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Used Car Purchased Online From Vroom Goes Horribly Wrong

You won't believe this story about a used car online order that went horribly wrong. How can something like this even happen?

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Online car buying is all the rage in 2021. With the events of the past year meaning more at-home shopping, more and more car buyers want to find a car they can own by shopping online. However, a car is not like a toaster or a pair of flip-flops. Returning one is a massive undertaking and if you have problems with the car, you won't be dealing with the company that sold it to you, but a dealer with who you don't have a relationship with. One name we have been hearing more and more is Vroom. We looked into reviews of Vroom and here is what we found.

Related Story: Buying or Ordering a New Car Online - Here Are the Negative Reviews And Gripes

Supercar With Super Problem
The first unhappy buyer we found is Roman Mica from TFL Autos. Roman is a reviewer and Youtube personality that hosts a Youtube series with his son. We enjoy their content because they are not afraid to tell the truth. Just for the sake of disclosure, prior to the publication of this story, this author has never met or communicated with Roman in any way.

Roman recently decided to purchase his dream car, a BMW i8, and turned to Vroom to do so. You can view the long series of ridiculous problems and bad customer service he experienced from Vroom in the video linked above. In a nutshell, Vroom accepted a $63,000 cashier's check from Roman and then did not deliver the vehicle. Why? Because Vroom misplaced the payment. You may be asking, "Why is that Roman's problem?" well, it turns out it is the buyer's problem, and if Roman is to be believed, Vroom did little to help the situation.

Story Update (February 23): Vroom reached out to Torque News following the publication of this story and wished to add the following comment, which we feel helps the story have more context. Note that the check that Roman Mica sent went to Houston Texas, and according to his timeline was signed for on Wednesday the 10th of February. One day before the massive storm struck Texas.

Here is Vroom's statement:
"We regret the issues that Roman had in transacting with Vroom, which were exacerbated by the recent storms in Texas, as many of our customer service team members are based in Houston. We did not provide the customer experience that we strive to deliver but have been in close touch with him over the past several days, resolved the payment delivery issues and were on track to begin delivery. We had hoped to have the opportunity to make things right, but we understand Roman’s decision to cancel the transaction and we have issued a full refund. We’re continuing to make process improvements a top priority and our customer service teams are responding to customers across channels, including on sites like Yelp and the BBB, to ensure that our customers are satisfied."

No BBB Accreditation
Vroom has been in business for eight years but isn't accredited with the Better Business Bureau. In fact, the BBB stamps the accreditation for Vroom "Revoked." In addition, the BBB has received 477 complaints about Vroom in the past 12 months. One BBB complaint reads, "With no exaggeration, this was the worst customer experience of my life. Please do not do business with them. For handling what is typically a person's second-largest asset, a car, Vroom could scarcely be less competent." Another says, "Bought a car on 1/4/2021. They have all my money, including funds from opening a loan. They were definitely not doing any paperwork and the delivery is still pending. I am now trying to back out of this as it’s been a month and no sign of a car. I have an open loan, less in my savings, and no car. The fact they haven’t been shutdown is terrible."

Related Story: Shocker - Tesla's Dealerships Do Not Earn Higher Review Scores Than Traditional Brands’

Yelp Reviews of Vroom
We also checked out Vroom on Yelp. Here, the online car-buying service receives a 2/5 star ranking. One Yelper who offered a 1-star review compared his experience with conventional car-buying. He wrote, "Brutal waste of time. After putting a hold deposit on a car I wanted I received an email that the contract signing would take up to another 5 days and this did not even include when delivery would be scheduled. The whole point of click and buy is to get the product ASAP. I ended up just going to a dealer and getting what I wanted in an hour." Another Yelper writes, "There have been issues on their end on every step of the way for the past month. Issues like sending me the wrong documents so I can purchase a car and then selling the car to someone else after they wouldn't return calls or emails. I would have never had thought I would be begging for a dealer to take my money and do their job so I can purchase a car."

The idea that one can seamlessly and easily find, select, and buy a vehicle online is very attractive. However, be sure you check out the reviews of any company you opt to try out when shopping for a used car online. If you have had a good or bad experience with Vroom, please feel free to post a comment in the space below this story.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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JENNIFER (not verified)    March 11, 2021 - 2:41PM

Vroom took my money and won't deliver my car or give me my refund. No one knows anything. It's like they don't keep notes on their phone calls. I've had horrible customer service. I don't know how they have a business.

Zakakaria (not verified)    March 9, 2022 - 3:31PM

In reply to by JENNIFER (not verified)

Do not buy from vroom, Do not deal with them . Iam calling customer service every day to get Temp Tag after almost one month then they said ohh we send the Temp tag via fedex they gave me the tracking number . I asked simply for a copy of that temp tag to be sent via my email. They send me the insurance policy informations not the temp tag requested. Also i was tracking the envelope sent by vroom containing temp tag but fedex said there is something wrong with this shipment it doesn’t look like is a real package or envelope. So i been calling since 1/29/2022 calling almost every day no way bad customer service bad service bad company. They said simply put ur car in driveway and wait.

JF (not verified)    March 25, 2021 - 12:03PM

This story is far from unique—just go to the Better Business Bureau website, where the mountain of complaints against Vroom continues to grow. My story is far too long to share in comment section like this, but suffice it to say that Vroom is a fraudulent, incompetent dumpster fire. You will regret any dealings with them. I've had about 30 phone calls so far, and each one has been worse than the last, so it's not like I was unlucky to get the one lousy agent.

Your credit rating will be destroyed, your car will be filthy—and quite possibly an entirely different VIN—and you'll really wish you just went to a used car lot.

Izabela Borlee (not verified)    April 10, 2021 - 8:26PM

The worst service I've ever had buying a car!!! BE AWERE RUN DON'T BUY ANY CAR FROM VROOM!!! Total disaster from start to finish. No one is communicating between departments! I had to explain over and over what was the problem. I tried to purchase a Ford Expedition Max 2019. I even put down a payment and sent a cashiers check. On the day I sent the check (February 26, 2021) I discovered that the SUV I was purchasing did not have a 4x4, so I called to swap the car for the same car but with the 4x4. And this is where all the problems started. I spent countless hours; yes hours on the phone on hold. They transferred me from one department to other… And of course you need to explain again and again what is the issue. I had spoken with two different supervisors 2 times to make sure they would send the right car. They informed me that “someone will call you”. No one ever called me. After over a week of this BS I asked an agent if I could talk to someone in upper management and had been informed once again that "someone will contact you”. No one contacted me.
Then 2 weeks later I get this this phone call that the wrong car is about 2 hours away from my house!!!! I asked about my legit car after the driver gave me the information about the wrong car he was driving. I know they are sending me the 1st car (without the 4x4). I told him don’t even bother bringing the car as its not what I ordered.
Again I called them to fix the problem and after being transferred from one department to other for over 3 hours… I told them to please cancel everything.

They refunded everything minus a $699 delivery fee… Mind you I was trying to avoid getting the wrong car for over 2 weeks!!! I sent serval emails to Jessica L. (Customer returns specialist) (8550 864-4967X0371). To get my full refund as it was not my fault they sent me the wrong car. Not one response!

I called on April 7 2021 and spoke with Jose R. And he said he will call me back on the same day… Surprise! NO ONE CALLED ME BACK!!!

So today (April 10th 2021) I called again and spoke with 5 different customer service people. One lady said she will open a case # so I don’t have to explain everything over and over again… But I got Nick from sales Ext.7521 and I had to explain everything again. While we were in the middle of talking he transferred me to another employee!!!

Today I also submitted a complaint to BBB!

Amy (not verified)    January 1, 2022 - 3:24PM

In reply to by Izabela Borlee (not verified)

I spent over 500 hours on hold trying to take care of our purchase and after 7 months and 4 and half months in a rental we finally got our plates. Still waiting for title. Everything that could go wrong has except for the delivery.

RUDY MARTINEZ (not verified)    April 14, 2022 - 3:38PM

In reply to by Amy (not verified)

In order to get anything done you have to file a dealer complaint with the TX DMV. They will assign and investigator. They have been forced to set up a "Task Force" to get issued resolved. I found this out after calling for 6 month to get my registration in CA. Once the complaint has been assigned to an investigator they have 5 days to respond. Nice story but barely shows the real issues. So file file file. Its the only way to get anything done.

Irate Consumer (not verified)    April 27, 2021 - 6:50AM

I can NOT believe Vroom is still in business. I am at the same place. They rushed me to send my full 20k payment. Purchased in full on April 5, 2021. I have NO car and no refund as I type this on April 27, 2021. Vroom has not had one ounce of professionalism throughout this process. They don't return calls / emails. I have reached out every day. They have no clue as to what I am calling about from day to day (department to department), even though I have two open case numbers.

I filed a BBB complaint today and I am making rounds on reviewing sites. I am considering a lawsuit. I saw that the shareholders are currently suing Vroom for fraudulent activity. It may be time for consumers to start suing as well.

Herb Higgins (not verified)    April 28, 2021 - 8:31PM

In reply to by Irate Consumer (not verified)

I signed contract on 2/21/21 cadillac. Assigned to Chase Bank. Car delivered 2/28/31. Called Chase back about payment. They don't know who I am. So i have the car. Seco d payment due. Chase says don't send money. We don't know who you are. Real problem neither does DMV in Texas in Colorado. So i have a car no title, no current tags. Oh, also insurance fir Chase Bank who dont know who I am.....

Lisa (not verified)    October 22, 2021 - 8:57AM

In reply to by Cary (not verified)

Cary, I've been trying to get my title since May 5th. Now I can't get anymore temp tags and no title.It was a cash buy and they said no clerk was ever assigned to my acct. Now clerk has and she won't reply to my emails. What do you mean mechanic's lien or storage lien? Maybe I can do this? I'm going to hire a lawyer today.

Scott (not verified)    October 30, 2021 - 11:10AM

In reply to by Lisa (not verified)

Lisa: We purchased a car in May, paid cash, and we still haven’t been able to get the title. We filed a complaint with Texas DMV and Texas AG as well as Oklahoma AG. We have been emailing and calling most everyday without any helpful information.
Was the attorney helpful?

Lalita Aldridge (not verified)    November 30, 2021 - 7:00PM

In reply to by Crystal Reysen (not verified)

I’m experiencing the same thing. No title no registration. Been 6 weeks and temp tag is expired. I have no tags. Ky says they can’t give me one. I don’t know what to do

Kendra V (not verified)    February 13, 2022 - 3:55AM

In reply to by Lalita Aldridge (not verified)

We’re you able to find an attorney in KY for this? I’m in IN and it’s been almost a year with no plates. I was hit head on in my vehicle with them and it’s being totaled and I have no idea who even owns it because I recently received all new contract from Vroom for a car I’ve been paying on and signed back in April of last year.

Vroom Car Buyer (not verified)    March 16, 2022 - 4:34PM

In reply to by Herb Higgins (not verified)

Over 4 months I got twice temp tag after old expired more than 10 to 15 days later. Waiting for 3rd one already 2nd one expired over 10 days ago. No registration and plate, not even submitted for registration after 4 months.

Samantha (not verified)    September 20, 2021 - 7:50AM

In reply to by Todd Hubbard (not verified)

Please keep updated, i am going through the exact same thing, suppose to be financed through west lake but they have no idea who i am, its not on my credit report and i have had the vehicle since June. I am filing a mechanics lien to get my title.

Amy (not verified)    February 14, 2022 - 8:41AM

In reply to by Samantha (not verified)

To help you. With Westlake you need to speak to a supervisor and find out if the contract sent by vroom had the wrong terms that is what happened to me. I then had to contact vroom and get a new contract. I already had the car. Ask for a supervisor with vroom. Then keep on it until you reach someone with knowledge. The information can only be accessed by supervisors. You have to keep after them.

Amy Koebel (not verified)    January 1, 2022 - 3:34PM

In reply to by Nicole Williams (not verified)

They ended up giving us a rental. It took me hundreds of hours and calls but I finally got the right person in titles and she got me someone who set up a rental because our temp tags were expired and we had maxed out waiting for permanent ones.

Amy Koebel (not verified)    March 8, 2022 - 10:17AM

In reply to by Todd Hubbard (not verified)

I finally got everything I needed. It took 7 months, but after I got an exec everything finally went through, but I did threaten to contact an attorney. I was lucky to get a good contact who set me up with a rental. I had the rental for over 4 months and vroom paid. If I did not get someone who cared or could help I would just keep calling back and always asked for a supervisor. I was relieved when my permanent plates finally came. I was one of the lucky ones. I also emailed a lot to have a record of communication.

Kim wilkens (not verified)    November 19, 2021 - 7:29PM

In reply to by Irate Consumer (not verified)

I need help getting my money back from Vroom. We purchased a car and they did deliver it however within the first 20 miles the car started shaking and we have had 2 mechanics confirm the transmission Needs to be replaced. The timeline is still within the 90 day warranty. When we call the customer service rep cannot do anything and assures us that we will get a call back. Nobody ever calls. I really need help!

Lynzee Campbell (not verified)    December 27, 2021 - 8:32PM

In reply to by Irate Consumer (not verified)

Im worried I’m getting screwed by Vroom as you have. If you are doing a lawsuit, I’d like to discuss with you. I’m waiting for my car and have had the worst buying experience ever.

Kris S (not verified)    May 10, 2021 - 8:53PM

I had a similar experience with Vroom. They sent me a different vehicle then the one advertised and when I tried to get my money back they have no disappeared. Would anyone like to join me in filing a lawsuit again Vroom. They are already being sued for misleading shareholders. This trash company is circling the drain but I still want my money back. Please contact me if you would like to organize and fight back.

Emilee W (not verified)    May 25, 2021 - 1:15PM

In reply to by Kris S (not verified)

I really would love to hold Vroom legally accountable for everything they've done, or should I say haven't done. I'm in the same boat, bought a car 4 years ago with them, had it shipped from Texas but never received the title. I go to register it in CA but am told I can only temporarily register as an out-of-state vehicle. Moved states to AL and am starting this process over again, meanwhile never getting anywhere with Vroom and being traversed from one person to the next all day. I was told their "system" doesn't allow them to search records that far back and said they can't help me. So now I have a car that I paid $12,580 for, no title, expired temporary tags, and no means of contact for resolution. Lawsuit anyone?