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Is “Just Brakes” Just Scams? (aka JustBrakes.com)

Posted on April 24, 2008 by Tim Schroeder

This post has nothing to do with making money online but at some point you might have to get your car brakes serviced. Here is my experience with JustBrakes.

We thought we might need to have the brakes on our 2004 Ford Expedition serviced. Thinking that I might find some coupons online before taking it somewhere to get serviced, I came across a company called “Just Brakes.”

Lured in by the JustBrakes cheap $99.88 price + a $10 Just Brakes coupon I gave them a call. The price is apparently for “Most Cars” and Erik said that my Expedition “In Most Cases” would still be only $99.88.

So yesterday we brought our truck into JustBrakes on West Colonial Dr in Orlando, Florida.

About thirty minutes later I was given a call and he said that he “could not do the brakes on this vehicle.” He said that the brake system was “contaminated” and that the entire brake system would need to be replaced at a cost of around $3,000! JustBrakes also said that this type of contamination is common at quick lube oil change places.

I obviously told Erik at JustBrakes that before I was going to spend that kind of money that I would have to get another opinion. I wonder how many of their customers DON’T ask for that second opinion! I then went back and pick up the truck. I drove over to the oil change place we used last because I didn’t know if we would have to end up having to take them to court (and you must contact a manager about the problem before getting any service done). The manager there was nice and he said that while they visually inspect the brake fluid they never open or refill the master oil cylinder.

I then drive on over to Action Gator and Tire (in my experience, a great company) for a second opinion. Guess what? There was absolutely nothing wrong with my brake system. The break pads didn’t even need to be replaced! They said that at most I could consider a Brake flush but that was not even necessary. I went ahead and paid $70 for them to do that service anyway.

After I got back home I looked up Just Brakes on the Internet. I should have done this BEFORE even taking my vehicle there.

At number 3 in the search results for “Just Brakes” is Rip Off Report

But it gets worse because there are actually over 1,000 complaints about JustBrakes on Rip Off Report. This does not include what is (in my opinion) the thousands of other customers who may have been ripped off but didn’t complain about it. You can also read about Just Brakes on Pissed Consumer.

In my opinion, and based on what I’ve read on those complaint websites, their standard marketing ploy of $99.88 cost “In Most Cases” should be changed to “In RARE cases.” This is how they can get away with quoting or charging you basically whatever they want!” It’s the common Bait and Switch. In my case it was not the “oh, you brakes are not a common stock item so it will cost another $75,” but rather the “your entire brake system needs to be replaced” for $3,000! LOL

It’s a real shame that these type of companies are allowed to stay in business.

If you feel you were ripped off (or they tried to) by Just Brakes please reply here. Likewise, if you actually had a $99.88 brake job performed by JustBrakes, I’d love to hear it. My hopes is that this thread jumps into the top 10 of Google for “Just Brakes” or “JustBrakes” so other people will be reminded to do a little research before going for what appears to be the cheapest price. These are just my opinions. Please do your own research and decide for yourself.

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61 Responses to “Is “Just Brakes” Just Scams? (aka JustBrakes.com)”

  1. Derren Haseloff

    - 28th Jun, 11 10:06pm

    DO NOT EVER TAKE YOUR VEHICLE TO JUST BRAKES. THE SPRING, TX LOCATION WRECKED MY CAR AND JUST BRAKES HAS YET TO FORK OUT A DIME. IT HAS NOW BEEN 11 WEEKS SINCE THE ACCIDENT AND THE CLAIMS DEPARTMENT HAS YET TO GIVE US AN ANSWER AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE GOING TO REIMBURSE US THE $7600 WE HAD TO PAY TO GET OUR VEHICLE FIXED. THEY KEEP TELLING US THAT THEIR EMPLOYEE WAS NOT LIABLE FOR THE ACCIDENT EVEN THOUGH HE RAN A RED LIGHT. THEY ALSO DIDNT EVEN DO WHAT WE PAID THEM TO DO. I TOOK OUR VEHICLE TO BRAKE CHECK TO HAVE THE CRACKED BRAKE PADS REPLACED THAT JUST BRAKES PUT ON MY CAR. THIS COMPANY DOESNT CARE ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS. ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS GETTING AS MUCH MONEY AS THEY CAN.

  2. Howard Hilliard

    - 9th Sep, 11 07:09am

    Complaint Description:
    I arrived at 10:47am on September 7, 2011. Ken was the write up manager because Randy was gone to a meeting. Ken signed me up for the $99.88 brake job but my Ford F-250 will be charged more money because it is a heavy duty truck. Ken estimated about 50-60 dollars extra for the job. Upon worker inspection I was told that my master cylinder was leaking and the rear seal needs replacing. Ken checked pricing and told me it would be 360 dollars out the door. I signed the paper for 99.88 but was never given a copy. Ken left and Randy returned from training. I responded to Randy when asked if I was waiting on the Ford truck. Randy said they got the wrong seal. They got one from Phoenix and Mesa. Ken said work will be done in 3 hrs. I went shopping and returned at 1pm. Randy said the ABS system was bad and that I will have the same problem I came in with. I asked if any brakes were repaired and Randy said no. That would be another $190 per axle to do that. I told him that is not what Ken and I agreed on. Randy said let me take 30 dollars off for all the confusion, plus tax. I told him Ken quoted $360 out the door. I refused to sign any papers with Randy. Randy wrote on the documents, “would not sign”. Randy ask me to return tomorrow and he would do the rear brakes since I told him we examined the shoes and the rivets were rubbing the drum. Randy had his workers to reassemble my vehicle with the exact same brakes on them untouched. Randy could tell I was getting upset with this job. It was now 330pm. I been there since 1047am. Only vehicle in the shop. I requested old parts. Randy selected “No” on invoice. I ask worker Donny to place all parts in my truck. Donny gave me the seal and brake shoes. Never received old master cylinder or other parts. A plain white truck with my parts arrived around 416pm. It was truck # 9818. I took photos of the condition of my truck brakes that they were sending me home with. I did not leave until 515pm. 6-1/2 hrs after arriving. This company mislead my entire experience with them. Bill went from 99.88 to $352.25 and all day long 6-1/2 hrs. Fraud by just Brakes and want refund and for them to be documented with BBB, AAGO and motor vehicle repair service complaints. They are falsely advertizing 99.88 and not delivering. I will notify all parties about this complaint and the company. Attorney General please investigate. I will see if my bank card will take a report regarding this false work.

  3. betty o'neil

    - 6th Nov, 11 02:11am

    Was there today and told them that my husband knows how to change brakes but is working 6 days a week and didnt feel like spending Sunday working on my Jeep. Well the first response was that it would cost me $764 when I told them I was not going to pay that much the 2nd response was $624, the 3rd response was $414 all the time I am telling them to just put it back together and I would take my jeep home. the 4th was $317 again I told them to just put my jeep back together. They finally fixed it for the $99.88 and it is just fine. Men please dont send your wifes to JUST BRAKES unless they know that they are going to be railroaded by the employees. I will never take any vehicle to JUST BRAKES. They are running a scam and I would say that especially women are taken just because JUST BRAKES knows that they can run their scam on women.

  4. griego

    - 21st Nov, 11 01:11am

    Just Brakes, Las Vegas, corner of bonanza and Nellis. Rip-off. After not agreeing to the charges and telling them that I only approved the $99 brake job the manager even threatened me and called me a “broke dead beat fucker”. He then got in my face all the while yelling spiting on my face. I pushed him back just to get him away from my personal space and I guess that startled him. He then said I assaulted him and began calling the police. The police did arrive and basically said I had to take them to court to get my money back. Does anyone know how I can speak with to get this manager fired?

  5. jerry

    - 8th Dec, 11 07:12pm

    thanks guys was going to just brakes, but after comments will try SEARS

  6. don

    - 16th Dec, 11 02:12am

    I was about to go to Just Brakes. Glad i read this first. I wont go their!!

  7. Buck Necked

    - 27th Feb, 12 03:02pm

    Scam. Took my new 2000 4runner there for break pads back in 2002. They told me I needed new calipers. I said no I don’t and left. Now it’s 2012 and I still have the same calipers that they said were faulty. I change my pads myself. No issues. JUST SCAM!

  8. Gerard

    - 7th Mar, 12 06:03pm

    Went to Just brakes for 4 wheel job. Was immediately it would be $199.95, but with a $50.00 coupon on line I could get it for $159.00!
    What happened to the $99.88 advertised deal?
    I ended up paying over $500.00.
    Won’t be back, don’t like scamming.

  9. anonymous

    - 1st Apr, 12 08:04pm

    To make up for what they lost on the $99 price, the shops ALWAYS “discover” that you need rebuilt calipers. NOBODY gets out of the shop without that recommendation. Do you need rebuilt calipers? Most often, you don’t.

    So how much should you pay? It’s 2009 and the going rate for an average brake job is around $200. That price includes installing a quality brake pad, machining the rotors (if needed), and lubricating the caliper slide pins with a high temperature grease.

  10. Gene

    - 25th May, 12 08:05pm

    I find it absolutly amazing that people do not do thier homework before going anywhere. But then, if they did, they would not go to any major retail store of business. There are these kinds of websites all over and covering just about any kind of business there is. I used to work for Home Depot. Guess what, there is a website telling you what a ripoff they are. As far as repairs to any vehicle, I have had my vehicles, personal and business, into Just Brake several times. Not once was I ripped off or scammed. They kinda remind me of a Dr, I may not like his diagnosis, but he is going to give it to me anyways. As far as brake fluid not needing to be changed on a regular basis as a couple of people have stated, read your owners manual and look at the scheduled maintenance section. Go online and check out AMRA which is a totally un biased source who also give scheduled maintenance recommendations for your vehicle. It is no different than changing your oil every 3 – 5 thousand miles. Fluids and lubricants break down. I wonder who is trying to con who here. We are all adults, I hope, and know how to use the internet. Thry doing that once in a while. Not just for repairs, but before you buy a new car. I have a friend who complained about the cost of repairs on his Mercedes. Really!!!!! And he was ticked because the dealership did not tell him how much it was going to cost for maintenance. Wake up. Stop blaming others and tke resposibility for your own actions. Firestone, NTB, Pep Boys and all of the major repair facilities have the same complaints. Don’t believe me, just check for your selves. Educate yourself before you walk into any repair facility about what you are going in for. Type the problem into the Google search line and you will be amazed at what you can learn.

  11. tazman

    - 22nd Jul, 12 12:07am

    Aug 31, 2010, I visited Just Brakes location #36, on N. Collins in Arlington, TX. I heard positive feedback about the company & $99 brake replacement special. The employees at this location were very pleasant & professional. After inspecting my original brakes on my 2007 Toyota, the Manager said further repair was needed. In addition to the pads, calipers needed rebuilding, disc hardware & return springs replaced, & brake system bled & adjusted. After quoted almost $400, I reluctantly agreed. The mgr. eased my mind by showing me exactly what they were doing. I appreciated this great customer service.

    After repairs, the mgr. said some squealing would occur at first. For the next 3weeks, my brakes felt like sandpaper against sandpaper, grinding noises, w/ constant squealing. Upset that I just paid $400, I returned to have them looked at again. This time they found no issues but re-lubricated the parts. They said there may be occasional squealing, which was normal, but I shouldn’t have any issues. During this visit, another customer was very upset w/ mgmt. due to the “shady business they’re running.” As my experience at this location was positive, I assumed he was being difficult. However, he started talking to other customers & reported the EXACT issues w/ his brakes as I had w/ mine. This made me uneasy, questioning the integrity of the company. I still gave Just Brakes the benefit of the doubt due to their great customer service.

    The next 2months, the “occasional squealing” became constant; the noise was much worse than before! Not willing to return to the same location, I took my car to the S. Cooper store #10 in Arlington on Nov 18, 2010. The mgmt. was very kind & understood my frustration. The mgr. said he found no issue w/ the rear brakes but the front brakes were “severely contaminated.” He explained the other store did something to cause the constant squealing. He fixed them & as I drove off, my brakes squealed.

    In Jan 2011, a friend showed me his service receipt from the same Just Brakes. The invoice showed the exact same repairs my car had! I was surprised to find that my friend was charged over $600 for his repairs. It was this moment I knew the business Just Brakes was conducting lacked honesty & integrity.

    3months after my last visit (now Feb 2011), I had constant squealing, this time sounding worse than ever. The emergency brake made a loud metal-grinding sound. For fear of my brakes giving out & not wanting to return to any Just Brakes, I wrote a letter to Just Brakes corporate office. I was contacted by the company. They directed me to take my car to their Mansfield location (#150) & meet w/ the mgr. at the time, Tim Galvan. In early March 2011, I took my car to Tim. Tim told me that the brakes used by all Just Brakes stores didn’t always work on all vehicles; Toyotas, he said, commonly had issues w/ their pads. He showed me a different brake pad, supposedly made out of a softer, ceramic material, which he was going to use (even though the corporate office might frown upon that). After the repairs, my car no longer had any brake issues. I trusted this location due to Manager Tim Galvan.

    April 2012, my brakes started squeaking. Because I trusted Tim, I returned to the Mansfield store. A new manager, Charles, was transferred to the location (from Irving); I went ahead & had him service my brakes. Charles said the brakes were fine, but I needed to flush the brake fluid, which cost me almost $100. After this visit, my brakes caused my car to shake when applied.

    After my Toyota reached 100K miles, I took it to my Toyota dealership to have it serviced. One of the issues they noted was the shaking when the brakes were applied. The Toyota service technician said the rotors were not turned after my last Just Brakes visit. Even though they identified warping on the rotors, they could still be turned. Since they were under warranty, I took them back to Mansfield Just Brakes in July 2012.

    I explained to Mgr. Charles what Toyota said. He said the rotors were too warped & needed replacement. He also said the rotors affected the calipers. Because of this, he wanted to replace the rotors, calipers, & would warranty out the brake pads & drums; costing me “only $550.” Despite what Toyota said, he insisted this extra work was necessary for the safe repair of my car. I asked if he’d put the same ceramic pads that Tim Galvan put on my car. Charles said that Tim used the same brake pad that every Just Brakes location used. Charles said that Tim lied to me.

    I decided to have the work done by Toyota. They checked the brakes & all the hardware. They were able to turn the rotors. When I picked up my car, I paid $99 & my brakes worked like new…like before taking it to Charles. This was a clear indication that Just Brakes is running a shady operation. They definitely have the customer service down; now they need to work on the trust, support, integrity, & respect for the customer & their hard-earned money!

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