We have purchased three cars from Mullinax since they bought Gateway Ford in Kissimmee. Following the first two purchases I would have cheerfully awarded five stars. We had traded almost exclusively with Gateway for 25 years as they never gave us a reason to go anywhere else. Mr. Bailey gave Jerry Mullinax a glowing recommendation when I spoke with him after the sale so we felt comfortable going straight to Mullinax. Then came several trips to their service department with our third purchase, a CPO 2014 Ford Flex Limited with 18,000 miles.
The third purchase got off to a bad start when the car was so nasty inside when it was delivered that we took it to Extreme Auto Detailing to have it cleaned up the following day. We did not hold this against Mullinax but felt our salesman should have ensured that the car was properly prepped for delivery. However, our Flex experience went downhill from there. The Sync never did work properly, the blind spot warning system failed, and at about 27K miles, the transmission had to be rebuilt. Due to communication issues and parts availability, the repair took about a month. The day we got it back we left for a weekend getaway on the beach in south Florida. On Friday night the engine service light came on so we started looking for a place to get it checked first thing Saturday morning. The nearest dealer that could check it for us was Mullinax in West Palm so we checked out of our beach front room and headed to West Palm. After having is checked we headed for home, never making it onto the beach and wasting baseball tickets we had for Saturday evening in Miami. By the time we got home, the light was on again so it was back to Mullinax service. I suspect that the problem was improper maintenance while having the transmission work completed
After a few other issues, the final blow came on March 11. My wife dropped me off at the airport late on Saturday evening. She called me about 30 minutes later to say that the Flex's automatic tailgate would not lower. She had been searching for remedies online while the airport police were wanting her to move the car. She finally had to force it down. I returned home late Monday night and took the car to Mullinax for the repair on Tuesday morning. The car had 31K miles but I was informed that the 36K/36 month warranty had expired on Sunday and the repair would not be covered by the factory warranty. (Even the IRS gives us until Monday when the 15th falls on a weekend.) .After some discussion, we finally determined that the CPO extended warranty would cover the repair but with a deductible. Within four hours of picking the car up after the repair, we had gotten rid of our Flex. We determined that we could not afford to keep this car without a warranty and weren't comfortable depending on it to travel any distance from home (at 31,000 miles).
I know Larry and Jerry won't miss me but prior to this experience, we did not shop other dealers but went straight to Mullinax Ford as we had done with Gateway Ford for so many years. That won't happen again. I could give several names of others that purchased from Mullinax as a direct result of my recommendation. That won't happen again. I might purchase from Mullinax in the future but they will have to beat the competition by several hundred dollars, not out of any loyalty developed through good service. They lost that loyalty.