Tina A. from Texas shared her story with us earlier today:
I just recently had an awful experience at Carmax in Austin, Texas (North location). I first contacted them via the internet and a sales consultant emailed me right away: Kris Santoscoy. I knew the exact car I wanted and there was no other like it in the state. I went to the lot during lunchtime and test drove it. I wanted the car right away – I filled out some paperwork and got approved. I went back to work and started the process of getting my insurance and proof of income. I faxed those to Kris the next morning and arranged to pick up my car that day.
He got all the docs then called me a few hours later with “bad news”. He told me that overnight, their staff was moving cars around me and one of their employees wrecked two of the cars on the lot, one of them being mine. He said that they do not sell wrecked or damaged cars at all and that it would have to be sent to a wholesaler. I was devastated! I arranged to go to dealership that same day and talk with him about my “options”. I was hoping to see the car, get a more thorough explanation and verify that I was not financially responsible for the car (I had not signed the final paperwork yet, so I was pretty sure that was the case).
I get there, and Kris is gone. Another sales guy helps me and glosses over the wreck issue entirely – steering me towards choosing a new car. I smell something fishy so inquire further: “can I see the car?” “does this happen often?” “Can I see the paperwork to make sure I’m not liable?” etc. He finally says “well….maybe the car was not wrecked” – I am shocked and say “MAYBE??” – he says “maybe it was sold instead and he didn’t want to tell you” WHAT?????? I demand to know all the details of what happened to my car either way. He finally confesses “yes, it was sold”. The manager finally comes over and admit that Kris lied to me….the car was never wrecked. Kris failed to do the paperwork/process on his end and that first evening, the manager sold the car without knowing I had a claim on it!!!!!!! I was SHOCKED!
He was very apologetic etc…. He said he could cover the transfer fee for another vehicle outside Austin. I requested they cover the transfer fee for ANY car in the nation and they refused. The most they would over was $200 – basically inside Texas. I said the LEAST they should do is let me find the exact car – no matter where it is – and get it to me. They would not offer me more than the $200 transfer fee. I left and ended up buying a car from another dealer.
BUT, I later found out from the dealership down south – that it is easy to “lose” a car that you are interested in because everyone is looking at that same car online and anyone, anywhere could be staking their claim on it….so it’s first in line so to speak. Apparently, it is often the case that a customer is interested in a car and test drives it, and at the same time elsewhere, someone is starting the paperwork on that same car. They don’t appear to have a great system for “claiming” a car. In my case, my sales guy was incompetent and I was out time and trouble – and betrayed in the process.