The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved Texas Direct Auto — bad business
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
I am not an unrealistic person, I realize buying a used car does not come with the assurance of a quality product that you get (or are supposed to get) with a new car. I open by saying this because I know some people expect the world when they make a purchase and regardless of what the item is, that is rarely the case. In this case the "item" was a 2006 Land Rover LR3.
I first was connected with Texas Direct Auto via a friend that told me they bought used vehicles, much like CarMax. (they give you a quote and will buy your car regardless of what you buy from them) At the time I was trying to unload my 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 and get a 4X4 instead. I made an appointment and went in to get a quote. While I was there, I browsed their inventory for something that would suite my needs for my next vehicle. Now while I was there, it was extremely crowded and I include this only as a description of my experience but not so much as a complaint. Although it is not my preference to be in an establishment that is overrun with patrons, you can't fault a business for its success and i took it as a positive sign at the time. After some time an employee called me to the front desk and produced my quote. All in all, i thought i was pretty fair and they were willing to give me an additional discount if i chose to buy something from them. As it turned out i did find a couple vehicles that i thought might work for my situation so i asked to speak with a sales person.
Lui was my salesman and overall he seemed like a quality guy. He walked the lot with my wife and i, showing us several vehicles that we had chosen. (No high pressure sales and an over-all pleasant guy) After a couple test drives we decided on a Land Rover LR3. After our decision was made, we did some negotiating and settled on a price. At that point we were handed off to Calvin for the financing portion of the purchase. Again, Calvin seemed like a good dude and our dealings with him were pleasant overall. Of course there was all sorts of paperwork including an "as is sale agreement" which although wasn’t my favorite, I understood it's function. We left that day with our new purchase and felt good about the whole situation.
Over the next week, as we got to "know" the Land Rover better, there were little issues that popped up but nothing beyond reason. (the windshield wipers needed to be replaced BADLY, the left turn signal was burned out, etc) Again, i chalked these things up to "buying a used car" and considered them "the cost of doing business" when it came to used vehicles. After this week was up, i received an email from Calvin (the finance guy) that simply said, "there was a problem with your paper work, we need you to come in and sign some additional forms". Obviously concerned, i called Calvin directly. After a little dancing around i come to find out that they had charged us the wrong price in the paper work... and what's worse (for them), they had charged us $3000 dollars TOO LITTLE!!! This put them in quite a pickle because legally, we had all signed all the right paperwork so if we so desired, my wife and i could just tell them to get bent and walk away a couple thousand dollars richer. Although slightly humorous, after some discussion my wife and i decided to do "the right thing" because, after all, we had verbally agreed to the higher price. We went in and over Calvin's many, MANY apologies, we signed the right paper work and were on our way.
Fast forward another week; the Land Rover is still meeting our expectations and the world is right. I am out of town on business and my wife is driving the car when suddenly the brake pad sensor lights up the dash. Again, at this point in the game i am still of the mindset that the brake pads are something that are going to be "used" on a used car and it's just bad luck that they would need to be replaced right after we bought the car. I have my wife take the car into a Midas brake shop to complete the repairs. After some inspection the mechanic comes back and informs my wife that the front brake pads do indeed need to be replaced... HOWEVER, the back brake pads are so far gone that the back breaks are totally non-fictional. It's beyond metal on metal; the rotors, pads and housing must all be replaced. Hoping against the worst, i have my wife take the car to a couple other shops to confirm; all agree, the total damage is around $1200!!
Now, this is no longer "the cost of doing business", this is a non-working key component of a motor vehicle. (like the wheels or engine). Hoping for a positive outcome, i take the itemized bill along with the three additional quotes to Texas Direct Auto and ask to speak with my sales person. I figured with our situation, ESPECIALLY given the fact that we came in and made right with the paperwork fiasco, certainly they would be reasonable about this small issue. After a short (but pleasant) talk with Lui, he passed me on to Pat Tucker, the customer satisfaction manager. (the fact that they have a "customer satisfaction MANAGER" should have been my first sign of trouble) At this point i am still pretty level headed about the whole thing, I explain to Pat what has happened and hand over the various paperwork i brought in. He informs me that he will take this information to the "powers that be" and will get back to me in a couple days.
A couple days later i receive a call from Pat; he says that "he really went to bat for me" but unfortunately they are a vehicle whole-saler and would not be able to compensate us on our claim". ... at this point, i lose it. I don't often curse but i let Pat have it pretty good. I'm not going to go into what was said but it was not pleasant. After my outburst and recount of our expericne, Pat tells me that he was unaware about our paperwork foul-up and he wished he would have known that before going into speak about our claim. This angers me even more and I "kindly" ask why it is that I would need to tell him every detail of my experience, shouldn't a HUGE foul-up like that be the first thing that comes to mind when he spoke with my sales person about my situation? (i assume he never spoke to my sales person but that's irrelevant at this point i suppose) Either way, he says now that he has this "new information" he would go back to the "powers-that-be" and see what he could do.
Today, i heard from Pat again; They have decided to pay for $280 of our $1200 repair cost. Obviously this doesn't please me but at this point I’m kind of over being mad. I am saddened by the fact that this didn't work out better. In my situation, from one week to the next LITERALLY the roles were reversed in regards to who had the upper hand financially. I could have very easily screwed Texas Direct Auto out of $3000 but decided not to because i knew it wasn't right. Less than a week later, Texas Direct Auto had the opportunity to screw me out of $1200 and fortunately they also decided not to take full advantage... instead they only screwed me out of $920.