This was the absolute worst car buying experience I’ve had in my 30 years of purchasing vehicles. As such, I am going to tell this story in excruciating detail, so all potential customers will stay away from this dealer.
On September 11th, 2015, I negotiated a fair price on a brand new 2015 Jeep Wrangler Sahara from Spartanburg Jeep. The purchase was made over the phone from Southern California where I live, as the dealership, which is in South Carolina, was the only one in the country that still had a 2015 Sahara with the exact colors and options I wanted. My salesman, Antonio Golden, assured me that the vehicle was brand new with 9 miles on it, and that upon payment, it would be delivered to me within a week.
When the purchase agreement reached me via Fed-Ex, the first thing I noticed was that the vehicle’s mileage had somehow mysteriously jumped to 214 miles. When I inquired about the discrepancy, Antonio had no valid answer, and only begrudgingly agreed to an inspection of the vehicle to assure me that the car had no wear and tear on it from test drives and the like. It took him a full week to get this simple inspection performed. Upon receiving pictures of the vehicle that showed it to be in good condition, I decided to go ahead and complete the deal, with the request that Antonio include a free set of premium floor mats the make up for the mileage discrepancy, which he said was fair and doable. Antonio quoted me $1400 to have the vehicle shipped to me, which I agreed to and paid for along with the down payment on the Jeep.
Antonio repeatedly assured me that the vehicle would be shipped straight away and that I should be receiving a phone call from the transport company within a few days to coordinate the drop off. A week went by with out any communication from the dealer or the shipping company. I repeatedly left voicemails for Antonio, but he always seemed to be at lunch or with a customer, and never returned any of my calls enquiring about the status of the shipment. After sending him a number of emails as well, Antonio finally got back to me stating that the Jeep had not shipped because he could not reach the transporter company that had quoted him the $1400 fee. He assured me thought that he would get it taken care of.
Another week went by without any communication from Antonio. Once again I sent him a barrage of emails and made a dozen calls, none of which went answered. Finally, on October 7th, I received a meekly apologetic email from him explaining that he had been “super busy with work and family issues” and had still yet to hear back from the shipping company. He informed me that he was now trying to find another carrier who would do it for $1400, but that it wasn’t likely anyone else could get done for that amount. Sensing a bait and switch tactic, I informed him that none of this was my problem, and that the Jeep would be shipped to me for the $1400 I agreed to and paid for and not a penny more.
Another week and a half went by with no progress or communication. I wrote an email to Antonio expressing my dissatisfaction at how long this process was taking, and he responded in an annoyed fashion, as if he was getting tired of my demands.
On October 20th I received my first month’s payment statement on the Jeep in the mail which I had no choice but to pay. After doing so, I emailed Antonio a copy of the statement asking him if he thought that it was fair that I was already paying for a vehicle I had never laid my eyes on let alone driven. He agreed that it wasn’t and said he would do everything he could to get it reimbursed to me and get the Jeep shipped pronto. I informed him that I was leaving on vacation on October 28th and that I wanted to receive the Jeep before I left. His response was “you will absolutely have it by then.”
But I didn’t. As my vacation approached, I angrily informed him that the delivery would have to wait until after I got back – a week later. He said that it would be, as the transport company which had originally quoted him the $1400 was ready to ship the vehicle. Instead of receiving an cheerful reaction that he apparently expected from me, Antonio was dismayed when I said that what he just told me constituted an admission that I had been forced to wait all this time for delivery because he didn’t want to absorb any extra expense going with another shipper. In no uncertain terms I explained to him that this was completely unacceptable and that nothing else better go wrong from this point further, as I was on the brink of calling American Express on whose card I had charged the down payment, taxes, shipping and what not on, and simply cancel the vehicle purchase. Antonio tried to deflect my frustration by telling me that there would be no further problems and childishly reveled in telling me about his successful efforts in getting my first month’s payment “ reviewed” for reimbursement by the General Manager of the dealership.
I arrived back home from my vacation a week later to find a letter from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in my mailbox informing me that insufficient funds were sent by Spartanburg Jeep to cover the registration costs. I immediately emailed a copy of this letter to Antonio who said he was committed to straightening this out.
The next day the Jeep arrived with no free premium floor mats, and a series of deep scratches on the passenger’s mirror and plastic side window, as if someone had driven the car past a tall, thorny bush. The interior of the Jeep was also filthy and showed no signs of having even been vacuumed before being transported.
Yet again, a series of calls and emails regarding the floor mats, registration problem, first month’s payment and vehicle damage went unanswered. Having reached the breaking point, I sent a final email to Antonio stating my intention to talk directly to the General Manager and inform him of every mistake, blunder and unethical thing that had transpired during the worst car purchasing experience I ever had. This email received no response.
I called the GM, Ahmet, on Tuesday, November 10th, and explained to him this entire saga, which he acknowledged to be “completely unacceptable.” He said he would review all the documents and email traffic pertaining to the transaction and would call me back by the end of the day to “make things right.” I did not receive any further communication from him, and my voicemails went unanswered just as the ones to Antonio’s had.
Today, November 13th, 2015, I received a call from a slurring, drunk sounding man who wouldn’t give me his name. He rudely denied that Spartanburg had shorted the California DMV for the remainder of the registration fees, said that Antonio was not authorized to offer me floor mats as compensation, denied that the Jeep left his lot with any damage to it, and that my request for reimbursement for my first month’s payment stated “ain’t happening.” After two months of built up frustration, I told him what I thought of him, Antonio and his entire dealership’s way of conducting business, whereupon he hung up on me in mid sentence.
As of today, I have paid for two months’ installments on my Jeep and have yet to put one single mile on it. It is sitting in my garage, unusable until I figure out this mess with the California DMV.
Everything I have stated here is true. I have not embellished one single word of it. Spartanburg Dodge is a shyster operation that does its business in an underhanded, immoral and borderline criminal fashion. I cannot urge you to avoid them at all costs!