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View Full Version : Truechoice Motorsports - ***stay away***!!!


B3ND3R
05-13-2005, 03:02 PM
Background:

Last night, a friend and I started to install the new Konis and Vogtland Springs on my e30. We got everything off the car, and finished the rears. But we had a little difficulty with the front assembly.

As those of you who have done shocks yourselves before know, sometimes removing the top mount from the strut can be tricky. The manual states that you need to hold the center of the strut steady with an allen wrench, while loosening the nut that holds the top of the strut to the mount. Since the opening is small, you can remove the top mount from the strut with either - A: A 19mm offset wrench and a lot of torque or B: an air wrench.

Well, we had neither. And after trying numerous "alternative" methods, I decided I would take the assemblies to a shop today. No biggie, we thought... anybody with an air wrench and a spring compressor could spin 'em off. Shouldn't cost more than about $50 or so.

So, at about 10:00 AM this morning I took the assemblies over to Truechoice Motorsports. (http://www.truechoice.com/) For those of you who don't know, this is the only factory authorized Koni service center in the area. I figure they would know what they were doing and be professional.

I couldnít have been more wrong.

When I got to the store, nobody was in the reception area when I got to the shop, so I walked around to the shop area. The owner of the shop saw me standing there, but ignored me for a few minutes. Eventually, a receptionist came around from the backside and asked me what I needed. I explained that I just need the shocks disassembled, namely, just the top mount separated from the strut. About 3/4 of the way through my request, the owner finally came over.

He caught the tail end of the conversation, and gave me a very curt "yeah, we can do that". I asked if he thought he could get to it today. He said , "yeah, easy job [which we knew], come back this afternoon". I asked if I could leave the assemblies with him, he said "yeah". We brought the assemblies and new struts/springs in and then he split. I showed the tech what I wanted done and told him I'd be back this afternoon.

I looked around for the receptionist to give my phone # to and get a firm price (it was never mentioned), but she had split, too. So I figured no biggie, I'll just come back in the afternoon when they said they were gonna start it.

So I did. I came in about 12:30 and the owner saw me pull in. "We're not done, yet" he said. I said I figured, but since he said they wouldn't start until the afternoon, I wanted to check in and make sure they understood what I wanted before they got started. He said "Yeah, we'll be done at 5:00 PM". I said, "Great. Thanks, how much do you want to do them?" This is how the rest of the conversation went:

Him: about $300

Me: (after I picked my jaw up off the ground) OK, never mind then. It should take you less than hour to get the shocks apart. I can't afford to pay $300/hr for someone to take off two nuts. Just stop any work you've started, I'll pay you for it, and be on my way

Him: F-- off!

Me: Excuse me?

Him F--- off! We've been working on this for 6 hours! [note: I don't know how 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM equals 6 hours.. must be the same math he used when figuring his labor was $300/hr). This is a very, very hard job.

Me: Uhm.. no. Look, all you need to do is compress the spring, air wrench off the top nut and give it back to me...

Him: F--- you! I know how to take a shock apart. You need a lathe, and a spring compressor...

Me: I have a spring compressor [we had used it on the rears last night]. I know I don't need a lathe. Look, this is an easy thing I asked you to do, should only cost me about $50 or so [an hour's worth of labor]. Look, just give me the shocks, I'll pay you for any work you've already done and be on my way. I don't wanna argue.

We walk back to the bench, and heís' dropping swear words at me every other word. Now, I was in the Navy, so it doesn't bother me at all. But he is starting to get personally insulting and I am just about fed up. When we get to the bench, they have one shock half-apart.

Him: Give me $150

Me: This should be like a $50 job.

Him: You f---ing people! [Note: I can only assume that he meant "Americans" by "f---ing people". He is an Australian.] You all want something done for nothing! Just get out of my shop now, I'll bring your f----ing stuff out to you! I was just doing this as a favor.

Me: Look, donít' do me any more "favors". I can't afford "favors" like the ones you are so very "generously" handing out.

He storms out of the room. I gather up my pieces parts from the tech and head to the door. The tech is really nice, just shaking his head as if this kinda thing happens all the time. I am careful not give the tech a hard time at all. After all, not his fault he works for a wanker. Additionally, I never raise my voice to the owner, swear at him, or go off on him either. He is doing a good enough job making himself look like an @ss... he didnít need any help from me.

The tech goes back in a second time while I wait outside. The tech checks his bench, comes back out and says I have everything (and it seems I do). I wait in the parking lot for a minute or two to see if the owner inside is going to be just as brave when he's got to go one-on-one. I figure if he apologizes or something I'll throw him a few bucks for all his "hard" work. If he comes out with another attitude then we can "discuss" that, too.

He glares at me from his office window for a minute or two, but doesn't give me any indication he is going to come outside.

I shrug and drive away... up the road to the local Monroe Muffler, where they charge me $42.00 w/ tax to disassemble and reassemble both shocks. It takes about 45 minutes.

I want to make it emphatically clear that this guy represented himself as the owner. It wasn't some random flunkie who was having a bad day. This guy is ultimately solely responsible for the image his company represents.

I can't imagine having to take a strut in for service, or how many thousands of dollars they would have tried to charge me to actually install the shocks on the car (FWIW, two independent shops quoted me $300 - $350 to do a complete install).

For you Columbus-area people, last time I was at Truechoice Motorsports they told me they were moving to Auto Assets building in Powell. Auto Assets (http://www.autoassets.com/) has never been anything but completely decent to me, so if Truechoice Motorsports does end up sharing space with the Auto Assets.. well, let's just say that I don't want people to confuse the two companies just because they may be sharing space in the near future.

Hope this account spares someone a lot of grief. Feel free to pass this along to others, as Truechoice Motorsports is a fairly large supplier and I would hate to see anyone spend their hard-earned money with someone who treats their customers so poorly.

elbert
05-19-2005, 09:07 PM
To my understanding, Truechoice will be selling its parts supply business (including the Koni service) to new ownership which, as you noted, will be located next to Auto Assets.

Renee
05-23-2005, 02:19 PM
Sorry to hear about your experience! :yikes:

I have purchased a helmet from Truechoice and they were very helpful! Since they sell most parts mail order, they don't always have someone up front to greet people. Once someone was available I had a very pleasent experience.

Never met the owner, but I am shocked he would behave this way!

Didn't know Auto Assets had room for someone to move in. :dunno: Must be clearing some stuff out.

B3ND3R
05-26-2005, 09:14 PM
To my understanding, Truechoice will be selling its parts supply business (including the Koni service) to new ownership which, as you noted, will be located next to Auto Assets.

Sounds like it's for the best, then. The company can't stay in business for long w/ that guy as an owner.

B3ND3R
05-26-2005, 09:14 PM
Sorry to hear about your experience! :yikes:

I have purchased a helmet from Truechoice and they were very helpful! Since they sell most parts mail order, they don't always have someone up front to greet people. Once someone was available I had a very pleasent experience.

Never met the owner, but I am shocked he would behave this way!

Didn't know Auto Assets had room for someone to move in. :dunno: Must be clearing some stuff out.

I don't think it is the same "building", but rather in the same little industrial park as a "neighbor".

scooterman
07-13-2005, 08:19 AM
A friend showed me this post and I figured I could shed some light and clear up some of the hearsay. Truechoice Motorsports is now located in Powell, OH and is owned by Steve Southard. The "owner" referred to in the original post is Phil Harris who is now proprieter of Truechoice Koni Racing Solutions, which is completely independent from Truechoice Motorsports. It's a bit confusing, but Truechoice Motorsports is a retail supplier of motorsports equipment, TKRS is a shock absorber/suspension service facility only.

Mr. Southard is very active in racing (he owns and races the #7 BMW-powered Riley Grand-Am Daytona Prototype) and is quite a helpful guy when it comes to sportsman racers. He is doing everything in his power to bring Truechoice back to the level of its glory days including trackside support for many events at Mid-Ohio.

On a side note, Truechoice has no affiliation with Auto Assets.


Scott Mason