I saw an ad on eBay for a 2008 Ford Mustang GT listed by Planet Ford in Spring Tx. I live in Vacaville CA and I had been unsuccessful in locating the specific car I was looking for using the local Ford dealers. I called the Planet Ford dealer and spoke to a Scott Stubs. Scott informed me that the vehicle I was interested in did not have CA Emissions and therefore could not be registered in CA. Scott further offered to help me locate the vehicle that I was looking for using the Ford database, and I agreed to let Scott help me.
Scott quickly located a 2008 Mustang GT with the options that I wanted in southern CA, Redlands Ford (1121 W Colton Ave Redlands, CA 92374). Scott and I negotiated my deal and my total price was to include CA tax and registration, which he agreed to. Up to this point, I had no issues. After the loan paperwork was signed and we arranged for me to pick up my new car at the Redlands dealer, Scott told me to act as if I were a Planet Ford employee and I was just there to move this vehicle from one Ford dealer to another, and he stressed not to let them know that I was the end customer.
While I found this very weird, I saw no real harm and I thought he was just trying to keep the piece with the Redlands sales agents. I arrived at the Redlands Ford to find very nice people, too bad I wasn't able to locate this car and deal with them directly! Because the Redlands dealer thought I was working with Planet Ford, they didn't wash the car, smog it or anything. Scott shipped me a TX temporary registration to put in my car so I would be able to drive it. Scott also told me that they would send the CA registration in and that I wouldn't have to do anything.
I found that the car had severe water spot damage that was only revealed when I tried to wash it several days later. That is the first thing I found that wasn't good and when I realized that the plan for how I was to pick up my car had major holes from a customer's perspective. If the Redlands Ford would have known I was the customer, they would have certainly cleaned the car to an acceptable condition. After 3 weeks of waiting for my CA registration paperwork, I noticed that the TX temporary registration expired.
I called Scott and he told me they were having trouble getting the title from the other dealer and that it would take a while longer. Meanwhile, he would send me another TX temporary registration. It took Scott and Planet Ford a week to get me the temporary registration, meaning I was unable to drive my new car (not a happy customer at all now). After a week, I received a package from Planet Ford. The package contained the DMV paperwork and a check from Planet Ford made out to DMV. This is the paperwork they said they were submitting directly to DMV.
I called to ask what to do about this and at that point, I found out that Scott had quit working for Planet Ford. At this point I was very unhappy with how my “new car buying experience" was going. I also noticed that the check made out to DMV for my taxes and registration didn't seem to be enough. After doing some checking, I found that it was about $700. Short. Because I had not planned to come out of pocket any additional money, this was not a good thing at all. I called back to the Planet Ford dealer and after being bounced around between 3 or 4 people, they said they would see what they could do to address the following issues,
1. They said they didn't like the way the deal went down and was not their normal practice to do business like that, so they would look into it.
2. The car condition was not acceptable and the dealer should have arranged to clean it prior to me picking it up. Because it was dirty, I couldn't tell that the spots were not going to come off.
3. The DMV registration charges should have been calculated correctly, meaning no surprises.
After another week of calling and trying to get an update, I decided to take the DMV paperwork they sent me to my local DMV. I was told I had to smog my new vehicle because the Ford dealer didn't do it. I was never informed about this expense and I've never had to pay for this when buying a new car before. DMV also told me that I would have to pay an additional $65. For late fees because all out of state vehicles must be registered within 30 days of purchase. I was at day 31 and was not aware that Planet Ford was to send the paperwork to DMV within 30 days. I also had to pay an additional $640. Because the check that Planet Ford issued was insufficient. This was yet another surprise that really hurt.
I called Planet Ford and spoke to a David C. and Lauren Forgle, who said she was the Director of Sales. I explained everything to them. Lauren was very unpleasant and didn't help me at all. At this time, I decided to call Ford Corporate and filed a complaint with them about Planet Ford.
Within a couple of days, David C called me back and said he heard about my complaint with Ford Corporate and that he wanted to get this all taken care of right away. 3 days go by with no update and I called several times leaving him a voice message each time. Finally, I receive a call from Lauren stating that the GM and the dealership have decided not to help me at all. They would not reimburse me for the late fees to DMV, they would not reimburse me for having the car detailed by a professional to remove the water spots, and they would not pay for the smog.
I felt that Planet Ford acted very unprofessional and certainly unappreciative in this economy. Perhaps I should have bought a Toyota. I would never do business with Planet Ford again! I would also not do business with an out of state dealer ever again. I realize that if they had calculated the correct DMV fees that I would have had to pay those either way, but it wouldn't have been a surprise out of pocket expense and I would have known about those additional charges before agreeing to the deal. The condition of the car, the late fees to DMV, and the smog fees were absolutely ridiculous and Planet Ford did not represent Ford Corporate well.
Planet Ford allowed a “shady" deal to go down, asking me not to let Redlands Ford know I was the customer, and Planet Ford didn't care if I was a satisfied customer or not, even though Ford advertises 100% satisfaction guaranteed. I feel that Planet Ford owes me $500. For the detailer to correct the paint and glass damage, $65. For the DMV late fees, and $48. For the smog fees, at a minimum. While they could have refunded me the $600. To make things right, they choose not to. In fact to keep me happy, they should have paid me $1000. To $2000. Considering the lost time I had to put into getting this resolved and not to mention they could have just did the right thing. This was the worst new car buying experience that I've ever had, and this is my 3rd new Ford vehicle! Planet Ford should be shut down!