Thompson Chrysler: One of the better dealers

-IMHO-


            Posted to the Ram Truck Mailing List

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Subject: [RAM] I am bombing my dealer!!!
Date:    Sun, 27 Jul 1997 22:22:13 -0400 (EDT)
From:   SportaRam@aol.com
To:       RTML

Fellow Rammers,  I have had it!!!  My dealer, Shelor's in Christiansburg Virginia has got to be the most incompetent group of idiots to ever touch a truck.  I feel like taking my truck and putting it right back on the showroom floor where I got it, except I don't plan to open any doors to let it in!!

Before everyone reads the reason why I hate my dealer so much, I have a simple question:  Has anyone taken their truck to be fixed at a dealer other than their original dealer??  I know some people have had similar troubles with their dealers.

So far, on a 1997 Ram CC 360 4x4 Sport Auto purchased in October of 97 I have had the following:  (by the way, the dealer is 30 miles from my home)

1)  Got truck, felt like tire out of balance on rear (famous hopping).  Month or so, returned to balance.  Shelors balanced all 4, helped some, but still there at certain speeds

2)  Took back later--Hopping worse, especially on braking--Dealer said was tires--not covered by warranty.  I would wait on tires to wear out.

3)  Steering column felt clunky, was making popping sound.  Took to dealer, replaced intermediate shaft.  Fixed clunky, still making sound.

4)  Tires not wearing out fast enough, couldn't stand hopping anymore.  Took to dealer, told him to prove it was the tires.  Factory rep and service mgr. drove, said it was brakes.  Turned rotors and drums.  Fixed hopping when braking.

5)  Got home, drove vehicle down steep hill.  NO BRAKES.  Could have used my foot and stopped faster.  Called dealer,  Said to bring back.

6)  Brakes are fine.  Service mgr said they were normal.  I said BS, he said Ok, and what do you know, pads not matching up with rotors.  New pads.  Stops like it should.

7)  Drive home,  get out, rear drums so damn tight, you could smell them.  Called dealer: Did you tighten rear brakes?  "No, we backed it up a lot though, that may have done it?"  More BS.  Bring back--.

8)  Bring back, same day.  Mechanic comes out.  "they are supposed to get hot"  are they supposed to smell like they are on fire?  "I'll check", did you adjust them?  "yeah, I tightened them"  Service manager lied.

9)  Drove vehicle home, brakes finally seemed ok.

10) Put RS9000's on truck.  Best money I've spent.  No more hopping.

11) Take truck back to dealer last week.  Stinky AC,. Recall on transmission lines, Popping noise in steering column.  Dealer sprays stuff in AC, helped that day, but stink is back.  Dealer replaced intermediate shaft again.--why I have no clue since the sound was in the column in the vehicle. not the engine compartment.  Guy says noise was clock spring?

I think he is full of BS, so I want to get second opinion.  Hopefully, a permanent solution to my Shelor problem.

Maybe blowing them up is too extreme......NAH!!!!!
SportaRam@aol.com  1997 1500 4x4  360 CC auto Sport 3.55, HD serv, Rancho RS
9000's, Mopar UTR liner, Step's, window visors, Lund Screen Fronts.

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Date:        Mon, 28 Jul 1997 08:22:16 -0400
From:       KI4CY <my email address>
To:           ramtruck
Subject:   Re: [RAM] I am bombing my dealer!!!

SportaRam@aol.com wrote:
>
>  Fellow Rammers,  I have had it!!!  My dealer, Shelor's in Christiansburg
>  Virginia has got to be the most incompetent group of idiots to ever touch a
>  truck.

Just another one of Shelor's typical customers!  They have quite a reputation here.

Dominion Dodge in Salem (540) 387-0202 at 1259 E Main, Salem (near Rt 419) and Thompson Chrysler (540) 639-3938 on Rt 11 between Christiansburg and Radford both have 5 star service departments. They both also end up servicing a lot of Shelor vehicles. You won't get top scheduling priority , but they will do warranty work on your truck.

A word of warning to others planning a vehicle purchase: Ask yourself if the $400 savings over the life of the vehicle is worth the grief you will get from a dealer like Sh**lor. Unfortunately, many new people move into this area and get royally screwed by Shelor before they hear about the service department's reputation.

Regards,   Dave

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Date:      Mon, 28 Jul 1997 23:34:21 -0400 (EDT)
From:     SportaRam@aol.com
To:         ramtruck@vcs.org
Subject: [RAM] was "I am bombing.".now, I HAVE NEW DEALER!!!!

Rammers,

I am the guy who started the thread about bombing my dealer.  Well, it looks like I may never set foot on Shelors lot again, unless I feel the urge to take a crap or something in one of the service bays.  Some very surprising things have happened.

Here they are:

I called Dominion Dodge here in Roanoke.  They are a five star dealer, much closer to me than Shelors in Christiansburg.  I set up an appointment to have my truck looked at next Tuesday.  Then, I told the guy that I bought it at Shelors.  He said the owner would not let him work on anything under warranty unless it was bought there or out of this area.  I then told him to pass along to his owner that he had just lost the opportunity to get a future customer.

I then called Thompson Chrysler Plymouth Dodge in Radford-a few miles further than Shelors, but not much.  I talked to the nicest person I think I have ever dealt with over the phone at any car dealer.  She said she would be more than happy to look at my truck.  "We get a lot of cars and trucks from Shelors", she said.  She said Chrysler corporation sends them to her.  This is a small dealership, unlike Shelor's Automotive Shopping center.

I explained the problem, and she said there is a new TSB on the column that came out end of june or first of July that also involves replacing the brake lines?  She said shelors should have done this, along with replacing the upper  column.

I told her about the stinky AC.  She said Chrysler has a new more powerful cleaner that they are supposed to use per a TSB, but it has been on backorder for months.  she said to bear with them and they would make sure something was done, I was not alone.

I told her about the hop in the rear end.  I told her about my nine trips to shelors and eventually, because of this page, replacing the shocks.  She asked, "did it fix it"--yes, for the most part it is fixed.  She then asked, "Did Shelors pay for your shocks?"  I almost fell over in the floor with laughter.  I said yeah right!!!  She told me to bring her the receipts and paperwork, she would try to get my money back from Chrysler.

By the time I got off the phone with this woman, I was ready to marry her.  How refreshing to deal with someone who cares and treats you like a customer, not money in the bank.

I will let you all know how it goes next Tuesday and what happens.

SportaRam@aol.com 97 Club Cab 4x4 360 auto 3.55 rear sprt pkg. Rancho Rs
9000's, Mopar UTR liner, Lund Screen Fronts, Vent Visors, Mopar splash
guards, steps.

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Date:      Tue, 29 Jul 1997 11:42:46 -0400
From:     KI4CY <my email address>
To:         ramtruck
Subject: Re: [RAM] was "I am bombing.".now, I HAVE NEW DEALER!!!!

SportaRam@aol.com wrote:

> I then called Thompson Chrysler Plymouth Dodge in Radford-a few miles further
> than Shelors, but not much.  I talked to the nicest person I think I have
> ever dealt with over the phone at any car dealer.  She said she would be more
> than happy to look at my truck.  < --- snip --- >
> By the time I got off the phone with this woman, I was ready to marry her.
>  How refreshing to deal with someone who cares and treats you like a
> customer, not money in the bank.

Even good 5 star dealers (Thompson included) may have trouble fixing something, or may put you off a few times with the old "they all do that" routine. Eventually they will solve the problem if you work with them and treat them with respect.

My truck had steering problems that took several attempts to fix, but Thompson kept working with it until the true solution to the problem became obvious. At times the process was frustrating, but we all kept our cool.

It also helps if you leave a note on the dashboard for the service technician outlining the problem, the conditions needed to reproduce the problem, and a history of what has been done previously to correct the problem.

Too many times I have given an oral AND written history to a service manager, and the technician has seen only "check x" on the ticket. Often, this done so that the technician can produce an unbiased diagnosis of the problem. In my experience, a note directly to the technician will solve the problem in fewer trips.

Just remember, Shelor wants to swallow up all of the independent dealers in the area. If no one buys from the other dealers, they can't stay in business. Support those who care about the customers and we will all be better off. I was sorry to hear that Dominion in Salem no longer does warranty work for Shelor customers, but I can understand their reluctance to constantly get stuck with cleaning up another dealers mess.

I personally know people who complain constantly about the lousy service, but continue to trade cars at Shelor because they can save a few dollars on the purchase price. A friend of mine has a sign in his store that says: "We have no quarrel with the man who sell his product for a lower price, he is the best judge of what his product is worth".    Buyer beware!

Regards,   Dave

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Date:            Wed, 30 Jul 1997 22:40:39 -0400 (EDT)
From:           SportaRam@aol.com
To:               ramtruck
Subject: Re: [RAM] was "I am bombing.".now, I HAVE NEW DEALER!!!!

In a message dated 97-07-30 01:02:15 EDT, RAMTUFF4X@aol.com  writes:

>  i just have one question if you go to this new dealer and it all works out
>  will you buy your next truck from them instead of Shelor even if they are
>  $500-$600 higher

I will buy my next truck from them, if it all works out, I feel sure.  I don't have to worry about Shelor's price because I WILL NEVER SET FOOT ON THEIR LOT AGAIN!!!  I always go by dealer invoice.  I know what kind of deal I am getting.  I will probably order my next truck anyway, that way, I will get a better deal up front, and will be able to exactly what I want on it.

SportaRam@aol.com  1997 1500 4x4  360 CC auto Sport 3.55, HD serv, Rancho RS
9000's, Mopar UTR liner, Step's, window visors, Lund Screen Fronts.

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Date:      Tue, 5 Aug 1997 22:04:05 -0400 (EDT)
From:     SportaRam@aol.com
To:         ramtruck
Subject: [RAM] was bombing dealer, Finally a great dealer!!!! And hopefully Free Shocks!!!

Felllow Rammers,

Well, today was the day.  I am the guy that said he was going to bomb his dealer last week.  Had my truck there so many times I have frequent warranty (flyer) miles!!!  I finally found a different dealer that would work on my truck, and hopefully fix my steering column rattle. Here is how it went:

Dealer appt at 9:30.  I arrive at 9:20.  Lady I originally talked to was not there yet.  Talked to another service guy.  He took all my paperwork from my former dealer and almost suffered a hernia.  Then he asked if I had a number I could be reached at.  I told him I was waiting on it.  Well, the lady I had talked to didn't make a note of that he said.  He would try to get it in as quickly as he could.

20 minutes later, TWO mechanics get in my truck and drive off.  They come back, pull it in the service bay.  I walk around in to the bay and ask them what it is.  One of them tells me they are checking the part number of what Shelors (my former dealer) put on (intermediate shaft).  Then, the original service guy I talked to comes out and says "let me introduce you to your mechanic, This is Jackie"  Jackie shakes my hand and then tells me that Shelors put on and old design steering column.  The new design has some kind of (he said but I don't remember) big rubber bushing and knuckle at the top of it that eliminates any noise from the engine bay.  The knuckle is so big, that on some vehicles, they actually have to reroute the brake lines to where they go to the rear on the engine side of the master cylinder instead of to the outside.  My truck was already routed like that.  He said he wanted to start there and make sure the intermediate shaft was not the problem.

He then said he had just put one on another truck and that fixed the problem (How many times have we all heard that!!).  He then said, its sitting in the parking lot, you want to see it?  Sure, so I go look at a 4x4 Regular cab black ram sitting there, sure enough, new column with a big ole rubber knuckle at the top of it.  Talked with him a little more.  He asked me if I wanted to see the TSB on it and what was involved.  Great, so we go over to the computer, he pulls it up and shows me everything that he has to order.  I eventually shook hands and thanked him, and he said "There are still some of us who care about customer service" and then he actually apologized for Shelors' Ineptness.

So then, I go to talk to the sweet lady I originally talked to.   She talks to me for a good twenty minutes.  She lets me look at the TSB Book for a problem my dad was having with his brakes on his 2500.  Then she has someone make copies of all my paperwork and the receipts for my shocks (Rancho RS 9000's).  She takes the originals of those and gives me back copies.  She (Leesa Andrews), tells me more than likely, I will get my money back on them. She said she would submit it to chrysler as a customer reimbursement.  Anyway, they ordered the new shaft, treated me like gold, and will have my business from now on.

This dealer only sells Chrysler's, has 3 master mechanics, and all Dodge mechanics, and is a Five star dealer.  Leesa also asked for the web address of this page and how to get on it.  Come to find out, their main computer at the dealer is on the net.  She said she would be interested in seeing the problems and solutions some people are finding.

SportaRam@aol.com  1997 1500 4x4  360 CC auto Sport 3.55, HD serv, Rancho RS
9000's, Mopar UTR liner, Step's, window visors, Lund Screen Fronts.

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Date:      Wed, 6 Aug 1997 18:40:37 -0400 (EDT)
From:     SportaRam@aol.com
To:         ramtruck
Subject: Re: [RAM] was bombing dealer, Finally a great dealer!!!! And hopefully Free Shoc

In a message dated 97-08-06 12:11:28 EDT, you write:

> So who IS this dealer, huh?  Don't keep us in suspense!!!!!! :)
>

Thompson Chrysler Plymouth Dodge in Radford, VA on Route 11.

SportaRam@aol.com  1997 1500 4x4  360 CC auto Sport 3.55, HD serv, Rancho RS
9000's, Mopar UTR liner, Step's, window visors, Lund Screen Fronts.

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Date:      Thu, 07 Aug 1997 08:23:14 -0400
From:     KI4CY <my email address>
To:         ramtruck@vcs.org
Subject: Re:  [RAM] was bombing dealer, Finally a great dealer!!!! And hopefully Free Shoc

BTW:   Jackie is a very good mechanic and owns a V10 Ram 3500 which he has "slammed" with a custom made air suspension. When you are in the service dept and he is not too busy, have him tell you about it. Like most of us, he loves to talk about his Ram.

Regards,   Dave

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Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997 20:57:25 -0400 (EDT)
From: SportaRam@aol.com
To:  ramtruck
Subject: [RAM] My new dealer paid me for my Rancho's!!!!!!

Rammers,

Well, less than a month ago, I sent to RTML that I had bombed my original dealer and had found another one that was treating me like gold.  I told her (my new service advisor) that I also had put Rancho RS 9000's to fix a hopping in the rear end.  She told me to bring her the receipts, she thought she could get Chrysler to pay for them.  Well, today I got a check in the mail from Thompson Chrysler Plymouth for 310$ and some odd cents.

Now that my friends,  Is a dealer that cares!!!!  My next Ram will come from them.

Travis
SportaRam@aol.com  1997 1500 4x4  360 CC auto Sport 3.55, HD serv, Rancho RS
9000's, Mopar UTR liner, Step's, window visors, Lund Screen Fronts.

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Date:      Thu, 21 Aug 1997 05:26:50 -0700
From:     Phillip Solow <solow@mutoh.com>
To:         ramtruck
Subject: RE: [RAM] My new dealer paid me for my Rancho's!!!!!!

Score one for the good guy

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