ED Magedson – Founder
West Valley Auto Plaza3899 S Redwood Rd West Valley City, Utah United States of America
Unfortunately, my experience with this dealership echoes some of the other ones I have read. Im ashamed to say I actually went to this dealer even after reading some negative reviews online, and I now wish I could go back and undo that mistake. Here is an overview of a nightmare that is over 2 weeks long and still ongoing.
My wife and I recently filed bankruptcy, and in that process we surrendered both of our financed vehicles, because we were horribly upside down on both of them. That left us in the market for at least one reliable car that was capable of transporting our sizable family (7 of us altogether). New vehicles were out of the question because of our credit - the interest rates and payments would be too high. While we realized we COULD save up for a couple of months and pay cash for a decent used car, we decided that financing one would be a good way to start reestablishing credit. After several unsuccessful attempts at securing financing, in a look at the websites for various used car dealers which advertised they could "finance anyone", we came across West Valley Auto Plaza and their website www.beenjerkedaround.com. Little did I know that the domain name was an advertisement for what was to come as much as it was an indictment of what had already happened.
On their website, I found a 2006 Durango that was at an incredibly low price (several thousand under what that year/mileage would retail blue book for). I emailed them and wanted to make sure they could actually approve me for financing, since I had already tried on new vehicles recently and been denied even with a cosigner and Id just as soon avoid any further runaround or waste of my time and theirs. I was assured that there had been a special meeting of finance people on my behalf, and they could for sure approve me. Once I went to their dealership and looked at the truck, it was easy to see why it was cheap - it had been wrecked before, at least once, if not multiple times. The damage seemed only cosmetic though, and the truck drove nice, and the price was right, so I decided to proceed with financing.
After several hours of waiting around at the dealership, they finally came back with their financing "options". Option 1 was put $3500 down (on a $10,000 truck), or option 2 was get a cosigner and put $150 down. I had previously talked to my father about cosigning, since he has a credit score of almost 800, so I went with this option. They had me sign financing papers that had a wide range of interest rate and payments, with me as secondary on the loan and said they would fedex to my dad to sign as primary once they had exact finance terms agreed to by a lender. They took my $160 down payment, and I drove off with the truck. This was on Thursday, and I was told that they would be back to me by monday to come in and sign final papers so they could fedex to my dad. I drove away in the truck that night.
Well monday came and went, as did Tuesday. On Wednesday I started trying to call them to find out what was going on. I spent over 45 minutes on hold waiting for "Cowboy" (aka John), who is either the finance manager or general manager depending on who you talk to. I never did get to speak with him, so I called back and talked to the salesperson I had originally emailed back and forth with, asking what was going on. I was told basically "well these things take time, but I know Cowboy is working on it, and im sure he will get back with you soon". Well thursday came and went and still no word, then Friday im at work and I hear from my wife that we just got a certified letter from the dealership, dated the day we applied for the truck, saying they couldnt arrange financing and that we needed to return the truck within 14 days. I called to speak to "Cowboy" and again couldnt reach him. As soon as id give my name, it seemed as though every person I asked to talk to was unavailable or out of the office, even if I had just been told 5 minutes before they were in. Finally got through to Hector (the original internet sales guy) by using a fictitious name with the receptionist. Asked him about the letter, to which he replied "oh dont worry about it, we have to send that letter by law when the first lender denied the loan, but dont worry Cowboy is still working on your loan, I know cause he just told me a few minutes ago". Finally talked to Cowboy monday morning, now almost 2 weeks since I drove off in the truck. I offered to bring the truck back in right then, he said "no its ok, im working on your deal, the banks were just wanting to know when your meeting of creditors is for the bankruptcy". I told him it was to be 3 days later (thursday, Aug 5th). He said ok that was great, then as soon as we have our meeting to call him so he could call the banks and let them know, and we should be able to get things finalized thursday afternoon. I told him we were concerned that they were going to come back at any time and say we had to bring the truck back right then, and that was unacceptable, because we had to have a vehicle and needed enough warning to make other arrangements. He tried to reassure me it would be fine, but I noticed he went out of his way to avoid telling me they wouldnt do what I was afraid of.
Well Thursday arrived, now 2 weeks since we "bought" the truck, and we had our bankruptcy hearing. Called the dealership afterwards and again everyone seems to be avoiding my call. They obviously had my name and number written down, because the receptionist knew my name without me telling her, even though I called on my work cell phone which doesnt come up with my name on caller ID. Finally spoke to the salesperson that actually worked with me at the lot, Vanessa, and told her that I was through with the runaround and I absolutely HAD to have things finalized by thursday night or friday morning at the latest, or I was going to make other arrangements since I was off work that day anyway.
Well thursday night came and went, as did Friday morning. My wife and I went to another dealership, and bought a brand new SUV, with just my dad on the loan, since me being on there seemed to always cause problems. Its not an ideal solution, but having a reliable vehicle is more important right now than rebuilding my credit. Called West Valley back friday after we bought the new vehicle, and of course once again couldnt talk to anyone. I asked the receptionist to get a message to Vanessa, Hector, and/or Cowboy that I had purchased a different vehicle and needed to bring the Durango back and get my down payment back. The receptionist immediately becomes hostile and starts telling me that I cant get my money back right away, that I have to have my salesperson fill out a request for a check, and John has to sign the request, and the owner has to sign a check, blah blah. I told her look, were only talking about $160 bucks, so I dont care if they give me cash, check, or money order, but I expect to be able to get my money back when I give them the keys to the truck. She basically tells me im SOL, but she will relay the message. I didnt really believe her, so I also emailed Hector (since hes the only person I can actually get to respond to me), giving them this whole story, and asked him to call me and let me know when I can bring the truck back and get my down payment back. Its now the following monday, and I still hadnt heard anything back, so I called the dealership and am once again waiting for a call back from the mysterious "Cowboy" who apparently suffers from some sort of rare, contagious disease or something, judgeing by how religiously his employess avoid talking to him or relaying messages.
I will update this as developments continue, but at this point im skeptical as to whether I will get my down payment back without a fight.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/09/2010 12:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/west-valley-auto-plaza/west-valley-city-utah-/west-valley-auto-plaza-huge-runaround-lie-about-financing-sell-damaged-cars-west-valley-629955. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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