AC Auto / AIC Kia of Manassas Complaint - Think Twice - AC Auto / AIC Kia Of Manassas
MANASSAS, VA -- Although AIC Kia of Manassas and/or A C Auto (they use both names and are the same dealer) say that they are a auto dealership, that is really only a half truth. This supposed dealership is really nothing more that a financing mill for poor or bad credit situations. They will tell you whatever it takes, even straight up lie to get you to come into the office to be processed for an auto loan. Do not believe what they tell you! They have a really slick gimmick utilizing online and telecommunication techniques. This is how it went down for me:
I was online looking for post-bankruptcy financing for a vehicle. Ran across the "Prestige World Wide Lending" site. They also maintain the prestigeworldwidefinancing.com, NLSFinancial.com, and AtoZcarloans.com all using the same information and contact phone number of 866-612-3372. By the way, they do not post a street address or local telephone number on any of their sites that I could see.
So I filled out their online application and the next day got a voice mail from a woman at Prestige World Wide Lending informing me that "She had some exciting good news for me" and that I should call back a. s.a. p., so I did just that and spoke to a Shannon (she didn't give her last name). Shannon explained that I had been approved for a vehicle loan, that I could pick out any model between 1997 thru 2011 AND that I had been approved for 100% financing up to $33,000.00. Shannon said that this offer of finance was only good for 48 hrs, and that she needed to schedule an appointment, right away, to meet with loan counselor Candace Scott in Manassas, VA. Shannon even sent me a confirmation email outlining what I needed to bring to my appointment. The appointment was scheduled at AC Auto aka AIC Kia of Manassas as they were contracted with this dealer only.
All this seemed way too easy for someone who just filed bankruptcy. So I decided to start asking questions. Shannon told me that I had been approved by both Citibank and US Bank under a special program. I found this to be a red flag because I had filed bankruptcy on 2 large Citibank accounts! But Shannon said not to worry that this was "Special Financing" and that didn't matter. Shannon went on to say that it was a simple matter of going in, picking out my car and signing the paperwork. Because I was already approved the process would be minimal. I asked her what happens if there is no car on the lot that I like? She said not to worry that they could get whatever I wanted within a few minutes nearby.
At this point I'm still thinking this should be a huge red flag as it sounded too good to be true not to mention my credit score from a bankruptcy being so low. I couldn't understand how anyone would lend $33,000.00 to someone with bad credit. It didn't make sense. It was like they were "dangling a carrot" so to speak. But their come-ons posted on their web site along with their reassurance on the phone made it still sound like they were providing the type of service I needed.
So I jumped online and read the reviews about them. I found alleged FRAUD associated with these particular companies. I read about Bait & Switch tactics, telling folks they were approved and getting there and saying they were not, telling folks that they had 100% financing only to get there and find they needed money down and a co-signer, etc. After reading about all the misfortunes caused by these people, that "dangling carrot" still made me decide to go ahead and jump through the hoops and see if what I read on the internet was true. After all I still needed a car, right?
So I made the appointment with Candace Scott. She called me to verify my information. I asked her a lot of questions too and told her what I had read about their company. If this was some sort of a scam that I didn't want to waste their time and especially didn't want my time wasted either. I explained that my drive to AIC Kia/AC Auto was a solid 2 hrs through road construction and asked if there was another dealer that I could use that was closer. She said that Prestige World Wide Financial was under contract with this dealer only. I found this kind of strange too. Don't most finance companies work with a broad range of dealers?
Candance went on, telling me that indeed I had been approved as described by Shannon and that I just needed to pick out my car. She said that even if they didn't have the car I wanted on the lot, that they had a "holding lot" that would have what I wanted and if that didn't work they could get a car from a surrounding dealer to suit my needs. She went even further, to say that she would go ahead have the models I was interested in (3 different ones) ON THE LOT when I arrived and she was confident that I would "drive away that night" with my selection. Still "dangling the carrot". I was still skeptical But I went forward with the process.
Before leaving for my appointment I called Sharron at Prestige World Wide Lending one last time and asked her again about what I had read on the internet about their company. I got a song and dance about "how everyone is willing to post bad experiences on the web but no one seems to post good experiences, and that they service hundreds of customers a month and they all can't be bad. That I really shouldn't worry I had been pre approved, just come and get my car. I also asked about terms and interest rate. I was told that the terms were dependent on the year and model of car (another red flag). When I pressed the issue I was given a low-ball, high-ball interest rate range, but quickly was told not to worry. "They understand my situation and eveything would be fine". Again "dangling the carrot".
So I made the hell-a-tious drive to Manassas, Va. in 2 solid hrs of bumper to bumper traffic. 15 minutes before we arrived I received a phone call from Sharron making sure we were keeping our scheduled appointment. We tried to hurry to make sure we stayed on time.
We arrived on time at the AIC Kia of Manassas and A C Auto. If I had any hopes of getting a car before I got there they were quickly replaced with despair when we pulled into the dealership. WHAT A DUMP!!! (I'm not sure why Kia even allows their name on the building). So we drove around the small lot to see if we could get a look at the cars that Candace Scott said she would have waiting for us when we arrived. Guess what, there were none. They had only a few cars on the lot. Not at all what I was lead to believe.
I walked up to the front door where we encountered a couple of employees smoking cigarettes, staring us down. No greeting what so ever, just was stared at. Got into the door and entered into a very busy large office that was filthy dirty. It smelled bad. The combination of the filth and the state of the employees definitely gives off a poor impression. Even if I could get a loan for $33,000.00 why would I want to sign the paperwork there. It is truly disgusting, the stereotype of a sleazy used car lot and the worst place I have ever attempted to do business.
I Made a complete tour of the office before a slovenly dressed sales person named Andy approached and asked what we needed.
It was clear from the state of the office this was a loan mill of sorts. At the front entrance there is a table full of tablet type computers used for gathering their info. There were tables lined up and down both sides of the room with every seat filled with people filling out credit apps. Listening to the conversations between sales staff and customers one could tell there was quite a bit of confusion as to what the customers were lead to believe and what was indeed really happening.
I told Andy that I had a scheduled appointment with Candace Scott. Andy told me that it was very busy and Candace Scott was the only loan processor there. He said sarcastically, "in a perfect world your appt would be on time". At this point it is now 8:00 P.M. and approx 25 people ahead of me. Did they really expect I would stay till midnight or later to buy a car? I asked Andy where the cars were at that Candace had supposed to have had there for me to look at. Andy said the cars had not yet arrived. He handed me a computer tablet and asked me to fill out some information. I had been told by Sharron earlier that I would not have to fill out anything else. Andy said fine and left us alone in a creepy office.
I listened while Andy talked with other customers, telling each that their car was not yet there, maybe tomorrow or the next few days as the cars come from out of the area and they could not give a exact time. I heard customers just like myself wondering why they drove all the way over there if there wasn't a car to look at? When I told Andy that I would not fill out anything until I saw some cars or spoke with Candace, he just said fine and I got up and walked out. Andy could have cared less.
Since then no one has called, no one has cared. I really find it odd that in an economy such as this, if they really felt that I could have purchased a $33,000.00 vehicle from them, that I was truly pre-approved, why did they let me leave? Why don't they call me? Don't they like commission? BECAUSE IT IS A SCAM, THAT'S WHY!
If you have bad credit and live close to Manassas, Va, you may want to try them but be prepared to have your hopes dashes to the rocks! If you live further away, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME.
So the moral of this story is you may as well take that "dangling carrot" and shove it where the sun don't shine!, LET THE BUYER BEWARE!!! They LIED AND SCAMMED ME GOOD! You can believe what people are posting about them on sites like this.