Greg Chapman Motors / Deceptive trade
I purchased a 1996 Ford Contour in Febuary of 2005 from Greg Chapman
Motors. The sales rep was Heather Kinley. When I test drove the car the
check engine light came on. I asked them see why the light was on. They
took the car to the back where the mechanics are set up. Heather told me
that they turned off the check engine light. I was told that it was on
due to the mileage of around 80k which was believable since that is
typical of many cars that I had owned in the past.
Later that year (November 2005) I went to have my car inspected. It
failed to pass insprection due major emissions problems. A major factor
that played a role in my car failing to pass inspection is the fact that
the check engine light appeared to have been altered in some way.
I took the car to my regular mechanic to have necessary repairs made. He
discovered that the bulb and socket had been ripped out and that whoever
did so didn't even replace all of the screws. It was apparent that it
was done in haste. I assume while I was waiting in the office with the
sales person at Greg Chapman Motors.
The repair bill was over 700 dollars. One hundred dollars of the repair
cost was to replace the check engine light bulb socket and screws.
Other petty things went wrong with the car making it hard to keep up
with the payments at times. But I always paid and I always called them
to let them know that it would be late. At this time the transmission is
jumping and acting like it is about to go out. I imagine that will be a
large repair bill as well. The car also has frame damage and appears to
have been in a major front end accident that does not show up on car fax
report. It has recently started leaking oil and has some sort of
electrical problem I'm presuming that is most likely due to the ripping
out of the bulb and socket since the sorce of the short is in the dash.
It is putting a small slow drain on my battery.
The kicker to this entire saga of a story is that I recenly attempted to
refinance this LEMON in my mothers name so I could go buy a newer more
reliable car and keep this LEMON as a second car. No one wants it as a
trade or they aren't willing to give me hardly anything for it because
it is a piece of junk. The refinance process was drug out over the
course of 3 months. My mother even made an appointment to meet with Greg
Chapman and when she showed up, Greg Chapman was not there. She wasted
her entire lunch hour. In the meantime I was told not to make any
payments by Robert Garza and that everything is cool. I spoke to Robert
Garza on the phone just 2 weeks ago to ask him what was up because I was
nervous and had a bad feeling in my gut that something was not right. He
said not to worry everything was fine and that it was his fault and that
he hadn't had time to get with Greg about it and that it was taking time
to get things in order. I was getting nervous and uneasy about this.
Then just this past Thursday May 11, 2006 at around 10:30 am someone
showed up to reposess the car. I had no notice, no warning that there
was a problem nothing in the mail and no phone messages. I hadn't heard
from anyone. So I thought that my car was being stolen and ran out to
the parking along with my boss both of us screaming and yelling. I rip
open the car door and shut the ingnition off (the lady starts speaking
spanish and grabs my arm) and was about to pull the lady out of the car
when she whips out this paper saying she is from Chapman Motors and says
go ahead call the police over and over. I stopped dead in my tracks. I
was like WHAT? Who are you? We are refinancing this car. She said no
ma'am you are 130 days late. At that point it was obvious to me that
this was a set up on their part to try and screw me out of my car and
money. In the past if I was even one day late they were calling me on my
cell phone, home phone, work phone 2-3 times a day before I put a stop
to it with a letter. This ticked them off severly. So they had come to
repo the car when it was one day late because I wrote them a letter
asking them to stop calling. They literally showed up within 15 minutes
of faxing the letter which quoted the law about calling people at work
regarding debts. They were tying up my phone lines and embaressing me on
purpose. They even had Greg Chapman's young 20 something son go to my
house and tape a note on the front door to my apartment for all the
neighbors to see. Needless to say I was livid. I reported them to the
AG's office and BBB.
When I called Robert Garza (finance dept) during the latest incident, I
was absolutely livid. I asked him why the hell didn't he call me if
there was a problem with the refinancing. His own words "I don't have to
[censored]ING call you." It was very apparent that I am dealing with an
extremely classy establishment. Oh and let me point out that my boss was
standing there the entire time and is a witness. They tried to tell say
that I was volital and didn't want me in the office etc. Making me out
to be some sort of lunatic. Simple character assasination because they
know they were wrong and I was oblviously freaked out thinking someone
was stealing my car as would any normal person.
Robert Garza claims that my mother Barb Stum failed to show up for an
appointment on Tuesday. An appointment she never had. Furthermore, if
they were going to refinance the car, they would have had to make the
appointment with me as well since it's rather obvious that I have to
sign over the title etc. And if they had a problem and simply wanted me
to pay the payments and forget about the refinance, all they had to do
was call me on the phone or notice me by mail. I could have given them
my check card number over the phone or paid it online which is how I
have made my payments for the past 6 months. But everytime I called or
my mother called about the refinance they said that they were working on
it and he (Robert) had to talk to Greg about and Greg wasn't there. I
have never spoken to Greg Chapman about this because everytime I have
called, Robert Garza said he was not there.
When I spoke to Robert about these issues Saturday, Greg wasn't there
either. He also admitted to me on the phone that they were having
problems with mechanics at the time of my purchase and that the
mechanics were not fixing things and that they were stealing from them.
he also admitted that Greg was "pissed at me" about the BBB report and
letter I sent and that that played a factor into the incident Thursday.
Basically, this was grudge and set up and revenge on their part.
But we paid all of the arears up and got the car back. They "waived" the
late fees. But in the process they humiliated me at my place of
employment, ticked off my boss and caused me and my mother emotional
stress. All of this could have been handled with a simple phone call.
But in their own words "they didn't have to [censored]ING call me."
My fear is that they are taking advantage of people with limited
options. A lot of people would not have been able to get their car back
like I did. And a lot of their business is hispanic people with limited
resources, education and options when buying a car and don't know their
rights. If you don't know them, you don't have them.