I want to detail my first Porsche CPO purchase experience and the follow up events within 40 days of buying a CPO Boxster. It started when I searched everywhere for a Boxster that was a CPO and either Tip/PDK, etc. I narrowed my search to 3 cars at different dealerships and then targeted my choice to a seal grey/black interior Tip. After short negotiations (I have bought many German autos, Audi, BMW, MB, VW) and a deposit of $2k, I had already confirmed the car was CPO and up to Porsche spec so I made flight arrangements to pick up the car at Porsche of Kings Auto Mall in Cincinnati, Ohio. I paid cash for the car.
I arrived at the dealership and met the sale associate and USED car sales manager. My radar was already up when I questioned the sales girl on the operations of the car and realized she really didn’t know the product (more on that later) and then USED car sales manager who behaved like he was on a urban corner lot selling a “hot” car before authorities moved in. I took a test drive in the car and voiced my opinions that the car doesn’t seem to run right and the sales girl responded by saying that she didn’t hear a thing and maybe it was me? Also, from scouring the maintenance records, in plain English language the car had an aftermarket air filter that wasn’t replaced so I had asked the USED car sales manager and sales associate, before I flew to the dealership, to please make sure a Porsche air filter was installed as per CPO specifications. Instead, I was given a reply by the USED car manager that…”I am not putting one more penny into that car. I already had to put in a new battery!” after the sales associate couldn’t answer me and had to call over to her USED car manager. Porsche dealership, right? So then I asked about the condition of the wheels because they were “loud” and upon inspection had uneven treads, high/low spots and sidewall wear. Still, they tried to get in and out of the dealership as fast as possible; the sales girl couldn’t even go over the details of the car with me because she did not know; she was in finance and new to sales. However, before I signed the papers, I made positive that I had a CPO guarantee car with Porsche papers before I made the return trip to the East Coast. The CPO was the only reason that I went through with the deal. Again I paid cash for the car but was told that I couldn’t get the title until 3-5 days and that it would be mailed. Well, on the 28th day, I had to go over the sales associate and USED car manager and find who in the accounting department sends out the title and finally on the 30th day, the dealership sends me the title. Can you believe this?
Driving back 650+ miles, trying to beat the storm, was the least of the problems. I noticed the sides of the top convertible were not properly tucked into the side plastic guards and the cabin was very loud. Shame on me for not noticing this at the dealership before I left but I was focused on the CPO papers and dealing with a sheister USED car manager. Also, I noticed the horn was very weak and hardly noticeable when I tried to use it but I thought maybe this is how a Porsche horn is? I text the dealership while I was on the road and the USED car manager replied “sorry, we’re closed”. After 2 days I made it safely back home. Here is where everything really unfolds.
Owning the car 5 days, the Bose radio would not change channels, shut off or adjust the volume??? I brought my car into a Parsippany, NJ Porsche dealership and they tested the radio by hooking up a laptop computer to the car and within 10 minutes the service advisor told me the radio is “dead” and he needs to order a new one. 4 days later I had a new radio installed under the CPO. Okay, I was fine with this. Then I asked if this dealership could quickly listen to my horn because I felt it was weak and other cars couldn’t hear me but he said that I would have to make another appointment??? Now, in all fairness, this dealership helped me on the radio but it was like I was interrupting them when I asked questions. The service advisor seems to have in his job too long and as a customer I want to feel welcomed and have people be courteous and make sure all is okay before I leave a Porsche dealership….not here. A couple of weeks later, I was driving back to our home in New England with my puppy when the inside driver’s door handle broke and was hanging and the window wouldn’t go all the way back up and I wasn’t sure if the door was closed securely. Again, I had owned the car for about 3 weeks by now. So here is where a QUALITY PORSCHE DEALERSHIP comes into play….
I stopped at JACK DANIELS PORSCHE in Upper Saddle River, NJ and drove into the service area, without an appointment, and met service advisor, Brooks Bateson. Brooks LISTENED and quickly said “no problem, let me make a call and see if we can get you in”. Within 5 minutes, I was standing inside JACK DANIELS PORSCHE (with my puppy) while they brought my car into the service bay to fix my door. Brooks had confirmed that my Boxster was a CPO and then proceeded to ask me if everything else is okay with the car? I explained that the horn sound funny (“weak”) and wondered if they could just listen to it. Brooks response…”no problem I will ask them to look at it while they have your car”. Can anyone here spell “S E R V I C E”??? It’s called Brooks Bateson. Brooks didn’t over promise nor under deliver and explained that while he can take care of the door handle problem that depending if there is an issue with the horn he would have to possibly order parts and then schedule a follow up apt. I had no problem with this because Brooks was talking straight, direct and kept me informed with details. Probably the best characteristic about Brooks’ skills are his ability to take his time, inquire and listen to his customers. Not a rocket science but then again, I’m a firm believer that you cannot teach passion and true concern….no matter what business one is in. Well, Brooks heard back from his tech and explained to me that a Boxster has 2 horns. One was completely dead and the 2nd horn was on its last leg! Brooks asked me again….how long have you owned this car? So then we sat down at his office and I explained my experience buying this car and the condition that I received a Porsche CPO car. At this time, I didn’t want to burden Brooks because he was helping me without an apt but he sat me down after the horn anaylsis and asked me to tell him about the car. So, I proceeded to tell him about the convertible top, the “noise” or “moaning” I heard when driving the car and just having the radio replaced. Also, I explained that the car had its 60k major service done at 50k by an independent mechanic and about 15 months before I bought the car! I assured him that I had all the records from the Porsche Dealership in Ohio where I bought the car and was told that this was acceptable to Porsche!!! He suggested that when I bring the car back for the new horns that JACK DANIELS PORSCHE inspect the entire car for me. Great! Exactly, what I wanted to hear.
So I bring my car to JACK DANIELS PORSCHE for service and inspection. In the meantime, I had already called Porsche NA and explained to them my purchase experience and mechanical and radio problems with my CPO car. Porsche NA opened a case after reviewing all the documents that I explained to them and had faxed. I have to this day saved all text messages with the USED car manager at Porsche of Kings Auto Mall, Cincinnati, Ohio (ie: Joseph Porsche). Porsche NA couldn’t have been more concerned and involved to my happy belief. Porsche NA gave me a service number and asked me to call them immediately when I brought my car into JACK DANIELS PORSCHE for service and they would take over from there. I did this. After 2 days at JACK DANIELS PORSCHE, I received a call from the Service Manager, CHRIS DODIN, who informed me that the further they examined the car that the “to-do” list was piling up like a snow storm. Chris asked me to explain my entire fact based experience and I think he dropped his phone once or twice when he listened to the entire experience. I shared with Chris that all these problems cannot be a coincidence….I only owned the car for less than a month!!! Similar to Brooks’ professionalism, CHRIS DODIN was equally the professional and outstanding individual who stood by his “new” customer’s side. He would have to get Porsche NA involved and I shared with Chris that I already have done that. After I faxed to Chris the service and CPO documents that I also sent to Porsche NA, Chris stated that a car like mine would NEVER have left JACK DANIELS PORSCHE in that state. I believe him. Chris told me he would get back to me after speaking to Porsche NA. (Let’s forget office politics here….FRAUD was committed by PORSCHE OF KINGS AUTO MALL, CINCINNATI, OHIO.)
On Good Friday before Easter, I receive a call from Brooks and then Porsche NA that $10k worth of work needs to be done to bring my car to Porsche CPO level and that I will be covered 100%!!! New horns, a new total convertible top replacement, 60k service, etc. Talk about a Good Friday….
So as patiently I wait for the return of my CPO Boxster, the moral of this story is several. First, I bought this car because my wife always wanted another convertible so I wanted to get her hooked on a Porsche and this seemed to back-fire until JACK DANIELS took care of us; our opinion has changed entirely for the better because of Brooks Bateson, Chris Dodin, JACK DANIELS PORSCHE and Porsche NA. Second, there are really corrupt Porsche dealers in the network so you need to CYA. Third, I wouldn’t have taken the time to write this letter if I didn’t believe that two individuals (Brooks Bateson and Chris Dodin) and JACK DANIELS PORSCHE hadn’t gone above and beyond as ethical and moral people. Fourth, I believe that Porsche does care about its current and future customers. Lastly, the USED car manager (Mack Fay) at Porsche of Kings Auto Mall in Cincinnati, Ohio should be fired and at the very least suspended, fined and demoted and put back on the urban corner used car lot.