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Bad gas, worse customer service earns metro business a spot in FOX 4 Problem Solvers ‘Hall of Shame’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As soon as Travis Klein’s engine started sputtering, just hours after filling the tank on his truck, he knew he’d most likely bought some bad gasoline.

So Klein, a mechanic, took a sample. What he saw was a cloudy, murky substance.

“It looks like muddy rain water almost,” Klein described.

Klein called the business where he’d bought the gas -- Royal Liquors on Southwest Blvd., in Kansas City. Klein also reported Royal Liquors to the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s fuel testing division. The state inspector found five-and-a-half inches of water in the storage tank for Royal Liquors premium gas, the exact type of gas Klein had purchased the day before.

Given the evidence, you’d think Royal Liquors would want to make things right with Klein. But when Klein asked to be reimbursed for the $534 he spent having his engine flushed and filters replaced, Klein said he got no sympathy from Royal Liquors' General Manager Alan Hagedorn

"He's like `what do you want $4,000?’" Klein recalled being told. “No I just want my truck taken care of. I stopped to get fuel. I didn't stop to get water.”

Klein said Hagedorn told him Royal Liquors would only reimburse him for the $73 worth of gas he bought – not the damage to his truck.

“He told me I would have to sue him for my repair,” Klein said.

Sue? That response shocked FOX 4 Problem Solvers. Water in a gas tank is not an unusual problem for a gas station. And most stations take care of their customers quickly through their insurance company.

Problem Solvers paid a visit to Royal Liquors’ flagship station on 103rd and Wornall Road. That’s where we found Hagedorn, that not-so-helpful general manager. Hagedorn wouldn’t talk to us, so we handed him our business card and asked to speak to owner James Kasick. But Hagedorn informed us Kasick also wouldn’t be talking. He was right. We never heard from Kasick.

All this is important to remember if you ever do business at Royal Liquors. If something goes wrong, you are your own, which is why Royal Liquors is the newest member of the FOX 4 Problem Solver Hall of Shame.