"My experience at Criswell"
I bought a used truck (approx 21,000 miles) from them, and traded in my truck which was the exact same make/model/trim package as the newer one I was purchasing.
Right from the start they were difficult to deal with, low balling me hard on my trade in. At this point most people who aren't desperate or looking for something very
specific in their vehicle should walk away and find a dealership who will treat them with respect. Unfortunately, I was looking for a very specific vehicle and this was
the only vehicle that met most of my criteria within a 500 mile radius. So I fought with them for a few days to get my trade in value up, being polite and letting their sales
manager (Mark) ramble on for about 5-7 minutes about how their market is different for trucks, and then cutting me off before I could even get a sentence out (typical delearship
tactics). It was only after I questioned how another dealership less than an hour away could offer me $2,000 more if that dealer is in the same market area
as them. It was only after stating that and threatening to go elsewhere and more needless converstation that they finally came up $1,000, which got me close enough to
where I needed to be. So we make the deal verbally over the phone and I also made it clear that for the deal to happen I needed my tires from my old truck changed to the new
one as mine were almost brand new (and expensive) and the ones they had on the one I was buying probably didn't even have a year left in them. They said that was no problem,
they would do it if that made the deal happen.
So I make the trip down on a Saturday (and this is a 10 hour round trip from me as I live in upstate NY), all the details were hammered out figures wise before we got
there, so there wasn't much to screw up with that. I had my financing already in hand, just had to test drive the new one and do the paperwork, swap the wheels and we
would be good to go. At this time of course everyone was nice at the dealership, but that all changed as soon as the sale was done and they took the vehicles in to swap
wheels. We found at that time, that ram had changed the stud size from 2011 to 2013, and to swap the wheels I would need to get lug nuts for aftermarket wheels for the
2013 to swap them over. Being that this was a 10 hour trip for me, I obviously wanted to do anything to just get my tires and go. Of course by the time they come out to
tell me it wont work, their service department is about to close. I offer to pay a tech to stay late to dismount and remount the tires, I offered to take both trucks to
a different garage in town and pay them to do it (which they let me call around frantically trying to find one, and when I did they then said I couldn't do it),
but of course the dealer knows they have me in a bad place and instead of trying to find a solution they just tell me
"to bad, you can either come back Monday or not come back at all." Thanks a lot, so my choices are give you tires that cost me $1,000 and in return get tires that won't
last me through winter (and they were bad tires anyways compared to mine), or make another 10 hour trip. As much as I hated to see these clowns again, I wasn't going to
gift them some really nice tires. I got the lug nuts needed and made a trip down the following week, only to find out now they are holding my tires ransom, saying they
need $100 to change them over now. How clever, I thought this was part of the deal for them to make a sale, but since they knew they had me a tough spot they decided to
basically hold my tires ransom for another $100. I was so sick of their bs and just wanted to move on from my experience with them that I paid it and tried to get the
xxxx out of there as soon as I could and hope to never have to talk to them again. If only it could have ended there.
About a month goes by, in this time we are basically in a drought in NY and have no rain. Then one day we get a good storm and I get in the truck to start my day, and as
I'm backing out of my driveway I hear water swooshing around behind me. I stop and get out and look, and in the storage bin area behind my seat there are large xxxxxxof
water, and all of my personal belongings and papers back there are soaked and ruined. I immedietely remember that on the mainenence sheet from the dealership that there
was a line that said "high mount stop light bulb", which is the third brake light on the cab of the truck. Apparently they went in to replace a bulb, and did a terrible to
non-existent job of sealing the light back up (these are notorious for leaking on rams/fords). Since at that time we had more storms forcasted, I went in and fixed it myself
the way the service department should have. Instead they half assed some sort of product in there (not a clue what it was but it was clearly not done very well at all). Then
a few days later I have the truck in the garage for the first time since I've bought it, just sitting inside for a day while I took my other car out. I come back about 8 hours
later, pull the truck out, and then discover another large pool of fluid, this time under the truck on the nice clean garage floor. This time its oil, oh great, just what
you want to see after you just paid $26,000 for a truck from a "reputible" dealer. Again I think back to the service record and verified that the service department did an
oil and filter change on it before I bought it. I checked the level and it was down 2 quarts, so glad I noticed it or the service departments negligience could have blown
my motor up. Again, I had to fix this as I'm not just going to drive it around or leave it parked while it's spewing out oil everywhere. Upon getting underneath the truck
I noticed the oil filter was barely even hand tightened, and had shot out oil EVERYWHERE on the underside of the truck. And I mean everywhere, and having to spray brake
clean on everything, while you are on your back on the ground is not a good exeperience AT ALL. And certainly not one you should have to experience when you spend that much
money on a vehicle because a service department can't do the very most basic of tasks. Its rather pathetic. My first email to Frank (my salesperson) got a quick response,
but it was just trying to deflect respsonsibility and suggest that I go to a local ram dealer to have them fix things. But again, I'm not going to continue to drive a
vehicle with a severe oil leak and interior leak til my local dealer can get me in, I'm going to fix it so the thing doesn't blow up or completely flood my interior.
Also in this time I go to register the vehicle and pay the NY sales tax, wait in line for the typical long time DMV's always require, fill out all the paperwork and have my
tax payment ready to go. Get to the very last stage of the process and then the dmv lady says "uh oh"...followed by "I can't believe they forgot to sign this". They forgot
to sign the title over (is this amatuer hour?). Good thing I didn't wait til the temp tags were about to expire to register it or else I wouldn't be legally allowed to drive
this very expensive driveway ornament. At this point I'm literally in shock over the amount of incompetence displayed by this dealership. I've bought vehicles from some not as
nice looking places before but I've never had one make so many bush league mistakes.
So at this point I'm clearly very upset, and the truck has cost me time, money, and MUCH aggrivation. This was the email I sent after Frank replied timely from my first email:
Look Frank I will be completely honest with you, and before I start let me state that I'm not putting any of this on you as I know you didn't personally service the vehicle but this is why I need to speak to someone in charge of the service department. My closest dodge dealership is 20 minutes away on a good day, so round trip close to an hour and I have to drag someone with me to give me a ride back. On top of that its guaranteed at least one full day they will have it, maybe two, even to fix these simple problems. I don't even have time to write an email (it took me days to get back to you), let alone go without my truck for even more time and cost me even more money than it already has. In addition to that we have strong chances of big storms this weekend, which means I had to fix this myself immediately (more down time) or suffer more flooding in my nice clean truck. Same with the oil leak, I'm not going to leave the filter loose and continue to gush oil all over the underside of the truck or leave the oil there to show someone, I cleaned it immediately since I try to keep my vehicles as nice as possible. These are both serious issues that in my mind could not wait to be fixed.
Now add that in to my experience with you guys already and the money and time I've lost. One full day to come purchase the vehicle, ok that's just a necessary evil if I wanted the truck so that isn't on anyone. The second day to come back and get my tires, again not on anyone since neither of us knew the studs were different. However, the fact that your service department/management went back on our deal (effectively holding my tires ransom for $100), all because they had the trouble of needing 2 lifts open for 10 minutes on Wednesday instead of Saturday, is ridiculous. Which by they way, another day in the hole for me, no money coming in, and gas to get back down plus the extra $100 ransom to get my tires back, which by the way, for $100 here I could get tires mounted and balanced, to do a simple transfer for the price is also ridiculous. Even after all of this, I was ready to let it go and never have to be in contact with you guys again.
But then, I go to the dmv, wait in line for the paperwork, fill it out and have everything ready to register and pay taxes and the title isn't signed. This isn't the dealerships first rodeo is it? I understand mistakes happen, but again an hour away from work at the dmv only to have to sneak away from work one more time the following Monday to go to post office and send the title back certified. More money out of my pocket. Then a few days later after having the truck stored in my grandparents garage for around 8 hours, and after pulling it out a notice a rather large puddle of oil. That's a really great thing to see from the $26,000 truck you just bought, and on your grandparents nice clean garage floor (thanks extra for that!). Then to make things even better you find out it was a careless mistake by the service department, and now you get to clean up the HUGE mess on the underside of the truck (more downtime!), which I promise you, spraying brake clean to clean parts while you are underneath is not fun at all. Also, it was already down 2 quarts, so good thing I noticed before it lost more and blew the motor. And then to top if all off, we get the first real rain we have had since I bought the truck, and there are large puddles, that I noticed while backing out of our drive way when I could hear the water moving around behind me. Literally huge puddles in the storage area. Ruined some papers I had back there and had to clean/dry all my personal items that were there (glad I didn't have my pool cues back there, or I might be out a few hundred more dollars). So I look at the service records from when you guys took the truck on trade and then put it back for sale, and of course I see line D-"High mount stop light bulb", yet another mistake by the service department that I have to deal with and clean up the inside (more downtime!).
So where does that leave me? Basically I want my $100 back, the $100 that I should have never been charged in the first place. Your service department has cost me at least that (mailing title back $5, rtv for third brake light $15, 2 quarts of oil $12, plus a couple hours of my time that I could not work so I could fix these issues), and could have cost me so much more if I hadn't noticed that oil leaking. Again Frank, all you need to do is forward this to someone that can do something about it, I don't put this on you personally. My experience with you was good enough, but outside of that was seriously lacking. I don't have much leverage here, all I can do is to promise that I will copy/paste my experience documented here, on every single new/used car website I can find relating to Criswell, which most people read the reviews before buying. For someone like me, some bad reviews I saw about you guys didn't matter as much since I obviously am very picky about what vehicle I am looking for. But for the average person buying the generic car, reviews like this will matter and they may not want to put up with the hassle when they can just get their generic car at a dealership with good reviews. In conclusion, all I am asking is for the dealership to do the right thing. You've costed me time, money, and MUCH frustration, all after holding my tires ransom and welshing on our original deal. If I can't get that money back, I will find time next week to go to all the websites, autotrader, cars.com, cargurus etc..., and leave said review.
I've given them a few weeks since writing them, and have gotten no response. Clearly I'm not their problem anymore, they made the sale and I live far away. My hopes in leaving this review everywhere I can
is to save others the needless aggrivation you have to put up with to get a car from these people. And if I can prevent just one sale for them it will have been worth my time in writing this. Also, you
should clearly not take your vehicle in for service from them, find someone else. They can't even complete an oil change without the potential for catastropic failure.
Other Employees Tagged: