"Stonewalling on Warranty "
This is ongoing, but up to this moment I am angry and frustrated by the service department at Franklin Sussex Automall.
On Tuesday evening, the 23rd of October, I was making my way home in my 2018 RAM ProMaster when I lost all gears from the transmission. I was coming off I-84 in Middletown, and was about an hour from home when it happened.
The van is a 2018, it’s a tradesman van, and I bought it used with 42.5k miles from KIA of Sussex, and, from my perspective, I bought a close to brand new work van, where the previous owner took the depreciation hit, broke it in, and I got it for a considerable discount within the same model year. I love, love this van.
When the trans failed, I called KIA of Sussex. I had bought a sweet extended warranty when I bought the vehicle and figured, “well, at least it’s covered and they’ll handle it.”
However, when I spoke to the guys at KIA, they explained that the van still has the five year 60,000 mile powertrain warranty and they were going to pursue the repair with Chrysler themselves, once I got it in. At which point I figured I’d just get it over to Franklin Sussex Automall, which was also half the distance for the tow, and we’d pass coming down route 23 from Middletown.
It should have also saved the time that would be spent getting the vehicle transferred back to a Chrysler dealer, and I’d deal with them directly since the warranty covering drivetrain was still in effect. But also, as the owner, I want to deal with a major repair personally. It just made sense to cut all the extra people out.
What a mistake.
Franklin Sussex Automall has had the van for five days now. On a daily basis I checked in with the service department, once a day, specifically with Michael, starting the next morning, to see how things were progressing. Initially I was asked where I had bought the van and why am I not just dealing with them. I explained that since the van is my means of making a living, I wanted to cut time out of the process, and deal directly, as the vehicles owner, under the still active powertrain warranty.
Michael was not happy with that answer, given the first day on the first call, since it was repeatedly asked during each phone call I had with him. That, compounded with the fact that the van sat untouched, even when it was stated I’d have an answer “tomorrow” each day during the week, has led me to believe Michael has back-burnered the van, very much to the detriment of my livelihood.
Today, what was a suspicion, is now confirmed. I spoke with a very capable service department rep. named Julie, yesterday afternoon. I asked for Michael, who was not around, and explained the circumstance and she said she would reserve a loaner for the next day. Today.
That seemed too easy, since the grilling Michael gave me did not occur with Julie.
I actually called her back afterwards to make sure that that was going to be okay, since Michael said they weren’t doing anything towards the loaner until they looked at it the van. She insisted that the drivetrain warranty was still in effect and that it won’t be a problem, so come on Saturday to pick up the loaner.
Now it goes off the rails.
When I arrived Saturday, today, I spoke to a gentleman who introduced himself as Michael. I asked if he was the Michael I spoke to, and he said no. So I asked if the Michael I spoke to about my van was around. And he said no other Michael works there. Long story short, this is the guy that I spoke to, but he was denying it.
I decided if he didn’t want to go further and acknowledge we spoke, then I’d just do what I was there for in picking up the loaner. So I asked for Julie, who was not at her desk, and my wife and I waited.
When Julie came back to her desk, I greeted her, and she made a call on the loaner, but couldn’t find the papers for the loaner. Then, without any warning, Michael was standing there, with the papers for the loaner, explaining that we couldn’t have the loaner, and the van was not looked at and he had no idea when it would be.
Weird, since he had just previously said he and I had not spoken and he had no idea what was going on with my van. He saw what was happening, which was I was getting a loaner, under the warranty for the drivetrain, that he said I couldn’t have, because the van wasn’t looked at, when we spoke on the phone.
So, I asked when will the van be looked at. He said he didn’t know, but “eventually.” He asked, “don’t you have another car?” I said I do, but nothing that I can use for work. Which is why I bought the van.
What is clear is the following:
1. Franklin Sussex does not want to honor the drivetrain warranty, possibly because I purchased the vehicle elsewhere.
2. They have back burnered any diagnostic to prolong the process until I pull it and hand it over to KIA, who will then argue it out with them and, eventually, send it back to them.
3. Michael lied about never speaking to me.
4. Michael inserted himself into the loaner hand off because he had knowledge of the van, and the loaner wasn’t on his aforementioned agenda of stonewalling.
5. I am unable to use my van for work, significantly inhibiting my ability to provide for my family, where I am the sole wage earner.
This is bad, duplicitous business dealings. I will update with a final outcome.
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