6/30/11

Hyundai, there are ANTS in my car!

      June 2011
  • 6/11: Purchased vehicle from Towne Hyundai in Denville, NJ – note, lot is surrounded by trees and grass. Returned late in the evening and parked car in driveway. Went to bed.
  • 6/12: Went outside to check out my new purchase, took photos posted to Facebook. I noticed then there were 1-2 ants on the exterior of the vehicle. I dismissed this occurrence to the heat and the car being white, and the ants more noticeable.  Over the course of the next week I notice the ever presence of ants on the exterior.
  • 6/17: Return from work, air out the car and notice ant on dashboard.
  • 6/18: Driving to Staten Island I see 1-2 ants in the interior of the vehicle, and like anyone with an aversion to insects freak out and attempt to kill them (smack down on the dash). Not the smartest thing to do while driving on the bridge but I pulled over when I could to inspect the Santa Fe. More ants, not your garden variety type, but large sized carpenter ants (see below).
Similar to those found in my car.
  • 6/19: Email sent to dealer first thing (they are closed on Sundays, and no redirection on VM). Went to Home Depot to get ant killing supplies, returned home to spray driveway and surrounding areas as a precaution—but no ants are apparent in the garden or surrounding areas.  This leads me to believe that the nest was in the vehicle when I purchased it; I can’t imagine that the ants nested and reproduced a colony in the 24 hours it was in my driveway.
  • 6/19: Received email response from my sales contact instructing me to contact him on Monday afternoon. I took photos and sent a link ahead of time: https://picasaweb.google.com/apreziotti/Ants?authkey=Gv1sRgCMP2lePSrb6Bbw&feat=directlink
  • 6/20: Spoke with Sean Cullen/Towne Hyundai in early afternoon and inquired about my options and how the dealership would assist with the insect problem. I definitely did not have his undivided attention, Sean said he asked his service manager and neither of them had heard of such a thing. They suggested fumigation but did not recommend it b/c of the odor effect: “if the car smells afterward you’re going to want to trade it in, and then it’s officially used and the trade in value is way less than what you paid…”. I asked Sean if there were any other options to consider, and he said he would get back to me. That was at 1:20pm EST 6/20.
  • 6/20 - Reached out to AOL Autos /Autoblog editors for assistance; direct messaged @EdmundLive for advice
  • 6/21 @1:30PM: (24 hours later) I call the dealership to follow-up: 
    • Mr. Cullen is not available, he has the day off. 
    • Marybeth Andrikinich is not available, she has the day off. 
    • I ask to speak with the General Manager of the Dealership: Soloman Faizi, he is on vacation. 
    • I ask for someone, whoever it is that might be covering for him while he is out, the head of sales etcetera. The receptionist connects me to another person (Jessica) who listens to my story, takes down my name and # and assures me that “Christopher” the sales manager in question will return my phone call upon his return. 
    • It is now 3pm and I’ve received no response. 
  • 6/22 - Posted complaint/query to Facebook: Hyundai/Discover Hyundai pages :
  • 6/22 - Tweeted to @Hyundai; @OrlandoHyundai
  • 6/22, 9AM - Sent email to Mr. Cullen/Mary Beth requesting an update of the situation
  • 6/22, 9:30AM - Submitted complaint to PR dept of HyundaiUSA through website: http://www.hyundaiusa.com/contact-us-thanks.aspx
  • 6/22, 9:30AM - Submitted direct email to consumeraffairs@hmausa.com ||
    (800) 633-5151 ||  Mon - Fri, 5:00 am - 6:00 pm PST
  • 6/22,10:30AM - Received immediate response from Consumer Affairs via emai:
    • "Thank you for contacting Hyundai Motor America. We are sorry to learn of the ant concern you are experiencing in your brand new 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe and that you have not received contact from Towne Hyundai.

      We have contacted Towne Hyundai and have spoken with Eddy Pagan, the Sales Manager, to address your concern. Eddy confirmed that the dealership will be more than happy to resolve this matter to your satisfaction. Eddy advised that the Service Department will be attempting to contact you today, June 22, 2011, to schedule an appointment for you to bring your Santa Fe to the dealership. Additionally, Towne Hyundai will be providing you with a loaner vehicle until this matter has been resolved.

      We continually work with our dealerships to promote positive customer experiences in all aspects of dealership interactions. Again, we apologize that you did not receive contact from Towne Hyundai. We appreciate your feedback; the information you provided helps us to better understand our customers’ experiences and serves in the development of future dealership guidelines. We will be sure to bring this concern to the attention of Towne Hyundai's General Manager.

      We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the compliments you have shared with us about your Santa Fe. We are committed to producing quality vehicles with our customers in mind. Your satisfaction is our priority. We are confident that once this matter is resolved, you will enjoy your Santa Fe for many miles to come.

      We have documented your complaint as Case # 4443349. Please reference your Case # if we can be of any additional assistance.

      Thank you for contacting Hyundai Motor America."
  • 6/22, 1PM - First correspondence, 48 hours later from Towne Hyundai dealership, response received from Mr. Cullen (4) hours after my email that day: "I appologize Andrea I was off yesterday so that is why you havn't heard back from me. I am waiting for my service manager to give me an update on a loaner vehicle for you. As of right now the next available loaner car that we have is July 7 or 8th... I'm trying to get you one sooner though. I appreciate your patience while I do what I can to help you. How are the traps working?"
  • 6/23 - Submitted follow-up email to Consumer Affairs re: inconsistency in proposed timing.
  • 6/23 - Received voicemail from Chris Short, service manager alerting of coordination to accommodate.
  • 6/23 - Received direct response call from internet sales manager, Mr. Cullen; spoke in-person re: next steps to be taken by Towne Hyundai to resolve issue including removal of seats and sweep of carpet area.
  • 6/23 - Called Towne Hyundai in response to Chris Short's message, left a VM
  • 6/24 - Received correspondence from Consumer Affairs re: missed connection.
  • 6/24, 3:15PM - Left 2nd VM message for Chris Short
  • 6/24, 3:50PM - Received call back from Chris Short
    • (new development)There was a White Hyundai Santa Fe on the lot with ants on it that was supposed to have been sent to another dealer for inspection; unfortunately the person who identified it as such was not in the office the day they (may have) sold the car to me.  
    • Chris/Hyundai has arranged for a Loaner Vehicle for the duration of the de-infestation, may take 2 days make take a few weeks.
    • The car will be gutted down to the frame and treated to remove the nest and any sign of the ants. Note: Ants do not come out of hiding when it is wet/humid, so they may have not appeared in recent days.
    • If the situation cannot be rectified they (Sales & Service) will work to locate another vehicle without any penalty to me.
    • instructions to drop-off Hyundai Santa Fe after 8AM on Saturday 6/25. Key to loaner will be located in Chris Short’s drawer.
  • 6/24, 4:25PM - Posted grievance to my personal Facebook page. 
  • 6/25, 8AM - Drafted and sent follow-up email to Hyundai USA re: updated correspondence and new development/information as pertains to my case. 
    • (new development)There was a White Hyundai Santa Fe on the lot with ants on it that was supposed to have been sent to another dealer for inspection; unfortunately the person who identified it as such was not in the office the day they (may have) sold the car to me.  
    • Reasonable request made of Hyundai to provision me with a replacement vehicle.
  • 6/25, 10AM - Dropped off Hyundai Santa Fe to Towne Hyundai; picked up loaner vehicle from CSR Brian Drake.
    • Requested that no installations/additional services be performed until ant infestation has been corrected.
  • 6/25, 3PM - Received acknowledgement from Hyundai USA; assigned regional representative to investigate further.
    • “We have assigned your case to our regional office, which works closely with our dealerships. Our regional personnel will work with Towne Hyundai in order to address your concerns and request for a new vehicle. You can expect to be contacted by the Hyundai Customer Connect Center or the dealership within 3 business days with an update to your case.”
    • Andrea to reach out if no contact received by Wednesday, June 29th.
  • 6/27, Monday - No contact from Towne Hyundai or Hyundai USA
  • 6/28, Tuesday - No contact from Towne Hyundai or Hyundai USA
  • 6/29, Wednesday - Received contact from Hyundai USA that request for a new car/trade-in has been denied, interesting that they told me they were "unable to buy back your 2011 Hyundai Sonata" that would be the make of the loaner not the car I own.  
    • Responded with dissatisfaction and intent to submit complaint with the Better Business Bureau of NJ and consumer news outlets re: unimpressive Customer Service and vague refusal/updates to correct the situation.
  • 6/29, PM - Submitted query for legal advice
  • 6/30, AM - Submitted online query to Tom and Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk
  • 6/30, 8AM - Submitted similar query to Quentin’s Friends
  • 6/30, 8AM - Called Towne Hyundai, no answer and no way to access VM
  • 6/30, 11:35AM - Called Towne Hyundai, asked to be transferred to Service Dept., disconnected
  • 6/30, 11:38AM - Called Towne Hyundai again, all service managers were busy assisting other clients; transferred to VM for Chris Short to leave a message inquiring of a status update for my vehicle. Also requested that 7/2 service appointment for LoJack installation be cancelled until ant infestation resolved.
  • 6/30, 12:07PM - Spoke with Chris Short of Service Center, Towne Hyundai:
    • Underneath the carpet and seats were a ton of ants all dead, we vaccumed and inspected the interior trim, vents, dashboard; a/c and heating system; filter and intake, found leaves, no foods, bound wood, evidence of creating a nest, trails of wood throughout the interior. nothing in the door panels, engine bay, a divet in the floor panel had a whole pile of ants. did not use spray and/or poison. We’ve inspected the car today and yesterday, and have not seen a live insect since.
    • When asked about other vehicle that exhibited ants did not write the VIN # down and the car has since disappeared, off to another dealership for inspection.
    • Even the mechanics had to be convinced, as they are “skiivy about insects/ants”
    • Recommendation to the sales team to not park their car on the hills, right now there are 20 or so trucks parked there, and its possible they parked on top of an ant hill.
    • Lojack and other has already been installed
  • 6/30, 12:32PM - Called Towne Hyundai 
    • Requested to speak with Mr. Cullen, he was unavailable
    • Asked to speak with another manager, transferred to Hector Colon. Explained that I would not be accepting the returned vehicle, and that the only acceptable response would be a brand new vehicle or a return for a full refund. He informed me that there was nothing that he could do and suggested I speak with the head of sales, Rob Mariana or Eddy Pagan.
    • I agreed that he should have either one return my call; I also instructed him to put this request in dispute.
  • 6/30, 12:38PM - Called American Express to put a stop payment on my $3k deposit, opened case for investigation re: dissatisfied purchase due to ant infestation. 
  • 6/30, 1:02PM - Received call from Eddy Pagan to discuss current status of the situation. He suggests my SUV now clear of dead ants is in "perfect condition" and they have done all that they can to correct this matter. 
    • I informed him that I honestly would not feel comfortable driving a car that had been infested with ants and did not find his answer acceptable. After all he had the easy job of removing all the dead ants because I killed them while the dealership neglected to return my phone calls. I informed that I had purchased a a new car b/c I wanted a clear and free driving experience, with no stress. This whole experience has been beyond stressful.
    • Mr. Pagan then responded with "I don't mean to be insympathetic to your needs, I've bought cars before working at a dealership and I totally understand your discomfort. The Santa Fe as far as I can tell is in excellent condition for use." 
    • I reminded him of the lack of customer service provided during the incident and he "doesn't dispute" my feelings but that it was irrelevant now that the ants were dead and gone. 
    • I then reiterated that I found all of this unacceptable, that I would not be accepting the returned vehicle, and that the only acceptable response would be a brand new vehicle or a return for a full refund. 
    • I also mentioned that I would be reporting the dealership to the BBB and had consulted a lawyer on next steps; at which point he recommended that I speak to the GM of the dealership, and to which I gladly accepted to do so. 
    • Eddy Pagan confirmed my contact information and then said that he would be in touch with the GM, Solomon Faizi and have him get back to me promptly. 
  • 6/30, 2:03PM - Received email from Chris Short with current "clean" images of the vehicle and an informal assessment of vehicle status.
    • Responded at 4:46PM with an email and VM request for a full written assessment of the work performed with your findings, documented by Towne Hyundai. If you would please send them via post (Mr. Cullen should have my information on file) as well as attached in an email. It would be most appreciated. 
  • 6/30, 2:05PM - Received VM from Chris Short alerting me that the "car has been put back together, complete with all accessories and the anti-theft installation module". 
    • Note all of which I asked not be installed in the vehicle until a resolution had been reached. 
  • 6/30, 4:53PM - 4 hours later still no word from Solomon Faizi, GM
  • 6/30, 5:07PM - Received email from Chris Short alerting me that the vehicle was ready for pick up and that the invoice with detailed information about the service and installation would be available at that time: "When you pick up your car tonight there will be an invoice on our letter head noting what wasdone. the technicians and all the add on items we installed. It's probably what your looking for. If there is more we can do just let me know."
    •  Responded with follow up email alerting him that I would not be picking up the said vehicle and reiterated request to send the file via/email and/or fax and post. 
  • 6/30, 5:27 - Received phone call from Eddy Pagan, he had spoken to the GM (funny I thought I was getting a personal phone call from Mr. Faizi not a relayed message) and that there was nothing left for them to do, that unfortunately "no car was available for me on the lot"(AP: so does that mean they considered giving me a new car and then realized they could not do so without available inventory?
    • He then told me that my car had been reassembled and was ready for pick-up; that I would need to return the loaner car and retrieve my car in the morning (Friday 7/1). I said that was not possible and it was unacceptable to assume that I would be retrieving an imperfect car. He reiterated that the car was in perfect condition; and there was nothing more they could do. 
    • I reminded him that the only reason there was nothing more to do was because I cured the car without their assistance, and now with no proof of "live ants" the vehicle in your eye is now "in perfect condition".
    • He told me that "I could not return a car because of unsatisfactory customer service" and I responded that in fact it was the unsatisfactory customer service that has placed us in this very predicament. If his team had followed up in a timely manner and had kept me abreast of the situation, had pushed harder to make my dissatisfaction a priority, I would not have had to do all the legwork that in fact was Towne Hyundai's responsibility. In all likelihood the ants occupied the car while on YOUR (THEIR) lot, and your  service manager is in agreement.  Mr. Pagan even then refused to take any responsibility that the ant infestation occurred on their premises.
    • At that moment I made a point of reminding Mr. Pagan that no one responded to my inquiry within the first 48 hours and that it took a formal complaint with Hyundai HQ to incite any kind of reaction; and more pointedly when I reported to Hyundai that I had not yet been contacted by Towne Hyundai they informed me that you, Mr. Pagan had been contacted (AP: I have proof of this in an email thread from Hyundai directly) and assured them of expediting contact. Contact of which took another 24 hours. 
    • Mr. Pagan feigned knowing anything and then miraculously remembered Hyundai HQ reaching out, "then I got on it, and talked to Sean about the instance, and knew we had to take care of this ASAP."
    • (AP: ASAP? This is now 4 days after my initial contact with sales manager, Mr. Cullen; 4 days in which I had already attempted to combat the situation on my own; 4 days of distress and worry of what to do next; 4 days of consulting every one and their mother for advice on how something like this could happen to a BRAND NEW CAR.)
    • I hit the proverbial roof...I am not an angry person but I made a point to reiterate everything once more and state again that I would not be picking up the car, that there decision was unacceptable, that I would like to speak directly to the General Manager. Mr. Pagan hemmed and hawed, "Solomon is a busy man and runs 3 dealerships, I ran interference so that you would have an answer sooner rather than later"--(AP: Right so now that my situation is an inconvenience to you, because Chris Short in an email that came during this conversation stated "Please keep me informed as I have customers waiting for loaners and I need them urgently"; now you're choosing to expedite the situation.)
    • That's when I interrupted him in mid-sentence and informed him that moving forward I would not talk to anyone except the general manager, Solomon Faizi.  
(AP: I won't lie, my temperature has exceeded its normal level and I'm taking a break from this saga today, right now as it were at 6:30PM on 6/30. And will pick it up again tomorrow, fair readers.) 
  • 6/30, 7:30PM - Received call from service director, Michael Alston about my dissatisfaction with the service provided. (AP: I had finally left work at the point, and had treated myself to a gelato from Amorino, the bliss of which disappeared after this call.) 
    • I calmly asked him if he had the authority to grant me a new car or a full refund, and he said no. To which I calmly replied with a request to speak with whoever it was at Towne Hyundai, most certainly the GM, Solomon Faizi, who could. 
    • (AP: I'm really amazed that in the first 4 days I received hardly any feedback and/or call backs re: the ants issue, and NOW that I'm loudly voicing my dissatisfaction everyone at Towne seems to have my phone #.)
July 2011 
  • 7/1, 7:00AM - Query submitted to FOX Shame on You! w/ Arnold Diaz
  • 7/1, 7:05AM - Query submitted to Help Me Howard, WPIX
  • 7/1, 7:10AM - Query submitted to 7 On Your Side
  • 7/1, 8:30AM - News query submitted to Denville Reporter, Denville Rockaway This Week, Patch: Morris Township/Morris Plains
  • 7/1, 9:15 AM - Check my VM at work, and wonder upon wonder Solomon Faizi, General Manager of Towne Hyundai  has actually called and left a message (@8:02PM, Thursday 6/30) and has asked that I call him back. (AP: Which I will do this morning, so stay tuned.)
  • 7/1, 11:07AM - Received inquiry response from editor of Patch: Morris County.
  • 7/1, 11:15AM - Received call from Solomon Faizi, General Manager of Towne Hyundai, and we discussed the current situation and lack of communication from his dealership with regard to my ant infestation problem. He said that this was the first time he had heard of the ant infestation problem, as he has been on vacation.  I told him that I have documented all communication or lack thereof on this blog; and he seemed unfazed by the "technicalities of documentation" that "dealing with a disgruntled client, in a civil manner" was his concern.
    • He asked why I had come out to NJ to buy my car and I candidly told him that Ms. Andrikanich sounded so genuine and that seemed to correspond with all the positive feedback I had read on Edmunds, Yelp, Dealerrate, etc. that I didn't mind driving long distance to purchase a car.    
    • Mr. Faizi then asked me what I wanted, and I said that I wanted a replacement vehicle, a brand new 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS AWD, which he has verbally agreed to give me 
    • I asked for him to provide proof in writing to this agreement (AP: He was offended that I would not take him at his word, and would not agree to a written agreement. Given the current circumstances I don't know how he is more offended than I am.)
    • We agreed that I would go to the Towne Hyundai dealership in the morning, Saturday July 2nd, (3) weeks to the day of my original purchase where Mr. Pagan and Mr. Cullen would work on providing me with a brand new 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS AWD, covering all necessary paperwork transitions, and fees with no penalty to me.
(AP: Truth be told, I am very nervous about not having a written commitment from Towne Hyundai--which as it were is an independently-owned dealer and does not fall under Hyundai Motor USA--or from Solomon Faizi. I am VERY HESITANT that this is an opportunity for a bait and switch--loaner vehicle for my existing vehicle--on their part and absolutely do not want to go by myself. Any volunteers?)
  • 7/1, 11:34AM - Reached out to Towne Hyundai to speak with Mr. Pagan about coordinating for tomorrow's meeting to replace my ant infested vehicle. He was unavailable, I left a VM. 
    • (AP: I will be calling back, every hour on the hour until I can get a written email confirmation from him about the verbal agreement to replace my vehicle tomorrow morning.)
  • 7/1, 12:01 - Received DM from @EdmundsLive : "You can rate & write a review of Towne Hyundai on our site: http://ow.ly/5uTbX I'm passing this story to our editorial team"
  • 7/1, 12:09 - Received call from Ms. Basso at "7 On Your Side" with interest in the story, was instructed to get a promise in writing, and reach out to her directly should Towne Hyundai refuse to uphold verbal agreement. 
  • 7/1, 12:48PM -Reached out to Towne Hyundai to speak with Mr. Pagan about coordinating for tomorrow's meeting as per my conversation with Solomon Faizi earlier today. Mr. Pagan informed me that Towne Hyundai currently does not have an adequate replacement vehicle available on the lot. He said that he would call Solomon, to alert him and get back to me. 
  • 7/1, 2:07PM - Followed up with Mr. Pagan of Towne Hyundai, he was not available; left a message.  
  • 7/1, 5:05PM - Followed up with Mr. Pagan of Towne Hyundai. He told me that he spoke with Mr. Faizi and alerted him that the vehicle in question was not available in Towne Hyundai's current inventory. 
    • Mr. Pagan then told me that he was calling around to other Hyundai dealerships to locate a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS AWD to be brought to their dealership as a replacement vehicle.
    • I then informed/confirmed with Mr. Pagan that I would not be coming to the dealership tomorrow morning, and in turn keeping the loaner vehicle until a replacement had been located. Mr. Pagan agreed: "I did not expect you to come into the dealership without a confirmed replacement available."
    • Mr. Pagan assured me that he would continue to work on locating a replacement vehicle and that he would be in touch tomorrow by phone. 
(AP: Signing off tonight, will report back in the morning, and then some until this is resolved. Thank you as always for your support and encouragement.)

  • 7/2, 1:29PM - Called Towne Hyundai to connect with Eddy Pagan on status of locating a replacement vehicle for my 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS AWD. He was not available, so I left a message asking him to call me back with any new information, and casually suggested my replacement vehicle not be white given recent luck. (AP: Silly perhaps, but I think we can all agree not entirely unreasonable given this whole situation.)
  • 7/4, Submitted purchase experience survey to Hyundai 
(AP: The weekend was quiet, with little to no contact from Towne Hyundai since Eddie/Eddy and I spoke on Friday. Will try for a written agreement of some sort, even if just an email confirming the conversation--speaking with Joe about that today--and hoping for an immediate resolution.)
  •  7/5, 10:50AM - Placed call to Towne Hyundai to inquire on the status of my replacement vehicle; left message for Eddie/Eddy Pagan. Receptionist did note that Mr. Pagan normally does not arrive until 12pm.
  • 7/5, 1:12PM - Placed follow-up call with Towne Hyundai to speak with Eddie/Eddy Pagan, about my replacement vehicle. The receptionist informed me that Mr. Pagan is out today; Katie redirected me to Chris Talluk/Tulic Tulloch who did not pick up my call.
  • 7/5, 1:15PM - Called Towne Hyundai again, Katie placed me on hold while checking on Mr. Tulloch's availability--he was with another customer, took down my work # and said that he would return my phone call. 
  • 7/5, 1:24PM - Received VM from Christopher Tulloch, Internet Sales Manager with Towne Hyundai, who has been assigned to my case. Requested that I ring him back directly on his personal cell phone. (AP: I don't want to be too hopeful but a personal cell phone # is a good sign, no?)
  • 7/5, 1:40PM - Returned call to Christopher Tulloch, Internet Sales Manager with Towne Hyundai:
    • He confirmed that he had been assigned to my situation last week and that after working with the ownership and corporate office, I had been approved for a replacement vehicle. Towne Hyundai had been in the process of locating dealerships within the area; and was required to get the "green light" from me before officially moving forward with the fulfillment process (which according to him would take "a couple of days"). 
    • He went so far as to assure that all legalities, including transfer of registration, and the installation of all optional accessories and anti-theft components would be taken care of at no cost to me. And then miraculously he even inquired if I had any color preferences. 
    • Mr. Tulloch then said I should have received an email (text is excerpted below) from my original sales manager, Mr. Cullen, that would refer to this resolution. Mr. Tulloch then apologized for Mr. Cullen's previous lack of response as he had been directed by ownership to disengage until a resolution could be reached. 
      • Dear Andrea XXX,

        Hello Andrea... sorry I've been a little bit of a stranger but my ownership asked me to stay out of the situation until we could come up with a resolution that would be serve you. So obviously since you are getting an email from me we have come up with one. Christopher Tulloch left you a message a few minutes ago and left his cell phone number for you to call him at your convenience. I hope you had a great 4th of July and look forward to talking with you soon.

        Respectfully, Sean Cullen
        Received 7/5 @ 1:39PM
(AP: This all still seems unreal and until I have the physical vehicle in my possession, I will absolutely question the reality of the situation. I'm still in a fuzzy hazy shock, though when that clears I should probably let them know of my vacation plans, no?)

  • 7/5, 2:22PM -  Responded to Mr. Cullen's email reviewing what had transpired (excerpt below) and inquiring on next steps
    • I received Christopher's voicemail, and just spoke with him directly. He confirmed that I have been approved for a replacement vehicle, and I have given him the green light as it were to move forward with the replacement transfer. 
    • We also discussed that all transition paperwork (registration, etc.) as well as accessories and LoJack installation would be transferred to the new vehicle at no cost /penalty to me. 
    • I offered to alert GEICO of the transfer.  
    • I then inquired of an estimated date for when the vehicle would be available.
    • (AP: Note that I did include Mr. Tulloch on the email string but his email bounced back.)
  • 7/5, 2:43PM -  Received confirmation from Hyundai for submission of my purchase review survey. 
    • (AP: My favorite line: "Because customer satisfaction is our top priority, we have forwarded your suggestion regarding additional sales training to the personnel responsible for product and dealership training.") 
  • 7/5, 5:52PM - Received email from Mr. Cullen informing me that a replacement vehicle in my first choice configuration had been found: a brand new 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS AWD Sonoran Red w/Beige Interior.
    • Mr. Cullen said that the car would be picked up on either Wednesday or Thursday, and he was still figuring out components and the LoJack installation.
  • 7/5, 6:24PM - Responded to Mr. Cullen's email, inquired if personal effects in ant-infested car would be accessible to retrieve.
    • Also inquired if delivery date would be sometime next week. 
  • 7/5, 7:12PM - Received email from Mr. Cullen
    • All changes can be made when you pick up the (ant free) vehicle. I'll keep you in the loop regarding the best day and time to pick it up after the lo jack has been installed. Feel free to call me with any questions in the mean time.
  • 7/6, 10:18AM - Reached out to Mr. Cullen re: delivery date of replacement vehicle. 
    • For full transparency, I alerted Mr. Cullen of my vacation departure date and time. 
    • He is going to try and arrange for the replacement vehicle to be ready for pick up by tomorrow evening.  
  • 7/7, 11:00PM - Success! I'm happy to report Towne Hyundai came through with a brand new Hyundai Santa Fe. The transition was quick and painless, I was able to retrieve my personal belongings from the previous model and with assistance from my dear friend Michael Fonte (who kindly joined me this evening) we inspected the car from top to bottom to ensure all things were on the up and up. So looking forward to driving it in style upon my return!
    (AP: What this means, is that the Sonoran Red 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe FLS AWD pictured below is now in my driveway and will be there when I return.)

    7/18 - I returned from holiday early Monday morning, absolutely relaxed from a week in Nicaragua and gleefully excited to find my clean and ant-free Sonoran Red Hyundai Santa Fe parked in my driveway. I thank my lucky stars that this story has had a happy ending. Thank you to everyone for all your support during this whole debacle, and to Towne Hyundai for finally coming through with acceptable customer service. 
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