Cerritos Nissan- Stay Away
A copy of the letter that was sent to Cerritos Nissan: Subject: Recent Sales and Service Experience at Cerritos Nissan 5/28/2011-6/24/2011 I am writing to share our recent vehicle purchase and service experience from your dealership, Cerritos Nissan located at 18707 Studebaker Road, Cerritos, CA 90703. I would like to start off by giving just a brief snapshot of our family's situation. My wife and I have 2 beautiful boys ages 1 Â½ and 2 Â½ years old. They are the loves of our life. They are however, 1 and 2 years old and are not the most patient, respectfully. So, spending an hour or more at a car dealership is not their idea of a good time or the parents or anyone else that may be within visual or audible distance. I think you get the point. That being said, I did most of the car buying online and over the telephone. I am in the military, U.S. Coast Guard and a member of USAA. Nissan, being a participant of USAA, I was able to have the price, for the most part worked out so that would eliminate the negotiating aspect of a vehicle purchase or so I thought. I spoke with Cerritos Nissan over the telephone and being that they are the closest Nissan dealership to our house and they stated they would honor the USAA pricing as well for the Nissan Altima we were considering purchasing, we arranged a babysitter and drove down the road to the dealership. Upon arrival (Saturday, May 28, 2011), we were instantly spotted and actually guided into a parking spot by an awaiting salesman. My wife and I tried to shake him, but to no avail, he was too nimble and quick. We advised him we just wanted to look around on our own to view the vehicle we were considering as well as to eliminate or further consider the others we researched and reviewed online. We did not get the best feeling from that salesman so we approached another salesman when we were ready to look inside a vehicle or two as well as get a little more information about the vehicle. That salesman was Karl Peters. Karl Peters seemed friendly enough to deal with so we continued to discuss the vehicle we were interested in and to test drive it. Mr. Peters asked for my driver's license which I left in the car. So, my wife and I stepped away to go get my wallet that was in the car. As we walked by the front of the Cerritos Nissan office building a group of salesmen were standing there and one gentleman said "You were talking with Steve Martin." Not positive if that was a question or a statement and what that even means, I proceeded to ask "Excuse me what do you mean?" He then stated that the salesman we worked with looks like Steve Martin. He laughed about it and looked to the other salesman standing there to laugh along with him for support. A bit confused about that whole experience or what exactly was the salesman trying to convey, we continued to our vehicle and grabbed my wallet. We then turned around passing by the salesmen again. They appeared surprised that we were walking by them particularly the salesman that made the comment since we believe that they thought we were leaving and were safe to make comments. We drove a Nissan Altima around the block and then proceeded into the office to "talk business". I immediately advised Mr. Peters that I was in military and am a USAA member and it appears that the price is set that we understand we would pay. This is when things for Cerritos Nissan start to really fall apart. I told Mr. Peters the price that is online for a USAA member for the Nissan Altima and the associated packages. Mr. Peters then started what ended up being at least 2 dozen trips away from the office to "check on something". I even brought in my laptop, went onto the USAA website and showed Mr. Peters the price in hopes of clearing up whatever confusion there was with Mr. Peters. Mr. Peters then proceeded to have several other salesmen and managers stop by to view the online price that identified Cerritos Nissan as a participating member. During this fiasco, we asked to speak with the Manager. Mr. Peters brought over Mr. Peter Fice, who presented himself as the owner. We first told Mr. Fice about the experience we had with the other salesman outside when we went to get my wallet. We also advised him about the time we spent here already and that it appears we are not making any progress on purchasing a vehicle. We advised him, that we have agreed to pay the amount advertised on the USAA website and understand that Cerritos Nissan is a participating member and will honor that price which Mr. Fice then proceeded to agree with. We also stated we visited Cerritos Nissan to test drive the vehicle and survey the dealership custom service. If all checked out, we would purchase the vehicle today. Mr. Fice assured us that we would be satisfied with the purchase experience and future service and apologized for the confusion occurring thus far. Mr. Fice then proceeded to explain that Mr. Peters just started working at Cerritos Nissan a few days ago and this is his first weekend working as a salesman. Mr. Fice continued to say that he wanted him to work as a salesman Memorial Day weekend to "get his feet wet" and then he would transition to a customer service manager for past customers. Unfortunately, this dip in the water for Mr. Peters was at our own expense. After several hours of this bewilderment, Mr. Peters advised us that they could not offer the price and provided an alternative price that was much higher than the price identified on the USAA website. After over six hours at Cerritos Nissan, we left without a Nissan Altima. Cerritos Nissan would not honor the price advertised on the USAA website. We went home and paid our babysitter ($10/hour) which you can imagine wasn't just a few dollars. The next morning, Sunday, May 29, 2011, Mr. Peters contacted by us telephone and asked if we could come back to the dealership. I responded by telling Mr. Peters that we could not return unless you have a price that was mutually agreed upon. After several phone conversations back and forth, we came to the price that was reasonably close to the USAA pricing on Monday, May 30, 2011 (Memorial Day). At this point, you can imagine that we were definitely worn down from going back and forth as well as the previous six hour experience at the dealership. Also, keep in mind that we just sold our vehicle on Friday, May 27, 2011 and our intention was to purchase the replacement vehicle (Nissan Altima) over the weekend. On Monday, May 30, 2011 we went to Cerritos Nissan once again with the understanding that the price was agreed upon and they had the vehicle with the specifications we wanted and spoke about. So, we packed up the family and headed to the dealership planning on purchasing the vehicle. I specifically told Mr. Peters that we cannot get a babysitter at such short notice as well as the fact that it was Memorial Day so we will be bringing our 1 and 2 year old boys. We asked that if we could expedite the purchasing process and Mr. Peters confirmed that they would to this. Less than an hour later we met Mr. Peters at the dealership and he advised us that they do not have the particular vehicle we wanted. With recent research I conducted, I was aware that there were several Nissan Ultima's that had the particular color and packages at nearby dealerships (all within 10 miles distance). Mr. Peter's stated that he would not due a dealer swap and I would need to choose a vehicle that he has on the lot which none of the vehicles had the color (charcoal grey) and packages we preferred. Very frustrated with this recent news, my family and I stepped out of the office and walked around the lot. We actually found the Nissan Altima that had the exact package and colors we preferred. Crazy, huh? Mr. Peters shortly followed behind us and this was a surprise to him as well. I did notice some significant scratches in the right rear corner or bumper of the vehicle and Mr. Peters stated that this could be repaired. So, we agreed to this vehicle. We reminded Mr. Peters that we have already been delayed and we would appreciate if we can expedite the purchasing process as previously stated. He assured us that this would occur. Another SIX PLUS HOURS spent at the dealership, we completed the purchase. We spent a total of over 8 hours at the dealership this time that was supposed to be expedited… Upon leaving the dealership, I noticed that the vehicle pulled or veered to the right quite a bit. I contacted Mr. Peters and he advised to contact the Service Department to coordinate. I spoke with the Service Department and the Collision Repair Department to have both the scratches and the alignment issue taken care of. Upon picking up the vehicle, I noticed that the vehicle still pulled or veered to the right. I again contacted the Service Department and scheduled to have the vehicle repaired once again. For the second time I dropped the vehicle off at Cerritos Nissan to be repaired. Once more I picked the vehicle up feeling very confident that they must have taken care of this problem. I noticed the vehicle still significantly pulled to the right. I contacted the Service Department and I was advised that the Service Manager assigned to this matter was Ed Bowers. I was transferred and left a voice message. I hadn't received a return call that day or the next day so I called Cerritos Nissan once again and was able to reach Ed Bowers. Mr. Bowers advised me that the vehicle does not pull or veer to the right. Mr. Bowers was very argumentative and proceeded to say that this vehicle is the straightest vehicle he has ever driven. Mr. Bowers asked if I tested the vehicle on the highway 605. I stated that I did as well as other surface areas. Mr. Bowers then proceeded to say that the 605 has various areas of wavy uneven pavement and that isn't a good area to test the vehicle. I assured Mr. Bowers that I drive other highways and streets other than the highway 605. Mr. Bowers continued on to state that Nissan Cerritos will not correct the problem and I will need to contact Nissan Corporate Office or go to another dealership. At this point, I told Mr. Bowers that I did not agree with the options he has given me to correct the problem with the vehicle. I told him that the vehicle was bought at Nissan Cerritos, it is the closest dealership to me from my house and I would have to spend a lot more time traveling and explaining this situation to another dealership as well as incur additional costs of my own. I also told Mr. Bowers that I do not believe this is the proper way to treat a customer who just spent over $27,000 at your dealership or any customer for that fact. I kindly asked Mr. Bowers if I could bring my vehicle in to get it repaired. Mr. Bowers stated that he would not repair it. Mr. Bowers did appear to settle and stated that I could bring in the vehicle and I could drive it with a service technician to demonstrate the problem. I scheduled the third visit with the Service Department. After replaying this horrendous conversation back in my mind for a few days, I decided to contact Nissan and spoke to Janice (extension 720****). I shared my experience with Janice and she advised me that each Nissan dealership is franchised and Nissan cannot direct an individual dealership what to do but she can request or recommend. Janice stated that this was inappropriate way to handle this matter by the dealership as well as how to deal with a customer. Janice stated that the vehicle is under warranty and the vehicle should be repaired at no cost to the customer. Janice also asked me if Cerritos Nissan is a busy dealership. I told her that it didn't seem busier than other dealership nearby (Cerritos Auto Square) and there were many salesmen standing around without customer to speak with. Janice stated that she has received numerous complaints about Cerritos Nissan and thought that it may be due to the dealership being so busy. Janice continued to say that she would contact Cerritos Nissan directly and speak with Mr. Bowers as well. I heard nothing further from Nissan to date. Upon arriving at the Nissan Cerritos on June 24, 2011, Ed Bowers approached me and stated he and a service technician would drive the vehicle with me. After a few minutes wait, the service technician (named Sonny), Mr. Bowers and I proceeded for the drive. Sonny drove the vehicle while Mr. Bowers was in the back seat and I sat in the passenger seat. Mr. Bowers directed Sonny where to drive on highway 605. Once we were at an appropriate part of the road on highway 605, Mr. Bowers directed Sonny to test the alignment of the vehicle. Sonny let go of the steering wheel for a few seconds and then Mr. Bowers said there does not appear to be anything wrong with the vehicle and directed Sonny to take the next exit and return to the dealership. Absolutely astonished, I asked Mr. Bowers about what he said in a previous conversation about testing the vehicles alignment on highway 605. Mr. Bowers stated that I must have misunderstood him. Mr. Bowers stated that the way they test the alignment is to let go of the steering wheel and if it stays within the lane for seven seconds then the vehicle meets the specifications of Nissan. I told him that I wasn't aware of this, he didn't count aloud or use any kind of timing device as well as the fact that it couldn't have been but a few seconds before Sonny grabbed the wheel to straighten the path. Befuddled, I asked Mr. Bowers if we can test the vehicles alignment on the return trip to the dealership or even on another road since Mr. Bowers specifically stated that the highway 605 is not an appropriate road or terrain to test a vehicle's alignment. Mr. Bowers was unwilling. I continued to question this process and his unwillingness to test the vehicle. At this point, it was not a conversation, Mr. Bowers was arguing with me. Mr. Bowers finally advised Sonny to go to a certain portion of the highway 605, this time heading the opposite direction. Once we where at the area that Mr. Bowers wanted to test the vehicle, he directed Sonny to let go of the steering wheel and I counted aloud. I honestly didn't have a watch on me and Mr. Bowers was not producing or offering a method of timing this test. I likely counted faster than a true seven seconds, but by the time I got to seven the vehicle was already out of the lane we started in and at the count of 11 we were completely in the other lane. Mr. Bowers still contested that the vehicle did not require or need any repairs. Upon returning to the dealership Mr. Bowers explained that the vehicle was aligned and balanced prior to me purchasing it and the vehicle is within all specifications allowed by Nissan. I asked Mr. Bowers for the work order or report stating the balance/alignment. Mr. Bowers quickly returned with the report. Mr. Bowers flashed it by me and stated, "Here it is; now you can leave". I asked Mr. Bowers if he could briefly explain what I was looking at so that I could understand as well as actually be able to look at it. Mr. Bowers stated that all the green numbers on the sheet are the readings for the vehicle and show that it is within the allowed specifications by Nissan. The black numbers showed the allowable ranges. Red numbers would show that it is not within the allowable specifications by Nissan. I promptly stated that there are several red numbers on this report. Mr. Bowers stuttered and appeared a bit confused. Mr. Bowers then closely looks at the report and realizes there are red numbers on the report that identify the alignment/balance is beyond the specifications of Nissan. Mr. Bowers states that the red numbers are just outside the specifications and this would not affect the vehicles alignment/balance. Mr. Bowers then states "I wear more rubber off the bottom of my shoes in a day than the differences shown on the report". I asked Mr. Bowers that since the vehicle is clearly out of the Nissan specifications based on the information Mr. Bowers presented and I would expect that when buying a brand new vehicle that the vehicle would be within all Nissan specifications and standards and that the vehicle does demonstrate pulling or veering when driving that the vehicle be aligned/balanced to be placed within the Nissan standards. After arguing for the brand new vehicle that is under warranty to be repaired, Mr. Bowers finally agreed to correct the problem. Once the vehicle was repaired that evening, I picked up the vehicle, drove it on highway 605 and other roads and noticed that the vehicle did not veer or pull to the right any longer. The vehicle appeared to me to be fixed. It took 4 visits to Cerritos Nissan, numerous telephone calls to Cerritos Nissan, over 24 hours of our personal time and a telephone call to Nissan to resolve a issue on a 2011 Nissan Altima that was purchased new. I want to point out Cerritos Nissan Mission Statement: "Our mission is to always exceed your expectations and earn your business for life. Our customers get the best service, value, and product each and every time and are part of the Cerritos Nissan Family". -I believe Cerritos Nissan has failed on many levels. Cerritos Nissan did not exceed my expectations or almost absolutely likely that anyone else would have had their expectations exceeded. Cerritos Nissan did not earn my business for life; matter a fact, Cerritos Nissan may have scared me away for life. I did not receive the best service from Cerritos Nissan; actually I would consider my experience as the worst possible service. If this is the Nissan Family, I do not want to be part of it. This was an atrocious experience. I would not recommend Cerritos Nissan to anyone. I think there is a lot of work that Cerritos Nissan needs to do if I am an example of how customers are being handled at Cerritos Nissan. A Manager, Dan Millhouse actually contacted me a few days after the vehicle had been repaired and I advised him of my experience. He apologized. He said he was sorry. I do not think a sorry can mend what has happened.
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