I decided to write this blog about my experience with Lube Mobile after being sick waiting for them to repair and return my car in time with a number of broken promises. Based on the advice of the Principal CSO of Consumer Protection – Department of Commerce, I have given Lube Mobile a plenty of opportunity to respond to a claim of damages with no tangible result. The next step would be getting some legal advice on how to proceed. Before I spend more for a legal advice, I hope to receive a good advice from the collective intelligence of netizens how to proceed with my case.
The drama started on 22nd January 2014 when I handed over the car key of my KIA Carnival to a mechanic from Lube Mobile to supply, remove and replace timing belt kit and water pump according to the log book requirement. When he came back from purchasing the timing belt kit from Repco in Morley, he showed me all the parts, which are still in their packaging.
After Lxx taking out all the timing belt parts, including pulleys etc. he showed me the original KIA spare parts were actually still in good condition. I was telling myself that the preventive maintenance should have paid off in the long term compared to the risk of a spare part snapping and damaging the engine.
After 7-hours and 30-minute of labour including intermittent breaks, Lxx called me and declared that the work had been performed accordingly and I was instantly $1860.73 poorer and permanent damage to the carport due to the car liquid bleeding everywhere when the mechanic conducted the service. I kept reminding myself, “It would pay off in the long term …”.
On 24th January 2014 (two days later), the car broke down at the dangerous position before the traffic light of Guildford Rd and 8th Avenue Maylands with me and two little children inside the car.
With the help of a good Samaritan, the car was moved in a neutral position to a safer place on the side road of 8th Avenue Maylands after a couple of drivers stopped and offered help, after other tens of cars passing by without offering help, including a police car.
After about an hour, someone from Alianz Roadside Assistance came and inspected the car with a prognosis that there was a timing belt problem and the engine was locked as the result.
Another hour for the towing truck to come and tow the car back home.
The next morning, another mechanic from Lube Mobile came to inspect the car with the following results:
- The battery voltage is 12V (okay) but there was no electricity flowing in the car.
- The Timing belt is in bad condition.
The following is the exterior condition of the parts when it was inspected by Lube Mobile.
The car was towed to the Lube Mobile’s workshop at 1/25 Adrian St, Welshpool, WA 6106.
My plan for the long weekend went to the bin and I started to doubt the mantra “It would pay off in the long term …”.
On 28th January 2014, after a number of enquiry calls and emails, Rxx the manager finally called in. He informed that there was a spare part failure supplied by Repco Morley causing the malfunction, and Lube Mobile was willing to fix everything free of charge and the car may be finished by Friday (31/01/2014).
At the end of the first week, Lube Mobile was still doing its own investigation without any conclusive report. What I understood from the explanation was that Lube Mobile was dismantling the car engine with faulty spare part(s), i.e. pulley(s) as the possible cause of the major breakdown.
My multiple requests of having a written assessment report was acknowledged, but despite multiple promises, Lube Mobile never delivered the report, but claiming that they were still investigating.
After many calls and broken promises to finish the repair, I finally visited the workshop only to find that no one was working on the car that day. What stuck in my head was the explanation of the manager: “It’s a big job ….” and “The case has become a priority”.
The following video explained what has been done at the end of the first week in their own words.
It is now week three, and guess what?
When I visited the workshop for the second time, no one was working on the car that day. Surprise … surprise!
While waiting for the car, I have been paying rental car fees, which has now made me thinking whether I will be better off buying a second-hand car rather than paying long-term rental car fees.
More detail info until 12th February 2014 is available in my Lube Mobile Journal.
I am currently wondering whether you have experienced the same with Lube Mobile. If you want to share your experience with Lube Mobile, please feel free to use the comment form below.
- 13/02/2014 – around 4.P.M.: I called Rxx to get an update of my car and left a message with a promise from Lube Mobile of a call-back. I received no call-back.
- 14/02/2014 – 10:23.A.M.: Rxx called me and provided an update on the status of the car with regards to engine, which has been just damaged. He was ordering a used engine from Bunbury that was estimated to arrive on the same afternoon. He said that the car would be delivered by Monday afternoon. I then offered an option for Lube Mobile Pty Ltd to buy out the car and pay other damages and expenses instead wasting money for a used engine and mechanic time. The phone was transferred to Rxx. Nothing substantial was achieved except a threat from Ron that my case was a bad case because of my posting of Youtube video and Rxx did not want to give his email or write me an email because he said that he was the man of words. The call was disconnected.
- 14/02/2014 – 10:45.A.M.: Rxx sent SMS requesting a call to talk about the best way to sort out the case.
- 14/02/2014 – 3:47.P.M.: I sent SMS requesting email address to send the damage claim document. I will hold off new posting to social media until the end of business day next Monday and hope to receive response from Lube Mobile before that.
- 14/02/2014 – 3:54.P.M.: Rxx sent SMS informing he is currently having a medical procedure and to call Cxxxx. He also wrote another “reminder” about post on you tube is currently been flagged.
- 14/02/2014 – 4:03.P.M.: I sent SMS to wish Rxx get better soon and inform my unavailability for a call and reiterated the request for an email address to send the claim document.
- 14/02/2014 – 10:00.P.M.: I deleted the Youtube video as requested by Ron and uploaded a more concise one at 10:05.P.M. as a replacement.
- 14/02/2014 – 10:09.P.M.: I sent an enquiry to Allianz Australia Ltd.
- 15/02/2014 – 07:45.A.M.: Cxxxx, Zone Manager sent me an email requesting all relevant documentation I have spoken about with Rxx.
- 17/02/2014 – 07:00.A.M.: I logged an insurance claim to Allianz Australia Ltd.
- 17/02/2014 – 03:18.P.M.: Rxx texted and asked permission to replace the current car engine.
- 17/02/2014 – 08:34.P.M.: I texted that I was not sure replacing with another engine was the best solution, because when the car went to Lube Mobile’s workshop, the engine was still repairable. I also asked for a logical explanation.
- 18/02/2014 – 11:48.A.M.: Rxx texted and asked for an urgent call.
- 18/02/2014 – 11:54.A.M.: I texted and replied that I was unavailable for a call.
- 18/02/2014 – 12:07.P.M.: Rxx texted and asked what type of money I was looking and confirmed that the engine was not repairable.
- 18/02/2014 – 12:17.P.M.: I texted that I didn’t have the numbers on the top of my head and asked for a formal offer.
- 18/02/2014 – around 12:30.P.M.: Allianz Australia Ltd’s assessor arrived at the workshop.
- 18/02/2014 – 03:58.P.M.: I received a call from the Allianz Australia Ltd’s assessor informing that Lube Mobile provided a different story and needed more research to weigh my claim.
- 19/02/2014 – 03:22.P.M.: I received a call from the Allianz Australia Ltd’s assessor informing that he needed to talk with insurance claim consultant to discuss this matter further.
- 20/02/2014 – 01:42.P.M.: I received a call from the Allianz Australia Ltd’s claim consultant informing that the call is recorded. She advised me to withdraw the claim because the claim is not related to accidental event, but agreed that the cause was poor workmanship. I agreed. She refused to put the advice in writing.
- 20/02/2014 – 01:42.P.M.: Rxx from Lube Mobile texted informing that they are currently rebuilding the engine. He also wrote that it is 90 percent completed and should be up and running tomorrow (21/02/2014). He also wrote that Lube Mobile is able to give a full 12-month and 20K warranty as stated on their website. He also asked for the receipt of car hire to be reimbursed.
- 20/02/2014 – 01:46.P.M.: Rxx from Lube Mobile texted reiterating that the warranty is 20K.
- 20/02/2014 – 02:03.P.M.: Rxx from Lube Mobile texted asking for the hire car receipt.
- 20/02/2014 – 02:07.P.M.: I texted Rxx thanking for the news and asking for a confirmation whether the engine is still the original engine. I was also asking his email address to send the receipt.
- 20/02/2014 – 02:20.P.M.: Rxx texted confirming that the engine matches my rego paper, with the same naumber of new cracked sleeve, new pistons, reconditioned cylinder heads, a full engine set and timing belt kit.
- 20/02/2014 – 04:04.P.M.: I sent the hire car receipt by email, including request for any damage report to the car.
- 21/02/2014: There was no sign of Lube Mobile delivering the car. There was no communication from Lube Mobile.
- 22/02/2014 – 08:15.a.m: I called Rxx on his mobile, no answer for a long time. He answered that he was on holiday and asked to contact Cxxxx and Rxx 9472 6320 at the office. I then called Rxx at office. Lube Mobile had not finished the job yesterday. In the next couple of hours, they would deliver the car. I let them know that I would renew his car rental.
- 22/02/2014 – 10:45.a.m: I called Lube Mobile. Cxxxx looked for Rxx. Rxx was unavailable. Cxxxx asked for my phone number.
- 22/02/2014 – 10:49.a.m: Rxx called me and said that he wanted to return the car on Monday morning. Rxx promised to call Monday morning.
- 22/02/2014 – 10:55.a.m – 12:05.p.m.: Lube Mobile has difficulty with using emails, so I had to send to Cxxxx’s personal email address. Rxx called back around 12.p.m. confirming the receipt of email and car hire receipt. He wanted to give the cheque when he hands in the car on Monday (24/02/2014).
- 24/02/2014 – 04:45.a.m: No news from Lube Mobile. I called Lube Mobile and received an explanation that Lube Mobile has not finished the repair.
- 25/02/2014 – 02:10.p.m: The car and car hire cheque were delivered by Lxx and Jxxx from Lube Mobile after previously received a telephone apology from Rxx. The car had been washed, cleaned and the battery had been changed. Lube Mobile also offered a complimentary service next time round in the Lube Mobile Report. I was happy that the car was finally in my possession, but surprised that Lube Mobile had replaced the engine without notification and permission. I was more surprised to find out that the engine number in the report was different from the actual engine number in the car. I have sent an email seeking for clarification from Lube Mobile regarding the discrepancies.
- 26/02/2014 – 01:21.p.m: I received the invoice of engine purchase by email showing the engine number and also later an explanation by phone from Rxx that the number etched on the engine part recorded on the photos I sent was not the engine number. I am not a mechanic, so I think the tax invoice documentation and the verbal confirmation from Rxx the manager is sufficient.