ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA -- When the warning light went on in my 2005 Grand Caravan, I took it to Ourisman Dodge of Alexandria. They told me a pump was broken and they replaced it. Three weeks later, the light went on again. Took it back in -- same pump was broken. The explanation was that the replacement was defective. One month later, the warning light came on again. Another trip to the dealer and another replacement of the same pump. The service manager told me they had been having problems with the pumps, to which I asked why they kept installing the pumps they knew were defective.
About a month later, the warning light came on again. My children were treated to a barrage of foul-language from me at that point. This time, Ourisman told me the computer needed to be replaced. Note that this car had only about 58,000 miles on it. The part needed to be back-ordered, so I left the car there for a few weeks. I picked up the supposedly repaired car on 3/18/11 and immediately drove it to CarMax, no longer wanting to drive such an unreliable car.
About half an hour away from Ourisman, I noticed the speedometer wasn't working. CarMax then confirmed that the odometer also was not working, thereby lowering the price they could give me for the car considerably. I sold it anyway. I then contacted Dodge customer service to request they reimburse me for the lost money I would have gotten for the car. I sent them all the documentation. They denied me -- saying the dealership claims the odometer was working when I picked it up. Great of them to take the word of this obviously incompetent service department. Don't EVER take your car for service to Ourisman Dodge of Alexandria!
CHANTILLY, VIRGINIA -- Our Dodge Caravan finally bit the dust, and we really liked the "Stow-n-go" the newer (05+) models supported, so onto the net we went looking for a used vehicle. Ourisman Dodge of Chantilly listed a "Stone white" Dodge Grand Caravan SXT with Stow-n-Go, DVD, etc. for $13,995 - a worthwhile amount below their competitors for the vehicle and options listed. We initially saw that advertisement on May 2 and went right over to the dealership to buy the vehicle. It was not there, we were told, but being used as a loaner for another customer. "It will be in this evening or tomorrow morning" we were told.
"Fine," said we, "Call us up when you get it in, we'll come see it, drive it, and buy it. Call us this evening if it comes in, and we can take off work for a few hours and get it in the morning." Thursday - phone calls back-and-forth. The car was not in. Friday - same. The salesman we were dealing with was also no longer available - "quit" - so we dealt with the finance manager. Saturday - same. Sunday - same. On and on it went.
"We can't locate the person we loaned it to" - right! "We've left messages at her office, we were told she might be out of town" - okay, better. "We found out she was in the hospital" - hope it wasn't a car crash! (Just kidding - we're not that cold.)
We waited a week while various excuses were given as to why the vehicle was not on the lot. Several salespeople were involved in daily back-and-forth calls. Several managers were involved. In total, perhaps seven different people at the Ourisman of Chantilly dealership were contacted about this vehicle. Each time we spoke with a new person we made sure we were all talking about the same car. "Yes, it is an SXT; yes it has stow-n-go; yes, it has a DVD and YES, it is $13,995." we were told by each and every person we spoke with.
Friday - we let everyone involved know we were buying a vehicle THAT DAY, regardless. While we were finishing up a test drive at Bill Page Toyota in Falls Church we received a call from Ourisman - "We have a guy who took the customer back her car and is bringing the loaner here!" We went many miles during rush-hour traffic to see the car and test drive it. A salesman straight from the Stereotype Pages named "Larry" allowed us to test drive it. We liked it, even though it did NOT have a DVD player as they claimed, and did NOT have a power lift gate - these were no big deals but might have affected our bargaining. We were going to buy it right then and there.
"Let's talk price now," said we, anxious to end this whole debacle. "Well, just a minute!" says Larry. "The price on the internet is wrong!" He then tells us that the price paid by Ourisman was actually $15,055 and that he could sell it for no less than $15,555. He proudly displayed a spreadsheet which backed up his claim. I really wanted some answers, and "Larry" did a whipped-dog impersonation while answering. "Wait a minute," I said. "Six other people, several of them managers, worked with us all through the week and nobody mentioned a price problem."
"I'm very sorry, it was not the right thing to do," said Larry. "You called to tell us it was on it's way back for us to look at, and you didn't mention a price change." "I have no excuse," said Larry. "And we arrived here 45 minutes ahead of the guy returning the vehicle - you didn't mention any price problem." "I know it was wrong," said Larry. Had Larry been up-front with us, we might have worked something out.
As it is, we ended up paying approximately "Larry"'s price for another vehicle - but at an honest dealership. Ourisman Dodge of Chantilly was given notice of this review and three business days to forward a response to me - they did not do so, unsurprisingly.