|The Month From H**l or Fitgerald Auto's Dishonest Business Practices|
On 11/19/10 I purchased a 1998 Blazer from Fitzgerald Auto/Fleet Financial at 2595 S Broadway in Denver. (www. cheapcleancars.com) I made a $2000 down payment with the balance of $3500 due in 30 days on 12/19.The sales person, Sherri Lorenzo, said they would repair the brakes and I could pick it up the next day. She also said if I had ANY problems with the car to call her.
I took it out of town on 11/24 and got about 125 miles before the service engine soon light came on. The tach started flopping back and forth, I lost speed, and it would not shift into gear. I finally got to my destination; the car smelled hot and would not accelerate or shift from first to second gear, when I checked the transmission fluid it did not show on the stick, it took almost an entire quart. The car was not smoking but there was an oily film all over the rear-end & window.
I spoke with the local Chevy dealership and they told me it sounds like you need a new tranny the mechanic said he would not recommend trying to drive it back to Colorado. The windshield washer also did not work and my brother-in-law had to fix the parking brake because it would not release.
11/28: I made it back home
11/29: I call Sherri, she says they will fix it and she will call me tomorrow & let me know what is going on, I take the car back to the mechanic & he gives me a loaner car.
11/30: No call from Sheri, so I call her and she says we were just talking about what we are going to do about the car I ask her if they can just take the car back and we can start over. She says she will talk to Mike about it & call me tomorrow.
12/1: No call
12/2: No call I call her, no answer.
12/3: Sherri called and said the car was fixed. I asked what they did to it and she said we fixed it. I asked if they would warranty their work and she said NO. I said I did not trust that it was fixed and again asked that they take the car back. She said they would not do that and told me to drive it and see what you think. I pick it up and take the car up I70 when passing cars the tach would wind up almost to the red area before shifting into gear. When starting out from being stopped it shifted very hard from 1st to 2nd. I called her back and told her the car was not fixed and also now the AC did not work, when it had worked previously. She told me to bring it back and we would talk to Mike Murray, the owner. When I got there 20 minutes later, she said he was in a meeting and I would need to come back the next day.
12/4: I meet with Mike Murray, they say they have done everything they can and asked me what I wanted them to do. I told him I would like for him to keep $500, return the rest of the down payment ($1500) and we could forget this ever happened. He said Absolutely not. I mentioned to him that I looked his company up on the BBB and he had a score of F (My bad for not doing that earlier, but I was just driving by when I saw their lot and noticed a car I wanted to check out) He said no he didn't have an F, he had an A Score. I suggested he pull it up and look. He got very defensive and said he was offended that I would accuse him of having an F when he did not. (He also ranted about this a couple more times during the conversation) He said that it was the previous dealers' name not his. (However, he later called me from the business number listed on the BBB site and also emailed me from the email address he denied was his. The same contact info listed here.) He told me he would hand-pick me a different car, and that it would take him 2-3 days. He said that I would be able to drive it for awhile and it would be to my satisfaction. He told me to keep the Blazer while he located a different car for me. He said if it strands you call me. I find that to be an odd comment coming from someone who is so adamant that the car is fixed. I go home and check the Secretary of State website and find that indeed Fitzgerald Auto is HIS company not the previous owners. So he looked me right in the eye and told me a lie and then tried to intimidate me for confronting him with his BBB score. What a guy! He did all this lying while his secretary/assistant is sitting right in the room with us.
12/5 :Service Engine Soon light comes on again.
12/7: I received an email from Mike stating he should have a couple vehicles to look at today or tomorrow, if I don't like those he should have 8-10 more later in the week.
12/10: received email from Mike should have the vehicles by Monday 12/13
12/13: I am driving the Blazer, it shifts from 1st to 2nd so hard it feels like someone has rear-ended the car, then it will not shift at all, I pull over and notice that it has put itself into Low 4wd. I call their office and tell Sherri I am stranded on HWY 285. She says she will talk to Mike and call me right back. She doesn't call for over an hour and a half and then asks are you still on the side of the road?. In the meantime, I turn the car off and on 3 times and the Low-4WD finally goes off. I take the car back to them and they give me a loaner, Ford Escape. (It also has tranny issues according to one mechanic I spoke with, smells hot and has faulty brakes. I was almost T-boned by a Suburban when it did not stop and rolled thru a stop sign. when I told Sherri about it she laughed and said That would not have been good) Mike says he will call me tomorrow a.m. He doesn't call.
12/14: At 6 p.m. I finally call their office and I am told Mike has left for the day, she says I will have him call you tomorrow morning He never calls.
12/17: Mike finally calls and says he will have a Jeep GC on Sat or Mon, He says it is being checked out by the mechanic, he says if he doesn't call me on Sat that I can pick it up anytime on Monday.
12/18: Of course he never calls
12/19: The payment on the Blazer would have been due today.
12/20: I call their office at 8:30 & 8:45 NO ANSWER, I get to their office at 9a.m. (there are at least 4 people there who did not answer my previous calls) Sheri says Mike is not there, I tell her Mike said I could pick up the car anytime on Monday. She says she will call him, then takes her phone outside, she returns in about 5 minutes and says he didn't answer. She tells me to come back on Tuesday morning. (While I am at their store, I see the Blazer back on the lot. I also suspect the Ford Escape was a return because it had the same type of temp tags, not dealer plates, on it as the Blazer I tried to buy,. )
Sherri calls me about 6:30 p.m. and says she wants the shop to look at the car first and I can pick it up Tues afternoon. (Mike had previously told me on the 17th that the car was being looked at by their mechanic)
12/21: Sherri calls me about 1:30 p.m. and says the car is ready to pickup, and I go to pick it up. She says I need to pay her $3500 before I can take it. That they have bent over backwards for me. I say they stalled until the Blazer payment was due and that I am not paying until I know the car is sound, the previous deal was balance after 30 days and that I expected the same situation with this car. She said well you had a loaner, we can't help it if we didn't have any other cars for you. (What about the other 8-10 cars he said he would have in?) She said, You signed a contract. (I'm pretty sure my intention was to buy a car that worked, not some POS that couldn't get 200 miles before breaking down.) I said if the car gets me to 'my destination' & back without a problem then we will have a deal. She said No you are not taking the car without payment". I said then we are done here (If they are afraid the car will have problems in 500 miles that speaks volumes. If I had paid the full price upfront I would be the proud owner of a Blazer in need of a transmission and some other repairs as well) At present I am out $2000 because they would not return my down payment on a car that ran for 3 days before having severe transmission problems. I guess they feel entitled to that for their trouble.
These guys are a JOKE. While I was test driving the car I originally stopped to look at, Sherri badmouthed the dealership across the street, Family Trucks & Vans. She said "Stay away from those guys, they are crooks". Now that's some professional behavior for you.
If you are shopping here watch out for a 1998 Dark Green Blazer or a 2002 Yellow Ford Escape, you wont get far with either one.
Check out the BBB reports on both and see who you think the crooks are!!