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CarMaxterrible service

I purchased a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero from Carmax in Whitemarsh Md on June 27th, 2007. The car was in the 10k range and had apro 40k miles on it. I also purchased the extended warranty. This was the 3rd car I had purchased from there, all co-owned with my former husband. This was the first purchase on my own.

The car broke down the first time on September 3rd in Philadelphia Pa. on the way to my daughters birthday party. I called the roadside service number, and due to the fact that it was a Sunday and a holiday (Laborday weekend)I was told to start looking for myself for a rental car and towing and they would also try to find someone and call me back. They sent a tow truck to Pa from maryland to get my car(it took aprox. four hours) and could not find any rental car co open. I found one at the airport in Philly and picked it up, and drove back to Md.I had to put it on my credit card because the service dept. was closed and they couldn't assign it a service number until Tues. but they assured me I would be reimbursed. The whole birthday trip was ruined with phone calls, waiting for the tow truck and having to get a ride from family to pick up rental. The next day I got a call from Carmax telling me that the rental I got from Hertz was too expensive and to bring it to Carmax (about 1 hour from my home)and they would give me a rental from their rental car co. and return the Hertz rental to the BWI location for me. Okay. When I brought it back to them I let them know it was a little under Full on gas, and that it had to be on Full when returned, 'no problem' they said. It was returned two days later(they forgot about it and forgot to fill the tank) How did I find out that they forgot to bring the car back and fill the tank? Over $300.00 was charged to my Visa, which took weeks to get reimbursed. Then they sent the check to the wrong address!

November 23, 2007-2nd service problem- when they had the car for the 1st breakdown they somehow disabled the turning signals. This is the soonest I could get an appointment being that they are only open M-F 7am to 4pm, Saturday appointments are for oil changes etc. I live an hour away. For that month I used extreme care and hand signals to turn. They didn't have parts and gave me a rental... again.

December 17, 2007-3rd service problem/breakdown. All electrical lights going on, car wont start. Stranded at work. They pick up car and leave me rental. Bad cell in new battery. I pick up car two days later after leaving work early, and go to dinner with friends 1.6 miles from Carmax and after dinner all electrical service lights on again.

December 19, 2007-4th service problem(or same problem not fixed properly prior) I return to Carmax with car after having dinner and all electrical lights on again... finally I am angry at this point. Service department closed and I speak to sales manager, who puts me back into rental that I just returned and they keep the car for over a week... other electrical problems. Unforseen, blah, blah, blah.

Beginning of March, 2008-5th and final service problem-Stearing wheel shaking so uncontrollably car can hardly be driven. They tell me to drive it in anyway... I was very scared on 695 trying to control the car. I brought the car back at 8am. I sit down with one of the sales people and tell them I am going to go look outside for another car, that I am deeply dissatisfied with the car I purchased, that it's a lemon and we will discuss it when I find something suitable on the lot. I went out and picked a 2006 ford focus, 2k miles on it, aprox 10k. When I get back in they tell me they will only give me 7k for the Alero... they say that they will buy back the extended warranty etc. and make it close to 8k. I am outraged! I was sold a obviously defective car, then when I go to give it back to them I am supposed to take a 2k loss?? I speak to the district manager, he is rude and abrasive. All this is taking hours, waiting for this manager to call back, this person to appraise the car, etc. It is now close to 10:30pm, I have not eaten all day and am nearly in tears. A different sales person comes in and says ' We are just buying back your old car at the price we sold it to you for and you're buying the Ford, right??' I said I didn't think so... He says well that would be the fair thing to do', I said that I agreed, but I didn't think so. He said ' Wait, I'll go call the district manager' I said okay, thinking maybe they came to their senses, and have decided to play fair. The salesman comes back and say GOOD TO GO--let's go sign the papers.' We have all the papers signed for Carmax to buy back the Alero at the price that they sold it to me, and the purchase of the Ford Focus when all of a sudden the sales person comes RUNNING out of office and scoops up the papers and says he's sorry, that he only left a message for the district manager and he finally returned the call and Carmax will not buy back the car at the price they sold it to me for. I will have to 'eat the 2k' I am crying, sobbing at this point... it's 11:30 at night and they are mopping the floor and all the lights are out and I've been there for 15 1/2 hours and I haven't eaten since the night before. I agree to take the loss and tell them I want a copy of the papers that I signed previously. They gave them to me. I wrote to the company and got no response. Two days after the Alero was on Carmax's website for $9, 900.

I don't think what they did was legal or ethical. I will never do business with them again and I will make it my mission in life to make people aware of their shady business practices.


  • La
    Lasher Jan 05, 2010

    they try to sale me a car that was involve in accident i want to return it today since i still have to days left on my 5 day try out. I was suppose to give it to my girlfriend as a gift today now i have to go and search all over again because they are so shaddy.

    0 Votes
  • Li
    Ling Chi May 24, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    OP - not sure of your real name. You mention a husband, but the account name is Stan...

    Anyway, the Alero is one of those vehicles that always gave problems to the customers I had who purchased it. I don't know why, but there were obviously some quality control issues with GM, and Carmax can't be expected to provide quality assurance from manufacturing defects. Before you cry foul, remember they also sell more reliable vehicles on the same lot as the finicky ones. The onus is upon the consumer to make an informed buying decision, although a knowledgeable consultant would help steer you towards a somewhat more reliable vehicle. I know my numbers were less than stellar because I used to take the time to explain to customers which vehicles they should stay away from, yet try to maintain as objective as possible. Tough to do. Sorry you got burned.

    Lasher - nowhere does Carmax deny selling accident damaged vehicles, however their literature does state they will not sell frame or flood damaged vehicles. This isn't shadiness, but perhaps your unwillingness to read the literature or listen to the SC give the spiel about the accident display (or remember any of that part of your transaction).

    0 Votes

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