There is no reason why I brought my car to a reputable dealership with repairable damage and am now left without a car. I cannot overstate enough how much of a nightmare it has been to deal with this dealership for over eleven weeks.
I put my trust in Dean Team when my girlfriend and I were moving from Chicago, IL to Austin, TX, and we were stranded near St. Louis for 2 days due to an overheating problem. I took the car to two shops that previous week, and given my frustration with continual problems with overheating, I decided to put my trust in a dealership to ensure that I would have a functional car in Texas. We arrived to Dean Team on Monday the 25th of June after spending a night in a hotel, and waited for 4 days (costing hundreds of dollars for a hotel, meals, and Ubering to Dean Team several times), just to get the same news that there was no estimate on when the car would be complete. The reason I stayed that long is specifically because I was continually being recommended by a service team member, Bill Buckhold, not to leave St. Louis just yet because service could be completed at any time. I understand that diagnostics take time, but they couldn’t give me an estimate on whether it would take hours or days, and it turned out to be a whole month before repairs were done. By Thursday, we had spent all of our moving and emergency funds on the car and staying, per the insistence of their service team, and had no choice but to get a rental that cost hundreds more to get to our new place.
-On July 2nd (one full week after bringing in my car) I was told that Hyundai would cover 95% of damages. Only by word of mouth did I receive this. I never got any documentation, paperwork, or email until after long after my car had been wrecked.
-On July 16th (three full weeks after bringing in my car) I was told that my car was complete and that they were just going to do some touch ups on my breaks to get it smoothly running. I never received any documentation for the work done. No paperwork, no photos, no bills, no emails, just their word on the phone. I don’t think it is at all unreasonable to be skeptical of these repairs and the work, since I can’t judge work I never got the chance to see or drive.
-On July 20th (four days after being told my car was nearly finished) I contacted Service telling them to schedule an appointment, after I had scheduled my flight to St. Louis for July 30th (literally the soonest flight that I could afford). I asked to be emailed a confirmation of my appointment and provided my email address, but received no email...In fact, I received no paperwork from Dean Team whatsoever, until I spoke with Tom Gould much, much later.
-On July 23rd (four full weeks after bringing my car in) I called again trying to get a hold of Bill, just trying to tell him that I would be there on the 30th.
- On Thursday July 26th, (THIRTY ONE DAYS after bring my car in and trying to confirm a pick up for five business days) I woke up to a phone call telling me to cancel my flight, because someone hit my car while it was parked in their lot. My car was hit so badly that both insurance and the dealership says they didn’t understand how someone could hit me that badly. They sent me two photos of the damage to my car, and no other documentation. At the time, I was not aware of the extent of damages as it had to be determined by the autobody shop, but I was told that the damages shouldn’t be that much, since it was mostly cosmetic. I tried to contacted Spirit West auto body shop, the auto body shop Dean Team recommended and sent my car to, in order to get an estimate, but they also wouldn’t give me one. I called the auto body shop and the driver’s insurance throughout the week, but wasn’t able to get an answer until the next week. I never saw photos that insurance took.
- I called the auto body shop and insurance three or four different times throughout the week (week five since I brought my car in). Finally, the auto body shop told me they that insurance had declared the car totalled the night before I called, and I would have to work through the insurance company. They didn’t bother to contact me to tell me that, they told me after several days of persistently calling them for updates. The reason they didn’t tell me the car was totaled is because they were talking directly to Dean Team, who stepped in without my knowledge and never relayed any info to me, by phone call, voicemail, email, or paperwork. Dean Team has said, in writing, that they are not required to do this. Spirit West Auto Body, the shop Dean Team recommended, also no longer had my information and told me “Once the estimate is sent out, and deemed totaled, it gets deleted from our system.”
- August 20th (eight weeks after I turned my car into Dean Team and over three weeks after my car was wrecked), I received one 3-page receipt in one email from Dean Team. I got this after several attempts to contact someone to get this receipt for insurance. This and the two photos of the damage to my car are the ONLY documents I ever received at any time from Dean Team. Everything else was on their word over phone, by way of two text conversations (many of my texts have been ignored for days or weeks on end), or in public responses to online reviews.
- I was able to work out getting a rental car through the insurance of the person who hit my car, the saturday after my car was declared totalled. I had a rental from 7/28/18 to 8/23/18 and was provided my settlement check after I turned over the title to my car on 9/10/18 (about six weeks after my car was hit, and about eleven weeks after bringing in my car to the dealership). I believe Dean Team called insurance one time August 20th to extend my lease by a couple days.
All the time afterward I turned in the rental, I have been stuck without a vehicle, walking and biking to where I needed to go. I came to Austin, TX with the prospect of working on film or at least having a job comparable to the one I had in Chicago, but right now, my only luck is a minimum wage job as a placeholder for a better management job contingent on my ability to drive to their location. Every single week I’m asked if I have a car yet so I can start a better position at another location, but this situation with Dean Team dealership and the driver’s insurance has been costing me that opportunity.
-On August 31st, I woke up to a call, offering to work with me on a car, but at that point I hadn’t fully determined what insurance would give me, so I needed to finalize that offer. I tried to call back, but my contact was out that week. I called the shop and was completely honest with them, all I can afford at this moment is $4,800 plus whatever the tax, title, and license fee was. They offered to work with me on my budget, which they conveniently have forgotten every time I’ve brought it up, even though they sent me a text message stating my budget. I personally can’t afford any of the cars in their lot. Now I am left with no car, and not enough money to buy a decent vehicle of equal value to the car I lost. The offer made to me was just the offer that I saw online, and I’m not looking to travel from Austin, TX to St. Louis, MO for a deal that I could easily find better in Austin, TX. I understand that this is a business and not a charity, but I am left with no car, little opportunity for a replacement vehicle, holding out for better employment, two and a half months wasted, and several hundreds of dollars lost on my end, after trusting Dean Team with my car.
- Eleven weeks after bringing my car in, I was asked to respond to a survey, which I did honestly. At this point, I finally posted online reviews, which I wrote as honestly as possible but gave them a very poor review and rating. At this point, they immediately went on the defensive trying to declare how hard they worked to get me a good deal. They claimed my reviews were inaccurate, brought up my warranty deal, and bills I was not charged for (remember, this bill was not sent for me until eight weeks after I brought in my car and I never saw this warranty deal). They mentioned that they couldn’t predict the accident and they were not at fault since a Dean Team member was not driving my vehicle or the vehicle that hit me. They explicitly stated that they opened the claim and dealt with insurance and the auto body shop on my behalf, even though they are not required to. For the record, I never asked them to, in writing or on the phone, and they didn’t tell me when they chose to do this. I only asked for my car to be delivered to the auto body shop since I couldn’t deliver it myself. They mentioned that when I asked for paperwork, I was sent a receipt within 10 minutes. It certainly did not take ten minutes to ask for this receipt, it took several days of persistence, and it is not the customer’s responsibility to remind the dealership that it is their job to send a receipt, especially not eight weeks after bringing in my car, and well over three weeks after repairs were completed and my car was hit. They said the owner agreed that they “should try to help you get another vehicle, not because we owe it to you, but because that that is they way we do business, by helping customers the best we can.” Again, they claimed not to know my budget and never heard a word on it, after sending me a text in which they included my budget. They offered no apologies to me at any time, but did admit that communication was a problem and that they have already discussed it. If they had discussed it, I never saw an improvement in communications, and based on other poor reviews, this has been an ongoing problems for the past several years. They ended by telling me that my rating was unfair and unwarranted because no other dealership would do as much for me as they have, and asked me to consider changing my rating based on their response only. For the record, they were far quicker to respond to online reviews than to my actual phone calls or even text messages as a customer.
If they could have given me a better repair estimate on my car, I would have been able to save my money while I was stranded in St Louis, MO and even might have avoided the accident that left my car totalled. If they had placed my car in a more secure place that wasn’t so easily available, a customer might have had a harder time hitting vehicles that they had repaired. They have stated on the phone that they have no plans to prevent a similar accident in the future and they had no plan in place for how to deal with this sort of situation. They could have been honest and told me that they couldn’t work with my budget, instead of lying and saying that they weren’t aware of my budget and offering me market price, with a vague mention of possible adjustments. Even excluding the accident that wrecked my car on their lot, the problem is they way they handled (or didn’t handle) my case, in the weeksbefore and after the accident. At this point I would recommend absolutely no one to use this service center on the account of: not being able to provide estimates, taking days and weeks to update me (when it even happened), not putting serviced vehicles in a safe place to avoid being hit, and doing absolutely nothing to try and mitigate the situation after my car was declared totalled. To be clear, this whole ordeal has dragged out for eleven full weeks at this time, partly due to a severe lack of communication on their end. I appreciate the $159.71 I wasn’t charged for the car I never got back, but that’s about the only positive thing I can say. Even if the repairs were good I never got a chance to see that, and it took several weeks with little contact to even get that far. Regardless of whether or not Dean Team is legally liable, my car was under their care and I am left with nothing in part due to their customer service. I doubt anyone would find this treatment acceptable from any dealership.
I brought my car in with repairable damage and now don’t have a car. I’ve been going on with this drama for over 11 weeks, I’m exhausted. Dealing with Dean Team is emotionally draining, time consuming, and has in no way given me any faith that they would treat any customer differently. I have tried to talk with them and sent them all the information privately, but after being accused of being inaccurate in my claims publically, I am now trying to prove to the best of my ability my experience working with Dean Team Hyundai. I’ve thought very seriously about what I have written as to be as fair as I can in a situation like this. Dean Team wasn’t the only party that I had a problem with, which is why I include details of the whole experience, not just with Dean Team. I held off for 11 weeks before posting my reviews, and am providing my story as warning to anyone who considers doing business with them, especially those having their car serviced by them.