El Cajon, CA
Our experience with Amatos was like something out of a bad movie ?? the kind of story you think will never happen to you. We were involved in a low speed fender bender with our lotus. We had never had any body work done on the car, so I began calling around to get referrals for a place that might be the best to fix it ?? the car is made of bonded aluminum and fiberglass, as well as being finicky and British. The local lotus dealer referred us to Amatos, and we made it there just before they closed on Friday. The management all seemed friendly and we signed the authorization to let them inspect the vehicle. That was the last bit of friendliness that I felt from their management. About a week later I was sent the repair estimate as it was passed to my insurance, and was shocked to put it mildly. There were parts on the estimate that I felt sustained no damage at all, but my biggest concern was the parts prices listed. I began to call around to find out what prices I could obtain for the same parts. I was able to find most of the high dollar parts at substantially less price than on the quote. I then went down to Amatos to let them know I would be providing some of the parts, and to sign the repair authorization. I was quickly referred to a manager, who in my opinion was instantly mad at the proposition that I was going to provide the parts. I was informed that they would have to review with other management if this was allowable. I was taken aback by the change in reception from my first contact with them. The next morning I received a call from the lead manager, who was also not pleasant to speak with. He let me know that I could not provide the parts because Amatos provides a warranty on the parts it provides. I replied that all of the parts I purchased already came with a warranty from their manufacturer, so I did not need Amatos to warranty them as well. At this point, the manager became more angry in my opinion, and told me that these types of jobs do not have a high profit margin for them, and if I did not let them provide all of the parts they would not work on my vehicle and I would have to go somewhere else. I was then sent a bill for over $1,000 for the estimate Amatos provided, which had to be paid before my car would be released back to me to take to another shop. I have never been thrown out of a business before, so I was quite livid at this point and started to go thru the estimate in more detail. For reference the car was struck at low speed in the left front wheel, and damage was limited to that immediate vicinity. Amongst the labor charges were line items for the right rear view mirror, the right door, the right door lock, and other items on the opposite side from the crash! None of these would need to be touched to repair the damage in my opinion, as the front of the car comes off with all of those still in place. There were several line items for ??fenders? ?? a lotus has no fenders. The entire front of the car is one piece of fiberglass, and there was already a separate line item for that. The best item I found was ??re-program memory functions.? I am assuming this was to be done to me once I got the final bill, as a lotus has nothing electronic that can be ??re-programmed? (most do not even come with a radio). In my opinion I cannot imagine a worse experience at an auto body shop.