I'm looking for a low-cost car to replace my totaled vehicle. However, I want it to hold up for the next few years of driving, so I'm hoping for a Honda or Toyota, cars that are known for lasting. Husson was advertising an "as is" Civic that seemed like it could be a good bargain. Chris was very friendly, explained that the vehicle needed some work to pass inspection, and explained the details of what kind of work was needed. He even made it clear to me that they only knew about the inspection requirements, and that there may be other necessary maintenance required. I was enjoying working with him and he seemed very understanding.
However, he said that his boss stipulates that if I take it to a mechanic to have it looked over, it had to be a mechanic in Salem. Our family mechanic whom we've known for 35 years and takes very good care of us was deemed too far away. He promised that we could pick any mechanic in Salem, but the one we know and trust was out of the question. Huge red flag that we couldn't pick our own mechanic less than an hour away.
If I can't take it to my own mechanic, I can't trust the dealer.
After I posted this review, the dealer contacted me to tell me that the reason I couldn't take it farther than Salem was due to its not passing inspection as is, and the associated safety concerns. In that light, it seems like a very wise policy. However, this information was not given to me before I wrote this review. If it had, I would have considered towing it to my mechanic or trying to make it work some other way. I have no problem buying an as-is vehicle, so long as I can have someone I know and trust look at it, so I can determine what the cost to make it roadworthy will be. Since I was not able to do that, I chose not to buy the vehicle. Simply being told I had to pick another mechanic just didn't feel right.
Furthermore, I was skeptical of their response. In previous phone conversations, I was told that the manager didn't want us to take it to another town was because it was a "low cost vehicle." When they told me later that the car wasn't safe to drive, it felt like an excuse after the fact. They told me that without an inspection sticker, they "did not consider it to be safe on the road much less on the highway." If it didn't have a sticker, why was driving it anywhere at all on the table? If it's not safe on the road, why were they okay with me driving it to a mechanic in Salem? It seems to me that in this case, I should have been presented with options of having a mechanic come to the dealership or having the car towed to a mechanic. The only option Chris ever offered me was to drive the car to a mechanic himself. The irony of this will become apparent in a moment.
After I wrote this review, they were very concerned and tried too contact me about it in multiple ways. If they had reached out in good faith to explain the misunderstanding and arrive at an amicable agreement, I would have been very pleased. That's not what happened. I received a very curt an accusatory voicemail from Chris. He said that I was wrong to write the review, because he did his job. (He did. I wrote that in the review and initially gave them 5 stars for friendliness.) He said it wasn't fair to post it where other customers might read it. I understand that concern, but even though I was critical, they actually still ended up with a 3.5 star review from me--an above average rating. The comments above the "Edit" section have not been changed at all. I made several compliments, and voiced one specific concern. However, in Chris's voicemail, he accused me of bashing them for selling an as-is vehicle. Definitely not the case.
They also wrote an angry email to me through this site. The gist was that I had been made aware that the car as-is wouldn't pass inspection (this is true, they were clear about this), and therefore was not safe to drive on the road or the highway--which should, in my opinion, preclude taking it anywhere off the lot. However, Chris had previously offered to drive the car to a mechanic in Salem for me, which is not consistent with their saying the car wasn't safe on the road. Moreover, what they wrote to me was very, very rude and disrespectful, and included the following spurious accusation: "Your life may not mean much to you however it does to us as well as the life of any other person sharing the road with you." I'm sorry, *I'm* the one who's risking others' lives on the road? Are they not doing the same in offering to take the car off the lot to a Salem mechanic? It just doesn't add up to me.
I initially told them that out of fairness, I wouldn't factor in the belligerence and accusatory nature of their communications with me. But I later learned that they had contacted my father, who had not been involved with my communications with Husson at all (they had his number because he was looking at the car for me since I was out of state.) My father told me that the way they spoke to him was "aggressive." This relieved me of any impetus or desire to be "fair" to them. I understand why they were upset with me in writing a less than glowing review, but that does NOT give them the right to harass my family. I am very protective of the people I love...far more so than the egos of spiteful used car dealers.
In the end, they earned this review by being disrespectful and unkind to me and my father. In an ideal situation, they would have reached out in a conciliatory way to make things right by correcting the misunderstanding and treating me as a valued customer. I could potentially have at very least removed the review, or even upgraded it to a good review. Unfortunately, that is not what happened. I maintained the review as neutral, until they bullied my father. For that, their consequence is me telling the *whole* truth.