An Open Letter to Kevin Sharp, Owner of the Sharpest Rides, Denver.
From: David Boop, a hurt customer
I wish this letter was to commend you and your staff for excellence. I like writing those letters more. In fact, when I originally posted my review of your business on Friday, July 9th, I did. I commended Chris Jennings, my sales person. You guys even fixed a problem we encountered when Chris didn’t present me a price sheet for the 2015 Toyota Rav4 I was purchasing only to find out he’s left off about $2000 in taxes which would’ve put me over my price. Candace, however, made good on the miscommunication and went above and beyond to make sure I was happy when I left. I should have known then that miscommunication seems to be a thing with your people. I will explain.
I immediately disliked the car not even ten minutes after driving off your lot and knew right away I’d made a mistake. It didn’t fit me. I wasn’t comfortable in it. I wanted to take it right back, but you were already closed for the evening. I refused to drive the car all weekend. I had to come back to you dealership on Monday because the remote key I’d been given was defective (something your people fixed, so I’m grateful for that.)
Understand, please, I know I was the one to make the first mistake here. I was under a lot of pressure to buy a car that day. I was in an accident on June 14th that totaled a car that meant a lot to me, and I struggled to find anything in my price range considering the current climate with vehicles (Something I’m sure you’re more than aware of). I had been given a quick payout, but the rental company wanted their car back, and I had trips coming up I needed a good vehicle for. I told Chris I made a mistake and wanted to return the car, which he told me I couldn’t. I explained that I was growing to hate the car every time I got in it, which would also make me hate the place I’d gotten it from. Since the accident, I’ve been dealing with a lot of emotional pain, and some physical (though that is minor in comparison). I said I would pick a cheaper vehicle to make up for all the extra work, and he talked with your finance manager who offered me a trade-in value well below what I paid only five days after I’d bought it.
As I mentioned, the whole car buying thing was because I was in an accident. I had no plans to buy a car thus I had not saved up money to make up any difference. I work part time as a tutor, and am trying to build a career as an author and editor. I once again explained to Chris that I had no other money to spend on a car. This is an important fact we will come back to. Chris had a clear understanding that I had no extra money. If I couldn’t exchange the car I’d driven less than a week for equal value, I couldn’t get another car, and I would spend years driving a car I hate. I quoted your motto, “No Problems, Only Solutions.”
Chris said he’d talk to Paul, your sales manager on Thursday, July 14, 2022. He then texted to me to say “no deal.” I asked to have Paul call me so I could talk to him directly. Instead, Chris said Paul would like to talk to me in person. I drove down there and sat with Paul for twenty minutes. I explained my situation and that I needed to EXCHANGE the car. I was very clear on that. Chris knew I wanted to exchange in. Paul understood I wanted to exchange it. Paul said he would make it right. He told me to my face that he would see me taken care of. He called Chris over and told him right in front of me to help me pick out a car. For the next hour, I test drove two cars, once considerably less - a Nissan Pathfinder that clearly needed work (wheel bearings, apparently,) which was the car I was most interested in. Chris stepped away and came back and told me they would give me $20,000 for my “trade in.” He knew and Paul knew I didn’t have a single dime extra for another car. Chris took two test drives with me knowing this and still brought me a trade-in offer. I know you have a business to run, but that’s just insulting and wasted both our times.
Sir, it’s here I say to you…at what point in this story have I said this was anyone’s fault but my own? At what point did I say I wanted anything other than a car I could love for the money I had available to pay for it? At what point was I unclear in what I wanted your people to do? No where. Nor was I unclear with your staff at any point, and yet, here we are.
When Chris told me that, I realized that Paul, your sales manager, had lied after calling himself a Godly man and promised to make this right. He never once said that he was going to give me a “fair value” trade in for my Rav4 during our twenty-minute talk. He said he was going to make it right and told Chris to help me find a car, which I assumed meant your company would swap out the Rav4. I understand the three-day buyer remorse no longer exists in Colorado, but I made a point of reaching out immediately the following business day to say I’d made a mistake. And yes, I made the first mistake. I own that. I was willing to pick a vehicle with a lesser market value and at a lesser price to make sure that you could do the swap without your company losing any money. I knew the only one to lose money would be me. But to be lied to, misled, or at a minimum, blatantly mis-communicated with is not on me. It is on your company, Mr. Sharp.
Candace told me and my friend a story about how one man got three engines out of you after blowing them up at Bandimere by going to the news. We were appalled by that story. I’m not trying to be that guy, but I will make sure the world knows how you do business, if this is indicative of your business model. Twice, I was mislead. Once, most likely accidently (the tax thing, which your people immediately fixed), but the other was willful. I made it clear what I wanted. I was told I could have it. I was told your company cared about my business and would do whatever it took to keep me happy. All Paul had to do was tell me in-person that he could only give me trade-in value, like he had earlier, and I would have given up. I would’ve still been upset, but I wouldn’t feel as maligned at I do now. Don’t say you’ll make it right, and then don’t.
As I confronted Paul about this, upset that I’d been deceived, he kept saying he didn’t own the company. But you do. I ask you to make this right, or at a minimum, hold your employee accountable for telling me one thing and doing another. And I’d also ask you to tell him not to throw scripture around claiming to be a godly man if he’s going to lie. I was raised by godly people. I know what it’s supposedly to look like. This is not that.
July 14, 2022
Shortly after I sent this to your company, I heard from your CFO, Julian, who explained more in detail why you wouldn't trade straight, but seemed more willing to work with me than Paul had. he told me, and I quote this directly, "When you get the title, call me and let's see what we can do." He also said he would talk to you by then.
It's been almost a month since we had that conversation, and surprisingly, he is now never available [always on vacation] nor returns calls when he is in. I continue to find problems with the car, such as the hands free dashboard. I see now that again, I was lied to. Julian had no intention of helping me anymore than Paul or Chris did. And certainly not you, as owner of the company. This is obviously how you do business. How shameful.