On December 2, 2017, the day before my birthday, I paid a visit to Auto City a buy here, pay here “side lot” located in on Air Line Blvd in Portsmouth, VA. This was one of the car dealerships offered as a benefit by my former job. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for me. Boy was I wrong !😒
My dad, a former car salesman, searched the lot with me, followed closely by my car salesman, Evan. My dad checked out all the cars I liked. He looked under the hoods, checked the fluids, inspected the tires, trunk, & inside of the car–carefully overlooking them all. Evan gave his word that he would never put me in a car that he wouldn’t put his daughter in. He even said he would treat me like family. He quickly referred to himself as “Uncle Evan.” I looked at a few cars within my budget, but I kept coming back to the car that felt like “me.” I finally settled on a silver 2006 Acura TL for a low price of $4,600. That one was “it” for me.
My family & I test drove it. My dad rode while I sat in the passenger side. He turned all the knobs, checked the air & heat function, sun roof function, radio function, & checked out all the lights in the dash. Everything checked out good & I decided to buy it.
I gave a generous down payment of $3,000 & drove off the lot with my “new to me” 2006 Acura TL, that I purchased on my own. This was a huge moment for me! Not only did I have a car of my own, but my payments were only $80 biweekly. Double win right? Wrong 😒
Initially, everything was great. The staff were pleasant & exemplified superb customer service. (I know now that it was because of my money, not because they were so happy to serve me). If you haven’t figured out by now, money talks.
A few months later, they started hounding me about payments saying that I was “8 or 9 days past due.” This was no problem, especially since past due payments were only $84.88. I was told by customer service representative, Kim, “you’re always late on your payments.” I agreed to this statement, & let Kim know that a payment/receipt book never received so I had no idea when payments were due. I just paid them every 2 weeks from the date of the last payment. I was then told that I didn’t receive the receipt book because it was “too thick” to fit in a post office box. (Red flag #1🚩) I made payment arrangements, which has been acceptable per Kim but a date needed to be provided in order for it to be accepted.
I made a few more payments & then the hounding began again.
Fast forward to 2019, I called & made a “late” payment on 02/28/19 for $84.88. I spoke with Kim & made payment arrangements, informing her that I would pay the past due balance & current balance totaling $169.47 on March 15th, to which she replied, “ok, I’ll make a note of that.” I then asked about a round about number of how much was still owed on my car. To this, Kim responded, “a little over a thousand dollars.” I thanked her & trusted that the note was entered per our conversation.
Well, on March 14th (the day before the arrangement was to be paid), I’m startled out of my sleep by flashing lights & my blaring care alarm. My car was being repossessed for owing a whopping total of $162. This final number of $162 included late fees.
Oh, let me mention, my car payment was soooo behind, a whopping 19 days past due. That’s right 19 DAYS. Not even 30 days past due.
On March 15th, I called the dealership & spoke to Karen. I was informed that the payment I made on 02/28/19 wasn’t sent for processing until 03/01/19. 🙄 Go figure 🤷🏽♀️
Karen informs me that she doesn’t see a note from Kim discussing our arrangement. This bewildered me because Kim clearly told me “ok, I’ll note it.” I ask how much it will be to get the car back & she tells me that she doesn’t know. 🤔🤔 Shouldn’t that be written somewhere? She then tells me that she would have to see where Kim would have put the note & they would call me back later.
After about 2 hours later & still no phone call, I called back. I talked to Kim about the payment arrangements & I’m hit with the biggest lie in a not so pleasant tone–she says, “I may have said ok, but would never agree to that. I don’t even have enough power to agree to something so far out. Management can decide whether they want to repo after 11 days past due. I’ve called you everyday, but you never called me back. You making arrangements to pay on the 15th says, I don’t care about my car payment.”
HOW SWAY KIM? WHEN I CLEARLY MADE PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS?? HOW DOES MAKING ARRANGEMENTS TRANSLATE AS “I DON’T CARE ABOUT MY CAR PAYMENT????”
Here are my LOGICAL questions?
1. If you didn’t have the power to approve payment arrangements, why & how did you allow it before?
2. If you didn’t have the power to agree to payment arrangements for the 15th of March, why didn’t you say this on February 28th?
3. Why would I continue talking to you when arrangements were already made & “noted”?
4. If management could decide to repossess the car, why would they do it the day before the arrangement was set?
Kim tells me that I owe $162, but to get the car back, I would have to pay $715!!! I’m floored. I know math isn’t my strongest subject, but I wrote it down & tried to calculate this BS price. I came up short of how the price jumped so steeply.
I asked for a break down of how I went from $162 to $715. She says this is because the tow company they used wasn’t in my jurisdiction & towing costs were $550. My house from the towing company is approximately 50 miles. Even being 50 miles, there’s NO WAY towing could or should cost $550.
First of all, that’s FREAKING ABSURD. How does it make sense to pay $550 for towing when the past due balance was only $162??
Furthermore, why would I pay $715 to get the car back when I only owe $1000?
I asked Kim for the towing company’s name & she tells me Don’s Towing Company. I asked for a location & she tells me “Portsmouth” then proceeds to tell me in a testy voice, “the towing company doesn’t set out towing rates. We set our own rates.” By this time, I feel disrespected at the piss poor service. My response in a equally testy voice, “I didn’t ask you about any rates. All I asked is what company you use.” Seems to me that offering more information than asked reads 🚨GUILTY. 🚨
Here is MY conclusion:
They scammed me out of my money. They allowed me to almost pay for the car before they repossessed it during tax return season so they could resale the car. $715 is the closest they could get to the pay off they were looking for before resaling the car at the same price of $4,600 to scam someone else out of their money. Why else would they wait until the day before the payment was going on be made to repossess the car?
‼️Mark my words: I will NEVER again purchase a car from Auto City. I wouldn’t even send my doll baby there to get a car.
Don’t take my word for it–Here are some more reviews: 14 people recommend them, however nearly HALF of the people posting reviews agreed that the service is horrible. Check out the reviews. All reviews are available for public view on Auto City’s Facebook page
I went to get my things out of the car because I was told they closed at 7. I got more than half there & called at 6:03 pm to see who I needed to speak to & they were closed. I called the following day about picking up my things only for Kim to tell me that the car was auctioned off and they had no idea where my belongings were.
Stephy Says 💋 NEVER buy from Auto City! They are a rip off
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