It is not the greasy wheel that gets the attention.  Today I am using my blog to let off some frustration and steam and inform the public much like a Better Business Bureau would.

Earlier in June we were shopping for a van.  Not a minivan, a large carry van, an SUV, to tow a trailer.  I may or may not have shared this with the blogosphere.

It turned out after much research that a Ford Expedition was the vehicle we needed as it could tow the most.  The Ford Expeditions 9200# tow capacity beat all the other vehicles including the Chevy Suburban’s 8400# and the Dodge Durango’s 8950#.  The Nissan Armada came closest at 9000#. Off to find just the right one as we did not want to get new if this did not work out as we hoped.  We want it to tow a trailer and this is a bit of an experiment so we began looking at good used cars instead of new.

We found one at a local dealership that had all the bells lights and whistles and then some!  The only draw back was that it had belonged to a smoker and no matter what the dealer tried the scent did not come out.  As it turned out it became the perfect car for some friends of ours as she believed she had essential oils that could fix that problem.

The next look brought up only 5 within our 100 mile radius.  Any further was the next step not the second step.  Found only 5 actually.  One young man at a dealership chuckled as he said they were much in demand for hauling boats in this area.

Then the ONE I wanted popped up in the 5.  It was white a one owner and even had a DVD player in it though not much else fancy.   I was betting it was clean and we could see the carfax online which told of regular maintenance.

It also was the closest of those I found.  I contacted all five and asked for a quote on a trade in.  That brought about mixed replies and one was eliminated from the 5.  One was sold as we looked so we were down to three good choices.  The white was the better of them as it was newer and had fewer miles as well.  I now am sorry for any influence I may have used to convince my husband to buy this vehicle even though I enjoy driving it.  We could have chosen another dealer and as it turns out probably should have done so.

Not to belabor the point which we all know I can do very well we bought the white one.  The people at Chapman Ford were very accommodating.  We were there until 9PM and when we closed the paperwork we left knowing that we would receive an overnight package the day after with what we needed to proceed with the registration of the SUV.  The dealer plate did not run out until July 19th and it was only June 20th so there was no problem.

This is why and where used car dealerships get the bad wrap.  It happens as people experience the stereotype of the dealership showing their collective character by their lack of follow though and continual false promises.

The following is our experience with Chapman Ford of Lancaster PA.

The promised package did not arrive on Friday the 21st.  The next Tuesday, allowing it might have been a 2 day mail and giving them the benefit of the doubt, we followed up with a phone call so we could get the registration as we were going away on vacation on the 28th.

The answer was ‘no problem cannot understand why it did not get to us’ and it would go out the same day.  When it did not arrive the 27th we called again.  The assurance was it would be waiting when we got back from vacation.  We came back from our vacation and again no envelope with the info we needed to get the vehicle inspected for licensing and get the paperwork back to the dealership.

It is now July 5th and we are running out of time.  We called the business office the next Monday to explain the situation and also inform them that we were leaving again in three days and would not return until the 15th and that was awfully close to the 19th.  We were to have the paperwork the next day the 9th.  This time the paperwork arrived while we were away.  We returned on the 15th.  My husband did the inspection on the 16th and the paperwork was back at the dealership on the 17th.

When my husband called to confirm that the paperwork had arrived the morning of the 17th we asked when we would get the license plate and tags.  We were told it would take a week to 7 days.  When my husband asked about the expiring temporary plate he was told to drive with it anyway everyone did.  He said we do not break the law.  They said they would send us the info about the tags being on their way and we would be okay.  All this did not ever take into consideration insurance and what if we were in an accident in an unregistered vehicle?

It does not matter today.  At this point that info has not arrived either.  It is now July 25th.  They have not once offered a loaner vehicle or dealer plates or any alternative rather than us waiting with an unlicensed vehicle in our yard.  It seems our inconvenience is an acceptable consequence of how they do business.

We have three grandchildren here celebrating our “Grandcamp” with one car that will not fit all of us.  The larger vehicle was also going to be used to transport scouts to the National Jamboree and my husband had to find someone else to drive for him.

On Monday of this week my husband sent an email to all we dealt with at the dealership including the owner explaining our plight and asking for help.  No one has responded.  He finally called today to see where we stand and was told it could take an additional week to get the plates.  Tomorrow is the climax of “Grandcamp” with our field trip and we cannot all go as we have no vehicle big enough nor can we find a rental at this late date.  The family at Chapman Ford of Lancaster PA does not apparently care about our family trip at all.

As of this writing I suggest that if you are in the vicinity of Chapman Ford of Lancaster PA that you look for another dealer if you want to purchase a vehicle.  From our experience – well we wish we had chosen differently.  Chapman Ford of Lancaster PA has proven itself to be a stereotypical used car dealer – one that does not keep its word.



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