The purpose of this is to expose the wrongful and corrupt business practices of Manheim Auto Auction as well as educate it readers on the discriminatory practices that have affected the well being of my business and more importantly, my family. I am going to start by giving you a brief background on myself, then my education, and my character as a man.
My name is (((REDACTED))). My wife and I were married in November of 2005. We have 2 beautiful children, a 3 years old girl and 13-month-old baby boy. I am the oldest of five and I am 31 years old. I attended Centennial High school in Howard County and graduated from the A Course at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1996. I have an undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Electrical Engineering, and studied for my Masters in Electrical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University (Homewood Campus). After graduating from Tech in 2000 I took a position at Northrop Grumman in the Microelectronics department. There I worked as an Engineering Manager and supervisor of the Robotics Systems Department.
My wife's name is (((REDACTED))). She is a native to the Baltimore area. She is also the older of two and graduated from the A Course at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1990. ((REDACTED))) attended Bowie State where she studied Business Management and organizational behavior. After Bowie State she worked for (((REDACTED))) as Architectural & Engineering manager for cell tower site development and build out. In 2003 she joined (((REDACTED)) where she has received numerous awards yearly for her many accomplishments in Real Estate. In 2008 she joined the (((REDACTED))) where she currently works as a full time Realtor. (((REDACTED))) currently holds a designation as an Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) and has completed the necessary credentials to sit for her broker's exam.
In November of 2008, my wife and I embarked upon a joint venture. We were blessed with the idea of opening a scooter sales and rental store. In April 2009 we opened the doors of (((REDACTED))). This has been a true blessing from not only a personal perspective but also to the community. Because of (((REDACTED))) in conjunction with (((REDACTED))), we are able to fund our non-profit, (((REDACTED))).
(((REDACTED))) was set up to be a funnel for blessing the unfortunate with supplies, education, support, and finances necessary to survive in today's world and economy. We provide training on time management, single parenting, and a host of other life skills. We also do a yearly turkey drive where we donate as many as 200 turkeys to less fortunate families in the Baltimore area. For the Christmas holiday (((REDACTED))) sponsors families who are less fortunate or have suffered losses due to tragedies such as house fires or losses of one or both parents. We provide Christmas for the entire family including the parents. We are currently planning a back to school extravaganza where we plan to give out 500 backpacks and school supplies. We are also going to offer onsite training, motivational speaking, and entertainment.
Even with all this responsibility we are still very active in our church. We currently attend (((REDACTED))) in Baltimore MD. I teach Sabbath school for the kindergarten Class, ages 3 to 5. My wife is the head of the women's ministry at (((REDACTED))).
(((REDACTED))) also sponsors an orphanage located in Bulawayo Zimbabwae. Here at the (((REDACTED))) we house, feed, and care for an orphanage of 35 kids. We send clothing, food, supplies, equipment, and money to help support the day-to-day operation of the orphanage. We realize that God has not blessed us so that we can just acquire earthly things but we have a responsibility to the kingdom of God. To whom much is given, much is expected.
All of these ventures and projects have been directly affect by the derogatory actions by Manheim Auto Auction. Let me explain what we do as a company and how Manheim Auto Auction has wronged us.
(((REDACTED))) incorporates technology with vehicle purchasing to cater to the business professional and business owner market. (((REDACTED))) provides the customer with personal service in advising vehicle selection, locating the vehicle, and delivering the vehicle to their door hassle free. The result is satisfied customers with the cars of their dreams! (((REDACTED))) uses a state-of-the-art locating system to find specific vehicles quickly and easily. We provide quality pre-owned vehicles at wholesale prices with zero hassles and zero negotiating. Each vehicle is in Show Room condition, inspected, and detailed upon delivery. After purchasing the vehicles for the customers, (((REDACTED))) fully inspects the vehicle and makes sure the cars have no frame damage, no major mechanical problems, and no paintwork. If the vehicle has any problems, BiTH Auto takes the car back to the dealer sale for a money-back guarantee based on the results of the 7 day or 14 day inspection. Once the vehicle is determined to be clean, a (((REDACTED))) representative delivers the car to the home or office of the customer. This service helps save the customer around 15%-20% off of retail as well as valuable time. (((REDACTED))) charges a minimum of 5% of the cars purchase price plus any operation costs.
This is where Manheim Auto Auction discriminatory practices come into play. On August 22,2008, we purchased a 1997 Ferrari Mondena Spider from lane 30 at the Manheim Auto Auction. As usual, we had done the due diligence up to this point. We meant with the customer, completed an order sheet and secured a 10% deposit. After previewing the vehicle on the morning of the sale, we were able to bid on and purchase this 1997 Ferrari Modena for $55k. The vehicle was run Green light and was purchased from (((REDACTED))), which is one of the larger wholesalers at Manheim Auto Auction. After the purchase we took the Ferrari to have a 14-Day post sale inspection done. Of course it passed even after I mentioned the fact that white smoke was coming from the exhaust manifolds between switching gears. I informed Manheim's Mechanics I thought the headers were bad but that I would get it checked out by my own mechanics. Next the vehicle was brought down to (((REDACTED))) in Columbia, Maryland, to be serviced. (((REDACTED))) specializes in high end and luxury vehicles including Porsches, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Mercedes, Lexus, and Bentleys. Upon there thorough inspection, (((REDACTED))) determined that the headers were in fact bad, approximately an $8,000.00 repair. I immediately contacted Chuck (not sure of his last name) in arbitration at Manheim Auto Auction and made him aware of the issues and my intentions of returning the vehicle. Manheim's response was that we would split the losses and rerun the vehicle. Although this was not fair and did not go inline with the arbitration guidelines I agreed because of my relationship with Manheim Auto Auction. After this Ferrari was returned, the arbitration department and Manheim Auto Auction reauthorized me in order to try and purchase a newer Ferrari for my still waiting customer.
On September 18,2008 I purchased the second Ferrari. It was a 2001 Ferrari Modena Spyder, blue with tan interior, and 18 k miles. This Ferrari was also purchased green light. The vehicle ran through Post Sale inspection and it passed. . Upon delivery the 2001 Ferrari had similar issues. The top was inoperable and the vehicle stopped during a customer test drive on September 19, 2008. (((REDACTED))) then paid the Ferrari dealership to do a 103-point inspection and the estimate amounted to approximately $20,000.00 to repair. Among the concerns were a rear seal engine oil leak, auto stick transmission issue, one of the doors would not open from the inside and the inoperable top. Due to the second Ferrari fiasco, my customer refused to do business with us while Manheim continued to profess that the 2001 Ferrari was okay. Aside from this illogical profession, Manheim Auto Auctions staff agreed to re-run both vehicles but arbitrarily denied my accounts and auction access for months. To date, both Ferrari's remain on my account and the one time purchase of six (6) vehicles were not placed on my credit line to give them time to pay via payment plan.
It is clear that the post sale inspection process is flawed and the flaw is further evidenced in the changes in policy shortly after this occurrence, which stopped all post sale inspections on exotic vehicles. If Manheim's inspection staff is not experienced enough to inspect a Ferrari, then dealers and wholesalers should be able to take the vehicle to an authorized Ferrari mechanic to troubleshoot the issues. Manheim should also be able to detect if a seller did perform the repairs Manheim previously paid them to perform. Had the previous dealer that sold the 1997 Ferraris repaired the defective headers that Manheim knew about, or had Manheim disclosed the past problems with the vehicle to us, we would not have incurred losses that exceed the six-figure mark.
They refused to take back both defective Ferrari's without blemishing my credit line when I correctly performed policy applying to the post sale inspection policy, reserving warranty rights, is outrageous. They arbitrary decided to freeze my purchasing ability for an excess of now 10 months is even more outrageous given the fact that Manheim Auto Auctions staff encouraged me to purchase the second Ferrari. Promises were made by many of Manheim Auto Auctions staff including, Randy Derr, Keith Washington, Kevin Gantz, Kevin Connelly, Jim Fucci, and Denise Welsh. I was even advised by an inside source that they were not taking my case seriously and that I needed to take my case to corporate. But instead, me being naive, I gracefully waited for Manheim Auto Auction to rectify the situation that was stifling my business but the various ridiculous promises, such as the promise to re-run the Ferraris until sold and split the losses, did not occur. I was promised numerous times from both Randy Derr, and Keith Washington who is the GM of Manheim Auto Auction in PA, and Kevin Gantz, the corporate liaison and director, that my situation was going to be resolved. They even went as far as to remove the Ferraris from my account at different times as we approached the end of the year, but placed them back on after the New Year. At this point I had had enough. I needed to seek legal action. I had been out of business for the entire last quarter of 2008 for reasons not pertaining to me but because I was not a large dealer, I was swept under the rug, and repeatedly blown off. Not to mention that my $250k credit line was closed after I had completely paid it off. This after Randy Derr (General Manager and Sue Garloff (Director of MAFS), promised me that the Ferrari issue would not affect my credit line as long as my vehicles were paid off. Maybe this is what I get for being so trusting, I take people for their word but in this particular situation, it backfired. My credit line was taken, my buying power shut down, and my business ruined by the incompetence of Manheim Auto Auction and its staff.
Even after sending legal documents to corporate, it only got worst. I received no correspondence from anyone at corporate. No one from Manheim Auto Auction or at corporate returned any of my phone calls or emails. Is this how you treat a dealer who did $5million plus with your company? Over $20 million in the last 5 years? Is it because I am not a (((REDACTED))), I am not respected or treated as such.
It didn't stop there; Randy Derr initiated a lawsuit against me for vehicles that he stated would be placed on my credit line. He claimed that I owed for these vehicles, but up until the letter, which was almost a month after I purchased them, he stated that he would place them on my credit line once he got it re-established. So now I had to hire an attorney to respond to his suit, as well as file a counter suit. I understand that the large corporations response to these types of suits is to Starve the case, but Manheim Auto Auction has went to depths that I could have never imagined. They have gone as far as falsifying and omitting documents, changing paperwork, and erroneously tried to damage my character with other credit lines and floor plans. Because of their rumors and phone calls to both of my other floor plans, they officially brought my business to a halt. Both (((REDACTED))), managed by Sally (((REDACTED))) of Laurel Maryland and (((REDACTED))), managed by David (((REDACTED))), had my account suspended from corporate. Neither could give a reasonable explanation, but made up other erroneous charges to limit me using my account. David (((REDACTED))), at (((REDACTED))) in Frederick stated that his manager spoke with a representative of Manheim Auto Auction in PA, and that they stated that (((REDACTED))) was the Ring Leader in a case regarding another minority dealer. This is just one example how Manheim Auto Auction has capriciously slandered my name.
It didn't stop there. The case was filed in federal court, I believe so that I would not be able to afford to fight that case. Manheim Auto Auction also filed false allegations stating that the last seven checks that they gave me for vehicles I sold were endorsed incorrectly. By them filing a claim with their bank, their bank called my bank, and my bank in turn froze all my business and personal accounts while they investigated these false allegations. To date they are still frozen. The damage that my business has incurred from Manheim's poor business practices coupled with the recession has crippled me from successfully supporting my family. My home is now in foreclosure, vehicles have been repossessed, and all my savings exhausted. I have had to sell my wife's Honda Odyssey to assist with paying the lawyer. My kids have to come out of (((REDACTED))).
From a business side, I have had to layoff 90% of my staff. I had to close two locations and loss all my buying power due to Manheim Auto Auctions lack of respect and disregard for the smaller/minority dealers. Even after admitting fault with how they dealt with the Ferrari situation, they still fail to see how freezing/eliminating my buying power at the sale, where I purchased 90% of my customers vehicles, and approx 30% of the countries used vehicles come from, had any affect on my business. It is beyond words at this point, but I will not rest until Manheim Auto Auction is held responsible for its actions. They will respect the little dealer and they will treat dealers fairly from all ethnic, gender, and economic backgrounds, as God is my witness. Thank you for your time and God Bless.
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