Vroom is an online marketplace for vehicles. The idea is that you skip the hassles and hardships of dealing with an in-person dealer when shopping for a used car. It’s a sound concept, but how does it actually work in practice? Pretty poorly, based on reviews we uncovered in our research.
One year ago, Vroom came to our attention when a colleague of ours tried to use Vroom to buy a car. It went badly, and we detailed the situation in our story titled Used Car Purchased Online From Vroom Goes Horribly Wrong.
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The story has generated three pages of comments from Vroom users. Here are some selected comments abbreviated for simplicity. We wish to emphasize that the comments in the quotes below are not the opinions of Torque News or its staff. You can read them all in full by clicking the link above.
- “I wish I had visited this website before embarking on the nightmare I’m dealing with.”
- “I’m also experiencing a nightmare situation.”
- “Vroom customer service is a debacle.”
- “...absolutely awful….. it's just inexcusable and downright unprofessional”
- “No matter how many times I call... my issue falls on deaf ears.”
- “The worst service I've ever had buying a car!!!”
- “I can NOT believe Vroom is still in business.”
- “I’ve been on hold for hours and the horrific piano music stops and nothing. No one is there.”
To see how things have changed in the year since we wrote our story, we turned first to the Better Business Bureau. As of today, BBB rates Vroom an F. Here are the reasons that BBB lists for this low rating:
- "Failure to respond to 1129 complaint(s) filed against business"
- 665 complaint(s) filed against business that were not resolved
- 3635 complaint(s) filed against business
- "Business has failed to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints"
When we looked at the reviews on BBB for Vroom and sorted them by most recent we found page after page of 1-star horror stories. We wish to emphasize that the comments below are not the opinions of Torque News or its staff. Here are some examples from the BBB reviews:
- “Vroom is the most unprofessional company I have ever dealt with.”
- “The worst experience I've ever had”
- “...talking to a human is nearly impossible”
Next up, we turned to Google Reviews. They are found in the Google Maps app. Vroom rates 1.2-stars and has 190 reviews. We sorted by most recent reviews and here are some comments we found. Please let us emphasize that these are not the opinions of the Torque News staff or the publication:
- “Absolutely terrible customer service.”
- “The WORST car buying experience of my life, in 45 years.”
- “This is the worst buying experience I've EVER had. No one communicates.”
- “I thought my case would be different from the terrible reviews, and I was wrong.”
We next checked out Yelp. Here Vroom has a 2-star score and almost 800 reviews. We sorted by Newest, and again found page after page of 1-star reviews. Please note that the comments below in quotes are those we found on Yelp, not our own opinions or suggestions:
- “Once they sell you the car, it is all horrific after that, delivery delays, lost paperwork, sending things 3 and 4 times, Customer service reps are overseas and cannot do anything”
One Yelp review has multiple updates over a period of many weeks. It starts, “Ughh where do I start.. this is the WORSE EXPERIENCE EVER!!!“ The next update is “I'm so upset... This has not been settled.” The third update is “...after 2 months still no registration or title for my car.”
The majority of the problems that we see reported by Vroom shoppers stem from what appears to be an inability by Vroom to effectively process the vehicle transaction. One typical review comment we found on Yelp exemplifies this. David W writes, “I've been waiting SIX months to get my title and registration.” David goes on to explain that he can’t reach Vroom for help. Under his review, Vroom responded, saying, “Hi David - thank you for your feedback and for bringing this to our attention. We are disappointed to hear you have not had a seamless experience with us. We'd like to learn more about what happened, so that we may look into it further. We will be in touch shortly to request your personal contact information.”
Vroom’s main attraction was is the promise of a simpler car buying experience. That’s a noble goal and something we think all shoppers seek. Vroom’s website lists among the reasons shoppers should consider Vroom, “Buying Made Easy. No haggling. No hassles. An easy and efficient car buying process— the way it should be.”
Given the results of our research, Torque News felt it was only fair to reach out to Vroom, alert them to the coming publication of this story, and ask the company for its input. Vroom uses an outside PR agency for its media requests for information. We advised them that we found mainly negative reviews and provided links to the sources listed here in this story and asked if they could offer a counterpoint. Vroom’s spokesperson was kind enough to provide this statement: “Our goal is for every customer to enjoy their vehicle from the moment their purchase is complete. As consumers turn more and more to buying cars online, we are investing significantly in our people, processes and operations so every step in getting a customer their vehicle is an experience they deserve. We regret that some of our customers have not had the experience we strive to deliver and are committed to working with customers to solve any issues they have at any point of that process."
If you wish to comment on your own experience with Vroom, please feel free to leave a comment below. Your experience may help another shopper.
Top of Page Image courtesy of Vroom PR agency Moxie Group.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin
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