Fairfield's KIA - KIA Motor: BAIT AND SWITCH PART 2
2013 Kia optima - Complaint
KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- KIA MOTOR: BAIT AND SWICH PART 2
March 25, 2013, I phoned the service center at Fairfield’s KIA of Keene, NH, to inform them that the Kia Optima, which I had purchase from them on 2/13/13( but did not take possession of until 2/21/13) had stopped thee times while I was mid-way across the road following a complete stop before entering a main thoroughfare. 3/16/13 the car stopped when I left the Chelsea Diner on Rt. # 9, W. Brattleboro, VT. On 3/7/13 the car did the same thing when I had pulled onto Western Ave. from Chestnut St. in Brattleboro; 3/22/13 it stopped again on the round-about in Brattleboro just as I entered on the left to get into the far left lane. Imagine having a car stop mid-way between two lanes on a very busy round-about! Each time the car stopped though it did NOT stall out, when I put slightly more pressure on the gas pedal, it literally jerked forward.
I had also noticed that the Optima was not very easy to handle, and as a demonstration to a friend who accompanied me when I purchased the car and when I visited the Kia service center, the car drifted to the left- even while going uphill.
I told the woman at the service desk when I phoned for an appointment that the car needed to be seen that day, or I could, if they prefer, drive the Optima right through the show room window and leave it there.
The sales manager, Patrick, came to the service counter with some papers in his hand, just as my friend and I were about to go into the waiting area. When he found that I was less than pleased with my new vehicle, he said he’d like to talk with me; so I told him that we could talk in the waiting area, where I’d be. I wish someone with a video phone had been in the customer lounge to share the expression on his face when I mentioned Fairfield’s Bait/Switch tactic. Our long (nearly an hour) conversation, was very explicit and provided “entertainment” for all in the waiting area. After telling me HE was the manager, when I requested to speak with the manager, Patrick, left to “put some figures together”, when I demanded a new Forte. Five-ten minutes later he sent, Michael the sales assistant, with whom I’d made my original appointment and with whom I’d done the test drives. He offered me a $500.00 refund to trade down to a 2013 Forte. Both Patrick, who is VERY tall/big and Michael tower way above me. But I jumped straight out of my chair and shouted ,”NO Way!” Michael immediately trotted back to Patrick for advice. Patrick came back to the waiting area and invited my friend and me back to his space in the showroom. As I followed Patrick the other customers, cheered.”Go Girl!” Having an “audience” did give further credence to my belief, that “Bait and Switch may not be illegal in NH, but neither is it a good nor honorable way to transact business.
Last Monday, 3/25/13, I spent at the KIA dealership 12:00 P. M-4:00 P. M, and Patrick, after checking with HIS “keeper”, the real manager, gave me $1,050.00. I had installed on the Optima an additional back-up sensor for $350.00, so the Optima total was $22,032.00 and the total for the Forte was $16,759.00, which made a difference of $5,273.00. So, if anyone thinks Kia’s settlement of $ 1,050.00 was a good or fair deal, “there’s a bridge you might wish to buy”! I have always paid cash when purchasing two used Camrys, one used Corolla and two new Corollas. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced Bait and Switch. What WAS I thinking to consider changing to a KIA? I’ve been disappointed that Toyota’s warranty has gone from 60,000 miles to only 36,000 miles; but in retrospect, I had more trouble with a brand new Optima than I ever had with a Toyota. Had I been more on-my-game and not recovering from a serious accident, I would have “read the riot act” the first moment I learned there was not a single 2013 Forte for me to test drive, even though I had made an appointment and after I had made a two-hour RT trip to the dealership.
Fairfield’s KIA of Keene, NH, has use Bait and Switch tactics, which cost me several thousand dollars, and they have wasted hours and hours of my time. I still need return to the VDMV and register the Forte, and that means an hour’s RT drive and a long wait when I get there. If a single person who reads this heeds my cautionary warning, it will have been worth my effort and time to compose this message.
I appreciate the advice from the men who read my” Part I”, and counseled that I should have gotten an extended warranty on my 2010 Corolla, but it’s a sorry state when we all just roll-over and accept that Fairfield’s/KIA’s tactic is the way some businesses operate. Acceptance of lousy business practices has become the American way, and I’m way too old not to challenge that mindset; and the only way to change it is to challenge it!