A1 Mechanical and Exhaust Orange (ABN 21 968 107 729)

247-249 McLachlan St Orange NSW 2800

zero stars — avoid

Daren Denzil Golding bought this business in May 2019. I took my Toyota Landcruiser Troop Carrier (1995) to be serviced by him on Tuesday January 7, 2020. Four days later I find that Daren Golding has done very little but wants to charge me a lot.

Save yourself the hassle and go somewhere else. Or read my story then go somewhere else.

** Disregard the many positive reviews of this business prior to May 2019 because the ownership has changed **

Tuesday January 7, 2020

This being the first time I'd used Daren Golding's services, I wrote out a list of what I wanted done. I arrived at 8am as agreed and copped a mountain of attitude: Daren Golding refused to read my list and insisted on writing his own. Daren Golding chewed me out for asking for more work than just a basic service. All I could get Daren Golding to discuss was some minor work on the rear barn doors. Daren Golding implied that it would take more than one day to complete this work but no more than two.

Yes, I should have walked right then.

... silence ...

Thursday January 9, 2020

Having heard nothing, I returned three days later to A1 Mechanical on McLachlan St at approximately 3:30pm and asked Daren Golding about the state of my vehicle. Daren Golding said that the filters and the oil had not yet been changed but that the driver's side door had been monkeyed around with for unknown reasons. Some things were half finished. I spent approximately 20 minutes fruitlessly questioning Daren Golding about what had been done; all I got was a piece of paper that had a single line item that read "LOCKS". The price attached was ridiculously high and Daren Golding snatched it back from me upon realising this.

Daren Golding refused to commit to completing the work by any given time. Daren Golding said I could take my vehicle but would not explain what work had been done. Daren Golding refused to let me pay for the work done as it was incomplete. Daren Golding complained that I had only left Daren Golding an hour to complete the job. The conversation was very confused, repetitious and unhelpful.

As I could not even be sure that the vehicle was still roadworthy, I left it with Daren Golding. Yes, I should have walked right then.

Friday January 10, 2020

The next day I returned to A1 Mechanical at 3:30pm. Daren Golding had apparently finished servicing my vehicle. After I arrived Daren Golding spent about twenty minutes manufacturing the following invoice:
Receipt from A1 Mechanical
A competent mechanic surely does not take four hours to do this pitiful amount of work. A competent businessman would correctly date his invoices. I supplied what is charged for here as a "bolt set". The existing windscreen wipers were adequate; I suspect this is a standard line item that appears on all of Daren Golding's invoices. It was generous of Daren Golding not to charge me for the mileage.

Daren Golding did inform me that the swivel hubs will need some attention but was not specific. I asked about the belts and was brushed off; according to the work notes no assessment was made. Daren Golding refused to come to the vehicle with me, preferring sarcasm, arcane nouns and general vagueness to describe things. Daren Golding could not even remember where the fuel filters were in the engine bay.

You will not find out what Daren Golding has done to your vehicle from Daren Golding.

At home I took a closer look at Daren Golding's work. The driver's side door trim/card/panel was very poorly replaced and covered in greasy finger prints. Daren Golding or one of his associates had indeed fitted the filters I supplied and it seems likely that the oil was changed too. There is significant damage to the panel where the gas struts were installed; it took Daren Golding or associates several tries to align them.

Daren Golding may or may not be a competent mechanic. Daren Golding will tell you that he does things right as he doesn't want you to come back; I suggest it is safer not to go there in the first place.

Daren Golding cannot communicate clearly and charges too much.

If you value your vehicle, your time or your money, do not go to A1 Mechanical and Exhaust Orange NSW 2800 (ABN 21 968 107 729).

Peter Gammie (peteg42 at gmail) 2020-01-10