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Smart Auto

Phone: (704) 496-7720Fax: (800) 982-0001

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Customer Complaints Summary

10 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues2
Billing / Collection Issues2
Problems with Product / Service6
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints10

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (10)
09/09/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
"The finance department associate is very rude and unprofessional." "Smart Auto is not concerned with its customers, they just want money!"
My contract number is *****. I signed my contract on 7/16/13. I have been a loyal customer making all my payments on time, and sometimes multiple payments at once. Someone hit my car on 8/22/14 and my insurance company totaled the car. I contacted Smart Auto on 8/25/14 and they said they would have to wait for the insurance claim. On 8/27/14 I spoke with **************. I asked her how would the remaining balance be settled. She said they would contact me once the check was received from the insurance company. I then asked her would they be able to place me in another car. She said, no because they no longer sale cars in North Carolina. Then she told me I guess you're in limbo. This was the first I had heard of this. I contacted Ms. ************** again on 8/28/14 about possibly doing a salvage title, she said they don't do salvage titles. Then I said I would like to set up a time for us to meet. She then told me it wouldn't matter whether we met face to face or over the phone, the claim would process regardless. I then told her she didn't have to say that like that and that was nothing to say. After re-reading my contract I don't see anywhere that says they don't do salvage titles. They expect me to pay a remaining balance of $2600 after I have lost my job due to not having a car. They are not even trying to refer me to anywhere else. However, they still want their money. This is unjust and unfair business practicing at its best.

Desired Settlement
I feel they should at least assist me in obtaining another car or I should not owe them any more money on this vehicle.

Business Response
All of this is very unfortunate with the customer having an accident. We are thankful she was not seriously injured. It is also unfortunate that Smart Auto could not longer afford to remain open in the Charlotte location. Our closest location is in *************, but due to our policies, in order to purchase a vehicle, you must live within 50 miles of the store.

As for the deficiency between what the customer owes and what her insurance company is willing to pay, this too is an unfortunate common occurrence.

I wished there were something we could do to help the customer purchase another vehicle. Her good credit would be her best asset in that effort.

06/04/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Worst customer service ever.
Me and my husband bought a 2004 dodge neon about a year ago from smart auto. And when we bought the car we selected there insurance coverage because we where told the car would be replaced if anything where to hhappen to it. So guess what happens almost a year later. I hit a deer I exlain in detail what happen and all the damages that where done to the car. I was told by a finace rep. From smart auto that my car would be fixed mechanically and the body would be fixed as well. The whole time I was waiting for my car I was still making car payment and I had to pay a 500 dollar deductable. To my supise I get my car back 2 months later and the transmission stops working I called smart auto and explained to them that it should have been fixed because I told them about it. Guess what that tell me there not fixing it . So I decided to let them have there junk car back because prior to getting into my accident I had to spend over 500 dollars to get the car running again. They never ever tried to work anything out with me and they where rude about it I asked for my 500 dollars back and they told me no because the car was fixed but it wasn't fixed at all. I would go back to this place if my life depended on it.

Desired Settlement
I want my 500 dollars back that's I spent to get my car fixed. And I also don't want this to show on my credit as a repo because this is not my fault at all.

Business Response
The customer filed an insurance claim on 2/17/14, the $500 deductible was paid on 2/20/14. The repairs were completed and car returned to customer on 3/4/14. No mention of mechanical issues until 4/16/14. Customer never brought vehicle to service for inspection. Vehicle was surrendered on 5/2/14 due to past due obligations.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I did tell smart auto that there where issues with the car my husband also went to there service to get the car looked at. This people are liers and they will never own up to what they have done and I did give up the car and stop paying the payment due to them telling me that they would not fix the car. I also have paperwork to show I went to there service department and I drove my car for less then a week and it broke down I had to get new tags bc we I went and got my car there where no tags on it.

Final Business Response
We will agree to refund the customer $500.00. However, we reiterate that the customer is confusing two separate issues: physical damage and mechanical issues. The $500 deductible was paid in conjunction to a third party insurance company to make the physical damage repairs. Again, the customer did not mention mechanical issues until almost 45 days later and the $500 deductible has nothing to do with mechanical problems.

04/21/2014Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
The below complaint was sent via email to ******* *******, but it has since been returned deliverable. He may no longer work at the business.
Good Morning Mr. *******,

I am beyond livid with your *********** Finance agent ******* or ******.

I do not need to be treated like I am less of a PAYING customer. My Car note is paid monthly, using the recurring method we set up when I filled out this form.

Recently, I was vandalized at gun point and all my cards and information was stolen, so I had to receive new cards.
This led to the Auto payments not going through last week, since I had not received my new card.. I called last week to pay over the phone with another card, since I had not received the new card for the account that my car payment is made through. I just received the replacement card on Wednesday and called just a few minutes ago to have it updated in the system, so that the auto payments can come out.
Well, I spoke with ghetto chick #1 *******. Of course she was ready and waiting with an attitude like always.

I asked to have my new card updated in the system for the purpose of the car payment being made. She says that it will not take effect until May 2nd. Unacceptable. So I advised then the car payment for today will have to be processed on May 2nd, along with that payment, because I am not going to again pay a $5.00 fee.

This is when Mrs. ****** came out of the woodwork. "well, that's your problem, If you would have called yesterday, we could have processed the payment". "It is your responsibility to make your payments and keep everything up to date"! She even told me that she will process the payment, but the $5 would have to be paid next cycle. Oh really? What kind of scam is this? I told her that I wasn't going to argue with her and she of course, like they always do, got loud and untrained and uneducated as always. Over $5.00? I don't have to take that attitude and everyone will know about it when I file my complaint.
I hung up on the chick.

Now, either Smart Auto can process the auto payment and not charge the $5 or wait until May 2nd.
I'm not sure why I always have issues with your ghetto agents. I'm sure it has nothing to do with their hourly wage. My finances do not allow for $5 extra on the account in question. Or else I would not be using Smart Auto for a vehicle. Maybe Drive Time. More of a quality car with no hassle from their well-trained, knowledgeable and respectful agents.
It is ready and able for $189.84. I wasn't nasty to the chick, but she acted like it was going to cost her her Job for delivering 100% satisfaction in Customer Service.

It's is Friday and I really am not satisfied with these people you guys hire to answer the phone. They need to check their attitudes when they leave their Section-8 apartments!!

Desired Settlement
I want Smart Auto to process the payment as described. And stop being nasty, unruly, uneducated, and UNPROFESSIONAL! GO TO COLLEGE!

Business Response
Called customer to resolve.

10/28/2014Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
Agreed pay off amount and once they realized the insurance company was involved they backed out.
See below, proof of fraud, greed and conartist Smart Auto Charlotte. Once they learned who was actually paying the pay off the backed out in order to try to get more money.

On Oct 23, 2014 10:57 AM, "**********" <**********************> wrote:

Hi *****,

I have to say I am disappointed in yours and Smart Auto's professionalism in this entire situation. Your company not willing to except the pay off that you previously agreed on via email shows why your company has so many negative reviews on how you and your company conducts business. At no point did you ask me why I was paying the car off and if you would of asked I would of gladly told you that the insurance company was paying it. Going forward due to you declining the payment from the insurance company today in order to receive the letter of guarantee for the title no payments will further be made and your company will be forced to repo the ***********************. I gave your company the opportunity to close this case and you declined once you realized the nature of the situation. This company is nothing but conartist and try to overall con the people of *********** county. Thank you for your time.
*********

On Oct 22, XXXX X:XX PM, "**********" <**********************> wrote:

Hi *****,

I will let you know first thing in the morning. I appreciate your time.

Thank you,
*********

On Oct 22, XXXX X:XX PM, "***** *******" <**********************> wrote:

********:

While we understand the situation and anything that *************** doesn't do will impact you. We are willing to accept as a final offer $3,200 by end of business 10-23-14.

Thank you.

***** *******

Smart Finance Customer Relationship Manager
************* (P)
************* (F)

**********************


From: ********** mailto:**********************
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, XXXX X:XX PM
To: ***** *******
Subject: RE: Smart Finance
Hi *****,

I'll do $3000.00 if we can do it tomorrow. Please remind your in house bank that this car has basically been paid for twice and with the $3000 that I am offering that would be the third time. Please keep in mind that I do not actually make the payments my ex boyfriend does and he will most likely be late on future payments because he lost his job and eventually you will have to come repo it. I am making this offer to be said and done with it but I will not pay any more than what I am offering. I appreciate your time and I hope we can be on the same page by tomorrow.

Thank you,
*********


On Oct 22, 2014 4:46 PM, "***** *******" <**********************> wrote:

Hello ********:

The bank is offering $3,800.

Thank you.



***** *******

Smart Finance Customer Relationship Manager
************* (P)
************* (F)

**********************







From: ********** mailto:**********************
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, XXXX X:XX PM
To: ***** *******
Subject: Re: Smart Finance



Sorry, my calculations were wrong. I have paid a total of $6236.40 including the down payment. So with what I am offering I would of paid for that car 3 times than what it's worth. Please let me know what they say.

Thank you,
*********


On Oct 22, XXXX X:XX PM, "**********" <**********************> wrote:

Hi *****,

Thank you for getting me the information I requested. So it looks to me that I have paid a total of $4,815.48 including the down payment. The car is only worth about $3000.00. My offer to pay the car off is $2500.00. Total with payments and the pay off I am offering will be 2 1/2 times what the car is actually worth. Can you please let me know what the bosses say because I am eager to get this taken care of.

Thank you,
*********
************


On Oct 22, XXXX X:XX PM, "***** *******" <**********************> wrote:

Good afternoon ********:

Please see payment history attached per your request. As soon as I hear back regarding your settlement offer I will let you know.

Thank you.


***** *******
Smart Finance Customer Relationship

Desired Settlement
I just want was agreed upon via our email communication. To pay the vehicle of for $3200.00 and I get the title.

Business Response
******** signed a retail installment sales contract with Smart Finance that requires, among other obligations, that she carry insurance that name Smart Finance as the entity to be paid in the event of damage or loss.

When ******** made her initial settlement offer, she failed to disclose that vehicle had been accident and that the settlement moneys were coming from her insurance company. ******** came to our office with the insurance adjuster who was requesting the title and at that time, we realized the vehicle was in a car accident.

******** violated the terms of her contract and misrepresented the conditions of the settlement by failing to advise us the vehicle had been in an accident and that the payment was coming from an insurance settlement. Had we known the circumstances that resulted in her making the initial settlement offer, we would have never agreed to the settlement amount and would have contacted the insurance company directly. As such, because she materially misrepresented the terms of the settlement, we rescinded our agreement with ******** and contacted the insurance company directly.

The insurance company informed us that they were not aware that Smart Finance had a lien on the vehicle and offered to settle the matter with us as lienholder on the vehicle. It became apparent that there was a $1,000 difference between what the insurance company was offering to settle the loss the vehicle and what ******** was offering to settle her claim.

Considering the circumstances surrounding this matter, we believe ******** intended to settle her account with Smart Finance for as little money possible so that she could pocket the difference hoping that we and the insurance company would never notice. Because of ********'s failure to abide by the terms of her contract and her material non-disclosures, we have no intention of reinstating the terms of the original settlement and consider the matter closed.


Consumer Response
The circumstances of why I wanted to pay the vehicle off shouldn't of mattered. If it was asked why then I would I said so but your rude and ****** employee ***** never asked why. Once she realized the nature oF the pay off and knew her company and herself could gain from it they then pulled out of the agreement that was already agreed upon via email correspondences. Yes their was some difference in what the insurance would of paid off and what I would of been able to keep in my pocket and to use towards another vehicle. Please keep in mind that the car has been paid for at least 2 times and the insurance pay off would of been a 3rd. This company just thrives on charging people enormous amount of interest on cars that are near falling apart to people that work hard for their money. It's time companies like yours quit taking advantage of the hard working people of North Carolina.

Final Business Response
The circumstances of how the customer received the funds matters tremendously given that insurance moneys are used for the purpose of either repairing the vehicle or paying the out the value of the vehicle to the lienholder. The customer is not entitled to receive the proceeds of the insurance claim in order to purchase a new vehicle.

What the customer was attempting to do is insurance fraud and violated the terms of the contract. If the customer was not inclined to make the payments that were required and she felt that she was paying too much for the vehicle, she should have never have signed the contract.

Our business model is based on loaning individuals money who cannot receive an auto loan through conventional means. What the customer was paying for, in addition to the vehicle she purchased, was the risk associated with financing someone with bad credit. The terms were provided to her up front and the amount of money she was expected to pay over the course of the loan was provided to her.

We are unwilling to provide the customer with the resolution she is requesting. Her actions violated the terms of her contract and would have amounted to insurance fraud.

09/15/2014Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
This compliant is about Smart Auto and them saying I owe $****** on my credit. This is more than what I financed start with.
I purchased the ************************ a 4 door wagon. The VIN #****************** and the color was sliver. The lien holder #*******. The sales rep. is Smart Auto. The finance amount was $12,755.82 and I was placed on a DEFERRED DOWN PAYMENT PLAN, which I put down $500 up front, then pay $450 on June 05, 2014, then again on July 05, 2014 but I chose to let the car go back in July. Because the car had a lot of problems, like the tire keep going flat in *** 09, 2014, and hatchback keep opening from May 08, 2014 up to July, 2014, and the car died on me in the middle of the road on June 05, 2014, and the car keep using a lot of gas from May 09, 2014 to July 2014, and it was a 4- cylinder but it eat gas like V-8. Also Smart Auto change the oil but didn't put the cap back on, so I lost 3 quarts of oil out of it on June 6, 2014. The total amount I put down on the car was $***, which they refused to give me my money back when I told them that I didn't want the car because it had too many problems. They put on my credit on August 13, 2014 stating I owe them $****** but they auction the car off on August 19, 2014. I tried talking to them but they refused to return my calls.

Desired Settlement
I would like for them to take it off my credit the $13,524 because I shouldn't have to pay anything when I was in the Deferred Down Payment Plan, plus they auction the car off.

Business Response
As the customer stated, they purchased a vehicle from Smart Auto and financed that purchased through xxxxx. The customer then voluntarily surrendered the vehicle, which was the collateral on the Retail Installment Agreement the customer made with xxxxx. In accordance to the terms of that contract the customer owes xxxxx and it is our obligation to report such to the credit bureaus.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The reason why is because I was in the Deferred Down Payment Plan and I decided that I didn't want to buy the car cause of the problems the car had. Second of all, they auction the car off on August 19, 2014. I believe they should take that off my credit completely.

Final Business Response
THIS WAS MY RESPONSE ON 9/9/14:

As the customer stated, they purchased a vehicle from Smart Auto and financed that purchased through Smart Finance. The customer then voluntarily surrendered the vehicle, which was the collateral on the Retail Installment Agreement the customer made with Smart Finance. In accordance to the terms of that contract the customer owes Smart Finance and it is our obligation to report such to the credit bureaus.

08/15/2014Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
My husband paid off my car, in total, on July 31, 2014.The company advised my husband once the payment was processed I could pick up the title.
I financed a 2000 Pontiac ******** in 2011. Being that my husband and I had a baby and I had not been working since November 2013, my husband took over the payments for me paying once a month (we were not married when I financed the car). My husband finally paid the car off on July 31, 2014. My husband stated Smart Auto told him once the payment cleared, the payment of $446.04, I would be able to pick up the title being that his name is not on the account. I arrived at the office on 8/4/2014 at about 3pm and spoke with *****/******. She then advised me that I would need to wait 7-10 business days. Although ****** could not tell me why I had to continue to wait, being that Smart Auto had already received our payment in full ($446.04). I would not have had a problem waiting, but the day my husband paid off the car (7/31/14) the issues it had already been having, got worse. The car did not pass inspection and we can not drive the car past 15 miles per hour. The car is not safe and we would like to sell the vehicle, which is impossible without the title. I explained all this to ******, *****(local finance manager), ****, ****** at corporate and another female rep at corporate. When I called corporate the first time, I informed a woman about the problem I was having. I was leaving the office putting my son in the car so I did not get her name. I advised her that my husband paid off the car, the car is having issues and I would like to receive my title. The woman I spoke with said the section of the policy that says the customer has to wait 7-10 days after paying with a debit card has to be a local policy because it was/is not a corporate policy. The woman then transferred me back to Smart Auto Charlotte and that is when I spoke with ****. **** was unable to do anything, nor could he find my name in the system because the car is paid off, he then transferred me to *****, who I tried to speak with while I was at the office this afternoon (8/4/14 @ 3pm). Will advised me that even though Smart Auto received the payment, they need to wait 7-10 business days to make sure we do not try to get the payment returned or do a stop payment. The money has already been taken from our checking account. I told ***** about the issues with the vehicle, that I own but cannot get the title to, and he said there was nothing he could do. **** then transferred me back to corporate and I spoke with ******. Will must have been talking to ****** about the issue on the other line, she then sided with ******, of course, and told me there was nothing she could do. All I want is the title to my vehicle that no longer works, so I can sell it and get another reliable vehicle that is safe for my family and I.

Desired Settlement
I would like to receive my title as soon as possible so I can sell my vehicle. Before the 7-10 business days.

Business Response
It is our policy to not release title on accounts that are paid by anything other than certified funds or cash. This particular account has had several returned items and no exception would be made to our policy. The customer may pick her title up on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 provided the payment is not returned.

12/20/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
GOO EVENING my compliant is about my car the streeing and the tire rod broke they have a recall on the sterring i had it tow to smart auto because i still have a warrenty on it talk to ***** the repair magn he told MEit cause 4000 to fix it. i had some one to look at it before i sent it there they charge me over 13,000 dollars for a use pt curiser went a brand new one is only 6000 doallar i went on line TO print out all recall on this car. i was on my way to work one sunday moring a block from home.amd the car just went out of control hit the curb twice. only because the sterring went out. Thank GOD I AM ALIVE TODAY.THANK YOU Please HELP ME THIS IS THE ONLY WAY I CAN GET TO WORK i am A SINGLE PARENT WITH FOUR KIDS AND A GRANDBABY TO SUPPORT

Desired Settlement
just want them to fix it cause it is a car problem that they recll on the model of car thank and have blessed day.

Business Response
This car has clearly been in an accident. The customer's insurance was canceled and she has unfortunately not been able to file a claim for the damage. There are no open recalls from Chrysler on this car. We contacted the customer at the daytime phone number listed here and left a message today for her.

05/01/2014Problems with Product / Service
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