Shantiya LeMay needed a vehicle.
The transmission in her old car died and she no longer wanted to use her daughter’s car.
She decided to buy a vehicle from Carvana, an online-only used car dealership that delivers vehicles to your home.
âI had no idea it would be a major nightmare,â LeMay said.
She selected a 2017 GMC Terrain on March 31, made the purchase, arranged the financing and insurance, and waited for delivery.
Its wheels arrived on April 5.
It was a relief to finally have a vehicle, she said, so she no longer had to worry about transportation to and from her job as a patient care technician an hour and fifteen minutes from her home in the south. of Orange.
Everything seemed to be going well until the vehicle was towed on July 14.
When she tried to retrieve the truck, she had a big surprise. The vehicle she bought was not the one she had driven for 100 days, the single mother of four said.
Carvana sent the wrong truck, she said.
Police noticed that the truck’s VIN number did not match its temporary plate, she said.
âThey towed him because he looked suspicious,â she said.
Not only was it an unimaginable mistake on the dealer’s part, she said, but she had driven without insurance the entire time.
And because she didn’t have the correct papers for the vehicle, she couldn’t get it out of the tow park.
When she called Carvana, the situation only got worse.
âThey told me they delivered the wrong vehicle to me and I should have known because the mileage was different,â she said. “I had no idea looking at the car that it was different from what I had ordered.”
Carvana offered to amend the purchase contract to keep the 2018 which was now in the tow yard. He also said he would pay the towing fee of $ 185 plus the daily storage fee of $ 26.
He also offered her $ 1,000, and then another $ 500, to cover the rental costs.
But now, more than a month after the error was revealed, LeMay is still without his vehicle. She has used the rental car money and is forced to borrow cars from friends or family, pay for ridesharing services, or pay out of pocket to get a new rental.
Carvana has been extremely slow on the paperwork, she said.
“Then they still have to register it, which will take 30 days or more, so I envision a few more weeks or a month where I would need a rental,” she said, noting that it did. costs almost $ 1,000 for a weekly car rental. “But they said they weren’t helping me anymore.”
Then things got worse.
She learned that her first three car payments to Bridgecrest Financial, a sister company of Carvana, had not been recorded, even though the funds had been taken from her bank account. She started receiving threatening messages regarding payments, but even after sharing copies of her bank statements showing automatic withdrawals, the company did not correct the errors.
Then, because she had to pay rent, she couldn’t make the payment on her August loan and she delayed paying the tuition, she said.
“If I lose my job – that’s how I paid my rent during the pandemic – I can’t afford to lose my job,” she said, and asked for help. at Bamboozled.
We went through all of LeMay’s documentation on the vehicle and its loan, and we asked Carvana about the error and the heist.
He would only say that he is “committed to ensuring that the customer’s needs are met.”
But contact with Bridgecrest resulted in action.
Clay Scheitzach, general counsel for Bridgecrest, said in an email that LeMay’s payments “have been or are being reapplied”.
He said he escalated the problem with the truck to Carvana and now he will cover his rental costs until the truck is registered and ready for the road.
Companies would also fix things with an offer.
“They suggested that Ms. LeMay waive the August payment and offered to pay the next three monthly payments as a gesture of goodwill,” Scheitzach said.
At $ 460 per month, that’s a savings of $ 1,840.
He said they will also make sure there are no negative scores on his credit report.
Soon after, LeMay got a call from Carvana, but she is still angry, saying her life is still in turmoil.
âI have been punished in all walks of life for a mistake made by Carvana. I have been ignored, lied to, bamboozled, humiliated and punished for their incompetence,â she said.
“I’m not going to stop until they keep every promise that was made, every penny paid back and my car in my possession,” LeMay said.
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Karin Price Mueller can be contacted at [email protected].