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Report: #455103

Complaint Review: Gateway Chevrolet , Joe Gambino - Avondale Arizona

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  • Gateway Chevrolet , Joe Gambino 9901 W Papago Fwy Avondale, Arizona U.S.A.

Gateway Chevrolet ,Joe Gambino Gateway Chevrolet sold me a death car Avondale Arizona

*Consumer Suggestion: personal responsibility

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These are the two letters I sent to Gateway Chevrolet, as well as other consumer reporting agencies. There still has been no complete resolution.

26 April 2009

Dear Mr. Joe Gambino Jr.,

I'm writing this letter in regards to the 2003 Hyundai Tiburon (stock # P6647A) I purchased on 18 April 2009. Rueben S. was the sales associate that assisted me on that day. Upon initial inspection and during the test drive, I realized that the steering column was split in half and the passenger window was inoperable. Rueben assured me that while going over the financing and closing paperwork for the vehicle, these items would be looked at and taken care of. I asked about the recent services on the vehicle, such as fluid changes and other routine maintenance items, Rueben stated that Gateway Chevrolet would never put a vehicle out for sale if it wasn't ready and safe. I purchased the car and went home.

During the following week, while driving the car, I noticed some things were a little out of the ordinary. These things became increasingly suspicious, so I decided to take the vehicle to Fxxxx's Tire and Auto Services Inc. (((REDACATED)))AZ) for an inspection on 25 April 2009. After completing a cursory inspection of the contents beneath the hood, under the vehicle, tires, and other outer components, it was immediately clear to the mechanic that the vehicle was unsafe to drive, from needing axels on both front tires, as well as the brakes being severely worn on the rear tires. The mechanic at Fxxxxxr's even asked who I bought the car from. When I said Gateway Chevrolet he was extremely surprised, stating that he would expect a vehicle in that kind of condition from a private lot, than from a respectable, nationwide corporation. I share the same sentiment.

At 1:18pm on 25 April 2009, I called Gateway Chevrolet to speak with Rueben in regards to these deficiencies, but he was unable to come to the phone since he was busy with another customer.

At 1:35pm on 25 April 2009, I called Gateway Chevrolet again to speak with Rueben. Curt answered the phone, stating that Rueben had gone upstairs to get a bite to eat.

At 1:37pm on 25 April 2009, I called Gateway Chevrolet again, but this time I requested to speak with the General Manager of the property. Curt replied that the GM was not on the property at that time. I then asked for the store manager, Curt replied that John Huggins was unavailable, but he (Curt) was the internet sales associate and he could assist me with my issue. I told him no, and that I needed a manager. Curt placed me on hold for approximately 30 seconds then returned to the phone to tell me no managers were available and that Rueben had just walked in the door. I explained to Rueben what I went through that day, how the car was UNSAFE TO DRIVE, and that it needed a lot of work.

Rueben told me to DRIVE the vehicle back to the dealership to get it looked at, and taken care of. I told him No, for obvious reasons, and that he could either
A. Have the vehicle towed back to the property, and refund the $2,500 down payment I put on the vehicle, or
B. Drop the total price of the vehicle to $2,500 and the money I would have paid to finance the vehicle would go into fixing the car myself.
Rueben said that he had to speak with his manager first and would call me right back.
At 2:18pm on 25 April 2009, I called Discount Cab for transportation to work. (Receipt attained)

At 2:37pm on 25 April 2009, I called Gateway Chevrolet again to speak with Rueben. I asked him what the status was, and he replied I'm busy selling cars. I asked when I should expect a call back, he replied hopefully at the end of the business day.

At 2:47am on 26 April 2009, I returned home from work with a message from John Huggins of Gateway Chevrolet, asking that I call him back.

At 12:16pm on 26 April 2009, I returned John Huggins' call. The voicemail came on, but I left no message

At 1:18pm on 26 April 2009, I called back and was able to speak with John Huggins. I voiced my complaint with the vehicle and gave him my options. He was extremely rude, stating that I signed a contract and HAD to purchase another vehicle from Gateway Chevrolet. He also stated that if he came to tow the car it would be under the pretense that I voluntarily surrendered the vehicle and forfeited the $2,500 down payment. I made no such statement of voluntarily surrendering the vehicle without receiving the money back. He brushed me off the phone and disconnected the call.

As a Military Veteran experiencing Combat in Iraq, I was never as shocked or surprised after finding out that I had been driving this car for seven days. Gateway Chevrolet knowingly endangered my life, as well as the lives of my passengers, by allowing this vehicle to leave their property in such a poor condition. The lack of professionalism from the sales staff, all the way up to the managerial staff is unacceptable in any business. I hope that in some way this situation can be rectified, and that no one else will be taken advantage of in such a way.

-----------------------Letter Number 2------------------------------------
20 MAY 2009

This letter is in continuation to the letter sent on 27 April 2009, in regards to the 2003 Hyundai Tiburon. This document contains the sequence of events from the day I received the return receipt informing me the first certified letter had reached its destination, until the date of notary below.

On 30 April 2009, I spoke with Mr. Gambino Jr. in the afternoon concerning the poor condition of the vehicle, and why it was necessary for me to return the vehicle and receive my $2,500 deposit reimbursed in full. Mr. Gambino made a point to tell me that his mechanics did a full inspection, and he did not believe anything was wrong with it, but would reverse the deal and refund the money.

On 30 April 2009, at 3:45pm a tow truck from E-Z Towing arrived to pick up the vehicle. I asked the driver if he had documentation sufficient enough to explain the situation for me to sign. He said he did not, that he was only contracted through Gateway Chevrolet and had nothing to do with anything outside of picking up the car.

On 30 April 2009, at 3:49pm I called Gateway Chevrolet explaining that I needed some type of documentation stating the reason that it was being returned, as well as when and how my full deposit will be returned. The gentleman on the other line told me that I needed to get to the dealership to complete all of that paperwork. I reminded him that I did not have a vehicle to do so. He then said that he could fax me the information, but I told him that I did not have a fax machine at that time. He placed me on hold and I was transferred to Mr. Gambino Jr. He accused me of playing games, stating that he put a lot of effort into getting the tow truck out there, and that I would not let the driver do his job. I replied that I will not release the vehicle until I had all necessary documents, including a promise of a full refund. He stated that I would receive my refund minus the amount it would cost to tow the vehicle back to the dealership. I reminded him of the condition of the vehicle (how it should not have left the dealership in the first place) and it was not my responsibility to have it towed back. I also explained this was not only my conclusion, but also that of my advocate. He stated that I should have my advocate tow the vehicle back, and disconnected the call. I apologized to the driver and told him that unless I had that information I would not release the vehicle. He understood and wished me luck with the situation and departed.

On 30 April 2009, at 4:07pm the driver called with an offer from Mr. Gambino Jr. relayed to the drivers' boss. He asked if he were to give me an invoice with a zero balance, would I allow him to take the vehicle. I explained to the driver that although I would have that invoice from the tow company, it would not mean that Gateway Chevrolet will not still charge me instead, and reminded him I still needed proper information to release the vehicle. He understood, and said he would relay the information and call me back. I have yet to receive a call from him or another representative of the towing company or Gateway Chevrolet.

On 04 May 2009, at 2:47pm I returned home from a weekend trip to Fort Carson, Colorado to find that my vehicle was not where it was parked prior to my departure. I immediately called the Phoenix Police Department to report it stolen. Approximately 30 minutes later, Officer Golisch (Badge Number 9130) and Officer Gentry (Badge Number 8383) arrived to take the report (Report Number 90720026-Theft of Means of Transportation).

On 05 May 2009, at 02:27pm I checked my bank account online, and found there was a credit to my checking account in the amount of $2,032.60 from Gateway Chevrolet. Realizing the car was not stolen, I notified the Phoenix Police Department. Assured that the report was updated, I called Gateway Chevrolet to verify that the vehicle was in their hands. The receptionist confirmed it was, and my account was already credited. I informed her, the total amount of my deposit was not returned, and asked why. She said she would look for my file and call me back. Approximately 30 minutes later, she called stating Mr. Gambino Jr. said, because I filed a report with the Better Business Bureau, I had to look online and find the charges. Later that evening, I searched on the BBB website and could not find where those charges would be.

To this day, I still have no information concerning the reason why $467.40 was withheld by Gateway Chevrolet, when I was adamant about receiving the complete refund. I am also very upset that the car was, in essence, stolen from my property without any type of notification. Furthermore, because I have not received the full deposit, coupled with the time and effort dedicated to settling this affair, I have not been able to purchase another vehicle. I do not have a primary means of transportation between work and home. I have been accruing charges from taxi's, public transportation, as well as rides from co-workers and friends. Not knowing exactly how I will be getting to work from day to day adds significant amounts of unnecessary stress to my life. This situation still has not been handled properly, and again reflects the lack of professionalism and customer service of this business.

Phoenix, Arizona
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/25/2009 11:42 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

personal responsibility

AUTHOR: Paulfmpensacola - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Monday, May 25, 2009

i have had several family members purchase cars from this dealership and none have ever had any of the problems you claim, and actually through out your story
you show that your efforts included making phone calls, going to every where but the dealership. some things you didn't include in your story what was the total price of the vehicle you said you had a 2500 down payment but didn't mention that anyone was looking for release of lien, so either it was financed on lot or you had not secured financing either way. just trying to figure out the suggested price of the car as it lends to fitness of sale claim you are trying to make in your story.
Next, you refused when they sent the vehicle until you had additional claims in writing, my question would be why didn't you take the novel step of putting it writing and sending a registered letter to the dealership stipulating the claims made over the phone. you claim you were a victim, but it sounds like the dealership did make efforts to take care of you, far more than many would have done. most would have said, ok, see you in small claims court. was there a carfax history report ?
oh you just trusted a salesman? the dealership has responsibility to sell cars at a price based on fitness of sale that is the law, you have a personal responsibility to check what you are buying before you sign on the dotted line.
as my father always said, don't decide in 10 minutes what is going to take you a month, a year or 5 or more years to pay off, if the deal is too good to be true
then it is. research research research.
you could have acted more maturely, you didn't have concern about driving the vehicle to a competitor, you also could have paid for a tow truck and submitted for reimbursement, oh yeah it is not my fault, i forgot. the dealership is one of the best around and i believe if you go there and speak directly to them instead of indirect communication this issue could be resolved. the other form of redress you have is GM arbitration, you can submit your claim directly to GM to have the dealership refund the costs, i had to do that with a chevy truck i had, but that was an issue with a different dealership. or take them to small claims court.

good luck but in all fairness to the dealership, it sounds like they are acting responsibly al beit after the fact.

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