine was installed. However, the company responded by saying it does not cover labor charges, as per its warranty.
Engine & Transmission World responds to many BBB complaints by stating it sends the product ordered by the customer. It also says it charges a 25 percent restocking fee per its warranty and customers need to read the warranty.
BBB has sent requests to the company asking it to address its pattern of complaints. On November 22, 2010 the BBB was informed by the company that it will be reorganizing its customer service department and will take further steps to have consumers acknowledge the company’s terms and conditions.
“However, Engine & Transmission World has failed to resolve the underlying reasons for the complaints,” said Kim States, BBB President.
Better Business Bureau advises consumers to always check on a company at www.tucson.bbb.org before doing business. In addition, always pay for products purchased via the internet with a credit card, which offers more consumer protections than a bank debit card.