If you even think about taking your car to Al's BMW/Mercedes, the short answer is DO NOT do it to save you trouble and headache.
Like Phil Ventura who left comments earlier, I am new to this area and try to find a good reliable shop to serve my BMW Z4 convertible. The positive feedbacks from this site gave me some level of confidence. The comments left by Phil left me some doubt. But Al replied his comments, which gave me impression that he would be a guy who could go extra miles to satisfy his customers. Oh man, what a mistake! I regret dearly that I did not email Phil to validate his comments in the beginning.
I took my car to his shop. He checked it for free, I think, to entice me as his customer and quoted me for $400. He then asked me to go back later to leave my car there for a day. I did that a few weeks later. However, the quote became $1200 to fix this and something extra. For whatever stupid reason, I agreed with the fix. But I had to leave my car there for two days. When my car was finally ready, I asked if he can warrant his mechanic work for the $1200 fix. Warranty seemed so foreign to him. His response is rather peculiar "I don't even know if I am alive tomorrow".
Sure enough, a high pitch noise came out from engine hood just a few days later. Frustrated and wondering what was going on. I called Al for the follow-up on the fix he did. He again asked me to leave my car here. Two days later, he called me and quoted me for additional $500 to fix my car. I did not agree with this fix for the fear that another problem would surface soon afterwards, which would become an endless cycle. He became angry on the phone and asked me to pay for $129 checkup fee. I went to the garage and disputed the charge for the following three reasons:
1. When I signed to agree for the check-up, he did not disclose the checkup fee.
2. This is a follow-up after the first fix.
3. He doesn't have a consistent policy. The first checkup was free.
He became so agitated that he started verbally abusing me, a customer, and claimed that he did not want a customer like me who would question him. He shouted that I won’t get my car back unless I call police. Without other measure to deal with him, I called cop. But this is a civil matter for which cop has no business. Nevertheless, with the officer’s help, I paid $129 and got my car back. His last shouting before I left his garage was go head sue me!
What an incredible service I received from a guy who claimed excellent customer service for 35 years! What a drama! Unfortunately, I am in the drama. Do you want to be in it?
Another intrigue detail is that he wrote in the invoice that he reset my oil service odometer upon my request. But the odometer did not get reset. This is a simple thing that can be verified easily, but he did not do it, which makes wondering what else he wrote in the invoice but did not actually do it.
With the feeling that I have been mobbed by Al, I would never go back there nor would I recommend this shop to anyone. If you want to validate my comments, feel free to email me email@example.com.