• Report: #146591

Complaint Review: CarMax Town Center

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  • Submitted: Fri, June 17, 2005
  • Updated: Sat, February 26, 2011

  • Reported By:Valdosta Georgia
CarMax Town Center
1215 Ernest Barrett Parkway Kennesaw, Georgia U.S.A.

CarMax Town Center RIPOFF! Sold a LEMON that broke down twice the first day!!!! Kennesaw Georgia

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: What a straw purchase is.

*Consumer Comment: to Daniel

*Consumer Comment: Don't worry, Kate

*Consumer Comment: To Daniel

*Consumer Comment: Amazing Comments From CarMax thanks, I'll check out another dealer!

*UPDATE Employee: Immensely Misinformed

*Consumer Suggestion: To daniel

*Consumer Comment: Get real!

*UPDATE Employee: Misconception of ValuMax

*Consumer Comment: What a colorful tale ...

*UPDATE Employee: ValuMax

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On Saturday June 11, 2005 my family went shopping for a used car. We went to Carmax which proved to be a BIG mistake.

First, a little background. I am a full time college student and the car was to be purchased for me by my mother. We had this arrangement previously with my last car, and pretty much everyone I know have purchased cars this way at one time or another. To make sure there wouldn't be a problem with financing I called Carmax ahead of time and spoke to a finance rep named Valory who told me that there wouldn't be any difficulty.

On June 11 we picked out a 2001 Ford Focus from the Valumax lot. During the sales and financing process we were all very open about our arrangement, how my mom would buy the car and I would make payments to her occasionally. Neither the salesman (Allen Rapp) nor the finance rep said anything against this. In fact, the salesman offered suggestions on filling out paperwork based on the fact that I would be driving the car.

The very next day, on June 12, we began having problems with the car. At first the trunk would not close, and then once we got it closed it was stuck and would not open. Rather inconvenient given my luggage was inside. Then the driver's side seat stuck in one position and would not shift. We called the dealership about this and they said it should be covered under warranty, no big deal, take it to a garage where we live on Monday and get it fixed. Then, the interesting stuff began.

At around 2:00pm on Highway 113 the car stalled for the first time. Bear in mind, this was only the second day we had the car and we were about to embark on the four hour drive back home to Valdosta. We spent a few minutes on the side of the road and decided the car had to go back to Carmax. It was not safe to drive and it was RIDICULOUS that the car was breaking down on only the second day! We phoned Carmax and got a serious runaround from the sales managers there. The end result was they said "Fine, bring it in...but we can't refund your money until your mother gets back from vacation because she bought it."

On the way to Kennesaw to return the car it STALLED AGAIN!!!! This time I phoned Carmax (for the third time that day) and told them to send a tow truck because this car was not safe to drive, period. When a sales manager named Mike answered, he said he would have to find the person I had spoken with earlier, and he turned around and said "Hey, who here was working with a Rebekah about a 2001 Ford Focus?" and I could clearly hear a group of men laughing in the background. He then told me that Gary (the other salesman) was at lunch and couldn't be reached.

When the tow truck showed up my boyfriend and I followed it to Carmax. After waiting for ten minutes the elusive Gary Laird showed up and proceeded to tell us that there was nothing he could do about our luggage locked in the trunk, that it was all probably an electrical malfunction but he couldn't say since he had nothing to do with the service side (and yet he sells cars that OBVIOUSLY haven't been tested and certified. funny, huh?) and he said that it was a good thing we were returning it because if he had found out that my mother had bought the car for me to drive he would have had to repossess it anyway since it was an ILLEGAL arrangement.

Now, please remember, we were all VERY clear to both the salesman and the finance reps what our payment arrangement would be and who would be driving the car. At absolutely no time did anyone tell us it was illegal. When I told Mr. Laird this, and my eyewitness backed me up, he backtracked and said "Well maybe it's not exactly ILLEGAL enough for you to go to jail for...but it's against Carmax rules." In other words he was trying to intimidate me because I had returned the car and he feared any type of repercussion. This man had obviously sold me a lemon and was trying to make it seem as if I had done something wrong! Unbelievable!

My boyfriend and I made a remark at the time that they were much, much nicer when they were trying to sell you a car and they were horribly rude when you had to return it the next day because it was defective. It was really an amazing situation.

Two days later I called back to find out what had been wrong with the car and what had happened to my luggage. The young lady answering phones in the service center at first said she had no record of the car but that someone would call me back within an hour and fill me in. THREE HOURS LATER I had to call them back...and was told that they couldn't speak to me, they could only speak to my mother and that she should contact Gary Laird upon her return.

When my mother, who was still on vacation mind you, cut it short to return to Carmax and sign the papers for her refund, Mr. Laird was apparently marginally more polite. He told her that there had been NOTHING AT ALL wrong with our car and gave the impression that I must have done something to it. Again, bear in mind that I had had the car less than 24 hours and put less than 80 miles on it at that point. And, in addition, as my mom told Mr. Laird, SHE had been in the backseat the first time it STALLED. Also, before she had stopped by Carmax to get the refund, she had received a call on her answering machine from Carmax's service department saying that the fuel pump had had to be replaced!!! Nothing wrong with the car, huh? If it weren't such a horrible situation I would have to laugh. I called Mr. Laird to ask him why he so blatantly LIED to my mom about what had gone wrong with the car and he has not yet returned my call. Not surprising.

PLEASE don't consider buying from Carmax at Town Center in Kennesaw. These people are dishonest on many levels, and they obviously do not fully inspect their used vehicles before trying to palm them off on customers. This vehicle was NOT SAFE to drive.

Rebekah
Valdosta, Georgia
U.S.A.

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on CarMax

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/17/2005 03:09 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/CarMax-Town-Center/Kennesaw-Georgia-30144/CarMax-Town-Center-RIPOFF-Sold-a-LEMON-that-broke-down-twice-the-first-day-Kennesaw-G-146591. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

What a straw purchase is.

AUTHOR: The consumerist - (U.S.A.)

A straw purchase is illegal per se in most cases. For example, someone may purchase an automobile for another who, due to poor credit, cannot purchase it himself. The purchase is illegal; however, most financial institutions (i.e. banks) have very strict policies regarding this practice; if the other party defaults on payment, the original purchaser would be liable for the debt even if s/he could not collect the debt and/or repossess the car from the other party.

Being a college student you most likely have student loans out in your name and little established credit history. So instead of adding yourself to the financial arrangement (because you would have higher interest rate) you had only your mom on the deal to get a lower interest rate and payment. It would've been all fine and dandy if you were on the loan.

That is what a straw purchase is.
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#2 Consumer Comment

to Daniel

AUTHOR: commercialpilot - (United States of America)

I know it's an old post but I just came across it last night and wanted to put my 2 cents in it!

Daniel.. A friend of mine also works for CarMax in Chicagland area. Since she has started with CarMax, all she talks about is how great CarMax is, like she has been brainwashed by CarMax. I think its part of your training lol...Also, you are wrong that it's Illegal to have some one else pay for the car. That's why the co-signer contracts exsit. I will even give you the benfit of the doubt that it's illegal to have some else pay for the car in your little world, In Rebekah's case, CarMax is still at fault, if they KNEW it was illegal, then they should have put Rebekah's name on the title as a co-owner. Since she was paying her mom, I am sure her would care less. But CarMax Neglected to do that. However, it's not ILLEGAL though!!!! It's a 5 year old post, hope you have a foind job else where by now since you said " you don't like working for a dis-honest company"

CarMax is a good place to sell your car but I would NEVER buy it from them. Yeah, it's a no haggle environment but hell, I don't want to pay $2k - $3k more for a car.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Don't worry, Kate

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

No one takes "Daniel" seriously. He likes to bash on others but can't bear the brunt when it is re-directed toward himself. He needs to wake up and smell the coffee, and stop defending his rip-off company through his made-up lies.
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#4 Consumer Comment

To Daniel

AUTHOR: Kate - (U.S.A.)

As a concerned reader, I find it hypocritical of you to ask Peter not to attack your personal character, when you yourself are guilty of attacking the personal character of others on RipOffReport.com.

Here is the URL of the post containing your comment: http://www.ripoffreport.com/
reports/ripoff187279.htm

The title of the post is "michele is retarded." It was submitted on: 6/5/2006 10:14:00 PM and modified on: 6/5/2006 10:14:00 PM.

Also, your comment to Michele that "Maybe your husband was fired because he was being a nuisance like you" is unbelievably rude and unnecessary.

You are not doing your company any favors by continuing to post in this forum.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Amazing Comments From CarMax thanks, I'll check out another dealer!

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

I'm glad I found this website (Rip-Off Report). My brother and I were to go to carmax this week and purchase a car each here in virginia beach. But after the comments from Daniel - Marietta, Georgia. I think I will check out another Dearler.

Sincerly David
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Immensely Misinformed

AUTHOR: Daniel - (U.S.A.)

TOM -- You live in Canada. There are no CarMax locations in Canada. Why are you posting here? You bought cars for your kids and your wife? Correct? And you were the ONLY person on the title? Correct? Great, perfectly fine. Spouses and children under the age of 18 are exceptions. Spouses because of the whole marriage thing and children under 18 because they cannot legally enter into a contract.

PETER -- Where is Pony, Alabama. Never heard of it. The "ones" that you speak of when referring to CarMax must be the only on that is in Alabama. Correct? Its in Birmingham. Well, I've worked at that store as well as the four here in Georgia. They all work the same and ValuMax is the same at all stores throughout the country. I honestly don't know where you get your information, but I sincerely invite you to the Birmingham store to speak with a Sales Consultant because you are very misinfomed about CarMax.

I also don't know how you interpreted my last post as saying that a luxury car that met the criteria for a ValuMax vehicle wouldn't be on the lot. It would. If it passes the inspection, it'll be on the lot. Maybe what I posted was confusing, I hope that this clears it up.

It is true, however, that a ValuMax vehicle may have problems down the road. That doesn't mean that it is a bad car or that CarMax didn't do a good job. What that means is that you bought a vehicle that was (1) over 60K miles, or (2) over 6 years of age. That means a higher risk. The buyer KNOWS of this risk before they even look in the car. It says "VALUMAX" on both the front windshield of the car and on the window sticker.

You are correct, consumers SHOULD do as much research as they can on the vehicles they are interested in. I recommend ConsumerReports.com as they have a very UNbiased opinion on vehicles and really get to the nitty gritty.

Regarding the posts on here about CarMax. I haven't read all of them, but the majority of the ones I have read, CarMax did what we say we will and made the situation right. There is no law, at least in Georgia, that says a car can be returned after purchase. CarMax is the ONLY used car (and even many new car lots don't) that will allow a customer to return a vehicle. CarMax has been around since 1993, they are the biggest used car retailer, sell more used cars than ANY other company, have sold over 1.5 million cars since 1993, are a Fortune 500 company, were voted best place to work 2 years in a row by Fortune Magazine. Does this, honestly now, sound like a company that got to where it is today being dishonest and cheating the customer? If you say yes, then you truly don't know what you are talking about.

Also, please don't attack my personal character. That is just rude and uncalled for.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

To daniel

AUTHOR: Tom - (Canada)

What have you been smoking? When I was a teen my mom bought vehicles and I was the ONLY driver. I have bought vehicles for my kids and wife and they have been the only driver. The finance people could care less who drives the vehicles as long as the payments get made on time.

That will be the day my bank tell me who can drive my cars.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Get real!

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

Perhaps your Carmax in "Marietta, Georgia" does not engage in such practices (though I doubt it), but the ones in my neck of the woods certainly DO, and they make it known exactly what is a ValueMax vehicle. Please ... if a perfectly fine car met the age criterion yet was otherwise 100% functional, you'd have NO TROUBLE AT ALL selling it on the regular lot. The reason why any car goes to the ValueMax lot is because of other underlying issues that CarMax does not want the customer to know about. And, as a customer, it is important to research and find out the truth before buying!

Read all the reports on your company on this website. Hate to break it to you, pal, but you do NOT work for an "honest" company. Since you say you "would never work for a dishonest company" perhaps you should start looking for another job (if you stand behind your convictions instead of just putting up a "front").
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#9 UPDATE Employee

Misconception of ValuMax

AUTHOR: Daniel - (U.S.A.)

Alright, I don't know what web site you were reading when you got your information about what makes a car a ValuMax vehicle. Straight from the carmax.com site:

"Thoroughly inspected and reconditioned older vehicles, 6+ years old and/or 60,000+ miles. May have minor cosmetic imperfections."

You can easily find a luxury vehicle thats been in an accident and only has 3K miles on it. As long as there is no title branding, frame/core damage, multiple panels repainted, etc...it might be on the front lot for sale to the general public.

There are TWO things that make a vehicle ValuMax:

1. 6 years or older
2. 60,000 miles or more

That's it. No other qualifications make a particular vehicle a ValuMax vehicle. Being in a wreck does not make it a ValuMax vehicle.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't post incorrect information as this is how consumers get the wrong idea about CarMax. I wouldn't work for a dishonest company.
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#10 Consumer Comment

What a colorful tale ...

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

First of all, "ValueMax" vehicles are so-called because they have been in accidents, have high mileage, or have other issues that cause the car to not meet basic specifications. They are priced extra low because of this, as these cars will likely need repairs at the customer's expense. This information about "ValueMax" vehicles is clearly stated on the CarMax website as well as in the store.

Secondly, it is your MOTHER's responsibility to handle this situation as SHE is the one who bought the car and the car is in HER name. You can go to the dealership as often as you like, call everyone you can think of, and do whatever else you want to do .... but they cannot legally do anything without your mother's consent.
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#11 UPDATE Employee

ValuMax

AUTHOR: Daniel - (U.S.A.)

First off, we don't have "finance reps" so, that's a lie. Secondly, it is illegal. It is called a Straw Purchase. You cannot buy a car for someone and let them be the primary driver unless they are on the title of the car. NO FINANCE COMPANY WOULD ALLOW THIS!

Lastly, try buying a Ford under 60K miles next time as Fords are not the most reliable vehicle. You could have gotten a Toyota with more miles for the same price and not of had a problem.

Also, no other car dealership in the WORLD would allow you to return a car AT ALL. CarMax is the ONLY place!
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