EDIT 9/7/2011: The owner of Florida Auto Brokers has paid the amount owed in full. In return, I am removing his name and his salesman's last name.
Hey guys. I don't think this post will interest too many frequent readers, but I'm sharing it because I'm ranked very highly in search engines and I'd like to warn future prospective clients of Florida Auto Brokers so that they don't get scammed.
On July 7 of 2008 I saw an online auction by Florida Auto Brokers for a 1996 Rialta Motorhome. I was looking for an RV to bring back to Austin, so I sent them an e-mail. Nick, the salesman, replied.
We e-mailed back and forth. I specifically asked about a number of items, including the fridge and generator. He assured me that the fridge worked on all three modes (AC/DC/Propane), and that the generator only had 84 hours on it. The eBay listing said that the whole RV was in great shape and had been inspected with a "fine toothed comb".
I offered $18,500 and he agreed to end the auction early and sell it to me for that price.
Because of eBay rules, he couldn't actually end the auction, but instead he had a friend bid on it for him. This revealed that the final price, if I hadn't agreed to buy it, would have been only $17,500.
I, of course, still stuck to my offer and immediately wired the rest of the money to him.
Three weeks later I arrived in Florida to pick up the RV. It seemed to be in good shape, although not quite as good as advertised. Still, you have to expect that when you buy online.
One thing that alarmed me was that the holding tanks were full. Someone else's sewage was still in the RV. That's pretty disgusting and also makes it very obvious that the RV was not inspected as closely as they indicated.
Another problem was that the fridge didn't work on two of the three modes. This was shocking because I had specifically asked whether or not it worked on all three modes. Nick told me that it did without even checking.
Although Nick wasn't there when I picked it up, and neither was the owner, the guy who was there was really friendly and helpful. He seemed honest and told me that they would take care of the fridge. He called ahead to a local RV repair place, but I didn't have time to stop there, so he wrote on the Bill of Sale that they would pay for the repairs.
I signed the papers and drove away.
A few miles later I stopped to get some groceries. To keep the RV cool I turned on the generator and the air conditioner. When I got back fifteen minutes later the generator had quit and there was a puddle of oil below it. I immediately wrote an e-mail to Nick to register the problem. It was obvious that the generator was broken and that the brief on/off test we'd done at the dealership wasn't sufficient.
As I left town I went to a dump site to dump out the disgusting other-person-sewage and fill up the water tank. I lined the hose up with the sewer pipe and pulled the valve. Nothing happened. The valve was broken.
There were a few other issues I discovered, too. The outdoor shower was covered in mold and didn't work, and the power mirrors didn't work.
They had obviously lied about checking the RV over in any serious capacity.
I wrote Nick an outraged e-mail within 10 miles of the dealership, listed the issues, and demanded that they pay for the repairs and give me a refund of $1500 for grossly misrepresenting the RV. I had bought it because I was assured it was in great condition and ready to use, and it wasn't.
Here's an excerpt from one of his e-mails back:
The generator worked perfect when you were here, but I understand that it stopped working right away, so I offered to fix that also. I don't understand why you think that I am responsible for every little flaw with the RV and to give you money back because you feel like it should have been cheaper.Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ I am still willing to stand behind the things that are wrong with it, but I am not giving you a reduction in the price. I am not trying to be a jerk either, I am just trying to take care of this right way.
So he agrees to fix the generator, holding tank valves, and the fridge, but refuses to refund any of my money. I think that a partial refund would be the right thing to do, but also understand that there's probably not a legal responsibility beyond the repairs.
I get back to Austin and am left with an unusable RV. I can't use the shower, sink, toilet, or generator (which was needed for the AC).
I get the generator and fridge fixed, at a total cost of around $800, and I fax in the receipts for reimbursement.
No one replies. After a week I call, and am promised that someone will take care of it. No one does. After a month or two of talking to Nick every couple days he says that I need to talk to the owner of Florida Auto Brokers.
The owner is immediately hostile. He says that he'll pay for the fridge because it's written on the slip, but refuses to pay for the generator despite Nick's promise to do so. In his words,
"The whole thing can blow up the minute you drive off my lot and it's not my problem. Understand?"
Two months later, after near daily phone calls, he stops answering at all. I call five days in a row, several times a day, and he never answers or returns my calls.
I file a report with the BBB in Gainesville Florida, and he answers my phone call the next day as if we're best friends. He says that he's going to pay for the repairs, but that he needs to get the money from the person he bought the RV from in the first place, and that they've agreed to pay for it.
For a month every time I call he says to call back in two days and he'll have the money. He finally pays $250, just the cost of the refrigerator. He declares that,
"There is NO way I'm going into my own pocket for that generator. It would be like taking my own money and throwing it into the street."
He complains that the price was too high for the repair, but refuses to talk to the repairman who fixed it. In fact, the repairman called them before repairing it to make sure they knew how expensive the repair was going to be. Nick said he'd call him back in fifteen minutes but never did.
Now I'm out for the repairs on the generator and faced with time consuming task of making sure to publicize this in every outlet possible. I informed the owner that I'd be doing this, and he said that he doesn't care because he's selling the business in three months. I hope the potential buyers read this and understand who they're buying from.
Don't Buy From Florida Auto Brokers
Florida Auto Brokers are scam artists and can't be trusted. This post is the first of many steps I will take to make sure that potential customers are aware of the dangers of doing business with Florida Auto Brokers in Gainesville.
This happened a long time ago in Gainesville and I own a Florida Auto Brokers in Tampa and get negative feedback from this post. Can you please remove it. I have nothing to do with the owners you delt with in any way. I just started this company and don't need this coing up in google.
Dude, I'm never buying from Florida Auto Brokers!
Is this some kind of joke? Like anyone on here would stand a chance of buying an RV from some obscure company in the middle of nowhere?
Listen dude, you need to fight this on principle, but you also need to get some brains. Unfortunately you learned the hard way---NEVER buy vehicles, land, or other high value items sight-unseen. EVER! I mean come one...you just flat out trusted a used car salesman. I bet you've been swindled more than a few times in your travels and were probably totally unaware.
This is funny people... I have bought both the 2010 Dodge Charger and my RV directly from Nick At Florida Auto Brokers. Both could not be more perfect and the experience with the owner and sales man could not be more pleasant . If you were stupid enough to pay for something, like a used RV, and expect that it will be perfect than I am happy that everything went wrong AFTER YOU LEFT THE LOT!!!!! Do you not understand that once you leave the lot it it your problem. Do you think they are the ones who make it or used it at all... NO. They bought it to sell it, and it is your responsibility to have it checked to be sure it is up to your "NEW" or stop being cheap and buy a new one. It makes me sick so hear people like you whine and complain because you are stupid and just expect everything to be perfect. I hope you learned a good lesson "Life is not fair" and you are the one responsible to make sure things are done right. They are just trying to make a living.
Rachel S. Has life dumped on you constantly??? Lighten up, I care about his misfortune as well as a lot of others...you're here too for that matter! Negativity abounds, why don't you try something unique like compassion and positivity for your fellow man.
Maybe people should do their research before spending thousands of dollars on something. Who is really dumb enough to buy a USED car/RV without getting it looked at? The world does not need to know/ does not care about your misfortune and your stupidity. Get a hobby and buy smart next time.
thank you very well for this post.
I'm wait for firts november I'll to visit them . I look for Rialta 05
NO WAY I DON'T GO NOW
AFTER READ THAT
I bought a RV from them. I did go down and looked at it before I bid on it on Ebay. I probably saved about $10,000. Granted, Nick did not know what he was talking about, but what would you expect. I doubt half the RV dealers know. Anyway, I think I got a great deal. Is Nick a friend. No, but you have to do your own research.
A short while I ago, as an aside, I mentioned that I might be buying an RV to live in. It seemed like a good idea, so every day I checked ebay to see what sorts of deals were to be had. I wasn't ready to buy, but I figured it would be good to know what's available for when the condo sold.
I sat in my living room chatting with some friends on AIM when one of them brought up the RV idea. While I explained it to them I opened up ebay. By default it shows the most recently listed RVs on top. The very top one was an R-Vision Trail Lite, one of the few models I'd really liked. I glanced over at the price and it was $14,000, less than half of what they usually go for. There must be something wrong with it.
I opened the listing and read through the description. The front "shotgun" seat was missing. No big deal. They'd backed into something and the fiberglass around the tail light was cracked. No big deal. The couch wasn't the one specifically made for the RV. No big deal.
Yesterday while buying a handle of vodka, the vodka bottle pierced through the thin plastic bag.
I looked at the shop owner like ...the bag broke.
He looked back and condescendingly replied "oh yeah the bag broke? So it was the bags fault"
I hesitently nodded.
"Take another bottle and have a good night"