I was nervous about buying a car without driving it first, but when I saw the 100% positive feedback score for Pro Auto Group, I decided to do it... too bad I didn't know at the time that power sellers have ways to get negative feedback stricken from their records! What I should have done was read the feedback comments, especially on the mutually withdrawn feedback. Then I would have seen SEVERAL others who were burned like I was, but somehow, the negatives were changed to neutral? Wonder how long it will be before they have mine changed!
I thought I was bidding on a 2001 Lexus RX300, but when I got there to buy, it was actually a 2000. Of course, according to my salesman, Jim ----, that was ebay's fault, not Pro Auto's. This wasn't too big an issue, as long as it would run like I expected! I was given only one key, had no floor mats, no owner's manual, and the vehicle had been victim of some very bad touch-up work, looked like a marker was used to cover scratches!
Immaculate? 2001? No, neither! But, I don't like to complain, plus I had spent the money to fly out there, so I took the car.
After all, Jim --- had told me that a 30-point mechanical inspection was performed on all vehicles as well as a full computer diagnostic and a complete cosmetic inspection, before the vehicle left the lot - "just look at our feedback score" he said.
So I drive it home and 6 days later it stops running. I think it's the transmission though I don't know a lot about cars. Jim isn't returning my calls as he says he will but does answer. I pay to have the car towed to Toyota (we don't have a Lexus dealer in Jonesboro, AR) & they tell me the transmission needs to be replaced. $5K for a new one & $3K for used. I got some "Free" warranty when I bought it, but of course this isn't covered - big surprise! After a week, I finally ask Jim what Pro Auto is going to do about it. He says, "You bought that car as-is."
So I told him to kiss the 100% score goodbye, at which time he tells me they will leave negative feedback on me if I leave negative. Besides the fact that I paid my deposit immediately, flew out in 2 days to give them certified funds, I hate to be threatened - so I tell him to bring it on. I'm a buyer, I don't make my living off ebay. Plus I have a long history of "real" positive feedback with no "mutually withdrawn."
The next day I get a call from Greg, Jim's manager. He's just heard about it, and says if Jim said they wouldn't pay he's sorry, sorry for the threat of negative feedback as well. But says they'll pay if I get a Lexus dealer to look at it (they swear Toyota is trying to rip me off now!) & if I go through mediation at Square Trade. I agreed.
I spent another week in mediation, had the car towed to Lexus after paying Toyota for a diagnostic. Now Lexus says, it's the transmission alright. Plus there's an air filter completely removed. Cost at Lexus is more, as I expected - $3500 + tax for used. So Pro Auto then starts reverting to the AS-IS & I refused a warranty (which I was never really offered, the papers were alredy printed off stating no warranty, but I did sign) & I had driven it a whole week and put 800-something miles on it (again not true, the mileage was higher when I drove off the lot than what ebay listed - they had been driving it-but I can't prove b/c I signed docs w/o chekcing against OD).
As a good-will effort, they will pay $1000 toward it if I agree not to leave negative feedback. Well by this point, I had checked them out - I knew about all the others & had communicated with some of them.
See, there are ways to have negative feedback changed to neutral, like leaving negative as aretailiation & then getting the other person to agree to mutually withdraw the negative, or by initiating mediation & the other person doesn't want mediation, and soem others, too, I'm still learning all this.
BUT, the comments can never be removed. So you have to read them. And the negatives they left for those people. Peopl like me, who paid cash and did their part, but had the guts to stand up to them when they were ripped-off. The call names, like "Terrorist" and "LOSER" - but they call themselves "Pro"?
They raised the offer to $1200, but I'm not being bought.
I would rather be able to speak out and warn others who see that 100% & feel safe - IT'S A LIE! I can give you other ebayer's ID who will tell you their stories!
Please BEWARE - and if you're a victim too, don't be bullied into keeping quiet. We need to all stick together!
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