VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON -- This was the most agonizing, drawn out, and unnecessarily complicated vehicle purchase I have ever made. I will never use this dealership again, and will warn others about the poor customer service, lengthy delays, and total lack of follow up I experienced here. They are very sweet and eager to please until you sign the agreement, then they couldn't care less about you.
I secured my own financing through Capital One and was given a list of approved used car dealers who had the cars I was interested in. Dick Hannah was offering a 2008 Dodge Avenger in the color I wanted so I figured the no-hassle, pre-approved financing would make this quick and painless. I got a call from a sales consultant, Mirela, offering a test drive the same day I was approved. I explained that I was waiting for the check to arrive in a couple of days, but she said I should come see it sooner in case it was sold before I got there.
I went the next day for a test drive and really liked the car, so Mirela said that we could do the paperwork and, since I was pre-approved, I might even be able to take it that day. It turned out that they needed the check first. Not a problem. Three days later, the check came. I had the purchase agreement and other information necessary to insure the car so I swapped it with my '95 Pontiac, which I sold right away. I got a ride over to the dealership, planning to drive away in my new car after signing a couple of final forms.
Half an hour later a sales manager, Saeed, tells me that they have had problems with these Capital One checks in the past, and that I will have to wait three or four days for the check to be cleared. I explained that this was information I could have used when I first mentioned the check and that now I would have to rent a car for a few days, not to mention I was paying for full coverage on a car that I wasn't driving. He apologized and took $463 off the price to compensate for my rental. Mirela also agreed to deliver the car to me at home as soon as everything was approved.
After being told I could take the car when I brought in the check, it was a big letdown to have to wait again.
Capital One Blank Checks have three things they need from the dealership: faxes of the filled out check, the buyer's order, and the vehicle "book out" sheet (listing options and specs so they can make sure the loan does not exceed 110% of the actual value of the car). Once they receive these documents, they will authorize the check within 24 hours. Apparently the people at Dick Hannah can't even do this.
The following Monday, I called Capital One to make sure there were no delays in their approval, and was told that they had not received any documents from the dealer. I called my sales consultant, Mirela, and asked her to make sure the documents were faxed ASAP. The next day I called Capital One again, and this time I was told that they only got the buyer's order and were waiting on the other documents. The dealership had made me copies of the check so I sent that in myself. I left a voice message for the unavailable sales staff, as well as wrote an email to their website's "contact us" address, neither of which was responded to.
On Wednesday I called the dealership again, and this time got a hold of Saeed who said he had talked to Capital One and had to adjust the price and needed my signature on the edited check. It seems they had to drop the price another $389 to satisfy the 110% Loan to Value requirement. I went in and initialed the changes, got the new purchase agreement, and asked if I could wait for them to get the approval and take the car. I was told that this wouldn't happen today so I went back home, realizing that their "previous problems" with the checks were from the dealership, not Capital One.
The next morning I called Capital One yet again only to find that the check had been approved the previous afternoon. When I tried to reach Mirela or Saeed, they were in a sales training session, so I left my number again and waited for the call back. It never came. I called again in the afternoon, again leaving my number for a return call. At four in the afternoon I get a call back. Apparently now they are waiting for the check to actually clear the bank.
When I asked Saeed if he really thought that Capital One would bounce a check after giving them clearance to deposit it, he actually said he wanted to be sure first, and that IF the check cleared tomorrow, I could get the car. Shakespeare once wrote that "Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind", and I couldn't help but to wonder what atrocities the Dick Hannah dealership has committed to warrant suspicion for one of the few consumer-minded banks around.
I think that these hucksters would have preferred to arrange my financing themselves (something I did with them 2 years ago and got stuck with a 23.99% loan. This time I found my own financing at 6.71%, quite a difference!). If they had been upfront about the delays when I first talked with them on the phone, or when I test drove the car, or when I was filling out the paperwork, or even before I left that first day, I may have not felt so misled by them. If they had immediately faxed over the paperwork to expedite the process, I would have been more patient. If they bothered to return my calls or respond to my email, I would have been more understanding of their concerns.
They showed me none of these courtesies and have lost a repeat customer. Hopefully my enjoyment of the car will not be tainted by the frustrating experience of acquiring it. I will never buy from any of the Dick Hannah dealerships again and I will urge Capital One to drop them from their list of approved dealers.