Southern Tier Honda / Stay Away!!!

1 1907 New York 14, Montour Falls, NY, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: (607) 535-0005

I had my Honda Goldwing brought into Southern Tier Honda to have a wiring issue diagnosed. I spoke with Gary and Jeff (tho owners)who were both very friendly and helpful. Once the bike was in the shop, I decided to go ahead and have some other work done on the bike. I asked them if they can change my tire and give my bike a detail. They said that they would be happy to service my bike. Before I gave the go ahead, I specifically asked if they accept credit card and both Gary and Jeff both told me that they accept all credit cards.

After the work began, Jered called me and asked me if I would consider selling my motorcycle to them for $3200 and they wont charge me for the work done on the bike. I told him that the bike is worth $5500 and I definitely dont want to sell the bike to them, I just brought it in for service.

When the work was complete, they called for payment of $800. I sent them my credit card info and they responded that they need a postal money order! I asked why they changed the policy and they acknowledged that they did tell me they take credit card but they changed their mind because they "have been burned in the past and dont feel comfortable accepting credit card".

I dont know what their motive is, maybe they dont want to pay the fee or maybe they want me to sell them the bike for the ridiculously low price of $3200 and they want to make it difficult for me because I rejected their offer but whatever the reason is, I spoke to Jeff on the phone today, he was very rude and told me he has my bike and "he can do whatever he wants to do".

Right now they are holding my bike hostage until I mail them a postal money order. The whole reason that I wanted to pay with Credit card in the first place, is that i am planning on selling my bike and I wanted to use my credit card to carry this expense until I sell it and use that money to pay my credit card.


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  • La
      2nd of Sep, 2010

    This complaint is a crock. I know because I was the one the author tried to sell his bike to and the one who actually took bike to Southern Tier Honda and worked out arrangements. Southern Tier Honda is the best motorcycle dealer I have dealt with in many years of riding (and owner 12 different bikes).

    Here is what I wrote to Better Business Bureau:

    Dear BBB;

    I write in response to the above identified complaint of which I have a copy and whose existence comes as a great surprise. I do so as the most involved part of this whole matter, from beginning to end.
    My basic claim is that Mr. Cohen’s account is very incomplete and misleading as well as unjustified. I will provide more complete and accurate detail. And I can support my version with a long series (about 100) of email exchanges between me and Mr. Cohen.
    The bottom line is that Southern Tier Honda (STH), in particular Gary and Jeff, went out of their way to help out Mr. Cohen and me. They did not charge Mr. Cohen for all the time they invested and went the extra mile. Yes, in the beginning Mr. Cohen was told that STH takes credit cards; and yes, in the end STH decided to ask for a form of payment which could not be cancelled or challenged. But they did so with reasonable and understandable justification.
    Mr. Cohen claims he was treated rudely. I was present for a long phone conversation between Gary and Mr. Cohen and I know Jeff and others at STH pretty well. I have never seen them be rude. Jeff can be straightforward and factual, but I don’t know what Mr. Cohen would classify as rude other than STH trying explain their position – on bike and payment.
    Nor did Mr. Cohen tell them his bike was worth $5, 500. He asked them how much they could sell it for and the initial response was $4, 500 at most (given its condition) and then $5, 500 after STH cleaned it up and replaced some important elements, e.g., windshield, tire, and so on. He was told those numbers repeatedly – by them and me (as my emails going back nearly two months demonstrate) – with explanation of the numerous problems with his bike.
    Nor did STH hold his bike “hostage”. They did not really want it and preferred that he come get it or that I take it back to him.
    Mr. Cohen does not have much experience with or knowledge of motorcycles, this being his first and having ridden this one only about 300 miles. By comparison, I have owned 14 motorcycles, including 3 Goldwings, going back many years. In the past 18 months I have sold 4 motorcycles, including a Goldwing and a BMW, and have ridden at least 5, 000 miles. I track several bikes, including Goldwings, in eBay and Craigslist to keep informed about going prices and condition.
    This whole matter began when I noticed Mr. Cohen’s craigslist ad for his Goldwing GL1500. The ad turned out to be very misleading (probably out of inexperience and ignorance). He claimed it was “mint” condition, etc. It was far from it. Based on his claims in ad and on phone and email, and my interest in getting another Goldwing and trading one of my BMWs for it, we decided to try a swap. So we met midway between his home and mine to trade. The moment I saw his bike I almost decided not to try it, but decided I would give it go.
    I rode it home and experience electrical problems – some light switches and lights not working, the ignition not working (randomly), etc. When I got home to Ithaca I immediately took it to STH for examination and evaluation. It was a mess, including a bunch of amateur wiring, much “road rash”, and a variety of other problems. STH tried for an hour and many attempts to start it – without success. They said they would look at it. I told Mr. Cohen via email.
    STH initial impression was that they would give about $2, 500 for it in its then current condition and then invest a couple $thousand in order to prepare it for resale.
    After various message exchanges (with me and STH), Mr. Cohen ask STH to clean it up and put on new front tire. All of the work done was charged about $800 ($425 for clean up and detailing and evaluation of problems, $200 for tire, etc.).
    Because it was a hassle for both me and Mr. Cohen to exchange bikes again, STH agreed to buy it for $3, 200 and absorb the $800 expense. That was more than fair offer. They priced parts for fixing it at an addition $1, 200 and then figured they could sell it for $5, 500, i.e. not much profit.
    Mr. Cohen dragged things on and niggled over various things with both STH and me. He never offered to compensate me for the 6+ hours of time I put into it for him to get things straightened out, despite my mentioning it to him. And he then offered to settle my bike at $400 less than earlier agreed to. I just wanted to get it out of the way, as did STH. But it was this kind of dragging on and complaining (endlessly to me) that made STH understandably nervous about accepting a credit card from someone they did not know and who lived in another state. So they asked for guaranteed form of payment, e.g., PayPal or bank check. And Mr. Cohen got upset and complained to me.

    It turns out that Mr. Cohen and I worked out a settlement, but he never told me about his complaint to BBB. When STH received this complaint they were ready to get rid of bike and not buy it from him. I talked with them and they agreed to go ahead in order to resolve the matter for me and Mr. Cohen. STH is going the extra mile in this matter.

    Please feel free to contact me for further details, including emails.


    Allen Lambert

    -1 Votes
  • Me
      2nd of Sep, 2010

    Mr Lambert,

    In your letter to the BBB you wrote that you owned 14 bikes but today you write that you owned 12...???
    Just one of many holes in your story of lies and deception. Let's start with this self contradiction and than I will list you 10 more. It is nice of you to try to protect your friends at STH but where are your morals and ethics?? Before I made this complain, you told me that I was 100% right! What happened now? Why am I demonized for filing a complaint with the BBB when a business screws me? Isn't that what the BBB's purpose is, to protect honest people from getting screwed by dishonest businesses?
    I am disappointed with you, show some courage and stick with one side of the story. Don't tell me that I'm right just because you want to sell your bike to me and than play the other side of the fence and tell STH that they are 100% right.
    I understand that your really needed to sell your bike and needed the money but life is not all about the dollar, sometimes in the big picture morals and ethics supersede.
    Meir Cohen

    0 Votes

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