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Online car dealership "Vroom" leaves customers in limbo, allegedly not the first time

Posted at 7:00 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 19:13:08-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX18) — Kentucky customers of the online car dealer "Vroom" are furious with the company after experiencing a host of issues and struggling to reach the company.

Vroom allows users to buy and sell cars online. Larry Martin decided to give it a try.

"I wanted a new car. And I searched online within a 200-mile radius of Lexington and not one dealer had what I wanted," said Martin. "Vroom had exactly what I wanted."

He got the car he purchased in February. The car he traded in was picked up by the company a week later, and Martin says he didn't think anything of it.

Martin says he was told he would get a check within 3-4 business days. When your car has been picked up, Vroom's website says, "they'll process the payment and send a check within 2-3 business days via overnight mail".

It's now three months later and they're still on the hook for almost $23,000 of Martin's hard-earned cash. He also says he hasn't been able to get in contact with the company.

"I call em', I email em' and I get what sounds like a call center in India. They're nice people but they're absolutely no help," said Martin.

Martin's traded-in car was listed on Vroom's website for sale on April 14th. The photo on the website had the same Vin number as his car.

"To me, this is car theft. There should a law against that," said Martin.

Amanda Patrick tells found herself in a similar situation when she tried to return a car she bought from Vroom because the car she got was not what she thought she purchased.

"The online photo the car was pristine. They did mention a scuff on the rim and a scratch," said Patrick. "They have a policy; I think it's like they don't have to mention any scratches that are smaller than one inch and they had hundreds of tiny little scratches all over the car."

Patrick took her car to Paul Miller Mazda, where the service team found more issues. In a video, the service team showed a rat's nest they'd discovered.

"It's just frustrating because online Vroom says that all their vehicles go through a quality inspection and I'm just thinking how would that pass quality inspection," said Patrick.

She says she couldn't get in touch with Vroom for weeks.

"Anytime during this whole process that I would call Vroom to complain or talk to them, my calls were auto dropped. So, after I signed the contract, I couldn't talk to my original salesperson and I couldn't get through to anyone," said Patrick.

Vroom says both issues were resolved.

"We regret any customer not having the positive experience Vroom strives to deliver. Vroom has worked closely with both customers -- Amanda Patrick and Larry Martin -- to address their issues. We resolved Mr. Martin's in April 2022 and Ms. Patricks' in June 2021," a spokesperson said in a statement.

Both Patrick and Martin say the only true help they've received has been from the Kentucky Attorney General's office. They reached out to the company and gave them 30 days to fix Martin's issue. The thirty days will be up at the end of May.

The attorney general's office confirmed they helped Patrick return her car and get her money back. They say they've gotten 13 complaints against Vroom since 2021. With several lawsuits and complaints filed against the company, the better business bureau in Texas has given them an 'F' rating and took away their accreditation. The BBB also issued a warning to buyers:

The company is facing several lawsuits, including from the states of Florida and Texas.