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Longwood Industries Car Sales / Scam on auto sale listings

1 United States Review updated:

Longwood Industries Car Sales - www.longwoodautos.com

This group sees your auto listing on Craig's List or somewhere similar, and they offer to sell it for you with a moneyback guarantee. (See other similar complaints on this web site). They then make it impossible to get your moneyback. Part of the fraud is that they never tell you about the "requirements" for the guarantee until after they have your money. Then they just make up new requirements as they go along.

Va

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  • Rg
      19th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am not sure wether or not longwood is a scam.I am uneasy anytime I use my visa over the phone. If it is a scam, the web site is impressive and my car is advertised.They did indicate there was a buyer, however I havn't heard from them nor have I recieved confirmation via e-mail.

    This morning I recieved a phone call from a lady at Solid waist System in Spokan who said they recieve calls all the time and urged me to cancel my visa.I didn't ask how she obtained my number.She said the ID number longwood gives you is missing a country code. Now I am WORRIED.

    This morning I was phoned by a person with a Aussie accent saying they were a finance company "Motor Health", for a person who would by my car.All they needed was 185.00 up front money which was refundable when the purchaser found my car in shape as advertised.I suggested that the person views my car himself and makes that determination or even contact me. After a futile attempt to have me pay the 185.00, the Aussie hung up. Now I know this was a scam attempt but I hesitate to suggest Longwood is in on it."Motor Health" on the net is a company which deals in motors, not financing. To be on the safe side, I have cancelled my Visa and requested the charges not be submitted to Longwood.

  • Ka
      12th of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    Anybody feel used by longwood like i do??! Email me for legal action to take place.

    vdub_kat@yahoo.com

  • Sa
      11th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    i have been scammed by this company as well. i met all the requirements for a refund, however when i called to confirm that it was being processed, they said i didn't do what i was supposed to. i spoke with 2 reps, they both hung up on me for no reason. i have put in a complaint with the BBB. i don't know what else i can do.

  • Ji
      9th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    If you have been scammed by them, do a chargeback through your credit card company. When you pay someone and they dont comply with their end of the deal, its called fraud. Call your credit card company and file a chargeback for a fradulent charge. They will tell you that it will be investigated and within a few days or maybe a week or so, the money will be right back in your account. It's worked for me, it will work for you. Remember, this is why you have and use a credit card. For safety of a big company to back you up. Use them, this is why you have a credit card!

  • Du
      3rd of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    Same story with me. I am in the process of having the charge ($199!!!) removed from my card. Thanks for the info.

  • Er
      8th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Be aware that they also have an alias called Auto Marketing Systems and use the website amsvehiclesales.com

  • Pa
      13th of Apr, 2009
    -1 Votes

    Hello, my name is Paul Russell with Auto Marketing Systems, and I thought it would be helpful to use this message board (and others I'm aware of) not only as a place where consumers may voice their discontent, which it is clearly meant to be, but also a place for you to get some answers from someone who knows. I hope any information that I can provide will help anyone visiting make a more informed decision about using our service. Thank you in advance for raising your concerns.
    Let me start by saying we are NOT a scam, nor a fraud. We offer a service that guarantees to find a buyer for your vehicle within 90 days. We have some buyers that have provided us contact information as well as information about the types of vehicles they are interested in pursuing. If we don't already have people to match up with our sellers, we buy them. Yes, we will purchase leads for your vehicle. We are not your traditional advertisement. We are not an advertising service. We are a marketing service. We do not just take your information and put it on a website and hope for someone to call. We are proactive about getting vehicles sold. We MARKET your vehicle.
    If we are unsuccessful, you can take advantage of our money-back guarantee. It is not impossible to get your money back. The only "requirements" as mentioned in the complaint above are that: (1) you've given us the time we MAY need -- 90 days; (2) you've provided us at least one photo of your vehicle within 2 weeks -- the sooner, the better...right? And (3) you mail in your notarized cancellation request, postmarked between days 91-100 of the start of our service. Nothing else is required and we do not "just make up new requirements as [we] go along." Yes, there are requirements in place -- they are to protect the company as well as the consumer. In this day and age, it is unfortunate, but paperwork means everything. That doesn't make us a fraud, does it?
    I understand that things can be misunderstood, but we should all be careful about labeling someone or some company as a "fraud" or a "scam." It's a free country and we should be able to voice our concerns and opinions, but please think about what you say. This is a good company where a lot of good people work. Complaints labeling companies as a fraud or a scam threaten the livelihoods of a lot of people, so please be sure that you've held up your end of a deal before placing all of the blame somewhere else.
    Thank you for reading!

  • Pa
      13th of Apr, 2009
    -1 Votes

    To address a couple of specific concerns also mentioned here:

    On R. Gibson's post-
    - We are not located out of the country so you will not need a "country code" to contact us. I believe this was a case of two toll free numbers being very similar. It has since been resolved.
    - You mention "Motor Health" - the company was actually called MotorHelp; MotorHelpUSA to be exact. This was indeed a fraudulent company that preyed on customers found not only on some of our affiliate sites, but many other sites where private sellers were advertising vehicles. Though their name would not indicate it, they were actually based out of the United Kingdom, hence the "Aussie" accent (which may have been confused with a British accent). They CLAIMED affiliation with the websites, such as those used by Longwood Industries, that private sellers were advertising on and offered a bogus financing service. However, let me stress that MotorHelpUSA had absolutely no affiliation with Longwood, nor any other sites they may have claimed affiliation with for that matter.
    - In any case, because of "companies" like MotorHelpUSA I understand your reaction. In addition to possibly costing you the sale of your vehicle, they've cost many companies valuable business like yours because no one knows who to trust anymore.

    On Katrina's post-
    I'm not sure what has made you feel this way. Let me know what I can do to resolve your dissatisfaction.

    On Sarah's post-
    Considering we have resolved all BBB complaints, I know your individual situation was explained and resolved. If you met the eligibility requirements and submitted your request in a timely fashion, there is no reason that your refund should not have been processed automatically and also within a timely fashion.
    For other readers, please ask yourself... would a scam bother with resolving BBB complaints? Would they even be registered with the BBB?

    On Jim's post-
    Actually some very useful info about using "the chargeback" to your advantage. I would suggest, however, that you take your complaints up with the business first, because where do you think credit card companies get the money to pay you back? Increased finance charges, annual fees, APRs, etc.? Just a thought.

    On dukemd69's post-
    Looks like your post is only 40 days old at this point. If you are only getting your money back in response to a complaint posted, that is unfortunate. Why not let the service work for you for the full 90 days and request a refund if you have not sold your vehicle by then? I'd love to see it work for you and then have you come back here and testify.

    If only there were sites where people could go to praise a company for their efforts. But who takes the time to do that anymore? Thanks for reading. Remember, there are always to sides to every story... and complaint.

  • Tr
      16th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Paul,

    I am a possible customer and researching the company before I decide to sign on. Can you answer me a concerning question? Why are there so many different names for your company, (longwook, auto marketing sales, and AMS vehicle sales)? It seems a little suspicious and unreputable.
    Since there are so many nonbelievers and you have such faith in your company, why doesn't the company offer some sort of payment option after sale or the 90 days. It could still be contractual but the risk would not lie with the consumer. I would definately sign up if that was the case, and I had no upfront risk of this being a fraudulent company.

    I appreciate your efforts,
    Tracey

  • Pa
      16th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Tracey -

    Thank you for your questions! Let me start with the names question. Longwood does business as Auto Marketing Systems. The auto marketing is just one branch of their business, hence the more appropriate name. AMSvehiclesales.com is just the URL/online web address. The AMS part stands for Auto Marketing Systems.
    It may appear online that there are many nonbelievers, but let me say this... there are many more believers. As a matter of fact, by the end of the summer we will have helped over 500, 000 private party sellers. Unfortunately, it is usually those who feel negatively about something that shout the loudest, if you know what I mean. Anyway, to answer the question about delaying payment... we have tried both ways that you mention above. Contract or no contract, trying to collect afterwards, to be blunt, is a nightmare. You can imagine that it seemed more like a collection agency than an auto marketing business.
    To go a little deeper, what is the risk? And where is the fraud? The risk is this: You provide a VISA or MasterCard number (credit or debit) to sign up. You are charged $199. You send us a photo or two of your vehicle within a couple of days (required within 14 days to be eligible for a refund). Hypothetically speaking, let's say you don't sell your vehicle within 90 days and you want your money back. You have between days 91-100 to cancel the service (that's a 10 day window). Do so, and you will be refunded everything but a $29 processing fee. However, if you don't cancel at this time, yes, we keep the $199, but we also continue to market your vehicle to prospective buyers for no additional charge. Sound risky yet?
    If giving out your credit card number is what concerns you, I don't know how to make you feel "warm and fuzzy" about providing that, but understand that VISA and MasterCard are backing you up whether or not you have paid for or signed up for "fraud protection" or not. Additionally, you can pay by check or by money order, of which the latter is the safest in terms of reducing the risk of anyone accessing any of your additional financial information, etc.
    One final note on fraud. The only accusations I have seen that have been considered "fraud" by some folks online were people who were not given a refund (and there would be reasons for that - i.e., trying to cancel after 140 days of service, etc.). My point being that none to this date (4/16/2009) have stated that additional funds were taken from their account. And to my knowledge there has never been a misappropriation of funds. Fraud is not a term to just go throwing around. It is obviously a serious offense, and not an accusation that we will take lightly.
    Tracey, thank you so much once again for your questions. I hope that you will give Auto Marketing Systems the opportunity to help you. Otherwise, good luck anyway!

    Sincerely,
    Paul Russell

  • Co
      22nd of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    As far as BBB accreditation goes they have none, I just checked and they have 122 complaints all listed as resolved, but BBB has posted this comment regarding them "Although the company resolves the complaints, it has failed to correct the underlying reason for the complaints.

    Complaints are concerning failure to honor money-back guarantee. Complaints processed by this BBB generally involve the firm's refund policy. The company has responded to complaints brought to their attention by stating customers must follow their cancellation policy exactly. Fax, email, and phone requests for cancellation will not be accepted. Consumers may wish to return the form certified for proof of receipt."

    check them out on BBB at http://www.bbb.org/western-virginia/business-reviews/internet-marketing-services/longwood-industries-inc-in-bedford-va-9004961

    not saying to do it or not, just setting records straight as far as I can see them.

  • Mo
      23rd of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I was trying to sell a vehicle on a local company Delmarva Now. Paid the 40 dollars direct to them for the ad for a few days. Then I get paperwork from Longwoods, that I did not ask for instructing me to cancel by sending them notarized paperwork. Why should I do that, when I did not request their service. Against my better judgement, my husband insist we send the form back. Now we have 199 dollar charge on our credit card. How did they get the number to use, I only used the credit card one time to pay Delmarva Now on line, knew that was a mistake. Now no one seems to be able to cancel this and pay my money back to credit card. We are on budget, needed to see the vehicle, not add up more charges. Plus now I get numerous phone calls on cell phone and house phone, that I did not ask for. Companies saying they can sell my vehicle. I want a real person with real money locally. Not someone from Virginia or Nevada...Leave me a lone.

  • Pa
      24th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    In response to the post by "concerned" -

    So that your statement is not misunderstood regarding accreditation, to be clear, we are not "paying members" of the BBB. We are, however, registered with the BBB in Virginia.
    I would also urge you to not misinterpret the statement that "Complaints are concerning failure to honor money-back guarantee." This does not mean that we failed to honor the guarantee; rather that is just opinion of the consumers that have complained. Don't take this the wrong way, but most customers filing these complaints failed to follow instructions regarding the refund or were simply not eligible for a refund in the first place.
    As I mentioned earlier, yes, we do have a refund policy, just like EVERY other business in the world. I have never seen a refund policy that didn't have certain instructions or restrictions or deadlines. They are there to give consumers fair opportunity to test a new product or service, but not allow them to take advantage of the business.
    Fortunately for all of us, we (as consumers) now have the upper hand, and any complaint (justified or unjustified) will be resolved in our favor. The burden is upon the business world to resolve the complaint or face scrutiny, without regard to the truth of the complaint. In some cases, like ours, businesses will face scrutiny even though all complaints get resolved.
    One final note... 122 complaints out of about 500, 000 customers really isn't so bad (approximately 0.02%). Food for thought.

    Thanks for your post,
    Paul

  • Se
      30th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    In response to Paul,

    Your marketing plan seems to be legally sound, however, you are definitely using common consumer behaviors to your advantage. You have the consumer pay the $199 up front, promising to "market" their vehicle for 90-days, and a refund is available if you have a notarized form sent in between the 91st and 100th day.

    Your company plays the odds and uses well known statistics to your advantage. The average consumer in America has a busy enough schedule that statistically you know the odds are more likely that the notarized statement will be forgotten about in 90-days and submitting it will do no good after 100 days.

    I JUST got off the phone with one of your representatives and was never explained the 91 - 100 day detail. She made sure to keep specifics vague, but luckily I read YOUR statements prior to pursuing your company's "help".

    You have "helped" 500, 000 consumers. . . .my question is how many of the consumers you've helped actually sold their vehicles for full asking price like your representatives claim will happen or my money back (less the $29 processing fee) ?

    Your company preys on the average consumer by providing a service that from what you've said so far, is not justified. 500, 000 helped customers is a vague statement in and of itself. Your definition of "helped" is likely a translation of how many consumers in the last decade you have gotten the $199 from (refunded eventually or not) and does not take into consideration the fact that the majority of those consumers probably never sold their vehicles.

    Your representative also claimed your company has a 70% success rate with your selling of consumer vehicles for full asking price. If that is the case, why not charge the $199 contingent upon the sale? Why charge it upfront if 70% of your customers actually sell their vehicles? It seems like a lot of hassle --- all that refund processing and notary verification when you would avoid that hassle by simply charging the customer if the sale occurs.

    It's obvious to everyone the game the company is trying to play with consumers - - get the consumer's money upfront and bet that the majority of your consumers will not cancel in the allotted time window. It's a good marketing plan and yes, it's prefectly legal because the consumer knows upfront.

    You may be fine working for a company with such a shady business model, but you won't be getting my money and I hope readers know to avoid your company in the future.

    Waste of time,

    Sean

  • Pa
      1st of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Sean,

    I must say that I find it interesting that you are a "consumer" (as opposed to a competitor) who JUST got off the phone with one of our representatives and in a matter of minutes able to put together such a detailed [conspiracy] theory. Nonetheless, I'm here to provide answers. I apologize in advance for the long-winded response as I address your "points."

    - You say we use common consumer behaviors and statistics to our advantage.
    I say show me a business that doesn't pay attention to consumer behaviors and statistics and I'll show you a business that's not in business anymore. By the way, we use the same approach in our effort to help people sell their vehicles. We know the market.

    - You say we "play the odds" regarding our refund policy. You say it's likely that people will forget after 90 days.
    I say (a) it's a much better and more successful strategy to provide a good service than to play odds. Playing odds doesn't amount to longevity (we've been marketing vehicles for over 10 years now). It about paying attention to an ever-changing market, and then changing strategies that work well within that market. That being said, we have offered programs that were 90-day, 60-day, 30-day, 14-day, and even 10-day packages. In this economy, people are still buying used vehicles (moreso than new vehicles), but it can take additional time to get matched up with a buyer. We still know how to get it done.
    I also say (b) that, yes, people are busy and I can't argue in favor of everyone's memory. But we provide date specific information on every receipt regarding when someone will be eligible for a refund. Additionally, we provide a daily reminder in the form of a complementary "For Sale" sign that our customers post in the window of their other, even larger daily reminder (the vehicle itself). In addition to all of the incredible gadgets owned by everyone (even those not of driving age) these days (iPhones, Blackberries, etc.), what else do WE need to do/provide so that people don't "forget" that they can get a refund?

    - You say we "prey on the average consumer by providing a service that... is not justified."
    I say that I don't really understand what you mean by this statement. But since you reference the number of customers I mentioned and proceeded to provide your own definition, I'll focus there.
    But first, who exactly is the "average consumer?" The vehicles listed with us are worth around $13, 000 on average. Now, I don't drive a vehicle worth $13, 000, so does that make me a below average consumer? I like to think I'm a wise consumer, so if this is a fair unit of measurement, then the majority of our customers would also be above average, wise consumers.
    Second, you are correct that the 500, 000 customers does not equate to 500, 000 vehicles sold. You MIGHT also be correct that the majority did not sell. BUT that is pure speculation on your part. In this business, unfortunately that's all we have... speculation. If any business in a similar market (your local paper's classifieds, AutoTrader.com, Cars.com, etc.) tells you anything different, I would have to call them out. It is impossible to provide accurate information on how successful (with regard to the number of vehicles sold) an auto marketing or auto advertising campaign has been. Some customers are gracious enough to correspond. Most, as you said, are too busy to bother. Think about it... most people list a vehicle somewhere and hope for the best. How many do you really think contact the newspaper or AutoTrader or Cars.com -- or us -- just to say, "It worked!"
    None of this is to say that these services, ours included, didn't set out with one goal in mind, and didn't provide top-notch customer service and do everything in their power to try and help people sell their vehicles. Sometimes it just doesn't happen. Sometimes the timing just isn't right.
    This brings me to your next point...

    - You say you were told of a 70% success rate.
    I say, to be consistent with my previous answer, that we do not claim a "success" rate; rather a "satisfaction" rate, which we base on the number of people who take advantage of our money-back guarantee. To be clear, this number is just not meant to reflect the percentage of vehicles sold. It is a reflection of a few things: (1) that vehicles are selling; (2) that people were pleased with the service and opted out of a refund opportunity; (3) that some customers signed up to run until sold; and (4) to include your theory, I guess some people forget about it or just don't care enough to deal with it. Let me reiterate that it's $199 dollars -- and personally, I'm in no situation to not deal with that -- are you?

    - You say why not avoid the hassle of refunding, etc., and charge after the sale of the vehicle?
    I say I have answered this in a previous post, and will add this perspective... refunding and verifying notarizations are "hassles" that we can control. We cannot control getting our payment in a timely manner after the sale. How do you think collection agencies stay so busy?
    I might also add this question - Do any of the other aforementioned businesses wait until after the sale of the vehicle to take payment? No, not one of them. Why are we asked to do so?

    - You say that the "game" we are playing is obvious and our consumers know everything up front, but you also say that we have a shady business model.
    I say, well, which is it? Shady business models don't let consumers know everything up front.

    It bothers me to read that we were unable to earn your business (if, in fact, you are a consumer and not a competitor looking to sabotage) and to read your endorsement for others to avoid our company(spoken like a competitor); however, I'm thankful that you posted what may have been on someone's else mind and gave us the opportunity to address such theories, whether or not I feel they are justified.

    I hope whatever other means of selling your vehicle that you use proves helpful.

    Good luck,
    Paul

  • Bj
      2nd of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Paul,
    We received a call today from your company and decided to do some research before signing up. The person we spoke with was friendly and when we asked to have your refund agreement e-mailed for our review, it was done in a timely manner.

    We were told that should our vehicle sell for less than advertized, we would be entitled to the refund of our $199.00 that we had paid in advance. After reviewing the refund agreement, nothing is stated about a refund if the vehicle is sold for less than advertised. When I asked the person how they know what we sold the vehicle for we were told that "people are generally honest and they take our word for what it's sold for." But after reviewing the refund agreement, I'm concerned that you do not provide a refund if in fact the vehicle is sold for less. What is the exact policy on this issue?

    Also, we were not told that if we were to receive a refund that there would be a $29.00 service fee withheld. I know that sometimes too much information can be difficult to explain over the phone but this is something I feel should be told up front.

    For my personal information, what is your position with the company and how long have you been employed by them? How are you afflilated with Adventis, Inc. and The Big Lot?

    Thank you for your response.

  • Pa
      4th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    To bjpw -

    It's always good to hear that our callers and customers received friendly service. Thank you especially for that part of your post!

    To answer your question regarding the refund policy, let me say this... our guarantee encompasses ANY reason that you are not satisfied with our service. In our years of providing this service, however, we know that the only true satisfaction comes from getting the vehicle sold at a [fair] price that you were asking. So, to our customer's benefit, our refund policy in this regard is wide open. If you want to cancel for a refund, you can do so for ANY reason (including not getting the price you were asking). For our records, we would like to know the reason, but providing a reason is not required during the cancellation process.

    Regarding the $29 processing fee... you are not asking too much to ask that this information be disclosed. I don't know the details of the conversation you had with one of our reps -- perhaps he/she didn't get into further details about the refund -- but I do know it is covered in a mandatory statement representatives must read to customers prior to signing any of them up for our service. Additionally, as you found, we provide this information on all of our literature as well.

    To answer your last set of questions... I am a Marketing Executive with 3 years under my belt. Auto Marketing Systems is a business partner of Adventis, Inc., who owns a number of automotive websites, including The Big Lot (thebiglot.com), which is a high-traffic website that AMS often uses to help market their customers' vehicles.

    Thanks again for your questions. I hope you have found this helpful.

    Paul Russell

  • Ma
      4th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    To all,
    I have never posted add's on the internet. But in this economy, I elected to go this route in order to be more effecient and possibly get a quick sale. I have spoken with many satisfied customers of CraigsList and found it very easy to post my add. I was even more impressed that shortly and I mean very shortly after posting my add a phone call was received. It happened to be Longwood Ind., not being a person of distrust I did a quick browse on the net and found more negative than positive about Longwood. Also, it seemed odd that my posting was caught so quick and if an intelligent person would have read the add the would have called due to the fact that I was only asking 500 dollars below book value. The item I was selling is worth the money to me, but I am willing to take less and most would ask that before offering the suggested price. I don't really believe I will get what I am asking, but any good business deal works from the top down. As we all know the selling price does not generally go up during negotiation. If this is truly a company that prides itself in it's product and responsibilites to the consumer, some evaluation of you responsibilities to the consumer should be reviewed.

    I'll stick with CraigList. No cost to the consumer, you can't beat that in this economy.

  • Ty
      5th of Jul, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I keep receiving calls from this ### Brad (typical queer name) from Longwood. They got my number off craigslist where I was selling my car. They call from a unavailable number and leave messages saying they can help sell my car. If I wanted help selling my car I will ask for it. When you call the 1-866-326-0949, sure enough there is Brad (queer boy) on the messaging service. The funny thing is you cannot leave a message. Just queer boy running his mouth about Longwood. THIS IS A SCAM AND STAY AWAY FROM IT!

  • Sk
      16th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    This paul guy is just trying to smooth over his lame/illegal telemarketing tactics. Here's how you get him: (i'm in the process of trying to make some lawsuit cash off of his stupid company-I've done it before)

    Make sure you are registered on the do not call list: https://www.donotcall.gov/

    Record every date/time of every call and every "unknown number". His autodialer will only leave a message, so let it go to voicemail and record the message. Keep these.

    Call the number back and speak to a live person. Be polite and ask to be taken off of their company-specific call list and remind them you are on the do not call list. Get whatever info they will give you. (name, phone number, company name, address..) Record date/time of this phone call. Record phone call if possible. Do not lecture them, they know what kind of ### they are.

    Wait for the next call. Let it go to voicemail again. Record and keep.

    They are now operating illegally. You can:

    A: File a complaint: https://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx?panel=2

    B: File a complaint with your state's attorney general. (If you can google your way to here, you can find out how to do that)

    C: File a personal lawsuit seeking damages. (my favorite) The telephone consumer protection act says that if they call you again they have to give you $500. (I'm not making this up, I have made 2500 so far, so can you - Here is the wording of the act: http://www.case.info/jmlsarchive/statutes/tcpa.html)


    So... If enough people ding this [censored] for $500 (do what it takes, wait a month and post a fake car ad with the same phone number) he'll go find some other suckers to steal money from, but the ugly truth is that people are stupid and will keep sending him $200 for a service that craigslist already does better. With this in mind, make sure you file the ftc complaint, they have the real teeth and can levy the fines that will make him stop.

    To you paul: Shut up you lying ### telemarketer. I'm coming for my $500. See you in court.

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