SUMMERVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA -- The first weekend of 2010 I went into Summerville Ford to look into trading in my vehicle and purchasing a newer one. I had been in contact earlier in the week via email to investigate what the possibilities would be. I let them know what my trade was, how much I owed on the loan and how much I had to put down (Which was 0). I was informed by one of the sales staff that I needed to stay around 10k in order to keep the payments where I needed them to be.
On Saturday Jan. 2, 2010 a 2008 Pontiac G6 was in their ad in the paper. We went into the dealership at 12:00 and spoke with the salesperson and asked if he felt we could work something out on the car and he said that a deal was probable. We took the car for a test drive and while we liked the car we discovered that the engine light was on and the volume on the stereo was not functional (no sound was coming from the stereo at all). I told them that if we could get the numbers right and the stereo repaired and take care of the engine light I would take the car.
They told me that because they were not a Pontiac dealer they would be unable to find out why the engine light was on and they weren't sure about repairing the volume, but insisted on working the finances out. I told them that I did not want to purchase a car for that much money when they could not disclose what issues the car had, and that if I were to purchase the car and found that there were extensive repairs needed I would be returning the car. The response was "let us take it around back and see what they could do."
Meanwhile the haggling over price continued. I am on a budget and was well aware of where my payment needed to be but that was ignored and they continued to haggle. A third salesman came into the office and suggested that if they could give me some cash on the front end to pay off other bills could we work something out. I agreed to that if the repairs were made.
They then returned and let me know that they had successfully gotten the engine light turned off (I was later told by the salesman that they had disconnected the battery cables and reset the car to make that happen. No repair had been done so the issue remained) and that they would replace the stereo. I asked what they would replace the stereo with and the response was "Whatever will fit into the hole because they were not a Pontiac dealer." I asked that since the stereo was the information center for the car would that negate all the features operated by it? The response I got was a blank stare.
I was then urged to drive the car again. On this trip I discovered the driver's seat was reclined too far back and I was unable to raise it. The car being a 2-door sport coupe this would be necessary in order for passengers to enter the back seat. When I asked the salesman to show me how to operate the seat he was unable to. At this point he had someone contact the previous owner to find out how it worked. The previous owner stated that the seat had been in working condition when he brought it in but that there was an issue with the stereo.
I was then offered a "We Owe" as part of the deal. It stated the amount of cash I would be receiving as well as the repair of the driver's seat and repair of the stereo. I consented and we went forward with the deal. I began to sign paperwork and my partner emptied out my trade-in vehicle. I was then taken into the finance office. The time is now 3:30 P.M. I have been here three and a half hours. The finance manager starts by asking for references, which I have already provided but he asks for more.
He then asks for paystubs. I gave him the info my company provides for verification of employment and wage verification. I was told that it wasn't good enough and that he needed hard copy, insulting me and my company. He then told me he needed cash down. This was not part of the agreement. When I told him this he appeared perturbed and wanted to know what the details were. I told him and he left the office returning momentarily stating that they had written it wrong. Then he told me about the payment, again wrong, when I told him what the deal was he asked who told me that and when I told him who the salesmen were he called them into the office.
I asked them what happened to the agreed upon payment and then they offered more money on the front end to make up the difference. I reluctantly agreed and the paperwork continued. It is now 4:30. Then the finance manager received a call and he and the salesmen involved were called into the general manager's office leaving me there to stew. They returned 10 minutes later looking beat down and informed me that the general manager refused to do any repairs that the car was "As is".
At that point I asked for the keys to my original vehicle and let them know how unhappy I was, that I had wasted four and a half hours with them missing other appointments. If they had explained this to me from the start and I would not have wasted my time or theirs. As I was leaving they urged me to stay so they could see if the bank would come up with some money to cover the repairs. I told them not to bother. Deals were made, agreements reached and papers signed. How is it fair for them to treat customers this way?
I sent them a letter the next day explaining the situation and how unhappy I was. I did not receive a response until 5:00 Monday. I returned the call and was connected to voicemail, I left a message. 2 more days later I received a call from one of the sales managers and his response was not an apology but an offer to come in and see if we could work something out on the car. At this point I had already found another dealer that treated me with respect and helped me find a vehicle that fit my budget with no haggling and honestly was a better car and a better deal.
I let Summerville Ford know of my intentions to post my experience on consumer websites as well as in my neighbor of 400 homes across the street from them. I hope that the cost of the repairs that they refused to do was worth the potential cost of business they stand to lose when people see and read my reviews. Buyers beware!
No business is perfect by any means. However, this review is one person's account of an isolated experience. IT IS HIS OR HER OPINION. NOT FACT. And it does not represent day-to-day reality at Summerville Ford.
For every individual who is motivated to hop online and attack the integrity of our company and its employees, there are dozens of happy, satisfied customers who are willing to stand up and testify why Summerville Ford is a great place to do business. We are grateful for their support.
Here are some actual quotes from our clients on the official Ford Motor Company Customer Satisfaction Surveys for January and February 2010:
"Great sales person. Would recomend others to him. He is very courteous and followed up with us several times after the sale."
"The salesperson(s), finance, management, and even the janitorial staff at Summerville Ford were exceptionally responsive to my purchasing needs. They worked extremely hard to meet my financial needs and personal desires... I have (and will continue to) recommended Summerville Ford to others who have commented on the Mustang. Thanks for an exceptional purchasing experience."
"Great job in allowing for a comfortable and pressure free evaluation and purchase experience."
"Went above and beyond to get the job done. I was a walk-in and they were able to help fix multiple issues in the very short amount of time prior to the service department company closing. Excellent service, I will recommend to others."
"Went above and beyond what most sales people would have done. Both of the salesmen were very concerned about helping my wife and I make the right choice. The dealership went above what other dealers had offered us for our trade. The overall experience was very pleasant."|
"My overall experience with Summerville Ford Mercury was excellent. I must give credit where credit is due and the team there was excellent."
"Very happy with the salesperson and the experience."
"A totally pleasurable experience!"
In closing, there is a reason Summerville Ford-Mercury is now one of the largest volume Ford dealers in the region. There is a reason 95% of survey respondents would definitely recommend our dealership to a friend or relative. There is a reason we have clients who have returned to us for third, fourth, and fifth vehicle purchases. So, give us a try, and see the reason for yourself!
Take care, and God bless!
LADSON, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Went car shopping here for a new Ford Edge and found the vehicle we wanted at a decent price. Everything was going well until we started to work on the paperwork. I had already been approved for a loan by my bank and wasn't interested in farming my information out to the myriad of banks that the dealership deals with. The salesman slips me a form and tells me I need to sign it. The form says it is permission to run my credit. I asked the sales representative why I needed to sign the form and he said that they needed it for their records. I told them that I would decline to sign the form but would like to continue purchasing the vehicle.
The salesman kept insisting that the dealer would not run my credit but could not tell me what the form was needed for. Finally the finance manager came out to discuss it with me and could not explain to me the reason for the form. Finally, I had them bring me all the previous forms that I had signed so I could leave. Conveniently enough the forms had been shredded, so I had them bring me the shredded papers. Oddly enough they were hand torn. Either these folks are a bunch of scam artists or extremely incompetent. Will never go back there for my vehicle needs.