An I-Team investigation of several Purrfect Auto franchises has prompted policy changes within the company. But documents obtained by the I-Team's Colleen McCarty suggest the franchiser isn't being honest about the results of our investigation. Read on for a link to the company's recent memo.More>>
The Nevada attorney general's office is going after a car repair franchise accused of ripping off its customers. Investigative Reporter Colleen McCarty has part 3 of the I-Team's exclusive hidden camera investigation. More>>
Channel 8 Eyewitness News has new information about an I-Team investigation of a local car repair chain. The Nevada Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit against several Purrfect Auto shops. Take a ride with Investigative Reporter Colleen McCarty tonight at 11 p.m. in part 3 of the I-Team's hidden camera investigation.More>>
The government's case against Purrfect Auto has expanded. The Channel 8 I-Team was the first to tell you about accusations of consumer fraud against the local auto repair franchise. Investigative Reporter Colleen McCarty has the exclusive, new details.More>>
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Friday, May 17 2013 9:02 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:02:54 GMT
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Friday, May 17 2013 8:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:56:00 GMT
LAS VEGAS - Metro Police says a preteen who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted robbery has died. Investigators said the preteen was walking near Charleston Boulevard and Torrey Pines Drive withMore>>
Marcos Arenas, a Bonanza High School student who was assaulted Thursday during an attempted theft, has died, Metro Police said.More>>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:39:56 GMT
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Metro Police are investigating the deaths of a man and a woman whose bodies were found in an apartment Friday afternoon near Desert Inn Road and Maryland Parkway.More>>
When the Attorney General's office expanded its case against Purrfect Auto Service, the attorney for the 11 named franchises came out swinging and he directed most of his punches toward one man -- a Purrfect Auto insider turned government witness.
The I-Team's Colleen McCarty first told you about the allegations of consumer fraud against Purrfect Auto. Now, she has an exclusive interview with the man who may shut them down.
The government's witness initially had cold feet about speaking out against his former employer but Chris Meredith, a man who claims he was once the operations manager for Purrfect Auto, wants consumers to hear his side of the story.
"We were bastardizing our product, we were bastardizing our name," said Chris Meredith, former Purrfect Auto employee.
The "we" Meredith refers to is himself and his former employer, Purrfect Auto Service, on both California and Nevada. In an affidavit filed with the court, Meredith claims to have worked for the franchise in various capacities for a decade until he quit as director of operations in 2006.
"They are in business to make money, I don't dispute that. The practices behind how they make money, that's why I'm coming forward," he said.
Meredith tells the Eyewitness News I-Team. He helped to open and operate several of the franchise locations now accused of scamming customers including three of the four targeted in a government sting operation last November.
At each location, mechanics were caught charging for services that weren't performed. Meredith alleges they were just doing their jobs.
"I would sell rotors if they weren't needed. I would go after calipers, anything to take that $89 or $189, cause we have a certain dollar figure set for each invoice. They want a minimum $250 minimum per invoice, per car."
That meant that customers who were lured into the shop for a low-cost oil change of $9.95 might end up pay a lot more.
Meredith alleges it's all about the up sell that begins with the fine print at the bottom of the coupon.
"My first question to you is as a manager is what type of car is it? What I'm going to do is disqualify that ad. Immediately I'm going to disqualify that ad," he explained.
With the coupon null and void, Meredith says managers worked to inflate the invoice whether the service is needed or not. He also alleges many customers ended up paying for so-called "phantom services" which was work that wasn't performed or parts that weren't installed.
"The manager will tell their mechanics just blow it off. Don't worry about it. Clean it out, if it looks clean. Don't touch it."
Meredith says they weren't worried about customer dissatisfaction. He said the louder the complaint, the deafer the ear.
"With the amount of people that are coming in, the people that you step on aren't going to come back to you. But you still have that revolving door of new customers coming in as well and everybody is looking for a deal," he said.
Though the Attorney General's office believes Meredith, the attorney for the 11 Purrfect Auto franchises named in its lawsuit, calls him a liar.
In court Monday, Mike Stoberski rejected him as a disgruntled employee and says Meredith was never operations manager. Stoberski said he will prove Meredith's claims are quote "patently false."