March 17, 2012

Bill Mastroianni, General Manager of Universal City Nissan, refuses to issue refund or respond to allegations

As you’ll see in my post here, I wrote the Better Business Bureau in 2010 regarding Universal City Nissan (UCN), where I had the 2002 Nissan Sentra SE-R VIN#: 3N1AB51A92L727519 (abbrev. VIN #: 3N1AB51A92L) in 12 times and they never fixed it correctly.  In their response, UCN lied to the BBB stating  that I’ve “never been charged for any work done at Universal City Nissan.”  Well, I was charged twice in January 2009.

The first time I was charged at Universal City Nissan was on or around 1/9/2009 for $449.00 after I brought the Sentra in when it wouldn’t start.  Codes from ECM that were pulled included P0605, Po183, P2128, P1229, P0122. So they replaced ECM unit (the first time they did that, they replaced another one later) and performed a main harness pin test and repaired a fuel pump wire in main harness.

Then two weeks later, on or around 1/28/2009, the Service Engine Soon Light came on, and the ECM pulled Code P0455 which they said was an evap gross leak and UCN repaired fuel lines and replaced an “O” Ring.  UCN charged me $302.00 for this repair – and I always felt ripped off since they did that.  I figured though they knew what they were doing and this time the car would be fixed.  Boy was I wrong.

Five months later on or around 6/6/2009, the Sentra stalled on the highway, and all UCN did was resecure the gas cap.  One month later on or around 7/12/2009, the SESL light came on again and there was no power, and UCN said the ECM pulled code Code PO233 so they replaced Throttle Chamber (of which they ended up replaced 2 more after this), and so on and so on.  I had this Sentra into Universal City Nissan 12 times in three years and they were never able to fix it.

Owning this Sentra and the fact that UCN was never able to properly fix the car was a total nightmare for me.  So I don’t think I should have to pay for the fixes in 2009, the total of $751.00, that never properly fixed the vehicle.

So I emailed Bill Mastroianni, General Manager of Universal City Nissan, at billm@sageauto.com on February 23, 2012, and he failed to acknowledge or answer the email.  So I then mailed him a letter on Friday, March 9, and once again, he failed to acknowledge or answer the letter.  So I follow up with another email yesterday, and Mr. Mastroianni finally answers me and emails:

——————
From: Bill Mastroianni <billm@sageauto.com>
Date: Fri, Mar 16, 2012
Subject: RE: refund for $751.00
To: Dontbuy Nissan <dontbuynissansentra@gmail.com>
Cc: shanna@sageauto.com

Shanna, I’ve sent you this 3 times

Where are we at……

If we owe something we’ll pay it, if we don’t and this is some sort of threat let me know that too

——————

So I thank Mr. Mastroianni for his quick response yesterday, and tell him I’m available to talk if he wishes to speak with me, and I explain the situation again and tell him I’d be willing to send him my 100+ page document of all my correspondence with UCN over the three years, including lies I was told by Service Rep Eric Diaz, misinformation by former Service Manager Juan Beccera and current SM Melvyn Lemus.

So Mr. Mastroianni emails me back:
——————-
From: Bill Mastroianni <billm@sageauto.com>
Date: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM
Subject: RE: refund for $751.00
To: Dontbuy Nissan <dontbuynissansentra@gmail.com>, shanna@sageauto.com
Cc: melvynl@sageauto.com, billie jo haynes <billiejo235@gmail.com>

Sounds to me that the factory owes you the money not the dealer

If this is from 2009, I owe you nothing

Please stop sending me threatening correspondence

——————-

I respond:

It was your mechanics at Universal City Nissan on 12 different occasions that never fixed my car properly.  It was your mechanics and your service department on 1/28/2009 charged me another $302 to fix some wire just two weeks after charging me $449 to fix some other wire.

It was your service department in December 2010 who promised me a ride to work after bringing my car in the 12th time, then skipped over me, and I almost waited an hour because they couldn’t find keys to apparently the only car on the entire lot that could give me a ride, therefore I had to end up renting a car so I could get to work, and then Juan Beccera told me he would look into getting that reimbursed, and when I come to pick up my car 5 days later cause it took them so long to fix it and no one called me when it was ready, he charges me for the 5 day rental and makes me wait to get a check from Nissan Corporate.  Customer service wise, Mr. Beccera should have just picked up the rental, because I still got reimbursed for it, but now I am an upset customer.

It was your service department who on 2/2/12 after my car broke down for the 20th time promised me if I had my car towed in there by AAA they would diagnose it since it was already in there 12 times, and then after my car was towed into your dealership, my car preceded to sit there all day long until I CALLED at 3:45pm  to be told UCN wasn’t even going to diagnose it and that UCN was turning my car away.

It was your dealership who expressly lied to the Better Business Bureau on 1/18/2011 when they said “[He] has never been charged for any work done at Universal City Nissan” because obviously I have been charged – the $751 in 2009.

All of these things are under you, you or whoever the GM was at the time and is your responsibility.  And if I would have known to talk tot he GM, if any SM would have told me that, I would have done it much sooner.

Nissan corporate didn’t charge me that $751, Universal City Nissan did, and the services your dealership performed never fixed the car.

So once again, due to all of the reasons mentioned above, I respectfully request that you refund this money so this long drawn out dispute can finally end.  Thank you.

——————-

And Mr. Mastroianni emails back:

——————
From: Bill Mastroianni <billm@sageauto.com>
Date: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 4:40 PM
Subject: RE: refund for $751.00
To: Dontbuy Nissan <dontbuynissansentra@gmail.com>
Cc: shanna@sageauto.com, melvynl@sageauto.com, billie jo haynes <billiejo235@gmail.com>

I told you, I’m done

STOP emailing me

We do not want your business

——————

As you can see from Mr. Mastroianni’s response, he does not even respond at all to any of the allegations of the way I was treated by his dealership, which was either under his management or whoever was General Manager at the time.  He also does not respond to the 12 times I had this Sentra into his dealership and the fact that they never fixed it properly.  Nor does he respond to the fact that his dealership lied to the Better Business Bureau.

My interpretation of this is that Mr. Bill Mastroianni does not care about customers at all or the fact that his incompetent mechanics there at UCN cannot fix cars.  My interpretation is that Mr. Mastroianni runs a dealership that does not stand behind their service department or anything that any of their employees do.

I would also like to point out that one of the people he is ccing on his email, Billy Jo Haynes (billiejo235@gmail.com), is Melvyn Lemus’s boss (or so I was told). After Mr. Lemus promised to diagnose this Sentra after I had it towed in there on 2/2/12 by AAA and then refused to do so, I left a message for Ms. Haynes. Ms. Haynes never returned my phone call. Once again, showing, in my opinion, that management just doesn’t care about customers at Universal City Nissan.

It’s quite unfortunate that Mr. Mastroianni is no Omar Gulam, General Manager of Power Nissan.  Upon contacting Mr. Gulam on February 17, 2012, he immediately contacted me and in one phone conversation solved my dispute with Power Nissan and with my Sentra. Mr. Gulam was a standup guy who said he even looked at my website and couldn’t believe what I had been through the previous four years and immediately solved the situation.  Mr. Gulam clearly cares about customers and cares about customer service, whereas Mr. Mastroianni clearly does not, as Mr. Mastroianni didn’t even read or respond to the information I both emailed him and mailed him.

Check out the Yelp reviews on Universal City Nissan (for some reason there are three different pages for the same dealership):

http://www.yelp.com/biz/universal-city-nissan-los-angeles – 54 reviews, average rating: 1.5 stars

http://www.yelp.com/biz/sages-morrie-universal-city-nissan-north-hollywood – 2 reviews, average rating: 1.5 stars

http://www.yelp.com/biz/universal-city-nissan-universal-city – 43 reviews, average rating 2 stars

Here are just a few blurbs from what some of the other yelpers say about just the service department of Universal City Nissan:

Worst dealership ever.  I have dropped thousands of dollars here and been countless times, trying to get them to correct their own shoddy work.  They will take advantage of you whenever they can.  Not only that, but service advisers have tried to convince me to buy parts from their shady friends instead of from the dealership.  WTF??… I reported Universal City Nissan to the BAR and they agreed to send me a check for $1000 for their shady activities.  I’ll let you know if they ever follow through with it.  – Ashley H.

Is it possible to be less than one star???  I agree with Ashley that this is the worst car dealership ever -especially the service department.  I thought the days of sexism from car dealerships were over; yet, Universal City Nissan has proven me wrong.  After treating me as if I didn’t exist and only speaking to my husband, I chastised the serviceman.  He THEN it turns out actually SABOTAGED my car and tried to charge me for it despite the car having been purchased brand new at their dealership six months prior.  My car is now in at another dealership being actually repaired and fixing their shoddy work will take about a week.  Unbelieveable.  I will NEVER go there again. – Leslie P.

Good commercials…terrible service.  45 minutes for an oil change -Justtwo B.

The service department is pretty painful. -Erika E.

Avoid their service department…Never again will I bring my car to this service team. Worst. Experience. Ever. – Tim B.

This is for the SERVICE DEPARTMENT only. Took my brand new Juke in several times for minor window issues and brake squeaking. Twice I showed up and was told I had no appointment. UGH. Once I was told they couldn’t take care of all my issues because it’s too much for them to do on a Saturday EVEN THOUGH the person who scheduled me knew exactly what I was going in for initially. – Mayte D.

These reviews are no joke.  Car repair is rarely a fun experience but these guys make the worst of it.  The experience itself was pretty below average, fairly expensive, and fairly slow.  What happened afterward is what really is mind boggling though.  In May 2009 I had the transmission in my pathfinder replaced at Universal City Nissan. I was told that I had a 12,000 mile, 12 month warranty on the parts and labor. In December 2009 (8,000 miles later) a torque converter bolt that was not properly tightened during the procedure came loose and caused internal damage to the transmission (flex plate, crank sensor, etc.) This damage and it’s cause was diagnosed by Beaverton Nissan in Beaverton, Oregon. Not only has Universal City Nissan not honored their warranty, they have actually refused to return phone calls or communicate with me or the Beaverton dealership on the subject.  They’re pretty much acting like babies.  I’m still kind of in disbelief over the whole thing.  You should never, ever go here for any reason. – Braden S.

I’ve never written a review before but the service here was so atrocious that I felt compelled to sign up and comment. If I could I would give these morons zero stars. From the moment I dropped the car off my bad experience started snowballing. Despite the fact that I called the day before to let them know I’d be dropping the car off they didn’t even look at the car on day 1. No biggie, i thought. Day 2: still hadn’t started. Ok, so they are busy, i’ll relax. Day 3 – David calls me to tell me they still haven’t looked at it yet. Thanks for the courtesy call. Day 4: finally, they checked it out, need to order part that won’t arrive for 3 days. Day 7: part arrived, but it is the wrong one! Day 9: car finally finished!  When i went to pick it up the car was filthy (on the inside!) Someone had left their open, albeit finished, soda on the passenger seat along with some dirty rags on the carpet and i noticed dirt and some scratches on the leather seats of my new 370Z! I will never bring my car back here! Don’t trust these idiots! – Ali K.

After several bad experiences at Universal, I will never take my car back there again.  By way of ONE example, they quoted me $2,400 to replace the exhaust manifold.  I called three other repair facilities, quoting between $500 and $800 to do the very same work.  When I brought this to the attention of the folks at Universal, they revised their estimate to $1,200. I’m wondering why their initial quote wasn’t $10,000 or a million dollars. Why not, right?   Again, I have no problem paying a bit more at the dealership, but this is something entirely different.  And I have other stories, but why belabor this.  I expect most folks are like me, in that they expect honesty and quality when taking their car to the dealership, but willing to pay a bit more for that peace of mind.  We take our cars to dealerships to avoid the classic auto repair run-around, not to find that our dealership is playing the same game.  *sigh*  – Christopher L.

Worst dealership I have ever brought a car to.  Bar none.  The staff are rude, the service is horrible.  The waiting area is uncomfortable and makes you just want to go for a walk.  The entire experience makes you feel as though you are being held hostage.  I would never, ever come back here. – T-K.

I didn’t really have a problem with the speed of the service here, as much as the fact that they totally tried to rip me off. Like the guy below me, I never would have taken my car here, except for the fact that I too have an extended warranty. So basically to make a long story short, they told me that the major problem was, in fact, under warranty, but that it was being cause by dirty filters that would cost a hundred bucks to clean. I called my own mechanic to ask him if I was being BSed and he said I definitely was, so I just had the warranty work done and from now on, I’m taking my car to Glendale Nissan where they’re only half-shady. – April D.

this is the WORST PLACE  !! They are such jerks. ZERO customer service. they leave you standing there and dont tell you anything. They went through my things on one visit. and on another visit they left my car smelling like sweat and BO !!  SICK! Never again ! – Rox I.

i got my car from them and within the first month i was having issues with the fuel system and the transmission.  the friggin car is brand new so i shouldnt have had any issues. i have taken it back several times and they keep saying they cannot duplicate the problem. so i told the guy i must be a mental case fif i am  feeling things that dont exist! just look at the car again.  they are completely dishonest!  no one want to replace the car and i have called nissan corp on them. so now im stuck with a broken car with less than 5000 miles on it.  the sales reps and the service techs are all in on it they pay each other to lie so that they get their commission. – Senna H.

The only reason I take my car to get service at a dealership is because I have an extended warranty.  If you don’t have that, I think the prices are outrageously expensive.  My car wouldnt start on a sunday morning so I got a jumpstart and took it there by 10am.  I was waiting for 20 mins so I could pull my car in the service area because there was a line.  Then I told my situtation with an “advisor”.  I was told they would look at it today.  I then took a taxi home cause I guess on Sundays they dont have free shuttle service.  I waited all day and they never called me.  I got a call at 4pm saying they didnt have time to look at it and expect a call the next day by noon.  So i wait till mon its noon and surprise they havent called me back.  I call them, and find my advisor is missing in action, nobody knows where she is at, and nobody knows whats going on with my car.  I wait another 3 hours and find out they finally diagnosed my car and it just needed a new battery.  So I say fine can you do it today?  They say they can do it in the morning.  So i finally get my baterry done on tues morning and pick up my car.  3 days to install a freakin baterry.  thats horrible.  horrible customer service.  idiotic service advisors who have no clue what service at a dealership is supposed to be.  im never taking my car here ever again, its total imcompentence here.  be warned. – I. S.

Thankfully I didn’t buy my car here (they’ve taken enough of my money), but I used to take my car here all the time for service.  This place is the worst of the worst, if I could give it -5 stars, I would.  Stay far away from this place unless you enjoy getting majorly overcharged and waiting 3 hours for an oil change.  The customer service is abysmal, and every time I took my car in, I’d end up leaving with a $500 bill for fluid flushes and parts I’ve never heard of.  Apparently my second x chromosome is an excuse to totally screw me since I don’t know a lot about cars.  At most service centers, as soon as they see you pull up, they come right over to your car to check you in.  Not here, you have to send up a signal flare to get any attention and pull the techs away from their computer video games.  The place is huge and they consistently over-book their appointments.  And if they need your car overnight, you have to beg for a rental, and then walk 3 blocks to get it yourself.  Yeah I know this isn’t a Mercedes or BMW dealership, but come on people. – Anna S.

I took my Nissan to the service department for years. I was satisfied with their service, although it was very expensive. But recently, I found out that the service dept lied about repairs my car needed. It recommended 1000 dollars worth of repairs. When they were slow to order parts and I had to move, I took my car out and took my car to a local service shop after I moved to the Silicon Valley, and they told me none of the repairs were necessary. I am completely appalled and disgusted and wonder now how many repairs over the last decade were really necessary. Do not take your car to their service dept! – Dani E.

Bill Mastroianni, the General Manager, at the end of the day is responsible for all of these customers being upset because he is the head manager of the dealership.  As you can see, from the way he treated me, in my opinion, he clearly doesn’t care about customer service or doing fair business or trying to ensure his service department fixes cars correctly.

That is why you:

STAY FAR AWAY FROM UNIVERSAL CITY NISSAN

AND

DON’T BUY NISSAN

BUY THE COMPETITION

——

Changing the world one post at a time

My aim is to give a truthful, accurate account of the four year nightmare of owning my Nissan Sentra and the stress, exhaustion, and anger I experienced dealing with Nissan Corp. and the three dealerships. If anyone I mention here or elsewhere on my blog wishes to email me with any comments on anything I say, or wishes to contradict or challenge anything I say, I will be more than happy to review any comments, to post your comments and then comment on them myself, or remove anything that I find out to be inaccurate.

THIS IS THE THE TRUTH ABOUT NISSAN AND HOW NISSAN CORP. AND THE DEALERSHIPS TREAT THEIR CAR OWNERS.

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