Simple car battery installation turned into $2,400 hassle for Wake County woman

Diane Wilson Image
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Car repair nightmare leaves woman holding $2,400 bill
When you take your car in for service, who is responsible if something goes wrong?

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- When you take your car in for service, who is responsible if something goes wrong?

What was supposed to be a simple battery installation in Maury Gist's car turned into more than $2,000 worth of repairs.

"It didn't go smoothly at all. I got a phone call at work saying, 'Hey, I hope you have an extra car because we did something very bad,'" she said.

The technician at Walmart, where she took her car to install a new battery, told her something happened with her car's main fuse that took out her heat, air, and power steering.

The technician at Walmart did take responsibility and had her car towed to a local dealership for the repair work to be done.

Gist said Walmart agreed to pay for the more than $2,400 repair and also agreed to pay for a rental car while the work was done. However, the work couldn't start until she got the check from Walmart to cover the repairs.

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She said she tried to be patient but a month after the damage was done to her car, she still had no check from Walmart.

Gist kept in touch with the technician from Walmart, but she still didn't get the check and her rental car eventually had to be returned.

"I was responding, 'Hey, my car's not ready. I don't have the check. I need an extension on the car; please help.' And I was getting no response and no phone call back," she said.

So Gist got in touch with Troubleshooter Diane Wilson.

"I was ghosted until I got you involved," she said to Wilson.

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A representative with Walmart told Wilson they were just waiting for Gist to accept the settlement, and after Wilson reached out, a Walmart representative did get in touch with Gist to let her know the check to cover the repairs to her car was being mailed. It didn't take long for Gist to get the $2,400 check and use that money to get her car fixed.

"Within three days, my car was done. You helped 100 percent," Gist said.

The best advice when any damage is done while your car is being serviced is to document it right away. Also, you should have that shop put what happened in writing, and then if you can, file a claim with their insurance company. At some shops, they do have signage or make you sign something that states they are not responsible for damage that is done while at their shop, so look for that before agreeing to have any work done.