The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website
Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In

Russ Darrow Mazda / They lie like rugs!

1 United States Review updated:

Below is a interchange we had with Russ Darrow Mazda. Don't bother dealing with them. They lie like rugs!

Well, we would be interested in driving to get a good deal. I am not quite sure Russ Darrow of Greenfield is a dealership we would want to deal with.....?????
Saturday's dealings sure didn't put Russ Darrow or you in a very good light. We wasted a lot of time with nothing to show for it. Since I was skeptical about the $6,000 discount, I specifically asked you if Mazda 5s were discounted $6,000. You said without hesitation "Yes". You asked if I could immediately drive down to the dealership to sign a deal because this discount was for the week before BUT you would honor it if we signed the deal that Saturday (July 22nd).
You thought the dealership had a blue Mazda 5 Sport with sunroof and the popular equipment package but would check the inventory and get back to me in a half an hour. Well, a hour and half later I hadn't heard from you. I couldn't understand this especially since the urgency you expressed in us coming down to Greenfield immediately. So I called you to find out what the heck was going on. When we finally connected you had not checked the inventory. You said you would check the inventory and call back in 5 minutes or less. 10 minutes later I got a call, at least it wasn't 3 times the original time mentioned. You talked about a vehicle without a sunroof (Specially asked for that option) and offered the vehicle for over $18,000. Needless to say I was blown away by the price. A lot higher than what we have been quoted by other dealers and substantially higher than the $6,0000 discount from MSRP we had talked about earlier.
Taking into consideration the above occurrences, would a 2 hour plus round trip drive be worth only $500 to you?
----- Original Message -----
From: Andy
To: gmjmz
Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2006 9:51 AM
Subject: Russ Darrow Mazda
HOW FAR WOULD YOU DRIVE TO SAVE MONEY?!?!? Greg, I am prepared to beat your best deal on an equally equipped Mazda 5 by $500. Is the 60 mile drive worth $500 to you? I know there may have been poor communication on my behalf in regard to our Ad, but we have never lost a customer over price! That is why we are #1 in Wisconsin for volume. I hope you will consider this offer and
let me know either way. I look forward to hearing from you Andy O Harrow
Internet Sales Manager Russ Darrow Mazda [protected]-5800

Sort by: UpDate | Rating


  • Sc
      24th of Oct, 2007
    0 Votes

    Russ Darrow dealerships are full of lying associates that would sell their own mother down the river for a few extra greasy dollars. If they needed the money, they could have just asked, I don't mind giving to the handicapped. I just ask that you over at arrow try to control the lies and keep them to a minimum. Darrow means bad business.

  • Up
      17th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes

    I agree, I purchased a brand new car from Russ Darrow Mazda and had problems with it from the first week. They never would return calls from the salesperson to the General Manager. Complaint after complaint.. and about a year later, I had to hire a lawyer to turn back the situation in my favor. Now that the car is gone... my next car will be purchased anywhere but Russ Darrow stealer ships.

    If you are reading this and considering buying a car at Russ Darrow, DON'T. Go somewhere else, do some research. There are plenty of dealerships out there. If you are looking for used, dont go to a dealership.

  • Ke
      4th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    I've had the same bad experience with Russ Darrow. My wife and I bought a new Mazda 3 there and we were lied to time and time again. We had the car for a week and when we filled it with gas for the first time we found it was a quart low on oil and there was no coolant in the overflow tank. When we were signing the papers they said they were cleaning the car and inspecting it, job well done. I brought the car back to have them check the motor for damage (they probably never did anything) and to have the car undercoated, rust proofed and paint protection applied. When I came to get the car I was told it was done, but when I looked under the car nothing had been undercoated! When I pointed it out the service manager told me "they did the wheel wells really well", I didn't pay all that money to only have the wheel wells coated and they weren't even sprayed with anything! The next day they undercoated the car, again it was a c****y job. When I got the car home I removed a door panel to check the rust proofing and found it was not done as well. After 2,000 miles the paint started chipping off the rocker panels and door bottoms. They repainted the car and added mud flaps and a few months later the paint started coming off again. It was repainted again (a very poor job). I was told the orange peel was a chip guard, I'm not stupid and I could see the stone chips below the new paint. I was lied to many times by these guys, they will look you in the eye and lie. I would never buy another car from them or suggest anybody buy a car from them. I fought with them (and Mazda USA) for over a year and finally sold my car. It was the worst car experience I've ever had!

  • Th
      2nd of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    I strongly agree!!! apparently the lying goes across all Russ Darrow locations.

    Chantel and Kevin Wilson from the 91st and brown deer location.. STEER CLEAR OF THEM.
    pathetic, liars, unprofessional
    the whole 9..
    Filled out an application and a credit check was run at one location... ended up having to go to the 91st and Brown Deer location. Based on a call from Chantel. The salesman, Kevin WIlson supposedly cant get a hold of anyone regarding my original application... subsequently the loan was not approved due to " some things I am not sure"
    apparently it doesnt take much to be hired there.. just an unscrupulous lying nature...
    I would never recommend anyone go to Russ Darrow if they need a car...

  • Da
      17th of Nov, 2008
    -1 Votes

    I think it's very unfortunate that these folks had such unpleasant experiences at our stores. I have been with the Russ Darrow group for 6 years and have hundreds of happy customers. The owners, Russ and Mike are wonderful people and very conscientous and community minded. Most of our dealerships have a 95% or higher customer satisfaction rating in both sales and service. I would invite anyone with an issue to contact me.

    Dan Shutts,
    Operations Manager

  • Br
      7th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    My name is Brad Whippo and I am the General Manager at Russ Darrow Mazda. I am sorry to hear about the experiences that some folks have had in the past. I will tell you that I have worked for the Darrow Family for a number of years, and they have always worked hard to take care of their employees and customers. We go the extra mile to take care of our customers, and I can tell you from personal experience, that most every call from folks that have problems, are resolved immediatly. My door is always open and my cell phone is on 24 hours a day. I meet most of my customers and they have my business card with my personal cell number. I am proud to say that we are the number one volume Mazda Franchise in Wisconsin, and that only happens when you take great care of your customers. I invite the folks who have had less than pleasant experiences to come and visit. I would like to meet you. I can assure you that you will have a great experience!

    Brad Whippo
    General Manager
    Russ Darrow Mazda Super Store

  • Mi
      20th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I was MOST dissatisfied with Russ Darrow of Wauwatosa. We went in yesterday (May 19, 2009) to inquire into their 2-for-1 deal. According to the email I received, I was eligible to select a used car (valued up to $10, 000) when I purchased a new car. It sounded a bit too good to be true, but they had a similar deal in January, ostensibly with great success. When we arrived, we discovered, to our horror, that the ad was FALSE, and that we would only be able to apply the rebate ($500) from the purchase of the new car that we wanted towards a used car. Some deal! The salesman was not even aware of a concurrent promotion, which would have netted an additional $500 credit. After running some preliminary numbers, the finance man suggested that we could pay around $475/month for a Kia Spectra, and and additional $106/month for the used car we liked. $400+/month for a KIA? What a joke!

    What a misleading advert! 2-for-1? No way! 2-for-2...that's more like it. This is NO deal. Why would this be anything special?!? I could easily get the same, if not better, from a reputable dealer on a better car.

    I'm glad Russ Darrow was so soundly defeated in his bid for the US Senate seat for Wisconsin.

  • Tu
      29th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    I cant believe people could be so stupid, WHAT?! No free 10, 000 car with purchase? What!? The price that is thousands less than the competetors isnt real?! How old are you people? You get what you pay for. If you fork over some profit to the dealer the process goes much smoother. Trust me. There is no such thing as a free lunch losers.

  • Ve
      10th of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    People; Beware of Russ Darrow Mazda Greenfield, WI (Service Shop)

    Our vehicle was in their Service shop for a month and a half. It went in with an engine problem they and our extended warranty confirmed yet, learned we now had another dilemma. After their shop installed a rebuilt engine; we were notified the transmission had multiple faulty codes and that they would have to tare down the transmission to further diagnose the problem.

    My husband and I authorized them to proceed and we were told that they found the pump was bad and that this was a pre-existing condition however, many people told me not to believe that. I was told if our vehicle ever had transmission problems, there would signs such as:

    Transmission gear slippage, Transmission non-engagement, slow delayed gear shifts - we never had any of these issues...

    So, I decided to do a little homework and did some research online and obtained VERY interesting results which prompted me to get a second opinion...

    I contacted a certified mechanic whose specialized in transmissions telling him what was going on and per the information I gave him; he says it sounded as though these issues arose due to an improper engine installation; and was the exact search results I got online!

    So, I took him to Russ Darrow Mazda and while he was inspecting the transmission, he pointed out a couple problem areas which showed signs that the torque converter was not placed in correctly and is what caused the internal damages to the transmission. This is when he asked to see the torque converter and was shocked when I learned this part got transferred to another shop! The mechanic asked the Service Manager why if they were stating there was nothing wrong with the torque converter they sent it out where now it's looking as though it was re-manned.

    It was evident this was NOT a pre-exiting issue; it was an issue caused by their shops negligence! The Service Manager was agitated and was all up in the mechanics face; not to mention how he was unprofessional using profanity and degrading a product that they sell/advertise on a day-day basis..

    Til this day, The Service Manager has been uncooperative. He has repeatedly declined to provide my husband and I with copies of their work order, technicians report on what was found upon their diagnostic, the shop involved who re-manned our toque converter which he alleges was done without his approval... ALSO: we have no record where our Extended Warranty requested Russ Darrow Mazda to transfer our torque converter except for Mazda's allegations; however, they insist they have documentation. WELL - where is it!?

    So, it got to a point where my husband and I got fed up because clearly we were not getting any result; we asked several of Mazda's personnel to speak to a General Manager and no one was able to come up with a name of who we could contact.

    So, here again, I am now playing detective. I went into the BBB and found Russ Darrow's Corp office in Menomonee Falls and the following morning; made it our decision to file a complaint. We explained our situation and how we have been unfairly treated and how we felt we shouldn't have to be paying any extra costs for the replacement of the transmission. My husband and I were told that they would be contacting Mazda's Service Manager and call me back with how we can get this resolved.

    Being the fact this is the home office, my husband and I were peace minded with the thought we were going to see a positive outcome. WRONG! Rather than hearing back from the Corporate office, we got a call from the Service Manager who we were clearly having problems with.

    He called to inform my husband and I they had another vehicle in their shop with transmission issues and that as an option, they would replace our pump with this other one. The problem was, they were not guaranteeing that our vehicle would last us more than a couple days... Are you kidding me!? What type of bogus offer is that!?

    I lost my patience and demanded Mazda provided me with copies of EVERYTHING under our file however, I was bribed. I was told the only way they would release our documents was when we removed our vehicle from their shop... I did not want to hear it no more and I hung up...

    Now I am ticked off and contact their corporate office once more and request to speak to the lady who took my complaint. Before I allowed a conversation, I informed her I was monitoring "recording" the call. It sounded as though she was trying to get rowdy however, noticed a change of tone the min I announced I was recording our conversation.

    I asked her why rather hearing back from her, I was getting a bogus offer from their Mazda Service Manager.? I also told her I did not appreciate how she told me she was going to get back to me and having to hear from someone else. I also told her that how we've requested our records and are not being released and demanded she finds out why and for her to get these over to me.. "Just so you know - she never got them"

    So, I am running out of options and started to look again and found this posting from:
    Brad Whippo (5/20/2009)
    General Manager
    Russ Darrow Mazda Super Store
    **offers to help/assures you a wonderful experience**

    I looked him up on Facebook PPL!!! And found he has an account. I sent him a message stating I had a problem with the Mazda Shop and that I had found his posting and asked him for help. I left him my cell ph# and waited for him to correspond.

    The following day I received a message from him. He told me the name of the person's Service Manager is ***** and suggested I talk to him. I was fuming and very disappointed. Clearly, Mazda, the Corporate office and were giving me the run around and got that same impression of him. I told him how I was disappointed and how he's not reliable as he portrayed himself to be. I also told him that the Service Manager was my issue and that the Corp office was also aware however - it all stood the same... He wrote back and told me he was off that day however, that he'd talk to the Service Manager the following day and left it at that. I of course apologized because I know I was rude. But, explained how their product was degraded and was being forced to have our un-drivable vehicle from the Mazda shop with the condition of getting our documents. I also informed Brad that this was an ongoing issue 2 days straight and found they were violating ATCP 132 and that I was going to make that known with the bureau.

    I never got any further correspondence HOWEVER, I was now getting a call from a General Manager in sales from Mazda offering to buy our vehicle which is under a bankruptcy and has a debt of $7000.00; clearly this was not a problem for them as long as the bank gave them a clean title... Where does this leave my husband and I? Well, the plan which was not 100% guarantee to be a success was to try and get us in a new car. I knew then and there that was not going to work; our credit is doomed.

    My question was: why if their willing to buy our vehicle which still has a debt of $7000.00, they would not replace the transmission (which would be a $4, 000.00 savings). The Manager in sales knew that was logical however, he was only following instructions...

    So, this was now looking to become a legal matter which died out because Mazda offered to replace our transmission with a used one as a "goodwill gesture". Right!

    My question is, WHY if you know this was not a wrong doing, you will offer to buy our vehicle and now replace our transmission for free..??

    This is the problem: There were wayyy tooo mannyyy verbal agreements made from Sept 22 until recent. Because I did not get anything in writing for example: Rental bill - is reasons my husband and I now have to pay close to $700 for a week our Warranty will later reimburse us for however, is money we still lose because we have to pay the portion of the insurance my husband added ($490 with some change). I was under the impression that Mazda covered the entire Rental bill when clearly - they didn't...

    The purpose of me posting this is so people out there know how my husband and I were hassled. This situation has taught us a lesson; Know and Fight for your rights as a Consumer! If you have questions about things, ask. If you don't understand, ask again. Still in doubt; continue asking until you get a satisfying answer. About these repair contracts: Ensure you understand the whole concept; These shops don't require your signature and can simply use your verbal authorization. Matter of fact, I was sent this link and found it to be very useful; check it out if you feel you are being victimized...

    When dealing with an extended warranty, ensure the shop is giving you ALL the information anytime it involve s a claim. My husband and I never knew our Extended Warranty would have paid the entire claim with a no out of pocket expense for us if we would have chosen a used engine. This is why we were stuck with a repair bill close to $700.00. Know your options and don't let anyone chose for you; if you can afford to pay a little more, then so be it. But, again, that should be your call and no one else's.

    IF you're in a situation where you're inconvenienced due to an issue you have no control of where the shop makes you an offer, get it done in writing! I can never understand how certain verbal agreements are acknowledged and for others it's of no use...

    So, if you suspect you're rights are being violated; know there are options. Be smart and let other peoples experiences guide/serve you as an example...

  • Ru
      29th of Sep, 2011
    0 Votes

    We are very sorry to hear this please contact me at to allow me to assist in anyway possible. We value ALL OF OUR customers and will go above and beyond to help

  • No
      29th of Aug, 2013
    0 Votes

    I received a credit offer from Russ Dartow Honda on Brown Deer road so I looked at their used car inventory and found a car I liked. I called first and then went to the dealership on Saturday to complete my financing so they could get the car from another location on Monday morning. On Monday I spoke with them and was told the car was sold. I then called the Madison location and was informed that the car was still for sale. I called Russ Darrow Honda back and explained that there must be a mistake because Madison said they have the car. They called me back after they said they investigated and said someone was thinking about buying the car but thought it had mechanical issues and that they would not sell the car to me because it was " a piece if c*** ". Over the next few days and evenings they had me go through their online inventory and choose another vehicle. Each vehicle I chose was "sold ". For two nights we were called to come drive vehicles they thought I would like . I should mention all these cars were on their lot or the one. 5 miles away. After I went and drove the cars I was told that they had too many miles for my financing. When I asked why you would have me come and drive them they just shrugged their shoulders. They then found a car I was interested in and I drove it and sat down to go the paperwork. The sale an came to me and told me the monthly payment and I said for what car? It was several thousand more than the Internet price, I was also told I had to buy an expensive warranty and pay an extra thousand dollars since my credit wasn't great. Funny, I thought the high interest rate was my punishment for my lower credit score. All the sudden all the salesmen left and the General Manager came out and was very brief with me. When I questioned the huge increase I was told that this deal would not work and he stood up and shook our hands and said goodnight, no car! I called about each car from other Russ Darrow lots that they said had been sold and each was was still for sale. It became clear to me that they were only going to sell me a car from their lot or their nearby Nissan lot. The last car I called to see about was at their Appleton store and I got a very nice saleswoman named Sadie that said yes that particular car was still for sale and she was looking at it! She then asked what was going on and I told her my story. I filled out their credit app so she could get me the original car from Madison but the next day it really was sold. She worked very hard to make it right and set me up with their Corporate Finance Director, Spencer. He was very nice and arranged for me to purchase one of the cars I was interested in and asked me to go to the Russ Darrow Nissan store at 11;00 on Saturday morning to sign the finance papers and take delivery of the car. I was told that Nick their GM would handle it personally and Spencer assured me Nick would have it all ready for me. I arrived and was offered a seat and a young salesman approached and let me know that Nick would be coming in later and that the car Spencer arranged financing for had been sold the previous Monday! ( this car is still to this day being advertised on their website). I did not get upset just asked if there was a similar vehicle that I could look at. For the next three hours we looked at several car but none like the Ford Edge I was there to buy. After three hours of this I walked across the showroom to a desk with about 5 men sitting there and said I was not interested in buying the Chevy traverse they were pushing on me and that at this point they should call other locations and try to find a Ford Edge. I let them know that I would pay more and deserved to be given that option. A man then spun around his chair and asked me what I did for a living (sales) and asked me if people walked into my office and told be how to do my job? I said no but it's been three hours and I have had a very bad Russ Darrow experience. This gentleman which I discovered was indeed Nick said " not at this location" I said your wrong I arrived this morning to take home a car that you didn't even realize was already sold so I am having a problem with this location! He then said I am denying you a sale and goodby!
    I couldn't believe this happened again! I had someone else with me on both occasions that assured me I was polite and very understanding and way to patient with them. I cried all afternoon and just felt like I didn't understand why this was happening to me, all I was trying to do was give them business and pay for a car! I called Spencer and he apologized and said he would buy a ford edge at auction for me on Monday and get one like I wanted. He indicated that this was not common practice but since I had such a poor experience with Russ Darrow that he wanted to do this for me. He said to be available by phone so he could get my ok before he bought a car at auction. I cleared my work calendar and waited for his call. He texted me later to say that there wasn't a match and that it would take some time to find what I wanted. I was emotionally exhausted, behind on work ( I have two jobs) so I went back on their site and found a newer model that was a few thousand dollars more and asked him to work up the numbers for me. He kept saying the price was not listed but on their mobile site it showed the
    Price, when I pulled it up on my laptop it did say call for price. He told me he was not making money and giving me it at cost but the amount was the same as it said on their mobile site. The VIN numbers were the same so I knew it was the same car. He was generous and gave me a warranty at cost and the price was fair so I said ok I'll take it. He had to get the car from Madidon and have it delivered to the Waukesha location. I asked if I could come in the next day but he said my financing would expire if I did not go that night. The Internet listing ( which I have pictures of) said the car had leather seats and Sirius radio and blue tooth and many other upgrades offered on the base SE model. I arrived and the car was still being cleaned and I was helped by the best Russ Darrow employee I had encountered, Junior. He took all my information and introduced me to the finance manager. In the meantime he showed me the car and let me drive it. It was 8:30 by then and dark and I was not feeling well so I depended on the description of the vehicle and honestly did not inspect to see if every option was there. I saw the LCD screens and the button for the Bluetooth phone and the Sirius satellite button so I believed it was there and it was late and I wanted to sign the papers and go home. I also knew I had to subscribe to Sirius radio and I would have to read the manual to learn how to set up the blue tooth so I figured I would do that in the morning. I realized the seats were not leather as advertised but I was fine with that as I was so sick of Russ Darrow and the process that I just wanted it to be over. This took up three valuable weeks of my life. I pushed the phone and Sirius button on my car the next morning and the LCD screen said this option was not installed on this vehicle! I called Junior and he said he would call Spencer and find out what to do about it. 48 hours later and no call back I just texted Spencer. He said I chose the car and he gave me such a great price that they lost money ( I paid the stated Internet price) so there was nothing he could do about it and that their Internet ads were often incorrect. He said they rely on the cars vin #s to give them those details and they are often incorrect and there is nothing he could do but sell me the Sirius radio at dealer cost and while he values me as a customer he is not able to do anymore for me. I also noticed tonight that my car has manual headlight! What car in 2013 has manual headlights, it was not advertised that way! To sum it up I was a patient customer that only stuck with Russ Darrow after several unpleasant experiences because one nice saleswoman put me together with the finance guy who kept my business because he was able to get me a great interest rate. I am not a gluten for punishment and this was the only reason I kept going back. They wore me down until I bought a car that was falsely advertised as having features it did not, the one owner it advertised was a car rental company and my purchase was rushed. Yes I could have examined it in the dark with a fine tooth comb but I didn't and I am stuck paying. $430 a month for a vehicle that doesn't have many of the advertised options. They got me, good job! I am a very outspoken saleswoman from two prominent Milwaukee families that own half a dozen businesses (they spend several hundred thousand dollars on fleets every January ) and I am very active in the community. I will be sure to share my Russ Darrow experience. This is a good case for you never know who you are meeting and how far their voice can be heard. Spencer never saw the car and I know he had no bad intentions and Sadie (Appleton) and Junior (Waukesha) represented Russ Darrow well. As for all the other employees I dealt with at their Honda and Nissan stores I consider them liars and wasters of my valuable time. I was lied to, called a silly White lady ( yes this happened at the Honda store), insulted, made to feel as if i was being difficult, dismissed and denied a car purchase by two dealerships, and finally purchased a car that was falsely advertised! I would say Russ Darrow has a lot work to go on their business practices!

  • 2t
      27th of Jan, 2017
    0 Votes

    @Not a Russ Darrow fan! Brevity is the soul of whit

  • 2t
      27th of Jan, 2017
    0 Votes

    @2thPoint "Brevity is the soul of wit", not whit. Although, "brevity is the soul of whit" is wittier

  • 2t
      27th of Jan, 2017
    0 Votes

    One would think you would be happy and grateful that you were finally getting your car. It sounded like you have bad credit and only had so many options available. It sounded like Russ Darrow also spent 3 weeks of their time going back and forth ttying to find you the make and model you wanted. But you never got into the cost of the car, how much money you had to put down and what monthly payment you could afford.
    I am assuming that you were only approved for a certain amount and the bank wouldn't approve the cars you wanted. That's why they told you the car you wanted had too many miles on it.
    We all want all the options but if the bank is only lending you a certain amount, and somebody at Russ Darrow spent 3 weeks trying to find you the make and model you had to have and the price and miles the bank had to have, I would think you would have been grateful for all the effort everyone put in at Russ Darrow to get you approved and driving a Ford Edge which was what you wanted. You had been going round and round for weeks so you knew what you could afford and when you test drove the car you liked it enough to purchase it. You knew it didn't have leather and said you were ok with that. You drove the car at 8:30 at night and you must have turned on the lights. Didn't have a problem turning them on then. In fact, you probably didn't notice reaching your hand out to turn them on because it's simple to do. You have to start the car to drive it and don't complain about that. You were ok not having leather. You drove the car, you were happy, satisfied, you were ok with the price, they sold you a warranty at cost that you bought.
    So, why are you complaining when you should be grateful. You got everything you wanted. You drove it. You liked it, you bought it.
    What bothers you is it didn't come with satellite and you were either ok with that or it wasn't important enough to check.
    Would you not have bought the car that night if they told you it didn't come with satellite?
    You bought a warranty at cost that night. If they offered to sell you satellite at cost that night, you would have bought it if you really had to have it.
    And Russ Darrow offered to sell it to you at cost now so again, what are you complaining about?
    I am positive the bank would only lend you the wholesale value of the car. Because of this, they couldn't mark up the car. They really didn't make anything selling you that car. The reason they kept telling you to leave and that they did not want to sell you a car is because of that very reason. They got you approved on a chevy and then you changed your mind and made them go through everything all over on another car that they knew the bank wouldn't approve. You wasted their 3 weeks. And not just one persons. You waisted finance, the manager, salesperson and not just Brown Deer, you were getting Madison to jump and Nissan, and who knows how many Internet reps. Good god. All this and you got exactly what you wanted.
    So ungrateful.

Post your comment