Mazda of Manhattan
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- When I leased my first car in my early 20's - a Nissan from 5 Towns Nissan in Inwood, NY - I got a call 2 weeks into the lease that the lease payment was miscalculated and I actually owned $11 more per month, and that if I didn't come in an re-sign, my credit rating would be destroyed. That colored my image of car dealerships as crooked and dishonest. The reason I leased my Mazda from Manhattan Mazda is because I got a good feeling about the sales guy. Unfortunately, the experience turned sour fast.
First off, the shifty finance guy tried to sell me some outrageously expensive tire insurance. He said that the tires were thin and prone to blow outs - that made me feel confident, especially since I was told this after signing all the paperwork. Then, a week later he called to say he had left off the return fee on the contract and could I resign.
The next incedent really blew my mind. About 2 weeks after the car left the lot, I got a tire blow out on the turnpike. Pulled over on the side of the road on a hot summer day with my girlfriend, brother and his pregnant wife, we called Mazda roadside, who informed us that the NJ Turnpike is a restricted road and they could not come help us, so they gave us a number for a local tow service and said that if we mailed in the receipt, we would be reimbursed. The mechanic who replaced the tire said that the tires were unevenly inflated, some were way above the recommeneded tire pressure and some way below. The uneven tires and hot day probably caused the blowout.
The next day, I contacted the dealership, who gave me the run around about reimbursement. Long story short, it went on for 6 months - unreturned calls, decision makers "on vacation", etc. Finally, I was told that I would be reimbured for the tire - $135, but not the towing charge of $35. I didn't think that was fair, since the only reason I needed the tow was because their tire didn't make it through the first month. The check for the tire was supposedly in the mail, but it never came. I went back and forth for several more months. I then got a letter from Easy Care stating that my tire claim was denied.
All in all, Mazda took no responsibility. They outright refused to make good on $165 just to make a customer happy. They denied that the car could have left the lot with uneven tire pressure, made no apology for my inconvenience or their negligence, and more importantly, the precarious position it put me and my passengers in. It became my problem and not theirs. They tried to throw me free oil changes and the like - funny, just what Nissan did when they screwed me over. In my business, when we make a mistake, or even if it is perceived by a client, we would most certainly eat $165 so as not to leave a bad taste in a clients mouth. Apparently these guys have no business acumen.
I thought that by going back to a dealership where I had a pretty favorable experience, at least with the sales guy, they would do the right thing by a customer. Unfortunately, they embody all the negative images that people have of the car business. They have proven that once a car leaves the lot, that's where the service ends. These guys are petty, cheap, take no responsibility for their own actions and overall, couldn't care less about their customers. I guess I was expendable because I was only leasing a Mazda 3, I wonder if I would have had a different experience if I was getting an $80,000 Jag from their sister dealership??