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I am writing this out of a buyer beware perspective. Initially, when I was associated with Walser Automotive Group it was fine. You learn a new industry and get to know some good people albeit few and far between. Sort of a boys club mentality I guess you could say. There are certain dynamics to the automotive industry and WAG is no exception. The bottom line is that (no surprise) they are there to make money almost no matter what the cost. To close no matter what regardless of how much they emphasize they are a team and are there for you. It's fluff to make you feel better. It's worth noting they only usually make a few hundred dollars per car.
Back-end products are the golden ticket such as vehicle service contracts, weather/paint protection or GAP coverage. That is what they call a full boat. I can't tell you how many times I heard something along the lines of I ** hate cheap people in the back office if someone doesn't buy these things while running a credit report. Hell, I was told by one of the supervisors at the time, Tyler **, that if I don't make a sale happen I am going to get punched in the ** head. Who says that?? I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound very professional to me. That is the kind of culture that exists.
Ask yourself is this is a place from which you would like to buy a car? Unfortunately, last I heard this guy still works within the organization. Avoid him like the plague. There are many different objections they like to account/plan for and try to counter to make you buy so just be aware. Last I knew there was at least 50. Also, if you don't want to be bothered then look around on a Sunday so you won't be hassled by ~5 different salesmen waiting at different points throughout the lot. "Pro tip": You got a RWD car? Try to get it appraised/sold during late Spring/early Summer when the market value will be higher. Happy hunting car buyers.
Test drove a car. Liked car. Wanted to buy the car. Decided to sleep on it. Salesman says, "hope it doesn't sell!" Call the next day, "Sure. We're open till 9!" Got there at 7:15. Closed. Salesman says "so sorry." Fill out paperwork back at home. Go the next day. "Here's coffee. Here's water. Be right back. So sorry. Car sold today." That's all. No offer. No "here's gas money for the two wasted trips." No "what can we do to make this right?" Sad. Now car shopping all over. Anywhere but here.
We purchased our Sienna a few years ago, and haven't had any complaints to date. Then today I went in for an "oil change for life" appointment, and was told there was other recommended services needed. I declined, as after making a call I know the services could be done for 30% less at my neighborhood mechanic, and was told by Zachary that declining could impact future free oil changes. I find it ironic that after a quick search I found Walser's own website states: "Simply follow the factory service and maintenance recommendations to keep your vehicle in top running condition and your warranty valid. You have options with Walser's Free Warranty for Life; you can service your vehicle at Walser (and we hope you do), but the warranty is valid no matter where you choose to service."
This dealership is run by a bunch of CROOKS. I would not recommend bringing your car here for recalls, service bulletins, or any other maintenance. This is your typical service center that takes advantage of people (especially women) who are uneducated about cars. First there was the runaround to even get my oil consumption test done. The first appointment I had, I left the dealership with NO instructions and not even a receipt. My receipt was later mailed to me with NO information on it pertaining to the oil consumption test they were running. When I came back past the 1100 mileage, they tried to pin the miscommunication on me but I had documentation to prove that I was not properly informed. They didn't even have the information on the service bulletin/recall issue when I came in the first time.
They cheated me on my oil consumption test when we finally got to completing it. They outright lied and told me that my car "passed" the test. I did not witness the oil levels before they sealed them during Phase 1 of the test (I would recommend doing this). I did not witness them checking the dipstick during Phase 2 of the test (I would recommend doing this as well). If I had done so, I'm sure I would have seen that they overfilled my engine with the motor oil so that the test would pass. They were extremely vague in answering the questions I had and told me that it's "normal" to have to put a quart of oil in my car between oil changes.
I also had an issue with my breaks while I was there. I contacted corporate and that was a complete circus. In the end, they wanted to "make it up to me" by changing my breaks and servicing my rotors for free. They did that to try and shut me up so that they wouldn't have to deal with the oil consumption issue. They figured I'd be happy and continue getting my car serviced there because they "made it up to me" when in reality, they did that so that I wouldn't press the oil consumption issue which would cost their dealership a lot of time to fix (supposedly a month).
The test drive is basically around the block on great roads. No opportunity to take out on highway, or otherwise put the car through its paces. "Best Price" pricing is a joke; you can do $700 to $1,000+ better without breaking a sweat pretty much anywhere else. Unprofessional "no commission" sales force who do not know their product but are nonetheless adept at the usual car dealer grind. Was told that Toyota's "SofTex" material is real leather. They sell lots of cars, presumably to those who dislike haggling, but those with any savvy at all are much better off elsewhere.
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I traded in my Toyota Land Cruiser for Toyota Avalon. While reviewing the condition of the Land Cruiser, the Walser dealership stated that the exhaust system required attention. Walser said that it might be possible to a repair, but they had a reputation to uphold and wanted to make it right for a potential buyer, so they would replace the exhaust manifold in lieu of attempting to repair. Walser estimated repair costs of $2,500 so they deducted that from the trade-in value. I agreed to it and completed the transaction. Three days later, a neighbor purchased the Land Cruiser from Walser Toyota and when he brought it home, his wife commented that it looked just like the one I had (they didn't know that I traded it in).
Eventually, we connected and realized it was the same Land Cruiser. I immediately asked him if the Walser dealership mentioned anything about the exhaust system or whether they replaced it. I provided him with all of the details and he returned to the Walser Dealership to ask about the exhaust and to inspect the system together. Walser admitted to doing a temporary "tack weld" repair and quickly offered to replace the manifolds completely as they realized they had been caught in the middle of dishonest business transaction. They immediately corrected the issue for the new owner (my neighbor) but they had no intention of doing it and would have gotten away with it had I not alerted my neighbor. It seems to me that I should be refunded the trade-in decrease based upon their unethical behavior and completed the transaction without making the necessary repairs.
To make a long story short, I put a $500 deposit down on a vehicle at Walser Toyota and they sold it out from under me. Thus breaking our contract. When I asked the manager (Chuck) how they could do this, he told me, "its my car, and I can sell it to whoever I want." He was extremely rude and acted as if our business meant nothing to him. My girlfriend and I both agreed that we had never been treated so poorly as customers of any business. I would highly recommend avoiding this dealership at all costs. They lied to me several times and broke a legally binding contract.
We had a horrible experience purchasing our vehicle from Walser Toyota, which has been compounded by an inadequate response and lack of follow through by the staff. On Friday, August 7, I noticed the 2008 Toyota Sienna listed online and called to inquire if it was still available and on the lot. After being transferred to three different people and getting vague information, I spoke to Tom who explained that in order to see the car, we needed to put down a deposit. Tom then explained that I could put a $300 deposit on the car, that I would lose $50 if I did not decide to buy the car. But if I bought the car and returned it in three days, there would be no cost to me.
On Saturday, we had a 5:30pm appointment with Steve. When I arrived at 5:30, Steve showed me the car. My husband arrived shortly after and we took the car for a test drive. We then went inside to purchase the car. Steve helped us with paperwork and answered our questions. One of our questions was regarding a second key and key fob. Steve indicated that the key would be taken care of, but that the key fob would cost us $70 to be programmed. We filled out the paperwork to see if Walser could secure better financing for us than we already had lined up.
But we’re told that it would be a while because the three finance people were working on other applications at that time. Since we had arranged for a last minute babysitter, we arranged to come back on Monday, August 10 around 9:30am to finish the transaction. We were told that Tom would be helping us on Monday morning. Two hours after we had arrived, after signing another document authorizing another deposit, we went home.
On Monday morning, we arrived around 9:30 as promised and asked for Tom. Tom came to us and said that Adam would be helping us and that we should just wait in the waiting area. After about 45 minutes, I stopped Tom and inquired as to what was going on as we had not seen Adam. Tom then said that it would be Brent who would be helping us. We went to stand outside Brent’s office to wait. We saw Adam, Brent, and one other person eating bagels and drinking coffee. As soon as they noticed us, Adam and the other gentleman left Brent’s office. Shortly thereafter, Brent was finally able to help us.
As it turned out, the financing we were able to get through Walser’s contacts was more than 2% APR, higher than what we had secured. We decided to go with our bank and then had to go pick up the check. As we were getting ready to leave, Brandon came over and mentioned that a key still needed to be cut and that it would take another 45 minutes to get that done. I suggested that, perhaps, the key could be cut while we ran to the bank in order to maximize our time. Brandon also told us that there was no key fob. We then found out it would cost us $200 to get the fob, rather than the $70 Steve had indicated to us. We then went to the bank, picked up the check, returned, finalized our purchase, and still had to wait additional time to get the key.
In total it took almost 4 hours on Monday to complete the transaction, add the time we spent on Saturday, and it took nearly 6 hours to purchase our car. We left the dealership very angry. Our time was completely disrespected. We were handed off from person to person. No one took the time or steps to ensure a smooth car purchasing experience despite the fact that we made appointments each time we came. At no time did anyone give us information about the Walser Rewards program or warranties on the car until we specifically asked. Even then, we were given vague responses and nothing in writing.
After receiving an e-mail kindly sent to us by Internet Bucket, we were further angered. Since the e-mail talked about wanting to maintain complete satisfaction, I decided to call to make my dissatisfaction known. On Tuesday, August 11, I called and left a message with Steve. Steve called me back, listened to my complaints, and told me he took responsibility. He agreed that the process should not have gone as it did. I told him that it was nice that he took responsibility, but that does nothing to ameliorate the situation nor does it do anything to improve my opinion of Walser Toyota. He indicated that there was nothing he could do. I asked that we get the key fob for the car for the $70 originally promised to us. Steve said that our only option was to return the car. He did offer to see if he could find a key fob for us, but made no promises.
After that frustrating conversation, my husband and I seriously discussed returning the car. We ultimately decided to keep the vehicle because it was best for us. Then, on Friday, August 21, 10 days after we purchased the vehicle, I received a call from Brent telling me that there was another form we needed to sign in order to transfer the vehicle title. I was extremely frustrated to receive this call 10 days after our purchase was completed. My husband called Brent right back. Brent, however, did not return our call. My husband called again on Tuesday, August 25. Brent, again, did not return our call.
On Wednesday, August 26 my husband again called and spoke with Pam in the Walser Toyota Title department. She had no idea what he was talking about and had to call back. She did call back and agreed to mail us the paperwork. Meanwhile, the temporary tabs for the vehicle expire today. When I spoke with her on Thursday, August 27, Pam told me we could pick up the tabs this afternoon. However, my husband and I both work full time and are unavailable to drive to Bloomington between 1pm and 6pm on a week day.
Frankly, this error was entirely on the part of Walser Toyota and, yet, the Walser Toyota staff has done nothing to rectify the error. The expectation seems to be that it is our responsibility to run around and take time off work to get things taken care of. Eventually, the general manager, Charlie **, returned our call. He told me "not to worry". If we get a ticket, they will cover it. I asked to receive that via e-mail, but never received an e-mail from Walser. Charlie also told me (and the Better Business Bureau) that he would try to locate a key fob for us at the $70 originally promised. It has now been six months since he made that promise and I have not heard from anyone at Walser Toyota. In short, it is clear that Walser Toyota has a different definition of complete satisfaction than we do.
I paid cash for a new 2004 Toyota Sienna. The vehicle has a hesitating and lurching characteristic that made me feel very unsafe in the vehicle. The dealership would not buy the vehicle back from me. I went to arbitration where it was determined that it was a personal preference that I request for a vehicle that did not lurch.
"Come on, it is not that big of a deal. I do not know a single person that was affected by a defective gas pedal, do you?" Walser Toyota Bloomington Sales Consultant Joel B said to me with a chuckle and roll of his eyes.
Despite the recent negative media coverage of Toyota and some personal fear over the safety of my 2009 Corolla, my husband and I believed Toyota would do us right in correcting our safety concern through the recall repair. After all, my husband is on his third Toyota and me on my first. Product loyalty is big with us and my husband's family is from a long line of Toyota/Lexus owners.
Being in our early 30's, we figured we would have a lifetime of various Toyota and Lexus vehicles. We believed this until last night when we had an honest intention of not only buying out my current Corolla lease to upgrade to a Camry but also consider a trade-in of my husband's Corolla for a Lexus or Toyota SUV. We not only walked out without an upgraded Camry or new SUV, but with a complete sense of loss for the value that Walser and Toyota employees have for their customers.
When we asked about the competitive offers other dealers are offering current Toyota owners, Joel *** was very open to let us know he did not value our business by letting us know that he did "...not care if you (me and my husband) walk out the door. This place is full every Saturday!" It instantly became apparent that Walser Toyota does not value their loyal customers. Joel made it clear that we were replaceable and our business was not only unnecessary, but also unimportant.
Feeling unappreciated as a Toyota loyalist, Joel continued to make matters worse by making light of the current safety concerns that I have over my Corolla. In my opinion, the safety concerns are well warranted provided the number of fatal accidents that have occurred due to multiple Toyota/Lexus manufacturer defects. When Joel laughed about the problem, I could only feel hurt in my heart for those families dealing with loss due to the fatal accidents the defects have caused. Joel's extreme insensitivity towards the situation instantly changed the loyalty we had for Toyota.
Upon returning home after the disturbing events at Walser Toyota last night, we learned of yet another recall that could affect my 2009 Corolla. The new steering issue is actually an issue I have encountered. I guess I will put it on the long list of Toyota disappointments. Honestly, the behavior of the Walser Toyota sales consultant is quite shocking when you consider consumer confidence in the Toyota brand is at an all-time low.
Walser Toyota Company Information
- Company Name:
- Walser Toyota
- 4401 American Blvd. West
- Postal Code:
- (612) 294-0220