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Sisbarro Dealerships - Sisbarro Las Cruces very Disreputable
Posted on Monday, July 5th, 2010 at 5:56pm CDT by fea31a6c
Product: Used Vehicles
Company: Sisbarro Dealerships
Location: 425 West Boutz Road
Las Cruces, NM, 88001, US
Recently I purchased a car from a local dealer, called Sisbarro, in southern New Mexico. Actually, to be truthful, I bought two cars, and only four days apart, from the same salesperson, no less. No, my ship is still mired in the sands of the southwest and did not yet come in, nor did I find a bag of money lying at my front door one morning. No, it was more mundane than that. My previous ride had permanently petered out and thus I was forced to make the choice between venturing out into the world sans vehicle, or subjecting myself to the time-honored tradition of being treated like a combination Nazi war criminal-illegal alien-Democrat. Figuring it was in my best interest to get a car ASAP who wants to walk around the desert, right? I headed over to my mechanic to ask his advice.
I trust this man, and he comes highly recommended by all who use his shop, so I saw no need to doubt his referring me to Sisbarro. In fact, he said that Sisbarro was having some kind of amazing tent sale and I should definitely drop his name, so that the sales staff would know I was serious and from whence I came. I tarried not at all, as my then-current ride was in dire need of a rifle blast to the head gasket. I found the big, white tent and the saw the many sun-baked sales people basically sitting around waiting for suckers, er, uh customers! I parked, got out and proceeded to shop. I was alone for a glorious two point six seconds before an over- eager salesman Ill call him Ted came over and began speaking to me from behind. I honestly thought it was another customer, as he said things like, Real beauty, that one, Id buy it myself and such banter. Silly me, thinking he was being friendly.
When I finally realized this was to be my guide through the wonderful world of Sisbarro what a great name, just rolls off the tongue, yknow I got down to business. I told him up front what I wanted and what I expected. As for the latter
It is no secret that there is no, I repeat N-O, customer service left in this country these days. None, nada, zero. Corporate America, which has never been keen on real customer care to begin with, has become more enamored with the bottom line more than Bill Clinton loves pulled pork. So, when I say I told him what I expected, that means I said, in no uncertain terms, that I understood he was there to sell, and selling means lying and subterfuge and all the attendant philosophies which go with selling. So I asked him, nicely, not to lie to me and not to hard sell me and to TRY to remember that I am a customer. This appeal went very well, except for the fact that it fell on deaf ears.
I first stopped at a Jeep, a somewhat late model, but abused more than Dubya trampled the Constitution. No windows, broken parts, doors that would not open, then would not close. A real beauty and my alert sales-friend said a steal at somewhere between an annual mortgage payment and a blood oath. When I pointed out all the items wrong with the vehicle, he merely said that they were repairable. Not wishing to press the point, as the heat index was already nearing well-done, I continued to search the dusty lot. I browsed about ten minutes, and then, I saw it. IT. The ONE. Or, more precisely, exactly what I had wanted initially, had it actually been in working order and roadworthy.
It was a 1999 White Nissan Altima, sitting there in the sun, without a care in the world. Now, Sisbarro evidently knows a thing or two about marketing, cause this car had NO signs, labels or anything resembling a sales sticker attached to it. Sisbarro knows how to play hard to get, yes siree, they do. AND, never mind that until AFTER the sale was made, some five hours later, my salesperson thought it was a Nissan SENTRA, even though ALTIMA was imprinted on the rear of the vehicle and he was the one selling it, writing it up, etc. Sisbarro obviously looks far and wide for the sharpest tacks available, you betcha. So then Ted gets the key and urges me to test drive it, all the while ignoring my questions: How much is it? and How much is it? Truth is, he said, I dont know. Hmm I asked when he might come into that much needed information and he took off like a polemicist heading for a Tea Party, ostensibly to find out.
I cooled my heels standing in the oven that passes for southern New Mexico, my heels may have been the only cool area of my body while Ted rallied the troops and found me a price. He said, with a straight face, I can let you have this for forty-nine-ninety-five. Eleven years old, with much mileage on it, and here was Ted, whom I just met, doing me a great favor. I LOVE this country! And Sisbarro loves it, too. I think. Anyway, I insisted he come with me on my test drive, and off we went. The bucking and grinding did not seem to bother him, nor did the fact that the drivers side view mirror was literally falling apart. (It would come off in my hand later that day, while I was driving.) We did a circuit and returned to Sisbarro City, where honesty is yeah, whatever.
I said I liked it but then proceeded to walk around the car, with Ted, pointing out ALL the flaws, or at least those I could see. (Ive not used my X-ray vision in some time, and the cape is in mothballs.) He said, Make me an offer, which I did, and with which he scurried back to a trailer to Ask the sales manager. Right. The game had begun in earnest. The sales manager lets call him. Todd - not deigning to come out into the light of day, lest he either melt (Vampire reference) or soil himself with the massive hoards of customers bent on obtaining good transportation sent back a message with Ted that my offer was too low, and here was a counter offer. I remarked that Ted should have worn sneakers, as he was getting quite the workout, being courier between the high and mighty sales manager and the abuse-enjoying customer. Sisbarro sure has the classic system down to a tee.
Eventually we settled on a price, and Todd condescended to come outdoors and mix with the great unwashed. I figured out who he was by those who genuflected as he passed their way. I asked him, with Ted standing right there, about a trade in on my current car. He looked at it, turned up his nose and said, It would be better if you put it on Craigslist, or donated it. Nice. Sisbarro is all about the charity thing. Yay Sisbarro! I went back to the paperwork with which Ted presented me, forked over my hard-earned money and was on my way. Almost.
I drove across the street, literally across the street, to get gas. I took out the key, went inside the store, paid the clerk, returned to the car, pumped the gas and found I could not re-enter the car. Seriously. Yes, I had locked the doors, but I had the key, which, conveniently, would not fit the locks. ANY of the locks. At all. I then proceeded to walk which I had been trying precisely to avoid, which was I why I bought a car back across the street, to Sisbarro: Valley of the Damned, where I found Ted, related my recent woe and asked him to HELP ME, PLEASE!!! Which he did, G-d bless him. He walked with me, back across the street, to my very secure vehicle and FORCED THE KEY INTO A LOCK. Now, why hadnt I thought of that? Ill tell you why: 1). I aint that smart. 2). Sisbarro hires only the sharpest tacks around. Cmon, I already told you that. Pay attention.
We again parted company, with Ted nicely declining my offer for a ride back across the street. Now, what did he know that I did not? I took off for the journey home, about a twenty-minute trek which is normally uneventful. Except this time, I noticed that I kept having to slink lower and lower to use my side view mirror. Just in time I realized that it was about to become pavement fodder, and caught it as it slipped the surly bonds of the door and almost touched the roadway. Interesting concept, component cars. Boy, Sisbarro might be onto something here! Yay, Sisbarro.
I got home, exhausted more from the game playing than anything else, and treated myself to talking to my dog, who seems more inclined to give me straight answers than Sisbarros minions. I phoned my insurance agent, made the proper arrangements and, though it had been a hard fought battle, felt at ease. I had a car. A good car. A car that wasnt falling apart. A fantasy, to be sure.
A couple of days later, I went back to my mechanic and presented my new ride, with the admonition, Please fix stuff. I handed him the mirror, and mentioned, too, that there was some shake and shimmy on the highway. He said he would put his best man on it, and I sat down in the waiting area. I had sat for less time that it had taken Ted to jam the non-working key into the lock at the gas station, when I was called into the bay by the mechanic. Said he needed to show me some things. Indeed. What he found neither startled nor shocked me. What he found nearly put me into a catatonic state. I knew Sisbarro was generous, but what they gave me, in the form of alleged roadworthy transportation has to serve as a warning to anyone who thinks they can trust salespeople.
The mechanic started off by showing me two tires which were about to separate from the main body, perhaps while I was driving. Lug nuts and other goodies were sheared off. The oil leak was creating a nice slickness on the undercarriage, so much so that I could simulate ice skating, were I in the mood, sans tires. The entire list would take up more time than I spent actually buying the car, so, suffice it to say, it was bad. Very bad. How bad, one might ask? Bad to the tune of between $4,000 to $5,000. Which was way more than I paid for the sled. As I had neither whiskey nor a Valium with me, I sat down and tried to breath. I was so discomfited that I could not even utter the word Sisbarro, those wonderful folks who had unknowingly it must have been unknowing, cause who would ever do such a thing, right? sold me this thing. It wasnt, however, completely without merit. When we took it for the test drive, Ted had rummaged around the glove box and found lo and behold MARIJUANA! Tucked neatly inside some of the paperwork from the previous, if somewhat felonious owner. (I suppose Sisbarro people are way too busy to properly clean a new acquisition, thus our find of weed.)
Trying vainly to recover from the disbelief of being simultaneously cheated and almost killed or injured for the privilege, I phoned a manager at Sisbarro, who, shockingly, was actually compassionate, concerned and courteous. He promised to send over my salesperson straight away and bring me back to Sisbarros lovely, albeit slick and maybe a wee bit corrupt desert get-away, so I could pick out another death trap, er, uh used car. Darn, I hate when that happens. Anyway, forty-five minutes later, theres Ted, in a nice, new SUV, with a fresh cup of coffee and smile, which, unfortunately, I removed, by showing him the car he sold me, up on the lift, dripping oil and reeking of a laundry list of needed repairs. He was in a hurry you know how it is when you got to get out there and sell, sell, sell, no matter what the consequences so I did not dawdle beneath my nearly new now-former ride. I grabbed my stuff and off we went, the Sisbarro adventure continuing.
Back at the lot, all the lovely Sisbarro salespeople greeted me with such warmth that I nearly forgot I had been ripped off and perhaps nearly maimed, or killed. Their joking did me a world of good: Liked the car so much, decided to come back a git another?! Whoo, boy, thats a hoot. Those Sisbarro folks sure know how to have a good time. I explained to anyone willing to listen that my purchase was in such bad shape, the mechanic had advised me against even getting into it again, much less driving it away. The term Death Trap seemed to fill the air. And so, I began again the process of kicking up dust as I shuffled among Sisbarros sand-covered inventory, under the canopy of a blazing New Mexico summer sky.
To his credit, this time, Ted did his best, even driving me to a motel parking lot, where we cruised by a newly acquired Cadillac I think I once saw on a Seinfeld episode, telling me it was a beauty, and a steal. Sure, the gas mileage is just below that of a riding mower, but hey, at least the paint wasnt peeling! Yay, Sisbarro! I demurred, nicely, and said maybe it as time for me to move on, take a refund and go elsewhere. But Ted, staunch defender of consumer rights, would not hear of such a thing. So he drove me to a Volkswagen dealer. I am not sure of the correlation, but maybe he was just trying to kill time. Anyway, I found nothing there to my liking and so back we went, to Sisbarros Death Valley East, and I stress the Death part.
I knew Teds patience was wearing thin, as he kept finding errands to run, always with the admonition, Take your time and look around. Now, truth be told, I had spent so much time walking this barren desiccated slice of real estate festooned with balloons that I could have started hawking cars. Heck, I was considered a sucker, so why couldnt I convince a similar sad sack to take pity on me and buy a vintage POS? Should have thought of it sooner. Anyway
I finally spied a little beauty in the back, this one with proper hardware and all four tires intact! It was blue, the same color I was feeling, so I figured it was fate, or at least the nearing of the end of the curse that brought me there in the first place, to Sisbarro and their wonderful oh, you get the picture. Ted saw my eyes widen as I perused the cobalt-colored cruiser and he immediately urged me to test drive it. I figured that he figured that maybe, if the current luck were to hold out, just maybe something else would befall me, since the wheels were in good shape, and I maybe, perhaps, I would not be coming back in one piece, if at all. But then I thought, nah, Ted and his wonderful employer, SISBARRO, would never, ever wish a customer ill. Right?
Once more, I drove the circuit, this time paying attention to well, pretty much everything, and fully appreciating the fact that all the mirrors stayed intact this time around. Except for the little detail of the mileage nearing somewhere in the vicinity of a trip to the moon, literally it seemed fine. Almost. I am no master mechanic, but in viewing the engine, I could spy another dreaded leak, along with a deposit of corrosion near the battery. I dolefully asked Ted if I could take the car to my mechanic before purchasing it this time around. Not only was happy to allow me this perk, but the alacrity with which he handed me back the key suggested he would rather spend a couple of hours basking in the bakery of a Sisbarro sunbath than to have to put up with me any longer. And so, off I went.
This time around, while the news was not nearly as dreadful as before, there were repairs needed before the car was truly roadworthy, including the patching-up of another oil leak. It seems to me that Sisbarro and oil leak must be synonymous. In fact, I think I heard a news report the other day, in which BPs trouble in the Gulf of Mexico was referred as another Sisbarro. When I asked for a rough estimate on the price of the mending, two mechanics differed, enough so to make me queasy. But I was assured that the repairs would be sufficient to keep me safe on the road, as long I did not drive near a Sisbarro property. And so, there it was
I picked up my car a couple of days later and was fairly pleased to learn that the cost was much lower than I had been told, and dreaded. I paid my bill, climbed into my newly-though-obstacle-laden acquired chariot and took off. Of course I was hesitant as I headed out into the desert, on a several hour excursion, but the car performed admirably. Almost. As I drove over a rough section of pavement, not two miles from Sisbarros main showroom, the glove box crashed open, the locking mechanism completely disintegrating. Maybe the car was having convulsions at the site of its former home. Ythink?
AFTERMATH Sisbarro rates less than 0
Humor aside, this was truly one of the lousiest customer service encounters I have ever had the displeasure to experience. And not just because I was lied to and sold a car that was more than a potential death trap. But because I asked, nicely NOT to be lied to, to be treated somewhat fairly and was ignored. Also, because of the rude, disrespectful, discourteous and disgusting manner in which I was treated by Todd, the sales manager, whose aloofness and arrogance were on full display throughout the times I was present on the lot. I was told by my salesman time and again that the sales manager was unavailable to speak with customers. Yet I kept seeing a continuous procession of customers entering the building where he stationed himself. (Some excuse will be given, of course.)
Furthermore, his complete lack of respect for me was in full evidence when, while sitting with my salesman and discussing the second purchase, Todd interrupted, without so much as a Please excuse me, and told Ted that he was wanted in the office immediately. Ted took off like the proverbial bat out of Sisbarros and I was left at the picnic table, alone, bewildered and totally lacking any understanding of why I was being treated that way. Almost no understanding. And then it occurred to me, and it all made perfect sense. I am Jewish. And, one might ask, what difference does that make, and how would someone else know that information? Well, Ill tell you.
While I am not an Orthodox Jew, I do normally wear a yarmulke, sometimes beneath a hat. I may or may not keep the hat on, but my head is usually covered, keeping in line with Judaic tradition. Now, there are not many of us Semites in these parts, and hardly any who wear traditional garb of any type, so when we show up someplace, thats big news. And, truth be sadly told, this country is still a hot bed of racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism, even it is tacit and not talked about openly. So, was this the reason I was treated like a piece of dirt by the sales manager, Todd? Since I was on the receiving end of the conduct, my perspective says, Yes. Of course, Sisbarro and those involved will deny this and swear oaths up and down that they treat everyone the same way, which really is a pity, when you think about. So maybe I was treated in the same nasty manner with which Sisbarro treats Hispanics and women and gay persons and people of color and anyone who is not white, male and buying the newest, most expensive vehicle on the lot. Something to think about.
When Ted returned several minutes later, I was already walking up to Todd, ready to give him a piece of my rapidly working mind. While I am not often given to invective, I was close, but remembered something my late mother taught me: Wait. Their turn will come. And so I approached him, trying my best to remain professional and somewhat responsible in my language. He turned to me, offered up a humorous comment on a vehicle which had just been brought in and then realized that I was not laughing. Instead, I was chastising him for ordering my salesman to tend to other business while we were in negotiations. He pleaded ignorance this one I could believe and hemmed and hawed his apologies. By the sound of this, I could tell that he did not have the benefit of a proper upbringing, as did some of us. And then there is Ted.
Teds main squawk was his over twenty years in the business, which is kind of wan, when one goes through such a mess as this. Twenty years pushing cars, and he couldnt spot a piece of trash which should not have been on the lot in the first place? I later learned, from more than one source, that the first car, the Altima was slated for auction and never should have been offered at all. Very nice, Go Sisbarro.
I told him about the oil leaks and he offered me a free oil change. I said fine, give me your card and I will come in. Of course, he had no card, and why would he? After all, this was a big sale over a period of numerous days, and why would a senior salesperson need business cards? It took me literally three trips to finally get his card, with the promised oil change. And his comment when he finally handed me the much sought after card? Well, he did show up! (sic)
I have taken stock of everything, now that it appears to be done. I have a vehicle, for which I was charged way more than it is worth, no title as yet and it is way past time for that to have arrived, a repair bill of several hundred dollars, a busted glove compartment, and the promise of a free oil change.
Oh, yeah and the worst taste in my mouth in quite some time.
Maybe Sisbarro is not the worst of their ilk, but they certainly are heading for that title.
When contacted for comment on the foregoing article, no response was forthcoming.
Addendum: Yesterday afternoon, a woman from Sisbarro phoned my home and left a message that my title was ready to be picked up. She was asked to please send an email as well, confirming this and telling me her name and where to come. No email was ever received, another indication of NO CUSTOMER SERVICE.
THIS ARTICLE IS 2010 B.Y. BEN-MEIR MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED, TRANSMITTED, PUBLISHED OR OTHERWISE USED WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR.