Tuesday, July 10, 2012

You Get What You Pay For

You get what you pay for (or, so they say)... and sometimes, you don't even get that.

This is a rather sad story with (hopefully--fingers crossed) a really happy ending.

You might remember a blog post back in December where I was really happy that Justin bought me a Kia Sedona minivan for Christmas.  At that time, it was what we could best afford, and I was just ecstatic to have a new car with lots of room and features for the kiddos.  Well, unfortunately, my excitement soon turned to concern when the day after we purchased the Kia, the "check engine" light illuminated on our way home from Roanoke where we purchased it at Hart Kia.  

(please note: I am purposely name dropping in hopes that I might save someone else my troubles)

We first assumed that this was probably a minor issue such as a loose gas cap or sensor malfunction.  However, that was not the case.  Even our local Kia dealership kept fixing minor issues in hopes of fixing my "check engine" problem.  My "new" van was in the shop seven times during our first eight weeks of ownership.  Finally, our local Kia asked corporate Kia to become involved in the matter.  Upon doing so, our local Kia had to FORCE Hart Kia (of Roanoke) to fax over ALL SERVICE RECORDS to their dealership.  Please keep in mind that we were sold this vehicle as a gently used, low-mileage, "clean CarFax" gem.  What our local Kia uncovered was that our van had had MAJOR engine issues and repair at only 5,000 miles (we are talking pages of repairs).  NONE of these issues had been disclosed to us during the sales process ... although ALL maintenance had been performed AT Hart Kia.  Thankfully, our van was still under warranty and our local Kia was able to fix them free of charge --- GOOD THING, because the engine repairs had been performed INCORRECTLY at Hart Kia as well -- resulting in damage to other car parts which also had to be replaced.

Therefore, I very quickly lost trust in my vehicle ... so every little "lurch" or "drag" or noise concerned me although all of the issues had been properly fixed.  My van had a second home in our local Kia's service department.  So, we began exploring the idea of trading in the Kia Sedona for a Toyota or Honda minivan due to their excellent reputations.  I telephoned Hart Kia to ask a question about canceling our extended warranty ... never complaining or asking for a resolution to the previous problems.  However, their business manager, Andrew -- pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed me to consider "doing business with them again" so that Hart Kia could "make it right."  He promised me extra money on my trade in and an ability to obtain another Toyota or Honda van of my specs from another used car lot.  He ensured me he would speak with the General Manager, Woody Smith, and get back with me.  Yesterday, I called Andrew back to set up a time to come to Roanoke to look ... and WOW HAD HIS OFFER CHANGED!!!  (I am assuming Woody Smith did not like that Andrew had made these original promises to me)  He told me that he would give me "Kelley Blue Book" value for my trade in (the van that Hart Kia fraudulently sold us) and that I HAD to choose a van from their inventory (no Toyotas or Hondas).  

To me, that offer was rubbish ... and sounded more like a gimmick to put money back in their pockets by forcing me to take another vehicle from their lot.  Neither Justin nor I were pleased at all to say the least.  The VERY LAST thing we wanted to do was "do business again" with Hart Kia of Roanoke after being sold a vehicle fraudulently.  We could essentially get what they were offering us from any other reputable car dealership and wash our hand of them.  The were obviously not really interested in "making it right" ... what.so.ever..

So that's what we did!

So, after only 7 months, I traded in my 2011 Kia Sedona for a 2011 Toyota Sienna!  And ... I'm pleased to tell you that this Toyota dealership gave me MORE MONEY on my trade-in than Hart Kia offered me in their pathetic attempt to "make things right."  Now, here's to hoping that the awesome reputation of the Toyota Sienna proves true for my new van!   Sure, it might have cost a little more ... but in the long run, I'm hoping we "get what we paid for" this time ... and we get a much better quality vehicle and service from our dealership.


Here's our newest addition:
(which also just happens to look much cooler than my Kia as well)

The (happy) End.

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