My Buyer Story
Updated: Apr 28, 2021
I wish that I had started this blog a lot earlier so each disappointment would have had it's own blog post but seeing how I was very tolerant for an extended period of time this first post is quite lengthy to get you all caught up. This is a long read so grab some chips and a beer.
I have now had not one but two very unpleasant buying experiences with Carvana. I would like to think that I am not one to overreact and being the owner of a few businesses I certainly understand that things happen and that is how I allowed myself to be disappointed a second time.
My first experience was after my daughter was rear ended and her car was totaled while away at college. We found a great little 2018 Toyota Corolla with only 4,631 miles on it at a fair price so I quickly started my purchase of the vehicle using their loan services because it is late at night and I do not have access to my normal bankers. I will now bullet point the key parts of the transaction as to not bore you all too much.
The next day Carvana informed me that I would need to be present in Arizona for the delivery but I live in Massachusetts and was not about to fly 5000 miles round trip during a pandemic to sign for a car when I can purchase real estate using tools online. I even offered to give my daughter a power of attorney for the transaction but that was not acceptable.
So on day two I need to initiate a conversation with my bank to get a loan in my daughters name who has never had a loan before. This is inconvenient but it is quick and easy considering my relationship with the bank and helps establish her credit as well as get a better interest rate. The downside is that I now have an additional hard look at my credit score for no reason at all.
Now the problem is that seeing how they demanded that my daughter have her own account for the purchase and that my name not be on it because I could not be present to sign at delivery they will no longer give me any information at all regarding the purchase. My daughter suffers from high anxiety as it is and now she is put on the spot to do things that she has never been involved with before. She now is stuck acting as a go between for the rest of this purchase in which they regularly word things as if she can lose the car by not meeting unreasonable timelines even though everything is in order with the payment and insurance company.
The day before the car arrives my daughter gets a message that her delivery is unexpectedly delayed (Get used to hearing this). So now she needs to rearrange her schedule which is not easy between school and also working two part time jobs as a server. Not to mention she has been relying on friends and had the additional Uber costs to get to where she needs to be for weeks now. Additional anxiety and cost incurred with little understanding on Carvana's part.
So the car arrives in what I assume is an acceptable condition because my daughter signs for it and is assured that Carvana is handling the registration of the new vehicle and she will have her new plates shortly.
I get a call from my insurance agency almost a month later that there is still no registration for that car and that they are concerned because the documents that they filled out are only good for 30 days here in Massachusetts. That is another topic entirely. I am now concerned that my daughter may be driving an unregistered car and at no fault of her own and this does little good for her anxiety yet again.
My insurance company then needs to put in additional effort and work with Carvana in order to get them new papers so that they can start this registration process again. I would think that a national company would be well aware of the requirements in each state and have policies and procedures for each.
Ok, that overall was not that bad and each time we had an issue they seemed to have reasonable excuses as to why. Being my first time purchasing a car in this manner I was not surprised that there were some small issues and really did not give it much more thought. It was done and in the end it worked out just fine. I was a little disappointed but completely bought into all the excuses that they gave me.
Fast forward a month or so and I just happened to click on a Carvana email that popped into my inbox and I decided to search for a new car for myself to see what might be out there. I save a couple of criteria for some models that I am interested in and check back every few days to see what is available. I finally just happen to be on the site when it recommends a 2018 Jaguar F-Type and those things sell within minutes on that site so I immediately click the start transaction button to make sure that I have the car secured while I can look over the details and pictures. The car looks good and I proceed with the purchase. It is the evening of 3/25/2021 and I complete the transaction using their loan service because it is late at night and once again I do not have access to my normal bankers. Again I will now bullet point the key parts of this transaction.
The next day I let Carvana know that I will need the transaction in my company's name because the trade is in the company's name and I am told that is not possible with their loan services.
The representative asked me if I want to release that transaction and proceed to get lending through my normal bank and I said yes. What they did not say was that as soon as they release that transaction it starts a 30 minute timer in which you need to secure the car again or it is offered back to the market. It was only because I happened to look at the site for an unrelated reason that I realized that a good amount of my time has expired already. I was able to contact them and get an extension but I am dumbfounded as to why they would do that without any warning.
Once again here I am on day two initiating a hasty conversation with my bank for another loan so that I can have the car in my company's name. Luckily they know me well enough that the transaction was approved in around an hour. I have them deposit the funds to my company account and change my payment method to CASH in the purchase details.
This little inconvenience takes my initial delivery day of 4/5/2021 and pushes it to 4/7/2021 but Mondays are busy so I really do not mind that much but now there is another unnecessary hard look on my credit report.
So all this happens on Friday 3/26/2021 and the car is again mine. That night I am made aware that they need some additional items from my insurance company and I am told that they need these by Monday 3/29/2021 at 9:00am or the car will be released back to market. I am not sure if Carvana thinks that the entire world is a 24hr Seven Eleven but there is no way at all that I can get them what they need by that time. Not to mention that they are 3 hours behind us on the East Coast but I figure that if I get up early Monday morning and rush to my insurance agency that I can probably get it done.
Over the weekend I am also made aware that I need to verify that there is enough money in my account to pay cash for the car upon delivery. And as you can guess this also needs to be confirmed before Monday 3/29/2021 of the car will be released back to the market. Did I mention that Mondays are already my busiest day of the week?
So Monday morning arrives and I am at my office printing out the insurance/registration form that Carvana needs so desperately and a nice representative calls me to ask if I have the items that I need. I was literally headed out the office doors and kept him on the line for my entire journey to the insurance company and then to my bank. His name was Brandon and he was actually quite helpful and saw to it that it was all handled properly and that I could get back to my morning interviews and meetings.
Maybe 5 minutes after I hung up with Brandon and only a few minutes before my first interview another Carvana representative called me and proceeded with the same exact call that I just was on the line with Brandon for close to an hour and a half. I was out of time and patience and had to cut her off quickly letting her know that they definitely needed better communication on their end.
So a few days before my car is to be delivered I get a message that it has to be delayed (I told you to get used to this) and that a representative will be reaching out to me. I am not happy at all especially when the representative tells me that the car needed some "lug nuts" and that is a safety issue. I then told her that I could easily overnight some lug nuts from Britain if every dealer in the US was out of stock which is pretty unlikely. At this point I am starting to see a pattern. I ask them why the car was not ready for delivery before being offered for sale. I mean how can you place a value on anything without assessing it and making appropriate repairs prior. I was told that is just how they do it.
I point out that I am seeing all the same patterns in this transaction as the last one and call them out on these issues. These are not random or unexpected. It appears that this is their normal operating procedure. I tell them that it is not very easy to rearrange my schedule and I have already done that once for them. I demand compensation for my time and apparently they think that $25.00/day is adequate. I tell them that my time is worth substantially more than that but they just push me to agree to another delivery date of their choosing on 4/15/2021. I reluctantly agree and go on with my day.
Here is a little kicker. They extended the delivery date by 8 days but informed me to make sure that I do not go over the allotted 1000 miles from the odometer photo that I sent them on the first day that I bought the car. I asked them what the additional mileage would be with the delay on their end and they told me that they allowed no additional miles. I am not sure what planet they think this is remotely fair on but I am losing patience with these people quickly.
Next I receive a text stating that if I have arranged the insurance policy (Of course I did and they know that because they demanded that earlier) to change that I would want to correct that to be sure that I continued to have coverage on my existing car. So now I need to contact my insurance agency again and get them to redo the paperwork and create a new insurance binder so that I can prove that I have coverage at delivery. More people inconvenienced by the lack of infrastructure within Carvana.
Now there will be another loan payment being drafted on my current car because of this delay and I will have my current car longer. So I need to get together with my bank to redo the papers and calculate a new payoff for my current loan. More people inconvenienced by the lack of infrastructure within Carvana.
So let's fast forward to roughly 24 hours before my delivery and wouldn't you know it I get an email and text stating that they need to delay my delivery yet again. I told you to get used to it. If you have lost count this is now my 3rd delivery date for this $45k used Jaguar that I am essentially paying cash for. The messages tell me that a Carvana representative will be reaching out to me. The excuse this time is "the intended delivery advocate could not make it to work today".
So no Carvana representative reaches out to me. I get no call, no messages, nothing. I do not blame them because the truth is I certainly would not want to talk to me about this transaction at this point but it once again shows zero communication within that company. I am writing this on 4/15/2021 because it was last night that I decided that people need to be aware of these details. I will update this as time goes on and let you all know how this ends but for now I am just waiting for that representative to reach out to me. At that point I will simply tell them that they do not get paid enough and ask them to have someone from the executive office call me. But I seriously doubt that the representative even calls and it is impossible to get a phone number or direct contact for their headquarters or I would have already called them.