PBM Technical Services are with out a doubt the worst and most unprofessional garage I have ever used.
I recommend that if you are considering using them you stay very clear and hope you have the time to read the following:
Well my saga finally ended. The joys of meeting Chris and his company PBM Technical Services in Ditchling was not the most pleasant part in my automotive life.
The tale started when my Volkswagen Golf decided to intermittently cut out. I looked up a Bosch diagnostic centre near to where I live in Brighton and they were the first people I phoned.
I explained to Chris on the phone that my car would seem to randomly cut out and sometimes start straight back up other times I would have to wait 15-20 minutes for the engine to cool until I could restart it.
At this point my car had never had any other starting problems or any faults at all with the Clifford alarm system which was fitted.
So my car went into PBM Technical Services on Tuesday 21st June yes nearly a year ago! And I was told that my car would be ready for collection on by Friday the 24th June at the latest. After numerous phone calls and various excuses my car was finally completed on the 6th July which was almost two weeks after the agreed date.
It wasn’t the time issue which I was unhappy with basically I’m almost certain I was fiddled out of hard earned money!
The day after I took my car into the garage I received a phone call from Chris at PBM Technical Services to explain that my car won’t turn over. I was perplexed by this as this had never happened before. Instantly the first thing I thought was that maybe they were not disarming my alarm properly but as I was at work I was unable to go down. Later that day I received another phone call from Chris at PBM Technical Services to explain that they had bypassed my ignition switch and the fault was still there and he told me that the fault is without a doubt a problem with my alarm system. I was still very sceptical as Clifford make the worlds best car alarms and having not had any other problems with it before seemed extremely unlikely. I argued this with Chris on the phone where he finally convinced me yes it must be a fault with my alarm and I agreed to have it removed.
Later on that day I received another call from Chris at PBM Technical Services asking me to bring down my second set of keys as they said that they had tested my key and it was giving low signal strength, and finally this is the reason why my car isn’t working.
When I went to PBM Technical Services I tried to start my car myself. The lights on the dash turned on but the starter motor didn’t spin when I turned the key. Then Chris from PBM Technical Services came out to see me. I pressed the button on the alarm system to check that it was working and Chris then told me that it was still disconnected.
They had incorrectly diagnosed the fault!
After speaking to Chris again at PBM Technical Services he told me that they had traced the fault to the immobiliser and my car would have to go to Volkswagen to get the keys and immobiliser reprogrammed, to which I had to agree to.
Then they and incorrectly diagnosed the fault again!
As I received another call from Chris at PBM Technical Services where they then confirmed to me that it was the crank position sensor which was at fault and it would cost be around £130 +vat. I was at this point getting extremely annoyed with this garage but they kept assuring me that this would fix the problem so stupidly agreed for them to change the part.
I picked the car up and paid the cost of the repair unhappily as I felt that I had been ripped off and they had never reconnected my alarm AND they had only one of my two car keys reprogrammed which meant the other key wouldn’t work. Which meant that I had to go back to the Volkswagen garage, to get my keys reprogrammed again. I asked for the parts that they had replaced where I was told that they had been thrown and if I wanted them I should have asked for them when I brought the car in.
Later that day I drove to the petrol station and filled my car up. After I came out from paying I tried to start my car and it wouldn’t start. It had exactly the same fault where the dash lights came on but the starter motor wouldn’t turn over.
PBM Technical Services were shut so I phoned the RAC. When Mr Baker from the RAC arrived I explained the problems I’ve had with the garage and my car. It took him 5 minutes to diagnose the fault. There was a loose connection to the solenoid on the starter motor. (There was a metal securing clip missing, which caused a broken connection even though the connector was still on the fitting)
From what I had explained Mr Baker believed that this problem had been there the whole time and he believed that PBM Technical Services had overlooked this fault. I showed Mr Baker the receipt which was still in my car. Then I realised that I had also been charged for a new ignition switch which was not needed nor ever explained to me AND also for an ECU relay for which Mr Baker couldn’t explain why it would have been needed!
From here on I knew for a FACT that I must have been ripped off.
The next morning I spoke to Chris at PBM Technical Services to tell him of my scenario about this broken connector. Chris explained to me that he knew about this fault the whole time. To which I obviously asked why he didn’t fix it to which he replied he didn’t think it was necessary and wouldn’t do anything further to help me and refused to rewire my alarm.
Since speaking to the RAC’s legal advice department they informed me that PBM Technical Services are legally bound to reconnect my alarm.
From getting my keys reprogrammed have learned from a man called Vernon at Volkswagen that there is no way to test signal strength on the keys, and if the keys or immobiliser weren’t working the car would still start up but would just cut out.
From speaking to the RAC and Volkswagen I have learned that it was most probable that the fault with the connector on the solenoid was the cause of my car not starting and that the connector may have been knocked whilst they were checking my car.
Thus my conclusion was that the following faults were incorrectly diagnosed.
1. The alarm system was fully functional and this PBM Technical Services should have to reconnect it. I was told by Huets at no point did the alarm need to be removed as they can simply be bypassed and all garages should know how.
2. I should not have to pay for the new ignition switch, column sleeve or fitting. As the ignition switch was not at fault as Chris from PBM Technical Services said he had bypassed this and was still having the same fault.
3. The keys or immobiliser were not at fault as according to Volkswagen my car would have still started up even if either the keys or immobiliser were faulty, but the car would cut out in about 5 seconds. Therefore I shouldn’t have to pay for the transport to Volkswagen nor the immobiliser reprogramming or labour incurred by PBM Technical Services for this.
4. The ECU control relay was changed on my car without my consent and PBM Technical Services could give no reason as to why.
The £595 invoice I was disputing £258.59 of it, after speaking to Chris at PBM Technical Services he told me where to go. I was extremely annoyed by this and decided that I would let it go and take it as a lesson on dealing with dodgy garages
*** Recently ***
Coming home from London the other day my car broke down and the RAC came out and diagnosed the fault with the crank position sensor. I told the mechanic that this had only recently been changed where he told me that was extremely unlikely as it had disintegrated and was in bits and he was more than definite that it was the original one fitted to my car in 1997!
Obviously this happening and PBM Technical Services most likely lying about changing my crank position sensor I decided that I would go down and give Chris at PBM Technical Services a visit.
I took him the report from the RAC and the receipt of the new part and after a lot of negotiation he said he would refund me the money for the crank position sensor and wire up my alarm again. This I was moderately pleased with considering what had happened previously and his unwilling to help.
I booked my car in with PBM Technical Services and left it with them for the day. I went back to pick it up and Chris explained to me that they couldn’t rewire it as they didn’t know how! I asked them why they didn’t mark the cables so they knew how to wire it back up again and he couldn’t give an answer. Chris agreed to pay towards getting the alarm rewired.
I spoke to Huets in Worthing and they explained that it could cost between £60-300 to get fixed. I spoke to Chris at PBM Technical Services and he said he would only pay £60 towards it but may reconsider depending on the final bill.
After getting my car fixed from Huets it came to £105 which wasn’t too bad considering their estimate. I was told by Huets that they couldn’t believe a garage would disconnect it, and especially not mark the cables to rewire it!
I went back to PBM Technical Services to see Chris to get my money back where he told me he would only pay for the alarm and would not pay for the crank position sensor! wtf!
I told him that he had agreed to this earlier where he told me he had changed his mind. I asked him again if he would reconsider as I didn’t want the hassle in going to court over this and he told me to basically f**k off. I said I had independent reports to show that PBM Technical Services are at fault and would happily let our judicial system sort this out for me.
By that afternoon I received a call from PBM Technical Services explaining that they had reconsidered and would pay me for the alarm and the price I paid for the crank position sensor. Now even though I brought the crank position sensor for £50 less than they charged me I agreed to this so as not to have to go to court.
And the most humorous part of all of this after picking the money up of Chris at PBM Technical Services he said to I presume I haven’t got to tell you to never come back!
This shows you just how unprofessional PBM Technical Services are and I would strongly recommend that no one uses this garage and would tell the same to anyone they know who may consider taking there car there.
After writing this I now wish that I had taken PBM Technical Services to court and made sure that no one else would get ripped off like I had.
I’m going to leave you with a good saying from Mark Twain which I feel is very apt in this Blog.
“I am sorry to write such a long letter. I didn’t have time to write a short one.”
Just in case any one would like to send them some hate mail or would like to trust them in randomly changing things on your car to hope that it fixes it.
PBM Technical Services
Telephone: 01444 242600
Address: Unit 17/Ditchling Common, Ditchling, Hassocks, BN6 8SG