BBB has determined that Five Star Florence, LLC meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
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Complaint The car had been previously wrecked and this was not disclosed to me; also several other issues with sales practices. I purchased a 2012 Nissan Versa on 12/05/2013 from 5 Star Automotive in ********, SC. I had already arranged financing through my bank, First Reliance, for 6 years at 1.99% financing for up to 72 months. The manager there asked me if I would let them do the financing if they could match or better the rate and I agreed. The rate I ended up with was 3.19% for 75 months; they ran several different credit reports as they said they had access to 34 banks and I wasn't OK with that. I know I should read papers before I sign them but there were so many forms to sign I wasn't as diligent as I should have been. I didn't notice(and they didn't point out) that there was a charge of $499.00 for closing costs and I didn't know there was an $895.00 charge for gap insurance- the manager mentioned gap insurance but he didn't tell me there was an additional charge for it. When I got home I noticed there was no owner's manual in the car so I called to see if they had one but they didn't. A warning light came on a couple of weeks later so I took the car to Palmetto Nissan on 12/24/2013 to see if they could tell me what it meant. While my car was there one of their body shop employees looked at my car and said the front end had been wrecked. He showed me where there was bondo on the left front fender and also showed me under the hood where there was evidence of replacement paint and more bondo. There were several other telling marks indicating the front hood had been replaced. The car had a clean carfax report when I purchased it so I thought it was damage free. Three days later I took the car to Creel Tire in ******** where I usually take my car for repairs and one of their mechanics concurred that the car had been wrecked and also showed me some damage underneath the car, but he did say it didn't look like the frame had been damaged. I subsequently took the car back to 5 Star Auto. and told them the car had been wrecked. *** ***** the Sales manager told me it had a clean carfcax and that was all they could go by. He did say the car underwent a through inspection when they got it and didn't understand how the damage had been missed. One of their body shop employees looked at the car and agreed there had been some repair work done to the car. I asked Mr. **** what he would do about it and he told me he would have me bring my car in as soon as he could and they would take care of it. This was on 1/02/2014. I didn't get a call from them so I went back on 1/07/2014 and *** **** was in a meeting. The receptionist let him know I was there and said he should be available shortly. After waiting 45 minutes I had to leave but was told *** **** would call me. He didn't call so on 1/11/2014 I called again and was told he was in another meeting. I gave the receptionist my name and number, was told he would call me, and once again I didn't get a call back. I believe *** **** is avoiding me. My original sales person was ***** ******** the first sales manager and the person who signed the paperwork was ***** *****( I think, it's difficult to read). The final price on the car was $17,122.00.
Desired Settlement I want them to cancel the sale because the car was previously wrecked and they refuse to return my calls about this issue. They also misrepresented several sales issues.
Business Response In response to Mr ******'s concerns: The 2012 Nissan Versa he purchased did in fact have a clean CarFax as well as an AutoCheck. If the vehicle had previous damage it was not know to us and we **** gladly entertain the prospect of trading him out of that unit into a similar one. As far as the financing is concerned, I have spoken to BMO Harris bank and they have no problem taking a payoff check from another bank if he can get a cheaper interest rate. If he has any further concerns he can contact ****** Buchner (XXX-XXX-XXXX)at the Five Star SuperCenter on Cashua and he will help with any of the above.
Final Consumer Response (The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.) Their proposal to replace the car was not a viable one as they were trying to put me in a car that would have cost me several thousand more than the Versa. They said my Versa had a trade-in value of approximately $9,000, even though I paid approximately $15,000 for the car originally. I agreed to let them make repairs on the car to see if they could restore it to what a certified pre-owned vehicle should be. As of today, 02/10/XXXXX at 10:30am, they still have the car so I don't know the results of their repair work. Since I have to respond yes or no in order to send this response I am checking yes, but I would be more comfortable responding not yet.
Final Business Response We have already agreed with the customer to repair or replace the vehicle.
Complaint I purchased a 2009 SLK 300 in November 2014, from Mr. Lance ******* I purchased the warranty 4300.00 but made a 15,000.00 deposit. I purchased a 2009 Mercedes SLK 300 in November 2014 from this dealership. Mr. Lance P***** was the salesman. I purchased the extended warranty which was an extra 4,300.00. However, I also made a 15,000.00 down payment. I know I should have read the contract better and sooner, but I trusted them. However, after making the 15,000.00 deposit and making app. 3,400.00 in payments I still owe app. 13,000.00 which is the cars value. When I looked at my sales contract I seen that I was charged 25,499.00 for this car. I do not believe my car depreciated by 12,500.00 from Nov. 2014 till today. I feel that I was grossly over charged or my down payment was not applied to my purchase.
Desired Settlement I would like an explanation as to why I was charged to this car and/or where my 15,000.00 deposit is. If they can not do this I want them to make up the difference by either mailing me a check for the disputed amount or sending that to the finance company ********** Consumer USA)
Initial ******** Response Mrs. **********,
First of all, we would like to apologize for any concern or confusion that you may have regarding this situation. We would gladly schedule a time for you to come in and meet with our Finance Director to fully go over your contract with you in regards to price, down payment, payments, and any interest that may you may have been charged by the finance company. You can give us a call at XXX-XXX-XXXX and ask to either speak with ****** ******* or ***** ******* and either of us will be glad to sit down and speak with you. Should you have any further questions or concerns, please let us know. Thanks!
Complaint Purchased a vehicle that I continue to have issues with. Since the date of purchase almost 2 months ago its been in twice for service. I purchased a 2010 BMW 528i from Five Star. Purchase date was 6/3/2015. Couple days after purchase vehicle started making a horrible squealing sound. Contacted the dealer (sales rep) for over a week with no response, unknowingly he was on vacation. I continued to attempted to contact my sales rep and finally he said to bring it in. I brought it in for service on 6/26/15 which the service department was unaware I was bringing in my vehicle to be looked at. They made arrangements for me to leave my car and put me in a loaner until they could fix the issue (#1 Service Department).
I made my first payment on July 4th and I picked up my vehicle on 7/8/2015. On Tuesday 7/14/2015 I noticed that something was wrong with the electronic SAT system, then the miles switched to Kilometers, Aux, Bluetooth, and Radio stopped working... Next day I contacted the Service department and they said they were going to research the issue and get back to me. I gave him a week to hopefully research the issue and contacted them back on 7/22/2015 at which point we made an appointment to bring it in for service 7/27/2015. After bringing it in for service I was contacted by the Service department who informed me of the problem, which was some corrosion in an electrical component in the vehicles trunk and would NOT be covered which is in the amount of 1,400.00 +. I immediately contact the sales rep to find out how we can fix this because I do not think I need to pay for a repair on an issue that was pre-existing. He said he is not able to authorize a repair for this and that I should speak with the Sales Manager *** *****. I attempted to contact him all day Friday, left a message with Customer Service as well as my sales rep and I haven't heard back from him yet.
Now thinking I just purchased the car, start having issues couple days after purchase, the first repair took about 2 weeks. I get it back and immediately start having issues with it again. I purchased my vehicle from a reputable dealer that was CPO not to have issues like this because I thought I was getting a good car, but now it seems like I may have inherited someone else's headache. I could have gone to a smaller dealer and not have issues like these. Now wondering if I purchased a Lemon? I will now make my second payment for the car which is due Tuesday 8/4/2015.
Desired Settlement Fix the issue with the car! Don't sell me junk!
Business Response This 2010 BMW 528i was sold on 6/4/15 with 73,890 miles on it. The BMW warranty expires at 50,000 miles. We serviced the vehicle prior to selling it, and agreed to fix the first issue the customer had. However, between the first and second service visit, he'd put six thousand miles on the vehicle; when he purchased the vehicle, he, like all of our customers, had the option to protect the vehicle with an Extended Service Contract, which likely would have covered this issue. He declined that protection. Also, after speaking more with our service department, it has come to my attention that this module is not a component one can detect is going out. It just happens. Thus, this issue, albeit unfortunate, is the responsibility of the owner of the vehicle as a "cost of ownership."
We did offer to give the customer a discounted rate on the parts and labor to get his issue resolved. He declined to have the work performed with us.
Consumer Response (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) As far as the mileage goes, yes sir we were vacationing and staying in Savannah so I drive a great deal. Also, I called 3 days after I picked up my car (couple hundred miles maybe) which is when the issue happened and **** said he would research and look into it. A week went by with no contact from anyone. I contacted **** once again and he said to bring it in for service and scheduled it yet for another week later, so now I have the car with this problem for over 2 weeks.
When the vehicle was serviced the first time it should had been covered under the vehicles CPO, and that's per your service dept.
In reply to your "module is not a component one can detect is going out. It just happens", is not correct. Apparently BMW knows they have an issue with this and have put out a bulletin to service departments to relocate these components. Yes Mr. Sales Manager I too have the internet and can research things as well.
If I am at fault for anything it's simply for purchasing a vehicle from what I thought was a reputable place. Having the internet I should have done my research better, but I didn't.
Why would I need an extended Service contract if the vehicle has a CPO?
Why would your Salesman not return my calls for the first couple weeks I called him?
Why would your service department push me off several weeks before looking at the car?
Someone once told me a wise man learns from their mistakes, a wiser man learns from others mistakes...
Complaint Bought a 2010 Cadillac DTS from 5 Star Chevy in Florence SC, 1/27/2015. During the negotiations, I asked for the Car Fax history report 2 separate tim Bought Cadillac DTS 1/27/2015 from 5 Star in Florence SC. I asked for the caCar Fax 2 times but never received it while negotiating with their salesman ******** Also, sent 2 emails to them about the Carr Fax. I finally bought the Car Fax myself. This car is from Long Island NY, 2 owners, and been in 2 wrecks. I would have NEVER bought this car if I knew this. Today, 4/10/15 I talked with *** ?, the used car mgr., he said there is nothing he can do. Too bad, so sad.
Desired Settlement I want the same car, same mileage but with no wrecks and from this area.
Business Response Mr. ****, first of all I would like to apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused you. I do not understand why you weren't given a carfax during the time of sale and that will be addressed with the appropriate parties. I will gladly reimburse you for the cost that you incurred by purchasing the carfax yourself. We can also see about locating you a similar vehicle and trading you out of yours if that would be something you were willing to entertain. Once again, I do apologize and I hope that we can resolve this issue for you.
Consumer Response (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) I found a replacement car last week at Myrtle Beach Chevrolet. A 2010 Cadillac DTS Luxury. Costs me $5400 in the trade. I will close this compliant if Five Star will reimburse me for the Carfax $40 and $500 for the costs of the trade. That's only fair to me.
Final Consumer Response I've bought a 2010 Cadillac DTS from MB Chevrolet that has a clean Carfax accident report. Cost me $5400 for the trade. I want Five Star to reimburse me some of that costs because they didn't tell me the car I bought from them had been wrecked 2 times.I want $40 for my Carfax and $500 to help with me purchasing another car.
Complaint I'm getting the run around about a refund I went to dealership on April 30th 2015 with intent purchase a 2015 Chevy Malibu and paid a $500 down payment. On May 1st 2015, my cosigner backed out and decided not to sign for the vehicle. She returned the car on May 1st 2015. She told salesman to destroy down payment check. On May 5th 2015 I noticed the check for $500 had cleared my account. I reached to dealership about refunding my money, every person I talk to, tells me that I have to speak with someone else. I feel like I'm getting the run around. They were not hesitate to take my money, they shouldn't be hesitate to return it
Desired Settlement I need my money refunded
Business Response We have spoke with Ms. ***** and the situation has been rectified. We apologize for any inconvenience. This was simply an accounting error due to our accounting office not being aware that Ms. ***** had returned the vehicle back to the lot. We have handled this with the customer.
Complaint Was given a loaner in lieu investigation for random involuntary electronic component operations compromising safety. Rudely spoken to, unfair charge. Contacted ******* ******** to arrange issuance of a loaner to allow our vehicle to be investigated for windows and sunroof opening upon shutting off car, horn randomly activating while locked, and doors involuntary unlocking while in motion and while stopped in traffic. Received vehicle back with dealer service rep stating no issue found no code associated. Arrived home and vehicle repeated aforementioned issues. Again, arranged loaner issuance with a promise that the car would be thoroughly examined. Notified by ******* that the were unable to find anything after several days of "observations" and that since they could not replicate said discrepancies, they could investigate no further and the loaner would need to be returned. ******* had been accommodating to my wife ********* and I since I had returned from a year long deployment at my 7 month mark for a mid-tour to witness the birth of our first born child on 30 June. With regard toward the loaner and it's return, she had agreed that due to our travels out of the local area in which we live and our concern for safety in a vehicle that is controlled by electronics that were not operating properly; she would allow more time,"as much time as it takes," to determine and repair the problems that had persisted with our vehicle (2012 328i). In the midst of troubleshooting, she had asked we pay to overnight the second key to better aid the specialist in covering all potential causes of the underlying problem. After roughly 3 days we were notified that there was no problem and she was ready for the loaner to be returned, this was the evening before I was to catch an international flight out of the country's from Greenville Spartanburg INT to return abroad. ******* had asked that we again pay to overnight the key for the loaner which had been parked in our garage so that she may have a rep drive our vehicle to our home drop it off and take the loaner, since my wife had been visiting with family in Clemson. ********* complied with the request. She was later contact by ******* who had changed her tone from willing and helpful to quite the opposite of the extreme. ******* rudely exclaimed that the rep had arrived and could not gain entry to our garage via the integrated garage door opener on the BMW(probably because that may be another electrical issue or they reset the program for it in troubleshooting). My wife made an effort to have a neighbor let them in, but no one was home, ******* then stated, "here is how it's gonna work on this end." She too my wife that because here management is on her back about accommodating to us and because they couldn't find anything wrong with our vehicle, that they were going to charge us retroactively for the days we had the loaner. I'm angry that my wife was spoken to like an idiot from someone who assured us we'd be taken care of, I'm frustrated at an automotive company that boasts perfection and pride in performance and advertises that their owners are in a "club" of refined and upstanding owners operators technicians and service representatives alike, yet does not stand behind a word of it when it matters. There is no excuse for the way my wife was treated over an issue none of us could control, especially in the unique situation that presented itself being a service member with a family that is currently without my assistance. I understand policy, however, I also understand that although an issue could not be replicated does not mean it isn't there, maybe we expected too much from an automaker that charges thousands of dollars more for a so-called better more refined and reliable product. The bottom line here is lack of professionalism, in every way. If it were the GM's car or *******'s I'd suffice to say it would have been researched, observed, and investigated until the problem was resolved. Furthermore I am certain that the frustration of a service rep would not have been taken out on them as a customer because they are occupying a loaner.
Desired Settlement Simply, rather than charging us, I believe it is the responsibility of the dealership to refund our postage for the overnighted keys, fill our tank at their expense for the wasted travel they were the cause of, and make every effort to find out what the issue is with our car at any rate. There is indeed a safety issue with a wife who works night shift at a hospital when doors unlock at random moments and windows involuntarily open without closing. The matter is, I would not fabricate a story to occupy a loaner, I love the coupe we have, I would like my wife and I to be able to enjoy it safely and without fear of an electrical component failing and possibly harming us. I would like to feel that BMW could accurately make the statements it uses to market and sell the state of the art automobiles it manufactures. I would like for ******* and the GM to apologize to my wife for the mess they have put her through and the unprofessional way she was treated in my absence. I would like to see the vehicle investigated and know that safety of a client is more pressing and important than a policy that depends on a code for further determination of course of action rather than utilizing a highly paid technicians ability to troubleshoot outside of what a computer obviously cannot interpret.
Business Response Contact Name and Title: **** ***** SVC MGR Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX Contact Email: ******@fivestarflorence.com Customer Satisfaction is priority here at BMW of Florence. We are truly sorry the way that this event unfolded. We will be more than happy to refund the owner for postage and also give them a tank of gas. Also if the concerns with the vehicle happen again we would like to get BMWNA involved in the diagnostic procedures. ******* will be contacting Mrs. *******.
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