I feel compelled to share my story after reading the other horrible experiences others have had with Van. I ADAMENTLY discourage ANYONE from purchasing a vehicle at this dealership as their practices are unethical and their sole purpose is to make as much money as they can on a deal. They don't care about the customer and their staff is rude and disrespectful. I hope my story will prevent others from having the same unfortune (and unnecessary) experience as I did.
On July 13, 2003 I received a call from a friend who was working as a salesperson at Van. He explained to me that a beautiful 2003 Chevy Avalanche had just been traded in and he wanted me to see it. I wasn't looking for a vehicle but he wanted me to see it nonetheless; subsequently he pulled it out of "detail" and drove it to my apartment.
When I saw it I absolutely LOVED it. It was black with tinted windows and beautiful cream leather interior with embriodered "bowties" on all of the seats. My boyfriend and I decided we would go back to the dealership with my friend and "run some numbers." When we got to the dealership, my credit was pulled and a monthly payment determined...so far so good. The problems started when we got into finance. (Most likely because this was my FIRST vehicle ever purchased AND I wasn't putting any money down. Although I would hope I would be offered a more pleasant experience and not be taken advantage of.)
The finance lady was nice (at first) but soon became very angry when my boyfriend was refusing to add any additional warranties or extras to the vehicle. She actually got up and walked out as we were in mid-sentence. It was at this point that my friend, the salesman, followed her out to see what was going on. Apparently she was frustrated with us for "not just taking what she was selling" and ended up angry and in tears!! It was at this point that some guy who was apparently the Finance Manager came in to see if he couldn't sell us the warranties/extras. Since this was my first vehicle purchase my BF was doing all the talking; the FM rudely replied to my BF that he wasn't buying the car so he should let me talk. I explained to the FM, that HE (my BF) would be doing MY talking or we would get up and walk right then and there. The FM didn't like that at all. He told me that I was "lucky" that they could even get me in this vehicle and that I needed to "throw him a bone" since I was getting such a "smoking deal" on the Avalanche.
Things got progressively heated from there with apparent frustration on ALL of our faces and in our mannerisms. When things finally settled down, we got the keys and drove off only to realize that we didn't have a temporary license! We went back to the dealership, got it and headed home.
The next day I went up the street to my Insurance agent and had them add the vehicle to my insurance. A couple days later, I get a call from my Insurance Company telling me that they still hadn't heard from the lender and wanted to make sure that I was actually financed. When I phoned the financing department, I was told that I HADN'T been approved and that someone would call me back. I explained that I was TOLD that I was approved so how is it that now I wasn't???
Later that day, I get a call from the Finance Manager telling me that I would need to put money down on the vehicle OR bring it back to the dealership ASAP! (They had a couple lenders who would finance me but only with money down.) I explained again that I WAS TOLD before I left the dealership that I was financed! The FM said that wasn't the case that I must have "misunderstood" which isn't unlikely since I hadn't had experience purchasing a vehicle before. (Are you kidding me? Could they really be THIS rude to their customers???) I asked OVER AND OVER AND OVER how much they were asking me to bring in to make the deal work; they just kept saying to bring the vehicle in and we would discuss it then.
SO...I then called my BF and explained what was going on. He called my friend to go over what I had told him. APPARENTLY (according to my friend) Duane the Sales Manager told him that he sold the vehicle to me at too low of price. Duane told my friend that they (and I QUOTE) "wanted to WHACK someone on the deal" so they needed to get the vehicle back from me. When I heard this I was FURIOUS! When Duane called later that evening to ask me to bring the vehicle back out to the dealership and we would go over what would need to be done for me to keep it, he was RUDE and DISRESPECTFUL. He told me that if the vehicle wasn't back on the ground in a couple hours, I was going to regret it! I asked if he was threatening me and he just kept repeating that I needed to get the vehicle back to them. I told him that I left the dealership being told that I HAD financing and he said, I never was financed but that wasn't his problem. I was dumbfounded. I explained that I was happy to bring the vehicle back BUT NOT UNTIL he told me how much extra I would need to put down. (We knew per my friend that Van had done this many time in the past to other customers and when you pulled the vehicle on the lot, they will jump in it and pull it around the back where you can't get to it.) They would NOT reason with us until we brought the car back to the dealership. I explained that I owned the vehicle and had insurance on it...but I kept being told that the vehicle was not MINE but Van's!
Needless to say, after many attempts to find out over the phone how much I needed to put down, nothing was being resolved. MY BF and I went out to dinner to discuss this horrible situation and returned around 8pm to our apartment. We got out of the vehicle and when we did, I noticed a guy (who I hadn't seen before) dressed in a suit, looking at us and walking in no partiular direction towards another apartment building. My instincts told me that something wasn't right, but I didn't give it much thought. When I went to run to the store about 45 minutes later, I walked out to our parking lot and...THE VEHICLE WAS MISSING FROM MY PARKING SPOT! CLEARLY that guy had come to take the vehicle back since we hadn't gotten it to the dealership under their conditions.
My BF immedaitely phoned Duane and asked if he came and took the vehicle...he said yes, it was HIS vehicle and he had given us plenty of time to get it back him. We explained that he wasn't working with us and we KNEW that he told our salesman he wanted it back so he could "whack" someone on the deal. (ie get more money on the deal as they weren't making anything on me) Duane said he "had to do what he had to do."
That was that. I spent the better part of a couple weeks completely upset that my first car buying experience was SO incredibly HORRIBLE. I wrote to Chuck Mullins the GM at Van but never received a response to my multiple phone calls/emails or letters. I sent a letter to the BBB but got NO WHERE with them either. I am pleased to see that there is a website such as this one now, where consumers can WARN others in order to prevent additional incidences from happening.
On a more positive note-- on 02/19/06, I purchased a beautiful 2006 Chevy 2500 HD from (((ROR REDACTED))) in Peoria, AZ. The entire process was smooth, the salesman Lou Warner was FABULOUS and the financing manager was SUCH a pleasure to work with. Since that time we have sent four other family/friends to Lou to purchase vehicles and not ONE of them has had anything but a perfect experience with this dealership. STAY AWAY FROM VAN...go to (((ROR REDACTED))) instead!!!
Diosa del sol
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