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Car Dealership reviews in White Bear Lake

Real People ~ Real Reviews ~ Real Results

  • I took my 2003 Dodge Caravan Sport to the service department of Barnett White Bear Chrysler, Dodge,Jeep for an oil change and some other vehicle problems. The other problems included a passenger-side front window that no longer "worked", an engine light that indicated some trouble, and an "ABS" light that went on and off erratically.
    The cost for the window problem was $421.50; the cost for diagnosing and repairing the ABS problem was $375. This latter cost of $375 was all labor; they replaced a corroded contact.
    While driving my vehicle home from the dealership the ABS light went on. I called the service department and was advised to bring the vehicle back at my convenience. I decided that the problem did not demand immediate attention. The next day, with my wife in the front passenger seat, I parked the car; and she could not open her door. Upon checking as to whether or not the door was still locked - and it was not locked - I realized that whatever mechanism allowed the door to be opened from the inside was not operational. Bummer!
    When I returned with the vehicle to Barnett's service department, they did repair the front door; but to repair the ABS problem cost another $395.75. I questioned the labor charge, which was $187.50. The answer was that they had to diagnose the problem before repairing it (I had already paid $375 for an ABS problem diagnosis
    I realize that a car dealer is going to charge top dollar for any repair service; and I am willing to pay that premium price for excellent service. However, this last experience has been troubling, time-consuming, and extremely expensive. Also, it was anything but "excellent". It was slipshod at best. When I questioned why the door problem occurred, the answer was "Silliness". Great.
    In the future, I may use this service department again, because in the past (except for the fiasco detailed above} I have been satisfied with the service.
    - FRED S.
  • We ordered a 30ft trailer last spring during a special promotion that manufacturer was running. We took delivery just before memorial day. When we started shopping we wanted to go with a larger dealership (so it would be around in the future) and one that was either close to home, or near a route that we took often (various places out of town we go a lot). They are close to home - we don't even have to get on a freeway to get to them from our house.
    Overall we're happy with the dealership. That's not to say we haven't had some issues. But the real test of a good company is how they handle things that come up.
    Early in the process when we first started looking we had problems with emailing them. At the time they were having problems with the dealership's email accounts - email not getting through, that sort of thing. That continued from the time we first started looking until after we actually purchased the trailer. I'm not sure how you can run a business this day in age without reliable email. It's particularly important to us because my wife works overnights and so 'during normal business hours' she's sleeping and I try not to even talk on the phone then.
    As for the promotion that was going on when we purchased. There's a couple possibilities as to what went wrong and I don't know which I believe. Either the manufacturer did not tell the dealership when exactly the promotion was ending, or the dealership did not tell the sales people when it was ending.
    In any case a few days before the promotion ended we stopped in to take another look at the trailer we had been looking at. We had pretty much decided to get it at that point but wanted to think about it for a couple more days. We asked the sales guy if we'd be ok waiting a few more days to decide - he said that would be fine. He never mentioned that the promotion would end on x date.
    I emailed him a few days later, only to get a response several days after that saying the promotion had ended on the date I sent the email to him. Needless to say I was p*****. He hadn't bothered to mention that the promotion was ending a few days after we stopped in and he either didn't bother to reply to my email promptly (i.e. the day I sent it - so we could have come in and purchased the trailer that day) or their email was still so screwed up that it really took him that long to get my email.
    I talked with the general manager. I won't go into all the details. But it was a different type of promotion than what the manufacturer typically ran. As such it would be hard for the dealership if people wanted something similar after the promotion ended. They realized that and did what they could to be proactive about it. I give the dealership credit for looking ahead and doing the best they could. As to the promotion itself the dealership had nothing to do with that. They realized there would be issues with it and did what they could. As far as communicating when the promotion was ending to their sales people and their customers - they totally screwed that up.
    In the end we got the trailer at the promotional price and they took care of things. Prior to taking delivery of the trailer we wanted to get the VIN # so we could have the loan and insurance all set to go. The sales guy said that would not be a problem. They would have it once it had been started on the production line (which would have been several weeks before delivery). In the end we got it maybe a week before delivery. Not what was promised. Sales guy said it was because the factory rep was busy at RV shows and slow to get back to him....who knows....again not the way to impress your customers.
    So on to the last problem we encountered. After driving it home we realized we would want a weight distributing hitch. I give them credit because some dealerships we were at really pushed the weight distributing hitches. I was very skeptical of the hitches just because of how hard some dealerships wanted to sell them. The people at Coates said - try it - if it pulls great without one so much the better, If not come back and we'll get you set up with one.
    So the hitch itself works fine when it works. But the anti-sway portion broke twice on us in the first couple months we had it. One time was a freak thing that no one had seen before. They talked to their manufacturer rep and they sent us a replacement part promptly. The second time the service manager said was my fault for over tightening part of it. I mentioned it says right on that part 'tighten this until it bottoms out' which to me implies it would be very difficult to over tighten. He still said it was my fault for over tightening it. I also said they never mentioned to be careful not to over tighten that when showing us how to use the hitch, and when I got home I double checked the manual and no such warning in there either.
    I'm perfectly willing to believe that the cause may have been over tightening that part. That's fine. It would have just been nice to know that before hand since apparently that happens often enough that he knew instantly what the problem was. As with the other problem they talked to their rep and got us a replacement part for it. That's another reason we wanted to buy from a larger dealership - for just this type of situation. It's a major brand of hitch and so the issue isn't that it is an off brand piece of junk.
    I think there is perhaps a better answer to that problem. It's a big trailer relative to the vehicle - and on that hitch you can have an anti-sway bars on both sides (only one side comes standard - the other can be added for minimal cost). I think they probably should have recommended we get anti-sway bars for both sides. With how many they sell they should have known that. And maybe they don't usually have issues even with set-ups similar to ours. I don't know. We'll probably have that other anti-sway bar installed in the spring. In any case on the next trailer we buy we won't buy the hitch from them. We've just had too many problems with it - even though they have taken care of them.
    Otherwise the trailer itself is great. It's just what we wanted. It was probably one of the cheapest new ones they sell. But for what we need it was just perfect. We haven't had any real warranty issues. We've got some decals that are starting to peel - will probably take that in this spring before the warranty is up.
    Despite the issues we've had with the weight distributing hitch - they were able to get us in to get that put on right before memorial day which has to be any dealership's (or at least service department's) busiest time of year. That's also what we'd expect after buying a trailer from them, but with our schedules it was also impressive.
    They have a sign up saying something to the effect 'if an employee gives you exceptional service please let us know and we'll give you a gift card (or coupon) for $10 or something'. That's a sign of a good company - one that cares about how their employees treat customers. We've noticed the employees generally know the names of the folks in other departments and such - also a good sign.
    At least with us if you're not willing to treat us right on a small purchase you won't have to worry about us coming back for a larger purchase. So far they've done what they needed to do. Hopefully down the road when our trailer needs change they'll have a product that meets our needs.
    They're a larger dealership, but not so large that people get lost in the crowd. The hitch is still kind of a sore point - but there's other places we can get those done so it's not the end of the world. And again the trailer itself has been great - can't wait for the snow to melt so we can get out an using it again. Incidentally their actual price on the trailer was cheaper than another dealership (had to check out of state to find an exact comparison). That's not a big factor for us - our biggest factor was something that meets our needs and close to home.
    - Brian N.
  • I was impressed with the salesman and everyone else at the dealership. I test drove a car with the salesman and then selected the car I wanted to purchase. While the salesman worked with the finance dept, I took the car I planned to purchase for another test drive. I've had the car for almost two weeks and am very pleased with it. This was one of the best car buying experiences I've had.
    - GLORIA J.
  • The sales person was pretty pushy. I've went thru their finance department before and I went thru my bank this time. The guy wasn't too happy about that.
    - Norma E.
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    - Al D.
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    - SHELLEY P.
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    - AMELIA M.
  • The price at Brookdale Mazda Mitsubishi is about what you would expect but they do have a slightly better price than another dealer. The sales representatives were fine.
    - Harold T.
  • We had a fantastic experience and were extremely impressed by the total absence of high-pressure sales tactics.
    - Joseph D.
  • Great experience during the 11 years from when I bought my car in 1998 until I sold it in 2008.
    - GLORIA J.
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Car Dealerships in White Bear Lake

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