Tag: Ethics

Evidence shows Red Rock manipulating online reviews

Red Rock GMC on First Street

Former Red Rock dealership employees have told AnneLandmanBlog that the dealerships coerce both employees and customers to leave positive reviews online, and a customer said the Red Rock dealership she patronized several years ago had paid her a substantial sum to take a bad review of them off her Facebook page.

These manipulations of online reviews were discovered around the same time Red Rock introduced a new “Forever Promise” on their websites, in which the company promises to “earn your trust” and “be transparent.”

A reader supplied AnneLandmanBlog with screenshots of a 2019 Facebook Messenger conversation in which she told another person that Red Rock had paid her $2,500 to remove a Facebook post describing a bad experience with a Red Rock dealership:

Screen-shot of a 2019 Facebook Messenger conversation that reveals Red Rock had paid this person $2,500 to take a negative review off her Facebook page.

The person had bought an extended warranty and GAP insurance from Red Rock during a vehicle purchase in 2019, but when their truck was totaled and they tried to use the GAP insurance, they discovered Red Rock had taken their money for a GAP policy, but never bought them the policy. She could not get anyone at the dealership to respond to them about the problem, so out of frustration she complained about the situation on her Facebook page. That negative post drew a response from Tyson Chambers, General Manager of Red Rock GMC, who then finally paid attention to their problem.

Another former Red Rock employee who had worked in sales told AnneLandmanBlog,

“All those positive reviews are given for gas!”

and,

“They tell you ‘Leave me a good review, then I’ll fill up the tank of your car.'” 

Red Rock employees found to be writing positive reviews of Red Rock:

AnneLandmanBlog also found Red Rock employees have written positive reviews of their employer on Google Reviews in violation of Google policy. Employees stacking their employers’ site with good reviews is a conflict of interest that Google prohibits it since it unfairly biases reviews.

In a comment on this blog, a reader flagged that s/he had noticed several positive reviews had been written by Red Rock employees:

 

While we couldn’t find the review this person mentioned, were able to verify that Justin Gedstad was in fact a Red Rock employee who goes by the name of “swoll_viking” on Instagram:

Justin Gedstad goes by the name “Swoll_Viking” on Instagram.

 

Red Rock employee Justin Gedstad (“swoll_viking” on Instagram)

 

We found another Red Rock GMC employee who had posted a positive review of his employer:

Jacob Shouse is the floor manager at Red Rock GMC

 

Jacob Shouse, the Floor Manager of Red Rock GMC wrote a positive Google review of Red Rock GMC without revealing that he is an employee. The dealership owner even thanked him for the review, even though Google prohibits employees from reviewing their employer’s business, since it unfairly biases reviews.

 

“Tiff Willis” is another Red Rock employee who left a positive Google Review praising Red Rock GMC’s service department:

Review praising Red Rock GMC left by “Tiff Willis,” an employee of Red Rock GMC. The owner thanked her for the review. Neither of them revealed she was an employee of Red Rock.

Tiffany “Tiff” Willis is a Red Rock GMC finance manager:

“Tiff Willis” is Tiffany Willis, a finance manager at Red Rock GMC. Her review violates Google’s conflict of interest rules prohibiting employees from reviewing their employer’s business.

 

According to former service department employees, an aggressive push to generate good reviews also permeates Red Rock’s service departments. A former Red Rock service department employee who contacted AnneLandmanBlog said:

“We would call customers and give them cheat sheets for perfect scores on surveys.. [W]e would give them free oil changes or free tanks of gas for 1000 scores. We would even fill out the surveys for them. I’d have to stay late when I was at Nissan to call these customers. We would literally harass them.”

Google policy prohibits employees from reviewing their employers since it is a clear conflict of interest.

Businesses can be banned from Google’s services for having their employees stack listings with positive reviews:

Google can ban businesses from using their services for artificially padding reviews because it violates Google’s conflict of interest policy.

Yelp and other review sites have similar conflict policies. If you see a review that violates a site’s policies, the site usually provides a way to flag it so site operators can scrutinize it and remove it.

Tina Peters is back begging people for money, this time on a Christian crowdfunding website

Tina’s new crowdfunding campaign on GiveSendGo, which has become a favorite fundraising site for far-right extremist groups like QAnon, the Proud Boys and anti-vaccine groups, which have been banned from GoFund Me.

Former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters is at it again, begging people to send her money while she awaits trials in March on obstruction charges (for recording in a courtroom and kicking a cop) and on multiple felony charges related to her election tampering.

Now Tina is using a free Christian crowdfunding website called GiveSendGo.com, that was originally created with the idea of helping religious people raise money for missions. GiveSendGo’s website says the “reason we started GiveSendGo” was “to share the Hope of Jesus through crowdfunding with everyone who comes to our platform.”

Buyer beware: A tale of two car-purchasing experiences in Grand Junction

Two western slope residents purchased 2022 Hyundai Kona EVs around the same time last year. They both shopped at Red Rock Hyundai in Grand Junction. One ended up buying their car from Red Rock, while the other went to Red Rock first, felt uncomfortable, and ended up buying from Ralph Schomp Hyundai in Aurora, Colorado. Neither buyer left the western slope to complete their purchase or obtain their vehicles. The two report having had two vastly different experiences, as well as incurring vastly different total expenditures for their purchases.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of their buying experiences:

KREX-TV broadcasts 5 minute news segment about Red Rock forgeries

KREX-TV last night ran a 5 minute news segment about Red Rock dealerships, which are currently under investigation by the state for problems including forgeries of customers’ signatures on legal/financial documents like contracts, Powers of Attorney, title and loan documents, and the addition of thousands of dollars worth of extras to customers’ contracts without their knowing, like extended warranties and special coatings.

Below is the full statement of a former title clerk who worked at Red Rock. This person asked to remain anonymous. This statement was included in the KREX news segment, but it merits fuller attention because of its gravity. This person’s employment at the dealership has been verified, and they had experience with the Mesa County Department of Motor Vehicles before going to work for Red Rock:

Why does Red Rock go to such lengths to push “Portfolio” extended warranties?

A common theme running through customer complaints about Red Rock dealerships is that the customers discovered thousands of dollars in extended warranties added to their contracts without the dealership having asked or told them about it, and they spotted these extra charges only after their signatures had been affixed to their contracts electronically. Customers repeatedly say they did not want these warranties and never agreed to them, only to find they had been added to their contracts anyway when they finally saw their paperwork. Once saddled with them, the customers had to go through the ordeal of trying to cancel them in a timely manner, because the warranties are only fully refundable within 60 days after purchase.

What to do if you think you were taken in a bad deal at a Red Rock dealership:

I did this drawing myself.

Did you buy a vehicle from a Red Rock dealership and think you may have fallen victim to shady sales tactics? If so here’s some help:

First, think back to the day of your purchase:

Did the financial manager have you sign your name electronically on an IPad or email Docu-sign link? Did the financial person show you your full contract including the page with all the numbers on it, with the total price of the purchase and all the extras, before your signature appeared on it? Did the financial person tell you about the extras that had been added to your contract — extended warranties, maintenance agreements, oil changes, coatings, insurance, etc. – and did you openly agree to pay for all of them, or were they hidden from you?

Another Red Rock customer discovers unapproved charges & signatures that aren’t hers on her contracts

Credit application with Sonja Bartlowe’s real signature on it in three places. Her $3,500 gross salary type is marked “weekly,” “bi-weekly,” “monthly” AND “annually.”  The application says at the top, “Incomplete applications will not be processed,” but  none of the boxes below that are checked to indicate whether she is applying for an individual, joint or business loan.

Sonja Bartlowe is a single mom with two little girls and no child support who worked as a branch manager for a home care provider. Last May she traded in a vehicle and bought a 2016 Nissan Titan pickup truck priced at $39,000 from Red Rock Nissan, at least that’s what it was priced online.

Little did she know what she was in for.

Another Red Rock customer reports signatures on sale documents are not her own

Katelyn Slocum’s real signature. “I always sign my full name,” Katelyn says.

The signature that appears on all of Katelyn Slocum’s documents in her vehicle deal except one. Katelyn says this is not her signature.

Katelyn Slocum is a Certified Nursing Assistant with two small kids who works as an in-home hospice care provider for HopeWest. She uses her own car to get to her patients’ homes, and at the end of 2021, she decided she needed a more efficient car. She ended up at Red Rock Nissan, where she traded in a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee with almost 100,000 miles on it for a 2019 Subaru WRX with about 17,500 miles on it.

The transaction happened late on a Monday. Katelyn said, “It was a super-rushed purchase because it was past closing time, as it took awhile to get me approved for the loan amount.”

After hearing about other people whose names were forged by Red Rock and all the other problems people had had with their purchases, she was prompted to more closely examine her documents for the purchase of her vehicle, and on December 22, 2022 she took another good look.

Update: Customer gets satisfaction from Red Rock Hyundai after bad deal is exposed; dealership wants blog about his experience taken down

The $9,000 in extra charges Red Rock Hyundai included on a 21 year old customer’s contract without his knowledge or approval. After this deception was exposed and the customer confronted the dealership, they removed these charges and gave the customer a satisfactory new deal on an entirely different vehicle. See the bottom of this article for who to contact to get satisfaction if you’ve been ripped off by a Red Rock dealership.

The 21 year old customer of Red Rock Hyundai featured in a December 29 blog about the horrendous way the dealership treated him during his purchase of a used mid-sized truck reports that after almost two months of dealing with the situation, he has finally gotten full satisfaction from the dealership.

It wasn’t without a fight, though.

After the blog about his plight was published, the customer returned to the dealership with his father to press for concessions beyond the $4,500 the customer said the dealership had previously paid him “to essentially stay quiet about the deal.” As a result, the dealership took the problematic truck they initially sold him back as a trade-in, gave him a decent amount of money for it, and then sold him an entirely different vehicle for what the customer also considered an appropriate price. The dealership also removed the $5,000 charge for the extended warranty that the customer said he never wanted, and the $4,000 charge for a “Resistall” coating that the customer also didn’t realize he’d been charged for.

An incredible Red Rock dealership story from a 21 year old

Got a crazy Red Rock dealership ripoff story? Send it to anne@annelandmanblog.com. If we use it, we’ll keep you anonymous if you prefer.

I got an email yesterday from yet another Red Rock Hyundai customer who had a story that was so incredible, I had to share it. It includes yet another charge of forgery, as well as the addition of thousands of dollars in extras to the contract without the customer’s knowledge or approval. I spoke to this person on the phone to verify that they were a real person, get more details about their story and clarify some of the terms they used in the email.

The person who wrote this is 21 years old and came from out of town to purchase the vehicle. The name is redacted to keep the sender anonymous, upon their request:

Red Rock’s forgery problem

Jesus Acevedo’s signature next to the signature a Red Rock Hyundai employee forged on a contract in his name that would have added a $10,000 extended warranty to his contract, had he not caught the forgery while at his credit union to arrange financing.

People have sent information to AnneLandmanBlog that indicates customers of Grand Junction Red Rock dealerships have had their signatures forged on documents, and that such forgeries have likely been a problem at these dealerships for some time.

Red Rock starts getting the message, unwinds deal for strapped couple & gives out personal cell phone numbers of local partners for people to call if they’ve been wronged

Red Rock Nissan at 2582 Highway 6 & 50 in Grand Junction

The Red Rock Auto Group seems to be starting to get the message about the financial hardship they’ve been causing people by defrauding customers and carrying out business in bad faith.

This week Red Rock Nissan went out of their way to help “the Andersons” (not their real name), a struggling young couple with three kids, two of whom are special needs kids, who were recently featured in this blog as an example of the kind of bad deals people were unknowingly getting into at these dealerships.

Another former Red Rock employee gives more information about how the dealerships defrauded customers, banks, lenders

Red Rock Nissan at 2582 Highway 6 & 50 in Grand Junction

Yet another former employee of a Red Rock auto dealership has contacted AnneLandmanBlog wanting to unload about what they experienced while working for Red Rock, and wanting others to know how business is done at these dealerships. This person has more detailed knowledge about financing of vehicle deals. Their name is withheld at their request. I asked this person follow-up questions based on information provided by a previous Red Rock employee who came forward and told about the illegal acts allegedly taking place at the dealerships, like falsifying customers’ financial information to lenders, misuse of digital signatures, forging of signatures, and more. This new person has even more detailed insight into these dealerships, the things they do to customers and banks, and how and why Red Rock dealerships operate so differently from other dealerships  in town and around the country.

Former Red Rock employee tells how the dealership fleeced people & submitted false information to financial institutions

A former Red Rock auto dealership employee contacted AnneLandmanBlog wanting to unload about what he experienced in the years he worked for the dealership. He asked to remain anonymous, so his name is withheld. He said he was “ashamed” about having worked for the dealership and wanted to do whatever he could do to help people who fell victim to these scams.

Following are excerpts of our conversation, edited slightly for clarity:

Another Red Rock dealership victim

Red Rock GMC contract with unauthorized $4,995 charge for “Portfolio” (an extended warranty the customer wasn’t made aware of), “Worry Free Maintenance” that the customer was told would give him three “free oil changes,” and a $2,500 charge for “Resistall” coating, a treatment that ruined the glass on his truck. Red Rock dealerships are affiliated with the Tim Dahle Auto Group dealerships out of Utah.

Last spring, Daniel Macias (not his real name) went to the Red Rock GMC dealership on First Street to buy a used Chevy Silverado pickup truck. Like other Grand Junction Red Rock dealership patrons, he was unaware of the trap he was walking into.