Laurel (corusca) wrote in bad_service,

Nightmares in car sales

Adventures in car dealerships!


So, I purchased a used Prius through a local Toyota dealership and have had nothing but a nightmare ever since. It all seemed smooth at first, it was going to be registered at my permanent address in Tennessee (I'm in Florida) and all the documents were signed and mailed off. Great! I have a temp tag, and I just have to wait until my car is registered to get my real plate.

A month after the sale, my bank calls. They haven't received my title. Odd, says I. I call Dealership - Oh! they say. You forgot to sign a line on the sold pack. Well, it was all signed in front of a bank clerk who reviewed it at the same time...but okay, things happen, it's possible. Let's sign a new one!

Alrighty then, they get their documents. Whoo, I say, there should be no problems now, car should be registered and title will be generated and sent to bank. I'm given temporary tag #2.

Another month passes. Bank says 'title, please?' and once again I call Dealership. Oh, they knew that the registration hadn't been processed yet because they needed a document from me. Why wasn't I informed of this prior to calling with questions...again? No answer. I'm given temporary tag #3. Please note: in the state of Florida you are allowed two of these max per the DMV. Interesting, but okay, on their heads, right? And they've put a rush on this so it shouldn't be too much longer...

Isn't it amazing how time flies? Month three passes like a flash, and once again I call Dealership to find out why my car has not been registered. This time they don't need anything from me...they've just accidentally lost my paperwork! But now that I've pointed it out to them, they'll get right one it and get this sorted out. And in the meantime, let's just put a dealer tag on this car because four temporary tags would probably be a bit much...except for the fact that (as I found out when pulled over a week later) it is illegal to put a dealer tag on a car that has been sold! Fortunately there are no tickets involved, but driving around illegally leaves me with a little bit of concern - particularly when I call Dealership to point this out and they reply that they do this all the time, and have never heard of it being illegal. You'd think a car dealership would know these things.

Finally, glorious day, the registration comes through. I have a license plate, my bank has my title and to apologize for the trouble the dealership offers me an extended warranty for my vehicle - which is great, being as it has started to act up and I'd like to get it fixed. I sign the papers, they sign the papers, they'll send it off to Toyota corporate and (best of all!) I can use this at any Toyota place and can wash my hands of Dealership forever.


Another month goes by and I haven't gotten any receipt or further documentation from my warranty. Hmm, I says. I'm sure that it's been filed, after all, this is simple enough, right? I go to Other Dealership to have their service department check out the issue I'm having but they call for the warranty records exist. What? Only the powertrain, they say.

Oh. Of course, how silly of me to think this could have gone smoothly. I call Dealership and now the brilliance of it all! The warranty (my signed contract) was never filed, because that's a 'time of purchase' warranty, not valid on a car that I've been driving for three months. Why they didn't tell me when this was noticed...again, no answer. They can give me another warranty, for the same terms, and there's still no deductible...if I go to Dealership for my repairs.

Needless to say, I'm not accepting this offer - if I have to set foot in that building again, it will only to resolve this issue, and certainly not for anything that could be considered service.

The best part of this is that through the ENTIRE process they have acted like I'm being an EB for expecting them to do their jobs in a timely manner. For example, the call I received regarding my warranty yesterday opened with "I'm calling you on my day off, corusca, my day off that I could be spending with my kids."

Perhaps, (I think, but do not say), if you did your job on the days that you're scheduled to be at work, you would not have to do it on your days off. Just a thought, though.

Thankfully, the person at Toyota's corporate customer service line seemed to find the situation as ludicrous as I do, so we'll see what happens when they research it and call me back...


tl;dr: it takes over 100 days to get a car registered, and then they attempt to void a signed warranty that I was given as an apology. Bonus, I'm made to feel like a bad guy.

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