The complaints have been mounting against a used car dealership in Greer that recently closed.
With the business owner still running another location we wanted to find out whether he plans to honor his contracts.
The dealership on East Wade Hampton Blvd in Greer was named after the owner, Justin Gibson Automotive.
Customers called 7News and the Better Business Bureau worried they had been taken.
“It’s been really stressful on myself and my family,” said Jared Maynard. He bought a minivan from Gibson in May because his wife was expecting a third child.
He showed us the contract where Gibson was supposed to pay off $21,731 for the car Maynard was trading in.
But Maynard says Gibson didn’t for 5 months until Maynard hired a lawyer. And Maynard had to make payments on a car that was no longer in his driveway.
“Mr. Gibson, mentally knew what he was doing. He sold my vehicle, got the money for it. Sent a check to Chase finance to get the title back, but he stopped payment on that check and Chase went ahead and sent him the title, so he now possessed the title,” said Maynard.
And then there’s the customers who paid off cars, but never got titles and can’t get plates from the DMV.
A lawsuit filed by creditors claiming he owes upwards of $300,000 dollars provides some insight into who may hold those titles.
The court documents from September showed Gibson owed money on 38 cars that were already gone from the lot, and yet a judge sided with him, preventing his creditors from seizing the rest of their cars.
The Better Business Bureau says they have more than 15 customer complaints, most of them from after September.
“The complaints are alleging that the business is not honoring their contracts. There are multiple financing issues, and service and warranty issues, and not only that they’re not responding to consumers or the BBB, and because of this, that’s why we’ve opened an investigation,” said Courtney Beaty with the BBB.
So we went to Gibson’s other dealership, Auto Center Elite, in Spartanburg to get answers.
Gibson said customers should continue to trust him, so we asked: “Why is that when they notice a pattern here and so does the BBB?”
“Well our goal is to give the customers the best car buying experience that they can buy. Our Greer operation wasn’t doing that so it was the best to consolidate and go to Spartanburg,” said Gibson.
He also said he plans to make right with Maynard and other customers who still have unresolved issues. And he said he has been in touch with the BBB to keep them aware of resolutions,
He also says he’s working to make good on his oustanding debt.
The take-home for consumers: With any car purchase, make sure you get everything in writing (including a receipt for any payment) just in case something like this happens.