My first purchase from Car Mart of Decatur, AL was back in 2007. Great vehicle, super great GM, if there was a problem he addressed it immediately. Second purchase was a decent vehicle, I even haggled over the price-GM was super about it, saved about $2000. Had one problem with vehicle, fuel pump; called and they replaced it did a pressure check-injector test-everything worked great. Had a 2 day turn around for the work. Later on the vehicle was in a horrible collision, and after the accident report, after my insurance company towed it to a collision center; my insurance company had an assessor, vehicle was totaled, Car Mart got the check from my insurance company, no problems. So you can see why I go back. I was WRONG.
THIS TIME HOWEVER, the GM is obnoxious, rude, lies, brushes off the customer, and is very unprofessional! I have had the vehicle for less than 3 months. My timing belt broke, and I had my insurance company tow it to the local dealership for a diagnostic. This town has limited sources for vehicle repair services. After checking around at every repair shop I could locate, my only option was the dealership for my vehicle. When it came back the SAME DAY that the timing belt was the problem, engine was good, pistons good etc; I called Car Mart to start a service contract. They wanted the diagnostic report and the vehicle. I explained the vehicle could not be driven. So they wanted me to bring them the diagnostic report and then make arrangements to get the vehicle towed to their location where it would sit until they could find a repair shop they had a vendor agreement with. There is ONLY one shop in town. That shop has general mechanics, with 'good enough' repairs but more complaints then positive feedback.
I explained to the GM that if the timing belt work was done by a sub-standard shop that only offers a 30 day warranty on parts and labor-what will happen on day 32 or beyond if the work was not done to specification? I was traveling at 10 mph when the timing belt broke. If I am going any faster, and the timing belt breaks AGAIN because of sub-standard mechanic work, the brakes will lock up, engine will seize just as it did this past time-only difference is a higher rate of speed means a horrible accident for me! He seemed unconcerned, his tone of voice was monotone at best, and I got the distinct impression that he was not concerned about the safety issue I presented.
I called Corporate, and asked to speak to someone about my service contract, and I got a call back from the DM. She seemed much more concerned, called the GM with me on the phone, had to walk him through the process of accessing the Corporate accounting information and the total process of checking to see if the dealership that had my vehicle was part of the vendors lists. It comes back yes they are 'vendor' approved, but not Corporate account payable approved.
I am told that Car Mart will honor my choice of the repair shop, with the caveat that they call around to get estimates to fix my vehicle at their approved repair places and that Car mart will pay the dealership the amount quoted to them, and any difference I will pay.
So my problem is I have been without my vehicle for 2 weeks now, not because of repairs, the repairs were done by a Master Mechanic at the only Dealership in town, with a warranty on parts and labor for 2 yrs/20, 000 miles. The problem is Car Mart gives you the RUN AROUND about PAYING for the repairs. They do not use 'dealerships' of the make of your vehicle because they say dealerships over charge for parts and labor. NOT TRUE.
Dealerships deal with YOUR make of vehicle specifically, their mechanics are certified at a higher level than the local grease monkey at a fix it shop, and because they only use dealer parts-specific for your vehicle you have an extra warranty on the parts. That means if something goes wrong with the parts or repair, you take it back to the dealer to fix at no charge with the warranty THEY provide, verses Car Mart.
Car Mart uses the local grease monkey shops, or cousin Bubba down the road that does 'good enough' work or less than quality work with OEM parts. Sure, OEM parts fit, they work, but they are aftermarket parts just like going to Autozone or Napa to get them yourself. You don't take your vehicle to the Express Oil Change place to replace your engine, or get your brakes and rotors done! Car Mart does that. And when you call Corporate, they give your message to the local DM (district manager) who then calls you to find out what you need. The first time I talked to the DM she was great. Now, she NEVER calls back. I have emailed, I have left messages for Accounts Payable, I have been told 7 different stories from Car Mart concerning the payment and how it is processed, and I have gone through the entire Thanksgiving holidays catching rides for work, bill paying and grocery shopping. I have been lied to, the service dept at the dealership has been told several lies and everyone is tired of the way this is being handled.
The GM at Car Mart even informed me the first week after calling everyday several times a day, that I should go "SEE" Lisa at the dealership cashier office. the GM said everything was taken care of. You don't go see the Cashier unless your paying for the bill and picking up your vehicle! With this common knowledge, I went to the dealership, on a Friday, an hour before close of business, with the information from the GM at Car Mart to do so. I get there and the person he said to see WAS NOT THERE. She had not been there the whole day. So how can he say he 'just spoke with her'??? And again, no payment had been made for the repairs, so I could not pick up my vehicle. 30 mins later I call Cart Mart again and ask them what is going on?? The Service Manager at the dealership also talks to the GM at Car Mart to figure out what is going on. Neither of us get any kind of real answers! So now I am stranded. My ride has gone to work, I cant get in touch with anyone else, because everyone is under the impression (same as I was) that I was going to the Cashier to get my vehicle. I had to WALK HOME over 4 miles, in the dark cold evening.
It is now the beginning of the 3rd week. Still no resolution. I expect after all of this headache, financial ruin and extended hoax of a 'mystery check' that has been FedEx overnight (over a week ago) to reach conclusion within 24 hours by paying the ENTIRE repair bill.
I did take my purchase contract to an attorney.
I am NOT driving easy. DO NOT do business with Car Mart of Decatur, AL.