I purchased a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited (Demo) with 12,000 miles back in January 2015. The car was still under factory warranty at the time of purchase, but being a single gal and looking to avoid the hassles of unwanted repair costs, I opted to purchase what I thought to be an extended warranty on the vehicle or a “Premium Vehicle Service Contract”. In my experience, having worked in the service department of Elmhurst Lincoln Mercury for almost six years, “vehicle service contracts” don’t typically kick in till after the factory warranty has expired. My brother and my Dad, both automotive technicians, agreed that that point is consistent with their experiences in large dealership settings. Further, in my dialogue with my salesman, Ken Herbik, and the finance manager, I thoroughly explained that I intended to keep the vehicle long term and that I needed the warranty to extend way beyond the factory warranty. When they explained the paperwork – in an almost robotic fashion- they explained that the warranty would be beyond my factory warranty and that it would be for 3 years or 45,000 miles. I walked out of the dealership content with my purchase and counting on the fact that I had an extended warranty.
Fast forward to June 2018, I take my Jeep in to get its regular scheduled maintenance and the service department identifies a leak in my power steering rack. The service department states that the repairs would amount to $1900, to which I stated that there must be a mistake, as my extended warranty was to be in place till at least next year. The service department stated my extended warranty has expired in January 2018. Turns out they sold me an extended warranty, which was in effect for HALF of the time of my factory warranty. Even the service department manager stated that he was not clear why they had sold me a warranty for that time-frame, to which I explained that that was not what I had purchased and that that was not how the warranty was explained to me at the time of purchase. I felt deceived and taken advantage of, perhaps because I was a woman and they thought I was an easy target.
For about two weeks thereafter, I reached out to the dealership, with my calls being juggled around from person to person. Nobody seemed to able to admit that the dealership messed up and that they should not have sold me “platinum vehicle service contract” that was just going to sit there and do nothing, while my factory warranty picked up the slack. Their own service department manager – a man who works in the trenches- admitted that the finance manager/salesman made a poor recommendation when selling me the “platinum vehicle service contract”. Instead, after repeated calls and texts with Karl Bromm, he offered to pay for half or approximately $800 towards a new one year warranty – mind you a warranty I already paid for. To make matters worse, I can only approximate how much they would put towards the warranty because he never called me back to disclose what the full cost of the warranty would be. I haven’t heard from him since or from anyone else from Larry Roesch for that matter.
Dealerships are businesses and yes they need to make money, but there is still a duty of care that is owed to their clientele, which involves being transparent, steering clear of predatory sales practices and providing a reasonable level of customer service. A customer should feel confident that staff will exercise a duty of care to document the terms of the transaction appropriately and as discussed on the closing table and with tenets consistent with the needs of the client put before them. And if a client ever encounters an issue with the product or the services rendered, then they deserve a resolution, or at least a call back – pretty basic stuff or so I thought. In my case, Larry Roesch FAILED to abide by their duty of care. To anyone looking to do business with them, please be mindful of this experience.