On November 21,2016 I walked into Smithtown VW looking to do an early trade in for my 2014 Jetta. I was aware that I had 8 months left on my lease but needed to trade the car in to prevent any type of over mileage. I walked around the showroom for 15 minutes without being approached by a single sales person, mind you it was only 9am, but still the salesmen that were on the floor found eating their breakfast sandwiches more important than making their first sale of the day. After 15 minutes I was finally greeted by a manager of some sort, I'm guessing since he was sitting in the far left hand corner office, who told me that his sales person John would be over to help me shortly. The only reason I'm willing to give this experience a single star is due to my Salesman John Zahn. He was very polite and got right down to business. I had told him that I was aware of my situation and that I would be giving the dealership $3,000 to pay my lease off early. Please keep in mind, this was during their $0, 0, 0, 0 event - $0 due at signing, $0 security deposit, 0 first months payment, $0 down payment. The deal that John had came back with was great for what I needed, I decided on a 2017 Tiguan lease with 18k miles per year. At that moment, $393/mo sounded great. Long story short, I leave to go to work and come back that evening to finalize everything. One my way back to the dealership, Scott the Finance Manager reached out to ask that I bring an additional $250 for title, taxes, etc....this is during the event where I shouldn't have to bring anything to signing. I still stopped and took the cash out anyway to avoid any type of headache. Once I got to the dealership, I was directed to sit in Scott's office to finalize and go over everything.
While sitting in Scott's office, we had a friendly conversation on how we both got into finance; I am a Mortgage Loan Originator. While we were going over everything I made him aware that the $3,000 was to go towards the paying my lease off early. He agreed and stated that the payoff would be sent directly to VW Credit and also advised me that they would be paying my November Payment for the Jetta and that I wouldn't have to make the Tiguan's payment until January.(This was due to the $0 first month's payment deal going on) I still paid the additional $250 to avoid the hassle of having the paperwork re-written, shook his hand, and went on my merry way.
I walked out of the dealership with a feeling of having a good experience with the dealership for the 2nd time. 3 weeks went by and I never received my statement for the Tiguan and every time I checked my account on VWCredit it showed that the Jetta had not been paid off. One December 14, 2016, after countless calls to VWCredit reassuring me that at times it takes up to 2-3 weeks for the pay-off to come in, I received a check payable to me in the amount of $3,100+, no note attached, zero instructions as to what the check was for. Having a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach, I called VWCredit again to see if the payoff for my Jetta was ever sent in, and if the November Payment that was promised was ever made - they both were not.
In fear that I would receive a derogatory mark on my credit thus causing me to lose my MLO License and my beloved career, I called into the dealership asking to speak to Scott. I was finally transferred over to him and did his demeanor change. He was no longer the polite man I had spoke to weeks before as I was handing him $3250, no he was short spoken, rude, and would barely allow me to get a word in edge wise. I made him aware that VWCredit still had not received the pay-off or my November payment. He replied back snidely that I was incorrect. As I attempted to explain my conversation to him, mid sentence, he transferred me up to a Donna's Voicemail, with out a single word from him. He's the Finance Manager, this is unacceptable behavior.
Donna gave me a call back shortly after I left her a voicemail and made me aware that they sent the check to me to cash and then send the pay-off up to VWCredit. Keep in mind, it takes 3-4 business days for a check of that size to clear in a bank account. Once the check clears, I then have the write a check, mail it up the VWCredit (another 3 business days), and have them post it to my account, another 3-4 business days. With all of the holiday's in December, this most likely wouldn't have happened until January - causing me to be 2 months behind on my Jetta Payment.
I asked her to have the owner or the highest manager give me a call as soon as possible.
The General Manager of Smithtown VW, David Lowville (?), reached out to me that day to apologize for my poor experience and to let me know that the whole ordeal was unacceptable on their end. He promised me that first thing the next day when he was back in the dealership, he would look over my lease agreement, and get back to me with something they would do to rectify this situation.
As you can imagine, I did not receive a call the next day. I even reached out to him the day after, left a voicemail and called him 2 other times to see if he would live up to his word. On top of all of this, they cancelled the check for the $3100.00 which caused my bank to charge me a $15 cancelled check fee, and my Tiguan payment was due for this month, December, when I was promised and lead to believe that I would have my first month off and not have to make a payment until January.
I put $3000 towards paying off my early trade in, that they didn't forward over to VWCredit. So basically during the $0, 0, 0, 0 event - $0 due at signing, $0 security deposit, 0 first months payment, $0 down payment. I put $3,000 down, paid $250 at signing, AND had to make my 1st month's payment.
This dealership is a bunch of liar's and thieves. Their upper management do not care one bit about a customer and are only looking to cushion their pockets. As a financial industry professional, it makes me absolutely sick the way they have treated me and I am in fear of what they have done and will do in the future to other customers.
Do not give these people your business.