Subaru Ascent Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know if there is a way to register a formal complaint with Subaru of America regarding a specific dealership? After taking delivery of my Ascent the dealership lost the personal check I wrote them. Just got that situation resolved and learned that they've now titled the vehicle incorrectly. I shudder to think what they'll screw up next...and I'll never let them touch the vehicle again for service.


Should I just call customer service at SOA and explain the situation? I'm not necessarily looking for compensation, but it's clear there is something systemic going on at this particular dealership that needs to be addressed.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,954 Posts
Does anyone know if there is a way to register a formal complaint with Subaru of America regarding a specific dealership? After taking delivery of my Ascent the dealership lost the personal check I wrote them. Just got that situation resolved and learned that they've now titled the vehicle incorrectly. I shudder to think what they'll screw up next...and I'll never let them touch the vehicle again for service.


Should I just call customer service at SOA and explain the situation? I'm not necessarily looking for compensation, but it's clear there is something systemic going on at this particular dealership that needs to be addressed.
You can use any of the contact methods on this page:
https://www.subaru.com/customer-support.html

Include your VIN number if you use the email form. Have your VIN number handy or in your keyboard buffer before you pick "email", because if you leave the email form, it resets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
583 Posts
Does anyone know if there is a way to register a formal complaint with Subaru of America regarding a specific dealership? After taking delivery of my Ascent the dealership lost the personal check I wrote them. Just got that situation resolved and learned that they've now titled the vehicle incorrectly. I shudder to think what they'll screw up next...and I'll never let them touch the vehicle again for service.


Should I just call customer service at SOA and explain the situation? I'm not necessarily looking for compensation, but it's clear there is something systemic going on at this particular dealership that needs to be addressed.
I had a issue when McKenna Subaru in Huntington Beach reneged on the deal I had for my Ascent...I contacted SOA and they took all the information and offered to intervene but that was ultimately a waste of time....I got the impression Subaru noted the complaint in the dealers file....
So call SOA and tell them your story.....
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,954 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good advice, much appreciated. Dealer sales manager called me today (note, it's a holiday) and asked me to mail him the incorrect title when it arrived and they would take care of it. I told him that instead of his plan, his finance department that lost my check and dorked up the title paperwork should get on hold with the DMV when they open at 0800 tomorrow and beg and plead the DMV to let them fax over the corrected paperwork before they finalize the title. Hopefully that works. I am not handing a clean (though incorrect) title over to this dealership.


Any of the subie dealership guys on here know whether there's a claim to be made her for a refund on any of the dealer processing fees that rolled into the purchase price?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,954 Posts
Well, just keep in mind that a lot of dealers were surprised by the amazing success of the Ascent. So, it's not surprising a few are overwhelmed, or that a mistake happens.

In such cases, I try to determine if it's the norm, or that I'm that one unlucky customer, and I base my response on that.

That said, I would expect them to eat any additional fees related to replacement titles, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, just keep in mind that a lot of dealers were surprised by the amazing success of the Ascent. So, it's not surprising a few are overwhelmed, or that a mistake happens.

In such cases, I try to determine if it's the norm, or that I'm that one unlucky customer, and I base my response on that.

That said, I would expect them to eat any additional fees related to replacement titles, etc.

I had enough and sent back a brutal SOA survey response this weekend as well...that may negate the need to actually contact SOA in person. I half expect them to call me based on the customer outreach I've read about on these forums...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
how are they titled the vehicle incorrectly?

Failed to title the vehicle with a lien. I financed through my bank at a lower rate, not through the dealership (got an earful about what a bad decision that was from the finance department). Noted it on the buyer's order, told the finance dept during processing and again several times as I was sorting out the fact that they lost my check, told the sales manager not to forget the lien as he was apologizing for losing the check, etc. They forgot the lien.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,406 Posts
Failed to title the vehicle with a lien. I financed through my bank at a lower rate, not through the dealership (got an earful about what a bad decision that was from the finance department). Noted it on the buyer's order, told the finance dept during processing and again several times as I was sorting out the fact that they lost my check, told the sales manager not to forget the lien as he was apologizing for losing the check, etc. They forgot the lien.
I'm confused. If you financed thru your own lender, then the dealer process stop when y'all finalize the "buyer's order" (aka purchase order). You're suppose to provide the dealer your lender's contact info and instruct them to send the purchase order to your lender. Any payments should be w/ your lender for easy processing. Did you not discuss the process w/ your lender?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
583 Posts
Defective dealer?

I'm confused. If you financed thru your own lender, then the dealer process stop when y'all finalize the "buyer's order" (aka purchase order). You're suppose to provide the dealer your lender's contact info and instruct them to send the purchase order to your lender. Any payments should be w/ your lender for easy processing. Did you not discuss the process w/ your lender?
Shouldn’t the dealer know what to do? :tango_face_surprise
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,954 Posts
I'm confused. If you financed thru your own lender, then the dealer process stop when y'all finalize the "buyer's order" (aka purchase order). You're suppose to provide the dealer your lender's contact info and instruct them to send the purchase order to your lender. Any payments should be w/ your lender for easy processing. Did you not discuss the process w/ your lender?
No. Not necessarily. Generally, when there's a downpayment, that payment is made to the dealer. The finance company is agreeing to finance the remainder. Anyone here can note that by reviewing their loan paperwork, where they will see that the financed amount does not generally include the downpayment. It may (or may not) note the downpayment amount for proper recording of the original sales value of the vehicle, but it's not a part of the actual loan amount. The sales paperwork is something else entirely, and should virtually always include all the numbers.

In the rare instances that the financed amount is the entirety of the car price and there's a downpayment, that amount would be sent as a principal payment to the lender, but that's pretty rare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
932 Posts
I used my bank for my wife’s Honda Pilot. There is no lien on my title. But the loan mentions it as well as the insurance declaration page.

Maybe this is appropriate?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,954 Posts
I used my bank for my wife’s Honda Pilot. There is no lien on my title. But the loan mentions it as well as the insurance declaration page.

Maybe this is appropriate?
No, it is entirely up to the bank if they want to secure the loan with a lien. Most banks definitely do, but, some don't, and some consider the borrower before deciding (eg: credit score, other accounts or collateral with the lender, etc).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
932 Posts
Good to know. Thanks. I just checked mine and it seems that Chase doesn't have it on the Honda title. Which is funny, because they're the same people that service it for SMF!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Shouldn’t the dealer know what to do? :tango_face_surprise

So the point here is that yes, the dealership should have known what to do. There is more to the backstory - the salesman said the vehicle would arrive on 9/14. Then he emailed me on 9/6 and said it was arriving the next day. The quickest way to get the loan amount was to have it direct deposited into my checking (and then I would write a check for the full amount). Turns out the salesman was wrong. The Ascent was actually delivered on 9/14...


So when I purchased it the dealer handled the title paperwork and submitted to the DMV. The bank requires a lien on the title, so I included that information on the buyers order and as noted I went to great lengths to note the lien. Nonetheless the title was submitted clear without the lien.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,406 Posts
Shouldn’t the dealer know what to do? :tango_face_surprise
Yes, they "should", but not a must. The topic can be delineated into two:

1. Financing process
2. Legal (lien)

Conceptually, the quality of service is different when entities (e.g. dealers) conduct their business internally (finance via Subaru/Chase) vs externally (a lender). The outcome will be different. And you'll be treated differently if Subaru lost profit on the car sale and they are not allow to make profit on financing - worst case scenario for dealer, particularly on a bare-bone car. In this case, the OP has two choices to finance internally or externally. To implicate that the buyer doesn't have to take part in handling the financing process between the two is quite irresponsible. The advantage of financing internally is to make the deal in one sweep for easy processing. When we seek for outside lender, it's a best practice to know their process and take control. I'm not trying to preach, just a recommendation based on my experience.

The lien issue is a state-by-state cases because it's a legal matter. Conceptually, the lender (not dealer) has the choice to place a lien on the car, so it's the lender's responsibility to do that. The dealer will be paid in full and have no rights to place a lien on someone else's property. Again these legal matters are different across the US and the practice can vary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
To close the loop and put a bow on this experience:


I spent about three hours at the DMV this morning sorting out my title issue and getting the lien added correctly. When I finally got up to the window I made small talk with the lady while she was entering in the new information in their system. I offhandedly mentioned that I was spending my Saturday morning with her because the dealership where I bought my Subaru messed up the title (oh and they lost my check too!). I said something like "just a warning, don't ever but a car from XXXXX Subaru" and she looked at me and said "I own two Subarus, I bought my Tribeca from that dealership and it was the worst experience I've ever had."


There are at least five Subaru dealerships in our general area - the sheer absurdity of the entire thing culminating with me and the DMV lady having a shared experience was too much to handle and I laughed outloud and freaked everyone in the DMV out. Bonus - I now have a friend at the DMV and my title is finally correct.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
Yes, they "should", but not a must. The topic can be delineated into two:

1. Financing process
2. Legal (lien)

Conceptually, the quality of service is different when entities (e.g. dealers) conduct their business internally (finance via Subaru/Chase) vs externally (a lender). The outcome will be different. And you'll be treated differently if Subaru lost profit on the car sale and they are not allow to make profit on financing - worst case scenario for dealer, particularly on a bare-bone car. In this case, the OP has two choices to finance internally or externally. To implicate that the buyer doesn't have to take part in handling the financing process between the two is quite irresponsible. The advantage of financing internally is to make the deal in one sweep for easy processing. When we seek for outside lender, it's a best practice to know their process and take control. I'm not trying to preach, just a recommendation based on my experience.

The lien issue is a state-by-state cases because it's a legal matter. Conceptually, the lender (not dealer) has the choice to place a lien on the car, so it's the lender's responsibility to do that. The dealer will be paid in full and have no rights to place a lien on someone else's property. Again these legal matters are different across the US and the practice can vary.
Just as a follow-up from the perspective here. We're a medium to high volume dealership (for a Subaru store, anyway, not compared to a Toyota store). Mistakes CAN happen with our folders, sometimes they do. We take responsibility when that happens, we've had drivers take paperwork to customers to re-sign. A check here effectively can't be lost, they run it through e-Check. We have three finance producers, a finance manager, and a clerk in the store to review everything - before it ever makes it to our corporate accounting office (and we're getting ready to add a fourth producer, due to volume).

Oklahoma is a title-issuing state, so it really doesn't matter here who or how you finance your car - you're going to get the title from the state once the paperwork is complete. And when the car is paid off, you get a lien release sent to you from the bank. Other states, the title is sent to the bank and they hold onto it until the car paid off.

But as follow-up to your original topic, if a mitsake (!) has been made by the dealership, give them a chance to correct it. If they are unwilling or unable to do so, then contact SOA like Robert said. They may or may not be able to help with your particular issue - and if you're in SNE or SDC territory, SOA probably can't do anything anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
But as follow-up to your original topic, if a mitsake (!) has been made by the dealership, give them a chance to correct it. If they are unwilling or unable to do so, then contact SOA like Robert said. They may or may not be able to help with your particular issue - and if you're in SNE or SDC territory, SOA probably can't do anything anyway.

Agreed. Unfortunately this place clearly has a systemic or organizational issue. The GM and Sales Managers both say sorry very well, but the fact is that their line employees' first response when they lost my check was for me to come back in and write another one (actually their first response was to call me and ask when I intended to pay for the vehicle they had given me). When I got there I told the manager on duty that I had to take time off work to do that and I'm looking at a showroom full of sales reps twiddling their thumbs - why didn't someone come to me? It honestly looked like this was the first time something like that occurred to him.


But here's my bigger issue and for anyone who is familiar with the Van Halen "No Brown M&Ms Rule" this will sound familiar - I have a very hard time allowing a dealership to repair and maintain my vehicle if they cannot succeed in the smaller things. It's clear when I question different people at the dealership about what went wrong that there is a communication breakdown within the teams. Losing a check may just be a dumb mistake, but leaving a lien off a title after it was documented many times indicates a few things: at the most basic level it suggests that slapping a reminder post-it note on the finance folder is a bridge too far. At a higher level it indicates that the the individuals who each play a part in a complex process in the back of the house don't understand how they fit into that process and/or are unwilling to take ownership over the success of the entire team.


So I changed my home retailer in my online profile and I'll service the vehicle at another dealer. I'll forgo the free initial services because I don't trust a handful of people at this dealership which means I can't trust anyone at that dealership.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top