My husband and I received a phone call last December 2, 2005 from a salesman at a company called National Auto Shopper (NAS). He had found our number in the SLC Auto Trader where we had placed an ad trying to sell our 2004 Mazda RX8. He told us of a package his company was selling that would "guarantee" that our car would be sold (according to him, usually within a month's time), for whatever our asking price was - even if it was several thousand dollars above the value or usual selling price. He said that NAS targeted people across the country with bad credit who could not normally buy cars like ours, so they were willing to pay the extra price. The package included a "premium" listing on the homepage of their NAS website www.nationalautoshopper.com, ("premium" meaning - according to him, that ours would be the ONLY RX8 featured on their site). We would also (taken right from their website) be given the following:
Your Own Customized Web Page
Unlimited Ad Text and Vehicle Description
Custom 7 day Ebay Auction
Craigslist listing Marketed closest to you!
Ad Runs UNTIL SOLD!
CARFAX Complete Customer Care
12 High Quality Photos
6 Keyword Phrase Feature Listing
He also said that if we bought the package right now, it would include a bonus package giving us top 3 hits on searches with Yahoo, Google, Netscape, Earthlink, Pennysaver online, Lycos local, and all the major search engines linking interested parties to our custom web page. He said that we will have a "personal account representative" that would work one-on-one with us, taylor our ads to make the best sale, work with the listings and web page and continually update them, and basically hand walk us through the process until our car is sold. He told us: "We will do whatever it takes to get your car sold within a month." He made certain that we understood that he does not make his money from selling us this package, that this will only cover the cost of the listings. He stated that he will make his money by selling our car, and will get a very large cut from the financing company, (he told us his commission from his sales was $1000-$2500). My husband and I spent literally an hour and a half on a conference call with this salesman, reading through the website, asking questions, going over all the particulars of the contract, what it included on their part, and ours. The stipulations on our end were that we would pay "right now over the phone with a credit card", and that we would email them all the information about our car (photos, etc.). He said that if we were able to sell our car by ourselves within 30 days for the price NAS was advertizing - or more, then they would refund our money. (We found out later that a $100 service fee would be subtracted from the initial purchase price of our package).
We decided to buy the "Diamond Package" for the price of $499.00, which included the most exposure and a greater chance that our car would be sold sooner. We signed the contract, paid with our Visa, and sent in our photos and information via email, within the next week. We checked every day to see if our car had been listed on any of the promised sites, and the only listing we could find, was one on the NAS website, that was a very brief description of our car, the price, but no photos. There were also 11 other RX8 vehicles that were prominantly listed (that had not been there when we checked the website as we spoke with the salesman). It was definitely NOT the "premium" listing we had been promised.
My husband attempted MANY times over the next couple of months to reach someone from NAS via phone or email, and was unsuccessful. He was finally able to contact someone after about 4 months to tell them that there were no pictures on the listing, and we had not been able to talk with anyone regarding our custom website, other listings and advertizements we were promised. They told us they had not received the photos, and to re-email them, which we did immediately. They also told us that we were asking too much for the car, and we should reduce the price by $4000, which we agreed to do. About a week later, the photos were posted on our ad, the price had been reduced, but nothing else had changed. We still did not have the "premium" listing we were promised, nobody contacted us about the other features in our "Diamond Package", and we were still unable to get a hold of anyone to discuss our contract and getting our car sold. My husband made several more attempts to contact NAS representatives about an eBay listing, and was as unsuccessful as before. He was deployed with his Air Force unit, so during that time, I took over the fight. I was finally able to reach someone from NAS by phone. The following is a copy of the notes I have taken from that point until now:
Finally got a hold of NAS after months of trying to get our photos put on their website. RE-emailed photos to them.
Talked to Brandon
I told him I'm calling for Greg who is deployed. Greg has called & emailed several times, hasn't gotten help. Salesman made us many promises, nothing has happened as he said it would. Talked about: $499 doesn't make him money - it's the financing that does, will give one-on-one help, listings never done, pictures not put up, etc.
"You're talking to the right person! I don't know how your account slipped through the cracks, but if you're willing, I'd like to see if we can help you out from here".
I told him - I am calling because we just want to get our money back and not worry about it any more. We feel like we just got ripped for $499 and we'd just like it back because we haven't received anything we've been promised.
Said he'd call back.
Called back and talked with Jacob
I told him I called on 9/7 and talked to Brandon and quoted what he said, and told him Brandon said he'd call me back. Said he wasn't there, Jacob didn't know why he had said that to me. Never had anyone unsatisfied before with the company. I said that I don't know anything about your other clients, but we ARE unsatisfied and want our money back. He kept beating around the bush, trying to get us to update account. Said that "they won't allow it to be refunded", bla bla bla. Said there were no notes in account regarding this stuff. Said he could forward it to "them" for review. I asked who "they" were and he said "Administration..... let's say". I said that I want to talk to "them", and he told me that "they" would have to get back to me and probably wouldn't be able to for a long time. I said "well they probably won't if they know I want my money back" and he said: "Exactly". I told him over and over, "We just want to end the relationship, nothing we have been promised has been delivered, we are very unhappy, you guys have not fulfilled your end of the contract, and we just want our money back". He persisted in trying to convince me to update the ad and work with them. He couldn't find any notes on when photos were sent and said he had no record of our photos being sent. He said administration only gets there every Friday. They are the ones who deal with "unsatisfied accounts". He said administration has no phone number. Said he'll "present the case to them", but he "won't promise when they can get back to me, since he's not doing it himself, can't make promises on how someone else will perform". He claims "There are numbers to every department except that one, they only have outgoing lines".
Said to ask for him next time instead of Brandon. I told him I'm pursuing a refund and disputing in w/ my cc company in the meantime while I wait for a call.
Jacob called Greg's phone and said Brandon tried to call on his phone and couldn't get ahold of anyone. I called Jacob back and gave him my # and asked why nobody left a msg on Greg's phone, and he said he didn't know, but wanted my # to give to administration.
Greg received the following email almost 1 year after purchase:
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 15:09:20 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Important Information from NationalAutoShopper.com
This email may contain important information and/or instructions. If you have any questions please let us know.
Congratulations on purchasing the Diamond package!
The link below are for the eBay auction that come standard with your package and your new vehicle sign-on! Please contact us within 24 hours to make any changes, as after there are bids there is not much We can change!
You can reach our customer care department toll free, Monday through Thursday 8 a.m to 4 p.m and Fridays from 8a.m until 1 p.m at 1-800-334-8568.
Talked to Jacob, cancelled ebay listing, and told him we don't want any of the services at this point, we should have gotten this stuff done almost a year ago, we just want our money back. I said "I thought I made it clear last time that we didn't want to pursue any more listings with your company, we are unhappy because we should have received these services last year, and we just want our money back". He said he'd cancel ebay listing. I asked if there was someone else there I could talk to about a refund. He checked to see if anyone from administration was there (even though he told me last time they only come in on Fridays). He came back on the line and said nobody is here but him and his manager. I asked to talk to his manager, and he said it would be the same as talking to him since he's the assistant manager. Told him that we are fighting the charges on our cc since we weren't given the service we were promised 9 months ago. I told him I still want administration to contact me. He said he'd update my account.
Filed complaint w/ BBB
BBB of Southern Nevada, Inc.
(Las Vegas, NV)
2301 Palomino Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89107
Nov 30, 06
Rec'd letter from BBB w/ response from NAS.
Dec 4, 06
Replied to letter from BBB included notes and letter.
In summary, we purchased this package over a year ago. 10 months later after not receiving the services we purchased, National Auto Shopper refused to issue a refund. They STILL have not fulfiled their end of the contract, and we are STILL fighting to get our refund.