AVOID THIS DEALERSHIP!!!
I contacted this dealership's Internet Sales team to inquire about pricing for a Black 2015 VW GTI Autobahn. I expressed my interest to purchase the vehicle if the price was right and also inquired about military discounts available, financing rates through VW to compare against my credit union, and the process to purchase/register the vehicle from PA to MD where I live.
I was transferred to a regular sales guy who said I could get the car, with a military discount for about $900 under MSRP. TrueCar estimate for my area was about $1800 under MSRP. It wasn't a spectacular deal, but it was the only package/color car I could find within 75 miles.
When I inquired about the process to purchase the car in PA and have it registered in MD (to include paying taxes, tags, etc), they said they had the capability to do it.
When I inquired about financing rates through VW, I was told 0.9% for 5 years. I requested clarification on whether that was for 2014 model years or if it included 2015 model years as well. I was told it was for all VWs. I also emphasized the reason for asking was I could get a 1.9% from my credit union and have all paperwork ready before venturing to the dealership.
Satisfied with the quotes in pricing, financing and explanation of how the car would be registered, I scheduled an appointment for Saturday, July 19, 2014 to purchase the vehicle.
When I arrived, I went on a test drive with the sales person. He demonstrated the amazing handling of the car before handing the keys over to me to complete my own test drive. Satisfied with the performance of the vehicle, we proceeded back to the dealer to draw up the paperwork.
I was told that I wouldn't be able to drive home with MD tags on the vehicle because their normal person that issued tags didn't work on Saturdays, so I would have to drive the car to a title/tag place to obtain transfer tags. I was also informed the paperwork obtained from the tag/title place would be all I needed to obtain registration in MD.
The loan paperwork was drawn up and when presented, it had incorrect MD state tax amounts and the financing amount was 2.4% instead of 0.9%. They fixed the tax amount and said the 0.9% was only for 2014 vehicles, contradicting their previous answer, leaving me with either the choice to take the higher rate or delay the purchase of the vehicle. Since the dealership was an hour away, I opted to deal with the higher interest rate and consider refinancing later.
I next confirmed my insurance with the dealer to take ownership of the car. This process took a little longer, as the information had to be related to the sales person several times.
Next, I drove the car to the tag/title place with the sales person in tow. On the way, he activated the VW CareNet service, but before I was fully complete, he hung up because the tag/title place was closing in 5 minutes. When inside, I found out the cost of these transfer tags were above and beyond the sale of the car. Not a huge deal, but this was the first time I had a separate out of pocket expense to get a vehicle on the road. As we wrapped up, I asked if everything I had was all I needed to go to the MD MVA to get MD tags. I was told yes.
Satisfied with the answer and convinced the dealer was an expert in areas necessary to get a vehicle on the road for its customers, I then took the sales person back to the dealership. He asked if I could hang out for a second to make sure he didn't have anything else for me. After sitting in the car for about 5 minutes, he asked me to come in and SIGN THE LOAN APPLICATION! Yes, they almost sent me on my way without signing the loan application. I signed the loan application and went on my way. Total time at the dealership was about 2.5-3 hours.
After a few days, I started to complete the paperwork required to register the vehicle in MD. I filled out everything I needed except for the loan information required for the title. I had to wait until I received that information before I could venture to the MD MVA. I finally received the information and proceed to the MD MVA on Tuesday, August 5, 2014. 17 days after purchasing the vehicle and 17 days into the 30-day transfer tag life span. When I arrived at the MD MVA, they told me I need the title to register the vehicle. After I explained the course of events and the guidance provided by the dealership and the tag/title place, the MD MVA stated there was nothing in their system and that without the title, they couldn't help me. They also said if I paid the taxes, Autohaus must complete the registration or provide a refund of the taxes paid so I could pay MD.
I immediately called the tag/title place and they researched my issue. The sales person, called me back and said the tags will be sent to me via FedEx and I should have them in the next day or two. I went out of town from August 7th - August 16th, expecting the tags would be at my house when I returned. Much to my surprise, they were not. I called the dealership and the sales person and left a message explaining I needed the tags delivered before Monday morning so I could get to work. Saturday night, I received a text message response from the sales person telling me to call a Registration person Monday morning because that is the person who processed my paperwork. This obviously didn't help me get to work on Monday.
My 30 day transfer tags expired the next day, so I was unable to drive the vehicle until I could get a valid registration in MD.
On Monday, August 18, 2014, I called the dealership and asked for the Registration person by name. I was told no person by that name worked there. After explaining my situation, I was directed to the correct person. She took my information and said she would call me back. I never received a call back from her, but I received a call back from the sales person. He stated that the issue is out of their hands and in the hands of the tag/title place. He said it will be a few days until I get my tags. I asked which title service Autohaus used and was told Beacon National Auto Tag and Title. When I expressed my frustration about the inconvenience of me having to track this down and having no way of getting to work until I got the tags, all I got in response was, “I understand your frustration, but there's nothing I can do”. I asked when my application for registration was sent to Beacon National Auto Tag and Title and his response was, "that happens up in the office and that's like a whole nother world." Convinced talking to this sales person was not going to yield any results in resolving my issue, I ended the call.
I decided to call the Autohaus VM Sales Manager, to elevate my issue. After explaining the history to him, I told him I either needed tags that day or they could come pick up the car and refund my money. He stated the refund wasn't an option, so he'd try to help me out, but since it was so late in the day, he doubted anything would be resolved that day. I expressed my frustration that it wasn't my fault it was so late in the day OR that the tags expired. He asked if he could call me back by 5:15pm so he could track down the status of my registration and asked if he didn't hear from me by then to call him back. I accepted and hung up.
The Autohaus VM Sales Manager called me back at 5:19pm and stated he tracked down the issue. He said there was an issue with Beacon National Auto Tag and Title not being able to read my license number from the photocopy of my license and that they resolved the issue. He said he was going to email me a FedEx tracking number for my tags with an estimated delivery date of August 20th or August 21st. I asked him how I was supposed to get to work between now (Monday, August 18th) and when I got the tags. His response was to drive the vehicle anyway because it should be in the system. I told him I doubt the MD State Police would see that as an acceptable reason for not having a valid registration. He said it wasn't a big deal. I then asked him when the packet was sent to Beacon National Auto Tag and Title and he said he didn't ask that, he only asked about when I would get it. He didn't offer to find out.
I waited 20 minutes after I hung up with him, and still didn't receive the FedEx tracking number. I sent him an email to ensure he had my correct email address. He responded with the tracking number. The next morning I checked the tracking number and it didn't exist. I sent him an email asking to confirm if the tracking number was correct and he said he would check.
Unsatisfied with the service and answers I've received from this dealership on any topic thus far, I decided to call Beacon National Auto Tag and Title myself to get their version. Here is what I was told.
Beacon received the request from Autohaus on July 30, 2014 (12 days after I purchased the vehicle).
Beacon responded to Autohaus on July 30, 2014 requesting clarification on my license number (6 days before I initially called requesting the status of my registration).
Beacon didn't receive a response from Autohaus until August 18, 2014, 18 days after Beacon requested clarification, 1 day after my tag expired, and coincidentally on the same day I called the dealership again.
Beacon also stated Autohaus was scheduled to receive the tags on August 19, 2014 from Beacon and that I was scheduled to receive them from Autohaus via FedEx tomorrow. This explained why the number the Autohaus VM Sales Manager provided was not found.
Since I hadn't received any response from the Autohaus VM Sales Manager on the invalid FedEx tracking number, I responded to him with the information I received from Beacon. I also told them I trusted they would place high priority on ensuring these tags made it to me by the scheduled delivery date of tomorrow.
I also reiterated that I had a brand new car sitting in my garage that I couldn't drive yet and that I was greatly inconvenienced in my ability to get to work for 3 days. I expressed my thought that this was all due to the negligence of Autohaus and the issue was exacerbated by Autohaus's attempt to cover up their negligence. I also relayed my concern that since I called on 5AUG to inquire on the status, this could have all been resolved prior to the expiration of my transfer tags.
I expressed my regret in using Autohaus, but was hopeful they could rectify the situation and provide some sort of compensation commensurate to the level of inconvenience and lost time/wages caused by this chain of events.
As of September 5th, I have yet to receive any response, acknowledgement or apology from Autohaus, the VW General Sales Manager or the Sale person for the horrible service. Steer clear of this dealership. No part of the experience was good. Pricing, financing, service, knowledge, accountability, expertise... ALL SUBSTANDARD.