Unethical Treatment of Customers
FORT WAYNE, INDIANA -- This Review is in the form of a letter prepared to go to Rohrman's:
Let me tell you up front that I am a very disgruntled customer. This story is long and complex but by the time you hear my story, I am confident that you will agree.
In May 18th, 2002, I bought a 1999 Mustang from your dealership on Illinois Road in Fort Wayne, for my son. The 15 cars that I have owned throughout my life, was purchased – using my own bank for financing. This time, one of your salesmen (I did not retain his name, but I do know that he is no longer with your company) assured me that I “could relax while he took care of everything.”
As he filled out the paperwork, he looked up and asked me for my driver’s license and my insurance card. At the time, my insurance was with Geico, and I carried liability only. I owned all three of my vehicles outright. He disappeared into another room, and when he returned he said (this is a quote) “I called your insurance, and as soon as I put this temporary plate on your car, you are good to go.” Ten days pass, and I am waiting for a bill from my insurance company, when my son hits a light pole on a foggy night. When I call Geico, they tell me that they have no record of being contacted regarding this car! When I called and spoke to your manager, he told me that it is unfortunate, but there was nothing he could do, and I was on my own.
This ordeal – caused by one of your salesmen, cost me a considerable amount of money. My son could no longer work since he had no transportation. In order to keep a clean credit history, I was forced into refinancing my home, paying the car off in full with Midwest Federal Credit Union, and using equity in my home, pay $6,800.00 in repairs to put the car back into service. After speaking with an attorney, I decided not to pursue legal action, since it appeared on paper that I was negligent. Yes, from a legal standpoint, you had me. From an ethical/moral standpoint, I firmly believe that I was deceived. My story is not over with – bear with me.
In November of 2004, realizing that my daughter needed transportation, My wife and I decided to let her have what we were driving, and we began to shop for a different vehicle for us. After swearing that I would never step foot in your store again, I became very interested in the Kia Sportage. We stopped one Saturday, and was met by one of your salesman named Mike Haden. He showed us a few used Kia Sportages, and told us that they were on sale.
I should have known something was up.
One of the 2002 Sportages caught my wife’s eye, and it was priced at I believe around $13,000.00. After the last ordeal with your company, my wife told Mike that if he could get the payment down to a certain low figure, we’d talk about it. We did not believe that he could ever hit the number. We went home and forgot about it. The next day, the phone rang and a manager at your store said that he could hit the number. Like I said… this should have been a warning.
Well, we bought the car.
When we got into the car, we found that it had never been cleaned. It had dog hair in it, and it had milkshake spilled inside the dash louvers, among other things. Mike Haden, said not to worry, he would have it detailed for me. I added, that if they clean it up, and take all the swirlies out of the paint (the kind that touch-type car washes put into the paint), I would buy it.
He calls me and tells me that the car is done, but when I show up, it doesn’t look like anyone has touched it; so… I left it again, and was assured it would be taken care of to my satisfaction. The next day, I am called, and I pick it up. When I get it home, my wife sweeps the dog hair out of it, and I clean the milkshake out of the dash.
A few months ago, on a rainy Friday night in Fort Wayne, I put the key in the ignition and it simply would not turn. We had it towed to your Kia dealership, and took a taxi home all the way to Columbia City. The next day, Shirley (service manager) called and said that they put a new ignition switch in it. I came up, picked up the vehicle, and told her that I was having some other problems as follows:
(1) exhaust pipe rusted off
(2) very loud rattle since it was new in the engine housing, but only when its cold
(3) belts slip, and are very noisy
(4) coolant odor when it operates
She scheduled a time for my exhaust and the other issues. The next Saturday, I dropped off the Sportage for the exhaust repair. At this time, they found a leaking radiator, and a fan clutch with a busted housing. When I talked to Shirley, she tells me that I am also due for my 40,000 timing belt replacement, along with all my other belts. She also said that I was due for all these other maintenance routines – all totaling about $800.00 !!!
If I had known that a Kia Sportage had such high routine maintenance costs, I would have never bought the vehicle. I marched up front and had a word with Mike Haden, and his manager overheard our conversation. He was very cordial, and told me that if I was unhappy, he would do whatever is necessary to make me a happy returning customer.
Mike and I looked around the lot for a used (I think you call them pre-owned these days) pickup truck that would serve our needs, and you didn’t have one. I told Mike to keep his eyes open for what we talked about, and I told him that I wanted to get rid of the Sportage before the warranty expired. I never heard from Mike. Last Friday, July 15th, I began to have problems with it not starting. As we were traveling south of Warsaw, toward the water lab with collected water samples (part of our business), the car died running down the highway. We coasted to the side of the road, and it refused to start. We called Kia roadside service, and had it towed to Kia in Fort Wayne.
This cost us directly, about $700.00, due to lost work and work that we had to repeat. Bacteria samples went bad, lab was closed, etc. Again, we are using our daughter’s car (156,000 miles and has never left us anywhere) while the Sportage is in the shop. We drove up to Kia Saturday morning, and talked to Mike while they worked on our Sportage. He found two trucks that would work for us. But after talking to “Gene” the manager, (the other manager that I talked to previously was on vacation) they could not come up with any financing that would not cost me at least $450.00 a month!! He justified this by saying that while it may be true that I am not happy, he can only give me $6,000.00 for my junk Sportage. After a few hours of dancing around, he said that he could give me $9,000.00 for my Sportage if I bought one of the trucks (which was overpriced by about $3000.00).
The story doesn’t end.
After spending 6 hours at your dealership on Saturday:
(1) Your salesman could not help us, because he would not acknowledge my problem.
(2) They could not find the problem with my Kia Sportage, but they told me that someone would work on it until 6:00 pm.
(3) Since they could not find out why it wouldn’t run, they could not authorize a rental vehicle for my use.
(4) After messing around with your “manager” from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm, and being told that Kia would not authorize a rental for me to use, I left the store.
(5) I called at 3:00 pm, and was told that the service shop closed when I left – “work on my car until 6:00 pm” was another lie! Oh… they found the problem, and it was under warranty, and now they would issue me a rental – only problem was, after 6 hours of frustration I was almost back in Columbia City! Screw the rental car!
Now, for the 2nd time, I feel like I have been stiffed by your company. Again, the issue is not a legal one, but a moral/ethical one. I have always took pride in my life by thinking that I learn by my mistakes. This time, I let myself get taken by Bob Rohrman – not once… but twice!! Your salesmen and managers toot their horns about how important customer satisfaction is in your organization, but the reality is --- customer satisfaction is important only as long as not one single dime comes from your pocket. In my business, I also believe in customer satisfaction. I have inspected real estate, and honestly reported issues that were accurate. But in a few instances, my client did not read his report, I went ahead and compensated him anyway. That is customer satisfaction. You people talk the talk, but you can’t walk the walk.
By the way…
On the way home from your dealership, I stopped at two used car dealerships. They told me that they would give me about $8,000.00 for the Kia (that is what Kelly Blue Book says) --- not $6,000.00 like Rohrman’s --- the payoff is $10,600.00. They are also going to put me into a truck, comparable to what I messed around with all day at Rohrman’s for between $320.00 and $360.00 / month. – not $460.00 to $525.00/month like your manager’s best offer. These used car companies are reputable.
A reply would be appreciated, but you must know…
I expect to be swept under the rug – the same as I have always been at your company.
If I cannot get satisfaction from your company, this email is an excellent foundation for my “DON’T BY ROHRMAN” campaign.
I had to travel about 5 hours south of the area, to attend to my mother who was having heart surgery. At the hospital, I get a call from my son, that excitedly tells me that he bought a Kia Sportage just like mine from Bob Rohrman’s!! Of all things, I finally thought I had washed my hands of this business, my blood pressure was back to normal, and I was finally getting to the point that I could actually start trusting someone again – on a limited basis.
My son bought it on a Saturday, and was told that someone would be calling him on Monday. No one called on Monday. The excuse was, the person that was responsible for calling him had the day off. Do you know how many times that the person responsible for calling me has had the day off?? I think it has been about 4 times now, so this was expected in my eyes, since I have already been through all this.
When I got home, and saw the Sportage, it looked like it had been “rode hard and put up wet” There were scratches and dings all the way down the side, the front rims were black with brake dust, the rotors were shot, the tailpipe had rusted off (just like mine did), and the inside was filthy (ashtray was still full of butts). To top it off, he bought it for the same price that I bought mine a year ago. Well, the next day, since he had not actually signed the financing papers yet, I believed that if I remained calm, we could just nullify the contract. When we walked into the showroom, I was immediately pounced on by several salesman, just like I always am – like buzzards waiting on something to die. I calmly explained that we thought we might wait and see what comes in, in a few months. We were told that the manager was the only one that could make that decision – and damned if good ol’ GENE walks up. A few words fly and he tells us to leave the premises – shows us the door.
My son is stuck with the car. And once again, you got me. If I had three wishes, one of those wishes, would be to never have heard of Bob Rohrman’s. I still like my Kia, but I will drive all the way to Michigan if I have to, just to avoid Bob Rohrman’s.