Sunday, January 17, 2010

Non-edible: Frank Z Chevrolet

In yet another non-food related entry, I'd like to share with all of you the wonderful experience I had recently with Frank Z Chevrolet in Dayton, Ohio. I leased a 2007 Impala there a few years back and my lease was coming due in February. GM usually offers a pull-ahead on the lease as long as you're purchasing or leasing another new GM vehicle. Now, keep in mind, I'd leased or purchased all of my other 5 new Chevrolet vehicles through Serra Chevrolet, and had always had a good experience. The only reason I didn't go through them in 2007 is because one of the sales staff got pretty snarky when I gave him my very reasonable price range. Plus at this point, I lived in Dayton proper, so having a dealership and service center closer to home just made sense.

When it came time to turn in my lease, the sales person I was dealing with, Brian Pettitt, seemed increasingly irritated that I could not afford the payments he was coming up with on something new. He also, without asking my permission, ran my credit through approximately seven local credit unions that I don't have an account with. If you know much about credit unions, you know this is typical. They'll break their neck for their members, but you don't get far as a non-member. He didn't bother running my credit through GMAC, who I've financed through 5 previous times and have an excellent credit history with. Until I received the rejection letters, I was not even aware he was tapping my credit. After all, I'd just asked for some ballpark numbers - I didn't ask him to put together a contract and get a loan approval.

Come late December, I went back to Serra Chevrolet and they worked up a pretty great deal for me on a 2010 Malibu. About two weeks later I received a bill from GMAC on the Impala I'd just turned in to the tune of $2000 for mileage overages. This seemed really odd, because I was under the impression that on a 40 month lease, I had 40K miles to go through. I'm in outside sales for a living, so why would I agree to anything less? Well, apparently Frank Z, in an effort to lower my payments and get me to sign on the dotted line, lowered my mileage to only 32,000 for the entirety of the lease. I'm not going to deny that I initialed next to it in the contract - but you know when you buy a car, it's an hour of "sign here, initial there," with a brief description of what you're signing for. The lowered mileage was never verbally addressed. Supposedly I'd met with a financial adviser who reviewed all of this with me - which is funny because I'd never met him.

Upon requesting a copy of my contract, complete with a very smart-assed cover letter insinuating that I'm an idiot who can't count to five, I replied letting him know there was no reason for his attitude, because this was bad business. I also said that I'd appreciate it if Frank Z would talk to GMAC on my behalf about possibly lowering this balance. So please, take a heartwarming journey with me and read over the response I received:

"I have an attitude right now because you are trying to blame me,for what has turned out to be a bad decision by you.

You can come up with excuses all day long. At the end of the day, you signed the contract, you were told the term, the miles, the payment, etc. If you honestly think that we are going to pay for your excessive mileage bill that is crazy.

I guess nobody wants to take any accountability for themselves anymore. Let's find someone else to blame and pay for our mistakes.

Great Attitude!"

Top notch customer service, right?! Apparently he missed the part where I'd agreed I'd made a mistake by not asking more questions in my original email to him. I wasn't asking them to pay the bill for me, I was asking for a little help. Regardless of who comes out the "winner" here, no service staffer should be allowed to speak to a customer this way and keep their job. If I approached one of my clients like this I'd get canned on the spot.

Do yourselves a favor and never, ever do business with Frank Z Chevrolet unless you like getting bent over and given the business.


Alan said...

They seriously sent you a letter that said exactly what you wrote here? You have GOT to be kidding me?

I'd be firing off a letter to Chevrolet and having someone look at whoever the idiot was who sent you that. In this day of teetering credit and people who completely disregard paying anything on their loans, I would be very careful what you say at any given time. What an idiot.

Oh...and I know you...I would think you would go in there and give that asshat all kinds of hell!

Vizz said...

I'm crappin' you negative, Alan. I actually copied and pasted that directly from his email.

After the "correctional aid" that my last outburst earned me, I now choose to publicly shame people and try to get them fired, rather than going down there and running my mouth. I can be a little bit overwhelming.

But, it's been posted here, to several twitter account, several bulletin boards, copied to his sales manager, general manager, the owner of the dealership as well as GM Customer Satisfaction, and reported to the BBB.

I'm really not the one to eff with.

Jacob said...

Is it really just a coincidence that the people at Serra are snarky and the people at FrankZ have an attitude with you? If what Brian says is true and you're not willing to take responsbility for your own actions... then it all kind of makes sense doesn't it? You didn't understand the contract and are trying to get out of it.. you're being bitchy with the dealers and blaming them for your problems.. seems like a pattern of not taking responsibility, doesn't it? No doubt his response was unprofesional but given that you're now trying to get him fired over an email.. I wonder what your behavior was like when you found out you owe $2k. Why don't you post the email you sent so we can see the full pciture.. not just your side?

Vizz said...

Only one person at Serra was snarky, and if you'll notice - I DID go back and buy another car from them. Their customer service was top notch. The person at Serra happened to get canned about 6 months later for treating other customers in the same fashion.

I'll gladly post my email later when I have access to it. I'm not trying to get out of the contract, as you'd have noticed if you read the entry in its entirety. I'm also not trying to get him fired, Jacob - but I do think he should be reprimanded for talking to a customer this way.

Vizz said...

Per Jacob's request, here is the email that I sent after receiving the contract.

"I appreciate you sending the contract to me, but I don't really appreciate the commentary on the cover sheet. I know what a circle means, and I can count how many times I signed or initialed the contract. I never denied having signed it, Brian, so the attitude is unnecessary. What I'm trying to say is I was grossly misled by never having this very important detail verbally addressed. The lower mileage is not obvious - and I've leased enough cars to know that it's at least half an hour of "sign here, initial here," etc, etc. If I had an idea that anything might be out of the ordinary or that I was doing business with a dishonest person, I would have started asking questions - but these details did NOT come up. You can circle and highlight that contract as much as you like, but it's still bad business.

I'm very disappointed in the way Frank Z handles their customers, as this is not the first time you've upset me by not disclosing certain information just to try to get me into a new car. For example, when I asked you to "run some numbers for me" on a new Malibu, just to get a ballpark price, and I received rejection letters from just under 10 local credit unions. I had not authorized you to tap my credit, yet you did anyway. The second time I did authorize you to do so and you checked with almost everyone but GMAC, who undoubtedly would loan to me due to my history with them.

Not that I expect any honest acts out of Frank Z at this point, but I feel that someone from Frank Z should discuss lowering of this balance with GMAC on my behalf. If it's your decision not to make any effort to help me out on this, you've lost what could have been a life-long customer and I'll make sure no one else I know will be fooled by Frank Z Chevrolet. I'll also be calling your sales manager, general manager, and anyone else that is willing to listen to a very unhappy customer regarding this matter."

I admit that I should have asked more questions, as it was my first time doing business with them, but I will not say that I'm "wrong" about anything.

The reason I hadn't originally posted my own email is because I don't even see this as situational at this point. His response was not only unprofessional, but uncalled for. It's a personal opinion he could have very well kept to himself. And why was he so defensive? Typically if people genuinely feel like they've done nothing wrong, they can laugh it off.

Anonymous said...

Just thought you might be interested in this. It seems your friend Brian Pettitt's "attitude" has landed him behind bars. Three counts of domestic violence!

Vizz said...

Well, I was right all along about his temperament. Too bad some poor gal had to get slapped around for anyone to be convinced of it. What a dick weed. If I was scared shitless in County, this dude's going to be crying in fetal position in no time.

Happy sodomy, Brian!

Post a Comment