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Carmax / Be well prepared to enter a nightmare world!

1 United States Review updated:

To anyone who is considering buying a car at CARMAX, I would think a 100 times before buying through them!

Here are the REASONS why:

I bought my car 15 months ago at CARMAX located in Dulles VA. Within the second day my car had to be towed back to CARMAX. Unfortunately nothing was obvious while test driving it. The rotors had to be changed, the HVAC had to be replaced, an alignment and new breaks among few other things on the list which ended up costing them $8000 to fix my car!!!

So much for claiming full inspection before the car is put on the lot... two words: FALSE ADVERTISING! Due to the fact my car was in the shop for 30 days, they had to extend my initial warranty to 60 days?

15 months later, I went back to get an electrical part of my mirror replaced and the steering pump replaced -- which was part of the initial problem but it was never fixed! Both parts are under my extended warranty which I paid an extra for it. Good thing I did! Two weeks later, I still do not have my
car back because they are arguing with the claims company to have the right piece shipped to them. In the meantime I am the one who is suffering going from one loaner to another loaner. The mirror and the steering pump should not take more than one day of labor. Do I really need to go through so much
hassle when I bought a warranty so I should not go through so much pain! I have been going back and forth (4) times now, if it happened to me I am sure it happened to others. It seems that this inefficient management is a common pattern.

Would I consider a car from CARMAX again? Absolutely not even if it was given to me for free. I would never want to go through the same experience again.

So for all the braves who are you still considering buying a car through CARMAX, just be well prepared to enter a nightmare world!!

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  • Ar
      25th of Nov, 2008
    -1 Votes

    This company really has a problem but it's up higher thier GMs brag about having little or no educaton above high school corporate same way so you have to look at the main people running the company zero education this company will go the same way as it's parent Cricuit City

  • St
      18th of Feb, 2009
    -1 Votes

    Yep, Joe and Sig you guys work for CarMax, Thats the only excuse you have to be standing up for them, You've been brainwashed. The place is as shady as it gets. CarMax sold us a Infinity, when it fell apart 6 months later they bought it back because they agreed it didnt pass their test and fell thru the cracks, Hail damage, tranny, transfercase, missing the engine shield, and leaking fluids from the head gaskets. How do you miss these things? The car they sold us to replace the Infinity, fell apart the night we drove it home. I must say it is a GM car, and it is a 2006 so... But now I am driving their loaner because they must have the messed up car on their lot befor they can trade it in. They sent it to GM becasue they didnt know how to fix it after their technician erased the codes from the computer. Two cars in 6 months, thats a record I do believe. I better shut up cause it might be three, the loaner is leaking rusty water from the radiator. WOW.

  • Sp
      6th of May, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I purchased a nice BMW recently from my local car max. I had a couple of issues with the car since purchase which has been resolved fairly quickly. The process of purchasing the car was to say the least... very long and drawn out. The first time my wife and me walk into carmax we wanted to see their lot and look over the cars. We were told by the salesman that he must escort us around due to security concerns, which meant he wanted to bug into buying something for the next 25 minutes or so. We test drive a nice import car but we're still undecided. We leave and the next couple of days we do some more research and find a certified used Honda at another dealership that we purchased for my wife. I decided I wanted to trade in my car so we go back to carmax and look for more imports. This time the same salesman hears we recently purchased a car somewhere else and figures he's not going to waste his time due to thinking that we're young and have no more credit to purchase another car. I find a nice BMW within my price range that appears to have been well cared for and get a offer on my old car. They ended up offering about 1500 less than bluebook, but I figure it would need about that much to recondition the car. I accept their offer but I'm being handled by another sale's person. From my accepting their offer to me finally driving the car off the lot takes around 6 calendar days. I'm surprised I was that patient. I guess they reinspected the car presale and found out it someone had scratched the paint and it wasn't detailed good enough. So after waiting for it to pass their inspection it takes, around 5-6 HOURS! total to complete all the paper work!! There were times when I had to direct the sales lady on how to run THEIR software, and had bouts of anger where I took over their computer to complete some of the computer pages. These people are completely unorganized and appear very untrained. You would think their sales people push out car after car they'd have the process streamlined. There were no major complications on me or my wife's part, we had all the paper work they requested, had no problems getting financing, no problems with the trade in title, they just couldn't get the ball rolling. My wife's face told me to not sign on the dotted line and just walk out and never return. The kicker is when it came to my questions concerning the arbitration part of the contract. They had no clue what arbitration was or the pitfalls for the consumer. Their only response was "it's a good thing for the customer". No it's not, it strips the customer of some major protections. In retrospect, if the sales staff hadn't been so "clumsy" with the paper work, I would have had a positive experience. Now I'm just left with a dry feeling in my mouth.

  • Da
      8th of Jul, 2009
    -1 Votes

    All the above problems are SERIOUS, mine is different, they are billing me for a car I never bought. They supply an 800 number but it has a lock out.What kind of a rinky dink place is this?? I live in New Zealand and even if I lived in the US I would never in a 1000 years buy from these bludgers. Sure hope I can get this problem solved, I think this company is on its way OUT. Rev David A Brett New Zealand

  • Nh
      26th of Aug, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I am so discusted with CarMax its not even funny! On May 27, 2009 I purchased a car from CarMax south that I paid CASH for (just under $10, 000!!). Since that time, the car has been in the shop about 5 times for repairs. On May 28th, I noticed it was shaking while I was idoling at stop signs, red lights, etc. So I called the tech at the store, named Scott, and he told me this was a normal problem and not to worry about it. After speaking with my step dad, whom used to be a mechanic, about this he told me to take it in. So after the car had been there twice and they "fixed" two different things on the car, they told me it was fine to drive. NOT TRUE! After about 3 days of getting the car back the second time, it started shaking not only while idoling, but while driving as well, and I mean VIOLENTLY SHAKING. It also will stall out on you while your at stop signs, backing out of parking spaces, etc. (It's an automatic...should NOT be stalling!) It even turned off on me while I was driving down Mopac at 60mph!! I have spoken with the manager of the store, Zach, the mechanic's manager, Russ, and the cooperate office, and have no solution. It is going on FIVE WEEKS that they have been fixing my car. I called to complain about it this morning, and this afternoon my car is MAGICALLY FIXED!! Yeah right! We contacted the head mechanic at the Dodge dealership that actually worked on it, and he said he was NOT confidant that it was fixed and that he wouldn't put his daughter in it! CarMax told me it was fixed, but I dont think so! I refuse to put my life or my childs life at risk for this car! I think CarMax should replace my car for me! Keep getting the run around, I am so sick of them lying after they sold me a DEATH TRAP!!!

  • Ed
      4th of Dec, 2009
    -1 Votes

    i just bought a car from carmax two weeks ago and now the transmission and the doom light didnt work so they tow my to back to carmax and trying to fix it so far a week later im still waiting for it

  • Pr
      8th of Jan, 2010
    -1 Votes

    I am very disappointed with Carmax and will let everyone I know how poor your service is. My Mother (Janice Jones) is actively serving this country in Afghanistan but yet we are constantly battling Carmax to receive decent treatment! We bought a car spring of last year. The car was in the service center for a total of more than 2 months. Repairs (Clutch, rear differential, transmission, wrong part shipped, etc). My mother was deployed and gave me military power of attorney over the car. I had to fight to get a loaner car from Carmax. I was given a rental at first from Enterprise back in the summer. Well in December (Before Christmas)!!! I was charged by Enterprise $160.00 from my checking account. When I called Enterprise I was told that Carmax gave a wrong authorization code and therefore I was charged for the rental. Carmax finally sent a check but it's in my mother’s name. She is DEPLOYED! I tried to take the check to the bank but was told that I could not cash the check. The local dealership seem to care less about my woes. I am sick and tired of dealing with Carmax and plan on telling as many people as possible how you all treat Military families!!!

    Very Disappointed,

  • Ma
      9th of May, 2010
    -1 Votes

    I thought buying a car at CARMAX was supposed to be easy. The kids were mislead and misunderstood. A salesman named Ben and the other guy they had today didn't bother to be sure that they understood the sales tax not being able to be included in the financing. He assumed that they understood that because they had a Cali address, (even though they only had it because he is USMC), they would have to pay Cali taxes and that those taxes wouldn't be included in the loan. They only had $3000 and they put all of that down on the car never dreaming that Cali taxes could not be included in the financing...even the finance guy RJ didn't bother to explain, it was a total cluster. We were there for 7 hours (yes, SEVEN HOURS) trying to get things right. If I would have had my way, I would have cancelled the deal and gone elsewhere. Thanks to his grandparents, everything was taken care of. I WILL NEVER BUY A CAR FROM CARMAX AND I RECOMMEND THAT EVERYONE STAY AWAY AS WELL. I can't say it enough; NEVER, NEVER, EVER GO TO CARMAX.

  • Li
      25th of May, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Haha - if the coffee boy makes more at Starbucks than he did at Carmax, then he was not in sales, sucked at sales, or had no other marketable skills so they had him washing and/or prepping cars.

    To the owners of the PT Cruiser - Carmax would (should) not have sold the vehicle without a clear title. The computer system doesn't allow it. If there was a hold up with the tags, then they are related to something going on with your local DMV - ie, problems you may have had with a previous vehicle. Unfortunately, we all know how dealing with the DMV can be, even for a big corporation like Carmax.

    Lauri - nowhere in the literature does Carmax state they will not sell you an accident damaged vehicle, but rather they will not sell anything with frame or flood damage. The never-sell display you mention has an * towards the bottom which said something along the lines of "see Sales Consultant for details". Many people forget the conversations they have with their SCs. I made a point to go over absolutely everything with my customers, but my CSI surveys would come back indicating I skipped steps. Funny, considering I was constantly praised by managers for being one of the SCs who actually did the entire spiel. Selective memory helps when you need to break out the pitchforks and torches.

    To everyone using the term "lemon" - this typically only applies to new vehicles, and I am unaware of any legislation which covers used vehicles under any lemon law. Most states have variations of lemon laws which state the same problem must be duplicated X times (usually 3+) during a set mileage or time interval to receive coverage under the lemon laws. Used vehicles are used, and have no such protection. Unfortunately, many of the vehicles you guys are complaining.

    Robert - cars on eBay are great only if you know exactly what to look for, and most people do not. I am currently in the market for a Ferrari or Porsche, and one of the warnings given on almost any owners' forum is to avoid those vehicles because eBay is used as a last resort for vehicles which could not sell through traditional channels. Also, your awesome advice to "buy Toyota" is just brand perception, and we all know the troubles Toyota is going through these days. Even before the UA problems, they had issues with engine sludge, and I would see low mileage examples which were kicked into the wholesale lot because of the sludge problem. Doesn't matter how often you change the oil if the vehicle isn't designed correctly.

    Lastly, stop spelling "brakes" as "breaks" - one is a noun and the other a verb with a totally different meaning.

  • To
      22nd of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    Upon a recent purchase of a 2008 Town and Country Mini Van from the Glencoe Carmax, I had my own mechanic look the vehicle over. He commented that the air filter was dirty and that the brakes were down to 4 mm and would need replacement sooner than I would like. He suggested asking Carmax to take care of these 2 items especially considering the cost of the vehicle.
    I spoke to Carmax within the 5 day purchase period and explained what my mechanic had stated.
    I was told (or at least given the impression) that they would make good on both the brakes and the air filter.

    An appointment was set and I assumed all was well until I arrived this morning for my appointment.
    The mechanic informed me that the brakes were fine as far as he was concerned and that they didn't have the air filter in stock.
    Why didn't they call me and save me the 40 minute trip to their facility. I told the head of service that this had been arranged over a week ago. Why didn't they have filter ready?
    I spoke with the corporate office and the customer service representative agreed that I was definitely mislead into thinking that the brakes would be covered. However, he would not honor the service.
    I asked what happened to the good old days of the customer being right and honoring one's word. I was simply given a lame response of "I'm sorry and I understand how you would have assumed the brakes would be done". Also, I was told that the filter was to be sent to another location and that I could pick it up there.
    Thanks Carmax. This is the second and last vehicle I will purchase from your company and the last time I will refer colleagues and friends to your dealerships.
    That $190.00 brake job that you promised but later refused will cost much more to you in the long run in lost sales.
    Too bad customer service has gone by the wayside.

  • Po
      21st of Sep, 2010
    -1 Votes

    You stated: "The service dept has inconvient hours"

    That's your problem, not theirs. Finding out if the service hours work for you is something you do prior to a purchase.

    And never buy a used car without having it inspected first.

  • Sa
      30th of Sep, 2010
    0 Votes

    Well I must be one of the few that had no problems at carmax, maybe my secret was to get preapproved financing and running my own carfax report. After all, what's $30 and a buy back garantee going to hurt me in the long run. Well it's been 2 years almost, I bought a 2007 Volkswagon Jetta Wolfberg edition with only 16500 miles on it, and its still running great with almost 45000 miles on it. As for any product or service given there will be people that like what they got and others that hate, but it's mostly the ones that hate that sit down to write a review but it's good because that will help more people scrutinize before they buy. Do your research, don't let people pressure you and it's amazing what you can find on any car lot.

  • Ca
      1st of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    Wow...I've never seen such bunch of whiners in my life. Guess what folks?? Used cars break down, probably 9 times out of 10!! Carmax doesn't have magic pixie dust that they sprinkle on cars to make them perfect! Ugh!! Make sure you buy the daggum MaxCare plan if you don't want to pay for expensive repairs. If you buy may as well get a roll of 100 dollar bills and throw them out the window as you drive off the lot, because you just did the same thing by BUYING a brand new car...DUHHH!

    Carmax has bought and sold MILLIONS of cars since its been you idiots HONESTLY think they can ALL be perfect??? If you're not happy with how your complaints are handled...go up the freakin' chain of COMMAND!! Call Dan Johnston (VP of Sales) in Richmond if you have to, fools! They are a policy driven CORPORATION running an auto superstore, NOT a g.d. dealership! Dealerships are franchise operations that rip people off for the big it??! If you want their dealerships to service your car instead of Carmax..FINE, go ahead! The Maxcare Extended Service Protection plan is honored there as well, but BUY the g.d. thing or don't freakin' complain. They are the best place in the world to buy a used car, cuz they are more than willing to do a heeluvalot more than any other used car seller to get and keep your business.

    Sheesh! Put a bib on and suck your bottles if you're going to whine so much!

  • Dr
      6th of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    I think you are really going over the top with your complaint about Carmax. The company is not going to be able to check every square inch of the car during their inspections (no one can do this). The thing that confuses me is that Carmax spent a lot of money and did a lot of work to meet their quality expectations to the custom (you). Tell me what used car dealer would do that? Thats what I thought. Sure you could by new and pay a ridiculous over cost plus dealer fees. I thought it was interesting how you did not mention the make and model of the car you purchased. Many cars are prone to problems especially American made cars such as Chevys, Ford and Dodges. Just like the storys above, these people purchased used chevy malibus and dodge pickups...these are some of the most unreliable vehicles on the market. You did this to yourself, not carmax

  • Ba
      1st of Feb, 2011
    0 Votes

    CarMax is horrible!!! I shopped for a car for a long time and looking for a BMW 750LI with all the options. I found one at CarMax and took it for a test drive. One of the options I wanted was the “Sport Package” which is a $3, 300 option. I was told that the car had the option. I then went to other dealers to look at comparable cars. After two days of looking and comparing, I decided to go back to CarMax to buy the one I looked at. However, while at other dealerships, they told me that the car should have a different steering wheel if it has the Sports Package. Once again, CarMax told me that their car had the Sports Package and that year they didn’t change the steering wheel. I went to get the car and once again asked them to confirm it had the Sports Package. They came back and said that it didn’t have it and they wouldn’t change the price. Now, this is after I turned other cars down because of this. The dealership manager, Bill, was supper condescending and rude.

    I really liked my sales guy who just got out of the military and I wanted him to get the sale so I purchased the car.

    BTW: after looking on the CarMax website it looks like they are making the same misrepresentations about other cars. They keep advertising that their cars have the Sports Package when they don’t!!!

    After a week, I had to bring the car back for repairs and warranty work. They have had the car over 3 weeks and I’m still waiting to get it back. Great that it comes with a 30 day warranty but they have had it 3 of the 4 weeks.

    I’ve asked repeatedly for Bill to call me back and have still not gotten a call from him.

    CarMax does not care about their customers!!!


  • He
      29th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    I agree Carmax is a rip off, long story short my 05 Landrover Free after 2 years ---bill $5260.00! Class Action Suit Is Fine With be cont'd.

  • Ac
      1st of Sep, 2011
    -1 Votes

    Lauri, CarMax doesn't guarantee that a vehicle has never had an accident. No one can possibly make that guarantee. But what they DO guarantee is no frame or flood damage. The car you were shown as an example of 'not CarMax worthy' was a frame damaged vehicle. You need to learn to pay attention when people are talking. If you had, you would have understood what CarMax was actually saying.

    Of course they aren't perfect. No one is. But the standards are higher than anywhere else, that's for sure. And while there are occasional mistakes, CarMax wouldn't sell 1200+ cars a day if they were always screwing up.

  • Lo
      28th of Jan, 2013
    +1 Votes
    Carmax - Worst customer service ever
    North Carolina
    United States

    We bought a 2010 Nissan Altima from CarMax of Winston Salem, NC. The very first day after I drove it home, I called the sales rep-I will call him Jeff St.-I commented on how noisy the lifters were. His response was that Nissan engines are typically noisy. I explained that I knew the difference between a noisy engine and one that had a problem-and that this one in mind had a problem-
    he said the same thing again-and also two more times later that week.
    He called a week later saying that he had to resubmit our paperwork and would I please come in to take care of this. I did.
    In his office I literally screamed that the motor had a serious problem-he turned red and said to take it to service-I did.
    Service could not decide what it was so sent it to the nearest Nissan dealer. The dealer determined that the #3 cylinder was
    sticking and was going to have to replace the shortblock.
    It is the fourth loaner car later (8 days/car is the max they will go), the first car had a loose muffler, the second car's brake light
    was stuck on no matter what one did, the third car has a wheel imbalance and the alert signal on the dash was on when I got it.
    I still don't have in my possession the car I bought, Carmax reps call me almost daily about updates and paperwork concerning
    the loaners they assign to me. There aren't any updates and the loaners are all need of something to be fixed on them-these
    'loaner' cars are all part of their inventory. I have left several managers' messages asking that messages be left on my cell phone
    only and still these calls come to my work place. I have contacted a lawyer and if he is correct we're going ahead with a lawsuit
    that includes fraud and customer harrassment.
    Unfortuneatly this is a true story. Thanx for reading it.

  • Eg
      28th of Apr, 2013
    +1 Votes

    I am buying a car from Carmax already have a bad taste in my mouth but paper work done and car is coming from LA. So I just want it here I live in phoenix. They lied about how long it will take and charged me up front to ship the car. I work for a car dealer also in the service department and after my divorce don't want them to know my credit and all the drama that my divorce got me in. Any ways. All the anti Chevy comments are bull crap every car make has a service drive and gm hands down is building great cars trucks SUVs. I see it every day what p trade in Toyotas and Hondas all day they get tired of all the maintenance tires brakes ect u have to do on the imports. And FYI alot of the cars from Carmax are x rentals and we all know how ppl drive those cars so don't blame gm or Chevy it's funny how ppl bash what other ppl drive I hate that u drive what u like or can afford plain and simple stupid comments like that's what u get for buying a Chevy. Stupid. And to that person That has the Toyota how is it knowing that ur gas pedal might get stuck and ram a building or a wall loll. Or Honda owners when Hondas don't have a orfece filter for the a/c system so when the compressor goes out u have to replace every part a out 3, 000 out of pocket cost gm don't have that problem becuz they do have that filter. So before u bash a car make remember every car make has a service department and ppl drive what they want and what they can afford.

  • Ta
      14th of Jan, 2014
    +1 Votes

    I would never recommend CarMax. If we hadn't bough an extended warranty we would have had to pay over $3, 000 for repairs. They well lemons. Maybe some people had a good experience but it's like playing the lottery. Never again. The dealer that finally fixed our Corolla (a Toyota dealer) and took the extended warranty over said that CarMax should be called CarMinimum because they do minimum work on the cars before they sell them.

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