Panelbeater knocks wind out of car owner

2010-12-01 14:33

Teresita Dittrich has received her car from Amatos Panel Beaters and Spares in Tshwane after a 10-month tussle.

Dittrich approached Hotline when she struggled to get her car back from the panelbeater after she had sent it for panelbeating, repainting and an engine overhaul.

Dittrich finally got her car back last week – minus its radio and with a window broken. She has already paid R7?000 towards the cost of the service.

“It came back in a terrible condition, but I am just glad to have it back.

“Dealing with Amatos was a nerve-wrecking experience,” said ­Dittrich.

“I am just grateful to Hotline for following the case up.”

The 1978 BMW 525 model was a gift from her mother.

Dittrich had surfed the internet looking for a repair centre and came across Amatos’ website.

The company offered to tow the car to their premises at no cost and to do the necessary repairs within three weeks.

Amatos then charged Dittrich R7?000 for the repairs. She was told the amount was payable on collection of the car.

At the end of February this year she received a call from Amatos reminding her about the payment.

Dittrich visited the premises and was shocked to discover that the necessary repairs had not been done.

She demanded to see the owner, who was unavailable during each visit but could be contacted telephonically.

“He demanded an advance payment, which included storage costs. I made the payment but he failed to carry out the repairs.

“I visited his premises almost every weekend and he was never there.

“On the few occasions that I reached him over the telephone he threatened me,” she says.

“He said I should not push him too far and that I should stop harassing his staff.”

Dittrich says the owner of the business then banned her from visiting his premises.

“I reported him to the police but they failed to get hold of him. A friend advised me to contact Hotline and it has worked because I now have my car back,” says Dittrich.

Last month Hotline contacted the owner of the panelbeating shop, but he refused to provide us with his name.

A worker at the repair centre later claimed that the businessman was out of the country.

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