A warning to everyone interested in dealing with Phil Bachman Toyota in Johnson City, TN.
I’ve had a $500 deposit down with them since June 19th to order me a Scion xD, nearly 2 and a half months later, (not 100% the dealership’s fault, xD’s are in short supply right now) and after maybe one phone call from them that entire time to say “we are still looking and haven’t forgotten about you”. I was starting to wonder if they even wanted to sell me a car and I decided to look at the other dealerships in the area to see if I could get lucky.
Friday (the 8th) maybe an hour after emailing them, Toyota of Bristol calls me telling me they have a 5-speed Magnetic Grey 2008 xD on the lot and want to do business with me.
By chance the salesman at Phil Bachman calls me the same afternoon saying they can get me a 5-speed Magnetic Grey 2009 xD from another dealer (this sounds suspiciously like the very same car at Bristol). I was a little undecided with both dealerships since the car had some options that I didn’t initially want (rear spoiler). At first told the Phil Bachman salesman to maybe keep looking for one without a spoiler, but later I called back to ask if I could get it with the spoiler and forgo the extra security system, (that I had originally wanted) so I could afford the spoiler. The Phil Bachman salesman said he’d have to check if the car was still available and would get back to me. He never got back to me Friday…
So when the Bristol dealership called Saturday morning asking if I wanted to come-up and see the xD I said “sure”. Only a short while later I get a call from the now mad sounding Phil Bachman salesman saying “The other dealership won’t give us the xD and are saying that you are going to buy it from them instead.” So it was the very same xD at both dealerships even though Phil Bachman had lied to me about the model year being an ‘09 (likely to make more money off of me)… I then explained why I was talking with the other dealership. Before I could really say anything else the salesman says to me; “You know your $500 deposit is forfeit if you buy from anyone but us…” What I did next was maybe the smartest thing I could have done then; I told him that I’d call back and let him know what I wanted to do next. I immediately called the Bristol dealership salesman and told him about the mix-up and that I’d be out $500 if I bought from them.
The Toyota of Bristol salesman right away called “BS” on Phil Bachman saying it was an illegal practice and that if I bought the car from them they’d guarantee I’d get $500 back even if I can’t get it back from Phil Bachman by either complaining to their GM, talking with my bank or Visa, or complaining to the Automobile Association of America. The Bristol GM was going to refund me out of his own pocket! I was sold that instant because of their quality of customer service was like night and day in comparison to Phil Bachman’s.
I ended-up buying the car from Toyota of Bristol that afternoon and was thrilled with their friendly customer service. Thanks again to the salesman Jome.
This afternoon I’ll be calling the GM at Phil Bachman to demand my money back. I’ll post updates later when it’s all said and done.
UPDATE 1 08/12/08 2:20 PM: I called and the GM was either out, busy, or ignoring me, so I left a to the point message stating that I wasn’t happy with their service, bought a car elsewhere, and want my deposit back. Waiting to see if he calls back…
UPDATE 2 08/12/08 3:20 PM: It’s been around 24 hours without a call back from the GM at Phil Bachman… I’ll contact my bank and dispute the transaction if I don’t hear from him before they close tonight.
UPDATE 3 08/13/08 12:44 PM: The General Manager Bill Benton never called me back. I just submitted a dispute of transaction to my bank since I paid the deposit with my Visa debit card. Hopefully they can fix this for me.
UPDATE 4 09/03/08: The General Manager (Bill Benton) called and left me a voicemail today.. He said he saw my review on Edmonds and claimed that he had “not” got my message. He also had to make the point that they do “partial payments” “not deposits”… Well either way they didn’t refund my money after not providing the car I “partly paid for”. Wow when they put it that way it sounds even more logical that they owe me money.
I didn’t call back because my bank was already investigating, and he didn’t sound like he wanted to resolve anything.
UPDATE 5 10/09/08: My bank did manage to get my $500 back. The only reason I hadn’t mentioned it above is because I was waiting to hear officially that their investigation was finished. I got a letter in Sep saying that they had credited my account and that if their investigation did not find any wrong doing the credit would be removed. I haven’t gotten another letter, but the credit did appear a 2nd time on my statement a few weeks ago so I assume it was permanently added to my account. Seems like a happy ending finally.
See comment below from an Phil Bachman ex-salesman.