"Mixed bag with tons of mistakes"
- Molly G
It pains me to write this review, but it is necessary. I have purchased four Subarus since 2003, none locally until now - usually because no one in Sacramento wanted to make a deal on the cars I wanted. But I am loyal to the Service Manager, Kurt. (My very first Subaru was possessed by air conditioning demons, and he remained determined, helpful, and friendly through the whole process [which lasted seven years - yes, seven years].) When he went to Elk Grove, I followed. I did not buy my Outback last year from them because they would not make a deal - I went to the Bay Area. This year, I was in the market for the Ascent. And I get it - the market dictates price, and this is in high demand. But I won't buy at MSRP - ever. I was working with Ashley, and she asked me to be patient so she could work a deal for me.
I have nothing but great things to say about Ashley.Knowledgable, friendly, and determined to get my business. We ordered my Subaru trying to time it where I could get some sort of a deal (and I did). There was a mixup on what she ordered, but I chalk that up to a misunderstanding. Ultimately, the car I wanted landed at their dealership, and even though it was Ashley's day off, she jumped to action for me.
Then everything fell apart. Well, I should say I do have the car, and I'm happy with it, but the process was the worst experience I've had in buying a new car. Ever. Curtis took over for Ashley, and he was knowledgable and friendly enough, though very chatty in non-relevant conversation. I felt rushed (this was a Thursday), because they refused to hold the car I thought I actually ordered, and we were leaving town the next day for the weekend. In fact, Curtis told me he didn't know if he could even hold the car long enough for us to get there - Elk Grove in afternoon traffic.
Luckily I had all of my financing in order before the mixup happened. It is also lucky that I and my husband were able to leave work on a moment’s notice that day to go buy a new car. Elk Grove is a trek for us, and sometimes I don’t think dealers quite realize how much of a commitment it is to drop everything and come down there on a moment’s notice just to not lose the car that I thought was actually ordered for me. But I did it. Without so much as a thank you.
Sadly, the finance person (I worked with Michael, but I’m not sure if he’s the one who obtained my finance information) did my financing wrong. They failed to follow the instructions on the second page of my financing letter and did not get me the rate promised. I tried to reach my bank, but my person was out at a conference and I coudln’t get through to her supervisor either. So because Lasher would not hold the car for me, and they couldn’t figure out my financing, I had to sign a contract at the wrong rate for the wrong term. I was very rushed, and I just hoped that I would be able to fix it with the bank later.
My husband and I were out of town that weekend, and when we returned on Monday, I talked to my bank. She informed me of the dealer’s error, and she let me print another letter to take down to the dealer to sign another contract. So back down to Elk Grove we went, another half day of work missed. We were able to sign a new contract with Jeremy, but I asked if, while we were waiting, they could wash my new car. (We had driven it to LA that weekend.) I’m actually kind of surprised I had to ask. After all, I was taking time out of my day again to fix something Lasher messed up. But they agreed. And then proceed to take an hour and a half to do it. 15 minutes to sign the contract, two hours because they agreed to wash my car. And with the exception of Kurt offering me a couple of dog toys for my pups, not one person offered any kind of concession for my inconvenience. Not a free keychain, not a discount on my LED lights that were on order, nothing. I just bought the most expensive car they sell, and I’ve spent an entire day so far off work trying to get the car I thought had been ordered for me, fix their mistakes on the financing end, and I had to go back yet again to get those lights installed when they arrived.
It put a sour taste in my mouth, and frankly, I’m not sure I can recommend Elk Grove Subaru. I think Ashley is great, and I will always trust and respect Kurt, but this experience was anything but smooth. It was rushed, full of mistakes by the dealer, and not even an "I'm sorry."
Curtis also tried to upsell me on a lot of things I don’t need. (And in fact I think he did actually include some odd vehicle recovery subscription we didn't want - I'll have to explore that further - he said it would lower our insurance, but of course that wasn't true.) This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve purchased no fewer than eight new cars in perhaps the last 25 years. I understand extended warranties and everything else they try to do to upsell, which is generally why I usually have everything worked out before I even set foot on the lot (and all of the dealers I've done business with in the past have been exceptional). When we went in to re-sign a new contract, Jeremy tried to upsell the warranty to me again, and chided me for not getting one on a car that is in its first year of production. Seriously, but for Kurt coming around and chatting with me, it was down right unpleasant.
And of course they want raving reviews. So much that we are hounded by the sales associates, the finance people, and the managers who email us to tell them that they went above our expectations. So before I came here to write a negative review, I reached out to Sonny, the sales manager. I explained the whole ordeal and my displeasure with being told what to say on my survey.
I realize some of my experience was a fluke. Ashely honestly thought I wanted a blue Ascent, and we did talk about blue and white, so I understand where she might have misunderstood me. But beyond that, there were a dozen little things the dealership could have done to make it a better experience, and instead, they went the other direction. When I reached out to Sonny, he became the victim. But he asked me what I wanted, so I told him. I wanted an extended warranty (I'll buy one eventually). Because of his tone, I asked for it for free (of course realizing this wasn't going to happen, but it's a starting place and sends a message). I expected a counter, but again, he played the victim. I then suggested their cost. Hurts them not at all, compensates me for all of my inconvenience and their mistakes. But he quoted me the "absolute lowest" price... of retail (yes, I've shopped around and have been on the forums where this topic is heavily discussed)....with its very, very hefty profit margin, and I said forget it. They've received enough of my money and will get no more. I'll go back up the hill if and when I'm ready to get a new Subaru. Again, I trust Kurt, but this dealership has quite a huge ego and won't even say they're sorry for their own mistakes or the fact those mistakes caused a lot of inconvenience.
Given the other reviews, I see my experience is somewhat of an anomaly, and while I would not recommend buying a car here, if you do, go see Ashley, and trust your service to Kurt. Other than that, typical, rushed, unpleasant overall.
As an update, I realized that despite the fact that we declined this random theft protection service, somehow we were charged for it. Apparently we signed for it, but it certainly wasn't explained that that was going to happen. We were told all their cars have this installed, and it would save money on our insurance. So I called my insurance agent right there, and they said no, it makes no difference, so we said we didn't want it. But there it was, $289 written into my contract for this. Normally I would catch something like this, but as I mentioned, this was a very rushed deal and I was preoccupied with the errors on my financing. I called the dealer about this, and they said I signed for it, but they would refund the money.....to the Bank. We went a few rounds about how to interpret contracts. They've charged me for something that not only did we not want, but we specifically declined. And they won't refund the money to us.