An Invitation To Think

My Experience With Rob Guthrie at Suburban Collection Toyota Farmington Hills, MI (formerly Serra Toyota)

I really didn’t want to do this. I gave Rob Guthrie at Suburban Collection Toyota (formerly Serra Toyota) in Farmington Hills, Michigan multiple chances to make this right. Some might say far too many chances over a period of not days or weeks, but months. You’ll see that I am reasonable throughout, until the end. I always gave Rob the benefit of the doubt and believed with everything I could that he was not lying to me.

The funny thing is it was a generally okay experience buying our Toyota Camry. Yes, it’s a typical used car sales shop, but if you know that going in then it’s nothing unexpected. It’s after the sale that irked me since our Camry was missing a part. All of this trouble could have been solved with the very basics of customer service and a $20 part. I’m sad to say that, apparently, that was too much to ask.

Thankfully, all of this was done through e-mail so I have records and screen shots. Enjoy.

OK, all good. We’re buying a car! A Toyota Certified 2013 Toyota Camry LE to be precise, for $13k + taxes and fees.

Unfortunately, just before we got home we noticed the cup holder insert was missing. I was wondering why my bottle of water was flopping around, but we didn’t figure it out until we were literally pulling onto our street, which is 30 miles and 45 minutes away from Suburban Toyota in Farmington Hills, MI. You can understand the annoyance. (A roundtrip to the dealership is over 90 minutes, assuming no traffic.)

I’m being reasonable here, right? No demands or accusations. An easy fix. Just mail us a new one!

Stop by and you’ll take one from another potential customer? Interesting. Moving on …

Still being reasonable, right? Oh yeah, Rob Guthrie promised to mail us batteries because one of the keys for our Camry was dead. (Spoiler: he never mailed those batteries and I bought my own.)

You don’t have a box? That’s your excuse? OK, stay calm, Karol …

I’m still being reasonable, right? I used to work at a car dealership in high school and I know how many boxes are thrown away at the parts department. Finding one would take less than 3 minutes.

Let’s see how Rob Guthrie handles this simple request (notice the date, it’s now 2 days later) …

There is a difference between can’t and won’t, Rob. Just go to the parts department and they’ll give you one. Oh yeah, my wife and I were moving out of state and really didn’t need to be dealing with this.

Not only am I being reasonable, but I think I’m doing my best to solve Rob Guthrie’s problems for him. Also, a development! We found somebody’s prescription glasses. Let’s see what Rob has to say about that.

OK, I guess we’re going to ignore the expensive prescription glasses. But “let me see what I can do for you” doesn’t sound promising.

Weeks later I finally got an e-mail from Rob …

I was genuinely excited. Rob Guthrie doesn’t fit the used car salesman liar stereotype! Woohoo! I thought I was dealing with an honest man.

And then … one whole month later I sent Rob an e-mail …

Yes, you wish I would have picked it up and I wish you would have stuck to your word. But it gets better …

You went to a package place to mail it, but you “think” you picked out the right envelope? I don’t get it. But whatever, a bubble envelope should be fine. Except, 2 weeks later …

Hmm?

No worries, a simple tracking number lookup should solve this problem.

Is Rob trolling? I seriously don’t know what to think here anymore.

At this point I gave up. Rob Guthrie was lying to me, stringing me along, and I still didn’t have a cup holder insert. I was done being annoyed with my water bottles flopping around so I ordered one off Amazon …

But Rob Guthrie wasn’t done trolling …

I don’t have any words. You can almost feel my frustration here …

OK, whatever, Rob. We’re almost at the end of our saga. Last screen shot:

It is now Monday January 9, 2017 as I type this. I have not heard from Rob again, but at least I have my cup holder courtesy of my credit card and Amazon. Would you buy a car from someone like Rob? You can probably guess my answer.

Update: Shortly after posting this review I got a response from Rob. Notice there is no apology, but more excuses and more promises.

No, thanks. I’ve wasted enough time. If you think this is about thirteen dollars and ninety-five cents you are sorely mistaken. This is about principle. It’s about keeping your word. It’s about treating people well. I gave many chances over the past few months.