Horrible dealer experience

Summary: Awful incompetent dealer with a staff who are nice to your face but who don’t actually care about customer service.

In October, I bought a used car from them based on seeing an ad for it online. I checked the price and it seemed good (under KBB’s value of it, at least) so I went in to check it out. I accidentally pulled into the “sister” dealer, a used car seller, and was approached by Gary. He hustled us around, neglecting to tell us he didn’t’ actually WORK for the fiat dealer and worked for the used car joint and therefore couldn’t answer any of our questions or even offer us much that the ACTUAL dealer could offer.

I figured he had to run inside to ask for answers to all my questions because he was new, not because he’s incompetent. I was wrong. So, after debating and talking about maybe trading my car in, and going home for a day to think about it, I decide to go back in the next morning and buy the car. It was the only one in the area in the color I wanted and other places SEEMED to have higher prices for the same car, so it seemed a good idea.

I call my bank, I get loan pre-approval based on the price listed on the car, I call Gary and tell him we’re headed in wanting to buy, and I think things are going smoothly. I test drive the thing again, double check some features that he SAID the day before were on the car but find out they’re actually not, and then say yes, I’ll take the car.

We’re taken in to the actual dealer, Gary sits us down, asks us to wait a bit while they get the paperwork ready, and one of the actual dealer employees asks if I want to talk trade-in on my old car. Gary tells him they’ve already given me an option I don’t want (they were offering nothing even close to what the car is worth as a trade-in) and the actual dealer employee backs off.

Gary promptly bails, knowing he’s getting his commission or whatever and therefore figuring he doesn’t have to do anything else or give a crap about us. Fine, I don’t want to talk to him anyway. We wait 30-45 minutes, and then Gary comes back over to ask me if I’ll leave him a positive Yelp review. I tell him that’s not really my deal unless service is really over the top or really bad (spoiler: it’s not the first of those two options!). He asks again and then heads ouyt. It’s late in the morning by this time and I’m sleepy (I work nights) and ready to just get this over with.

FINALLY we go into the office and are presented with a stack of carbon-copy papers that look like they were printed on a poorly maintained DOS printer. Everything is printed slightly off-target and looks faded. I’ll boldly and honestly admit here and now I’m the idiot for not insisting on reading every line of the paperwork, but the last time I bought a car from a dealer I wasn’t screwed. This time, I had already gotten approved and done almost everything through my bank, and I had mentioned the price of the car over and over and never been told they there are all sorts of dumb crap options secretly added on top of that, so I expected the prices to be what they said, plus taxes, plus licensing whatevers, and a few fees here and there.

I assumed that the price that I’d been told several times would be THE price. Not that price plus $3,000 worth of extra BS no one told me was “part of the car” and therefore to be expected PLUS taxes on top of that. So yes, I'm  dum-dum.

So, after signing the paperwork and taking the stuffed enveloped full of flimsy paper, I ask them if they’ll look for the second car key and call me if they find it. They promise to do so.

I get the car home, thinking I’m happy with my purchase and find that, oh, wait, they didn’t replace the floor mats after cleaning the damn thing. That’s stupid, but it happens, I’ll go back in and get some. I do that, they take them off a floor model and it’s fine. They still don’t have an second key that they can find, but they’ll call me about it later. Spoiler: They have no intention of calling me about anything ever.

Oh, no that’s not actually true. Gary then calls me every day for about a week BEGGING me to leave him a Yelp review. Guess what, Gar, you got your wish!

I notice a few days later that, WTF, my loan is thousands more than I was expecting, WTFFFF? So, I call, get the run-around, and finally get hold of the incompetent finance person who explains alllllll the extra crap that was tacked on, that’s supposedly inherent in the price of this used car because the idiot who bought it before me wanted to pay more for nothing. I ask why it wasn’t PART OF the cost listed and she says it’s extra. Wait, is this crap EXTRA or PART OF THE CAR? Ugh.


It’s too late. I’m the dumbass who trusted these idiots to not screw me. Lesson learned! Humans are terrible and cannot be trusted and I will never love again. I GET IT, FIAT.

Incompetent finance lady DOES tell me one thing I can get rid of though, which is GAP insurance. Turns out I can get that through my bank for hundreds of dollars less than the dealer charged me. GOOD. I go to my bank that day, get the paperwork, take it to the dealer and they promise to get my money sent back to me within 30 days.  Spoiler: They don’t.

I ask them about the second key I want, they promise to check and get back to me, and apparently have no record of me having asked before.

I start calling them over and over trying to get ahold of someone who can help me. They pass me to different people every time, none of whom know anything. They’re all very genial, but they don’t know or don’t care. I’m given several different possible prices for getting a second key made, but no one can actually decide on which one is right.

My low-air alert for my tires goes off after, like, 2 weeks so I take it in and make them fill the tires because I’m going in trying to get answers about the second key and trying to get an update about the GAP refund anyway. Also, I’m feeling petty and angry at them at this point so making them bend over and stick a tube in each of my tires so I don’t have to fight with that crap at a gas station seems like the only revenge I can get on them for what they’ve done to me.

They refill the tires at no charge and some guy with a Country Club White Guy name like Hoight or Hugh or Chad or something is very nice, but still can’t get me any key info. I keep being told the manager isn’t available. No matter what day, how many times in a week, or what time I call he’s out. What an upstanding employee! This place is lucky to have a manager who never actually shows up for work.

Shortly after, a tree falls on my car. No, really. A damn tree. On my car. Just… tips right over and takes off the side mirror and scrapes up the whole side.

Great! Spectacular! My new-to-me, shiny car that I love needs three weeks worth of repairs! Dammit. Those weeks pass, I’m still bugging the dealer and still being told no one who knows anything can help me, still missing my GAP refund, and an slowly going mad. I get my car back, I check my PERMAPLATE paperwork, and basically find out they don’t cover anything and I’m getting NOTHING for the $1300 application of this crap that I didn’t want and didn’t even know had been PRE-added to the car before I looked at it (according to the finance person who said it was “extra,” remember).

I go in to the service department, enraged at how careless these dweebs are and demand that they reapply this wax or whatever for free because of all they’ve put me through. I’m told they’ll do it for no less than “$94, because that’s the cost of the material” but they won’t charge me for labor.

So, heads up, if you ever buy this PERMAPLATE, you’re paying a $1200 mark-up on something that doesn’t seem to do anything at all! Such a deal!

I tell the guy that’s BS, that they need to do it for nothing. He says I’m free to talk to the manager and that (holy crap, you guys!) he’s AT THE DESK IN THE DEALER! It’s a CHRISTMAS miracle! Because, yes, it’s been over a month since I started dealing with these infants and I’m still waiting on answers and my GAP refund.

I storm in to tell the manager everything I’ve had to deal with and he acts sympathetic and says he’s sorry and he understands why I’m frustrated and boy that’s too bad a tree fell on my car but he’ll tell me what, he’ll give me the PERMAPLATE reapplication and a second key for $100, and is that good? He’ll also check into the GAP insurance.

Okay. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, he SHOULD have offered me a refund for the thousands of dollars worth of extra crap they charged me for, and maybe even offered to buy me a small, private Caribbean island to rest and relax on since I’ve been spending the last NINETY DAYS being jerked around and lied to by these dinks, but fine, I’ll settle for a $100 for a new key, which would have cost me three times that.

I go to the back, I have a talk with some nice lady, we set up appointments for the PERMAPLATE and my key and that seems fine. I’m still angry, but I figure I’ll get my money soon, I’ll get my key and I’ll never step foot in this den of ignorance ever again.

January swings around and I’ve got the key and the useless coating on my car, but I STILL haven’t gotten my GAP refund. TWO MONTHS, GUYS! I give up on the dealer and call Fiat corporate and tell them what I’ve gone through and they tell me they’ll look into getting me my GAP money back. They don’t care that their dealer is filled with liars who don’t tell you what you’re paying for, probably because they know there are dummies like me out there who think a car will actually cost what the dealer says it will. They’re all smoking cigars and laughing at how much money they’re making by being dishonest jerks. Okay, that’s chill, I’m hip to capitalism, whatever.

The corporate customer service has a hell of a time getting ahold of anyone at the dealer too, but after several days of trying they connect me with someone who says she’ll email me a form to fill out, I’ll send it back, and the refund will be on its way within 30 days. FINALLY! This is great, right? The Fiat corporate customer service person even gives me a phone number for their insurance company that will let me track the status of my refund if I want to! Halleluiah! It’s a mid-January miracle!

I send the form back, I wait, I wait, I wait. A few weeks later I call the phone number to make sure things have been done and that this dame didn’t just dump my form in the trash like the last idiot I handed it to. I give my information, the customer service guy at this place is very nice and polite and tells me they have NO RECORD of me ever having had GAP insurance through them.

:D :D :D :D :D


He apologizes to me for having to deal with this, I tell him it’s not his fault, he wishes me luck, I hang up and immediately call Fiat Corporate again. There’s some back and forth, but they get me in touch with some junior something guy with a name like Billy or Frankie or Jimmy Olson who says he can help me and he’ll immediately email me the form and personally make sure it gets handled. I send the form back and hear nothing. No, “I got this, I’m on it! Gee willikers, I’m sorry you’ve had such trouble!” Just silence.

So, I give it a few days and email to make sure he got the form. He says yes, that it will take a few weeks, but that it’s been submitted. I didn’t believe the guy, but it turns out he ACTUALLY wasn’t lying! I got my money back in late-February, a full three and a half months after starting this ordeal! HUZZAH!

I never have to deal with this dumbasses again! Heaven has shone down upon me finally!

Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t step foot on this lot, even if you see a car you really want and the next closest one that’s exactly what you want is hundreds of miles away. RESIST THE URGE!