Mel Clayton Ford

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Abyssmal. An amazingly horrid experience. Buy anywhere else but here.
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Pros: That I didn't trade my Explorer in. At least I had something to drive home in.

Cons: Too many to count. Batting 1000 on being just plain awful.

Wednesday, 9/19/07 I went to Mel Clayton. The Internet Director told me there were Edge demos coming back into stock. I went. I walked the lot with the sales guy. I chose the one car in the lot that fit the bill. Other than a stock number, the car had no information on it. It was dirty on the inside, had been driven a while and had light body damage. It also had the required AWD, light paint and interior and vista roof.

The sales guy took down the stock number and we went back inside the lobby. I asked for the car's mileage and price. I am a Ford Partner member.

Sales guy left for 25 minutes. There is NOTHING to do in their lobby. No music, TV, etc. He came back with a credit application. After telling him that credit applications get signed AFTER YOU AGREE TO BUY A CAR, I again stated clearly that I wanted the mileage and price of the car in the lot.

Again he left. Again I waited another 20 minutes. He came back with both. The price was less than I'd expected, but it was a demo, dirty, had slight damage and I'm a Ford partner. Cool. I left as I'd already been there nearly 2 hours and I had another appointment.

I called back and asked for the vehicle identification number. He gave it to me and I ran the carfax report. They gave me this vehicle identification number: 2FMDK49C97BA77602. I went in and negotiated for the sale of that car. We did all the documents, they gave me the keys and I drove home, well after dark. Next morning I saw that the interior was still very dirty and that they'd put carpet cleaner on the rear floors and hadn't bothered to clean it.

I called the sales guy and he said to bring it in Saturday to get the detail work and the body work done.

Got there Saturday. No Freddie (salesguy). No appointment. Body Shop is not open Saturdays. Detail shop was not expecting me. NADA. Angry, I left and make an appointment for Monday myself. I cancelled Monday and asked Freddie to make new appointments for Tuesday. Tuesday I got there. No appointments, they weren't expecting me. Again NADA. I left the car there and waited. For four hours. Then the body shop called me and asked why the estimate hadn't been picked up for the body work...estimate needed for Work Order. No Work Order, no work.

Freddie never picked it up. Not Tuesday, Not Wednesday. I kept checking. I kept leaving messages. None of my calls were returned.

Wednesday, Freddie called me and asked me when I was coming in to pick up the car. I told him 5:30. He told me I'd be speaking to Manny Diaz, the sales manager. When I asked why, he wouldn't say.

At 5:30, I got to Mel Clayton. At 6:10 Manny finally bothered to keep his end of the appointment.

He started the conversation by blaming me. He said "When you came in the other morning, the paper you had with you had the wrong VIN on it." I interrupted saying, "I came in with two kids and a PURSE. I did NOT come in with any papers. We picked a car on the lot with no information on it, just a stock number."

"Well," he said "you got the wrong car." I said, "I picked that car in the lot, I negotiated for that car, I put a deposit down on that car, you gave me the keys for that car and I've been driving it for a WEEK." He said, "well that's not the car I thought I was selling you." I was giving you pricing based on THIS car."

He handed me an invoice for a car I'd never seen. But the invoice matched the paperwork I had. They'd written up the WRONG CAR.

The bank had done a walk through the day before. The bank discovered the error. That a car that was supposed to be in inventory was missing and a car that was supposed to be sold was there. And neither Freddie, nor Manny, nor their GM Neil Underwood said a WORD. They did not call me. They did worse than nothing because they didn't even bother to return my phone calls..

Manny did not apologize for the dealer's error. He did not try to make it right. He did not stop blaming me. He was adamant that I need to come up with another $7000. Ford partner pricing didn't warrant that. Especially not for a car that had 800 miles on it, was dirty and dented. He offered me $100 off Ford Partner pricing.

I walked out. My down payment will be returned.

I recommend that you never walk in. At best it feels like a classic bait and switch. At worst I still have to make sure a car that I've never seen, nor taken possession of is not titled to me and that Ford doesn't come after me for payments.

They've done nothing to assure me that won't happen.

     
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Mad Eye Moody on 2007-09-28:
All the waiting they made you do the first day is a typical dealership tactic. You'd be amazed to know what goes on in those places. There was no bank walkthrough, I'm sorry to say. That was a lie. They realized THEY made 7k mistake, and for once...it was in the buyer's favor. Their attempt to get it back from you with their crazy unimaginative story was basically them frantically trying to recoup the loss they would have taken had you not given it back. I would have lawyered up, or called the police.
Mad Eye Moody on 2007-09-28:
OH...and talk to dealerdirect on this...he'll have plenty to say.
Anonymous on 2007-10-01:
The problem here all started with someone stocking the car in wrong and the crap all rolled downhill from there. Legally, there is no case as the vin # does not match the vehicle the consumer took delivery of, if it did that would be another story. What is surprising is that the sales manager blamed the consumer for their own mistake. These situations happen sometimes but usually the dealer bends over backwards to try to make things right. This did not happen here. A follow up phone call to Ford Motor Credit is advised as to be sure that you do not receive a bill for a car you did not purchase, better to address it now rather than later. Good luck.
lmerrittaz on 2007-10-25:
The crap kept right on rolling. After assurances that it would NOT happen, last Friday, I received a bill for the car. Saturday I got the license plate.

Friday's phone calls were not returned. Call to Ford Motor Credit previously made was not "attached" to anything as I did not yet have an account.

Monday, I made one phone call. It was to Neil Underwood, the GM. In the v-mail I made it clear that I'd gotten the bill for the car that they still own and that I'd gotten the license plate, too. If I did not hear back from them by 3:00 pm I would be seeking legal counsel.

12:03 I left another message that I had not heard back from anyone.

1:07 I got a call from the finance guy telling me that they were cutting a check to Ford for the full amount to flat cancel my contract. I got a faxed copy of the check. They will reverse the registration.

I'll give the check a week to clear.

On the flip side, I got very, very good service from two other Ford Dealers in Phoenix. One was Sanderson Ford, the other was Bell Ford.
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Extended Warranty Fraud
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PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- My husband and I bought a used 99 two door Tahoe at Mel Clayton Ford in June 2006. The finance guy asked us if we were interested in purchasing a 1 year extended warranty. We talked it over and said we would. He showed us a brochure for a warranty with GE that covered pretty much everything (4 Star Plus plan) and would cost us $2,000.00. We figured that was a good option, if we had any major repairs, it would cover them. So we walked away happy. After 1 month, we started noticing some issues with the transmission and took it in a couple of times to Courtesy Chevrolet (an authorized service place) to have them fix the problem. They called GE and were told that we didn't have a warranty with them. We called Mel Clayton and they said "Oh yeah, your warranty was denied with them, your vehicle is too old. We submitted the paperwork to another company and we'll send you the paperwork when it comes in." We went on vacation in August and came back, still no permanent tags either, I had to go there and sit for two hours while they found our paperwork and got me new temporary tags. At that time, I asked them if they had our warranty paperwork and they said that it wasn't in and they would mail us a copy when it came in. Now it's September and I go there again and ask them again for the warranty paperwork, it's still not in, they'll mail it to us. A couple of weeks later and still no paperwork, so I go there again. This time, they produce a contract with our name and information typed on to it, but nothing about what plan or what the plan covers is marked. So I go back again and the guy acts irritated with me, like why would I need to know which plan I have and what it covers? So he circles what is covered on the second page, now this comes out to be the basic plan which hardly covers anything, but they have still charged us the 2,000.00. Now it's May 07 and we take it in before the warranty is up and we are told we need a whole new transmission (we kind of thought we did) and according to our warranty company (VehicleOne) they will send an investigator to check it out. They were supposed to show on Friday, didn't... now they show up on Monday and tell the service guy that they will put in a rebuilt transmission but it won't have a warranty and they'll only pay $1100.00 towards transmission repair costs. We called VehicleOne and they had a completely different contract number!!! We didn't even have the right contract with them, the one Mel Clayton gave us was not the one they sent in to VehicleOne.
We decided to go and talk to Mel Clayton and see if they will help us get everything straightened out. My husband takes our unmarked contract and the guy helping us, Jeremy Huff, is condescending to him and says "if you can read and write English, which you obviously can...." They told us the correct contract was mailed to us and we must have lost it or it got lost in the mail. He basically told us that there was nothing they would or could do and he was rude and arrogant the entire time. When we asked to speak to his boss, we were told that the boss was busy and we could wait two hours until they could see us. So we are out the $2,000 for the warranty and several thousand more for work that was supposed to be covered under our warranty that wasn't covered.
We have had NOTHING but problems with Mel Clayton Ford, I will never buy another vehicle from them and I am telling EVERYONE I know not to buy any cars from them or take their cars there for service and I know lots of people!!!
     
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Pomona Guy on 2007-05-09:
$2000 would rebuild your transmission at a good independent shop. I hope this is a lesson to people who are asked to buy an extended warranty on cars - new or used.
poppapia on 2007-05-09:
Get your transmission fixed, let them pay their $1,100, and then cancel the warranty and request a prorated refund.
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Bad Repair Work and Dishonest Service Representatives
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SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA -- On 4/7/04, I took my Ford Ranger truck there for a stiff clutch and was told the clutch needed replacing. I consented. By 5/22/04, (mileage 41,314) it was stiff again. Again clutch was replaced, this time for free. It seemed better. Didn't drive it much the following year but as I did,became stiff again. I took the truck in there again on 10/06/05 (mileage 46,904), at which time a service advisor told me I needed a new clutch, again. Difference in mileage was only 5590. A clutch repaired correctly doesn't fail in that amt. of time/mileage!When I responded that it had been replaced twice the year before there, he responded "he would look into it." When he said repairs were completed, he said it had been adjusted. By 2/7/06 clutch is stiff AGAIN. I took it to independent shop, who repaired it correctly. They noted shims used on the clutch slave cylinder and that the flywheel had not been replaced or resurfaced at Mel Clayton. This is why clutch became repeatedly stiff and failed. Have repeatedly been in contact with service manager at Mel Clayton about this. Have faxed him all receipts and my complaint, starting on 3-13-06. He repeatedly has told me they would look into this, then refund me. Still have not received it. This is repeated bad customer service from them. I feel they were stringing me along, hoping I will go away. I have all receipts and documentation about repair work. I filed a complain with the Better Business Bureau. Mel Clayton's service manager told the BBB that they had already refunded me, which is a lie. Then, when I filed a complaint with the CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs, Mel Clayton's service manager told them that he had not refunded my money nor would he because the repair warranty had expired. So not only does Mel Clayton Ford do shoddy repair work, but their service represenatives and manager lie to customers, lack integrity, and can't be trusted.
     
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Slimjim on 2006-10-11:
Reopen your file with the BBB by showing their response to Consumer Affairs clearly proving they misrepresented their BBB response. It may do nothing, but dealers do need to keep good BBB records with all the research that is done by consumers these days.
Anonymous on 2006-10-12:
Follow up your complaint with the BBB. If nothing else, it will give them a black eye so future customers stay clear of them.
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Poor After Sales Service
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PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- To Whom it May Concern;

July 6th, 2000, my wife, Sarah, and I leased a new 2000 Ford Expedition. The buying process was satisfactory, however, due to the poor after-sales service, we will no longer shop for our cars at Mel Clayton Ford until we receive an apology and the situation has been rectified. The following are the events that took place.

1. The salesman, Bobby Brown, promised 2 "tethers", a baby car seat device for securing to the base, to my wife who is expecting twins. After several weeks of not receiving the tethers, and several unreturned messages, Mr. Brown finally called my wife back, did not produce the tethers, and proceeded to call my wife a liar, stating that he never promised the items.

2. There was a mistake made in the leasing department with some documents which were never filled out. After 4 weeks of not receiving the payment books, we called your company. After several attempts, we were told that "we are not in the banking business" and had to deal with the bank ourselves. From the start, we were told that Mel Clayton Ford would take care of everything. This did not happen. We ended up having to pay 2 months of lease in one month.

3. There was another mistake made with the paperwork regarding the title and tags. After several messages and expired temporary tags, I was finally able to get to the right person regarding this matter. We then had to drive out of our way to re-sign the forms and wait for the new temporary tags in the mail. Meanwhile, I was pulled over by the police for the expired plate.

These things and more has made our experience with Mel Clayton Ford terrible. Unless an apology is made, the tethers are provided, and anything else Mel Clayton Ford thinks they should do to recitfy the situation, we will not do our future car shopping there again.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

     
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