J.D. Byrider: Helping or Hurting Vehicle Consumers?

You’re short on cash. Your credit is a few dozen degrees less than perfect. You’re in the market for a new car. And three major car dealerships have just sent you home feeling dejected and unworthy after hours of filling out futile paperwork. More than likely, your next move is to head to a local used car lot and hope for the best. But alas, you’ve just heard about a company who promises to deliver on two things:

1) Helping to drastically improve your credit within 6 months to a year.
2) Providing you with a modern, yet reliable used vehicle.

The company being referenced is J.D. Byrider. The organization boasts sixteen year longevity, and the promise to match financing to each and every individual customer’s needs. Potential car buyers who visit J.D. Byrider’s website will immediately notice that the site itself is not “vehicle-oriented.” There is no inventory list that potential customers can peruse. Instead, the site provides only generic descriptions of the types of vehicles it carries. The majority of the information listed pertains to the services that J.D. Byrider offers its customers, such as an 18-month warranty on all vehicles, in-house financing, and vehicle servicing. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering that J.D. Byrider’s primary concern is helping patrons to improve their credit scores.

Once you actually visit a J.D. Byrider store, however, the perception of the company changes considerably. One young lady in Marietta, GA recalled discovering a J.D. Byrider ad on the popular website Craigslist.org. The ad referenced a particular vehicle that she was interested in test driving and possibly purchasing. When she arrived at the dealership, she was taken through the process of filling out paperwork (called a “Budget Analysis”) that would determine how much she would be eligible for in financing. She sat for hours as the amateurish staff joked amongst themselves and absently shuffled papers around. Finally, after waiting for approximately 3 Ã?½ hours for word, she was advised that she would qualify for only ONE vehicle on their lot: a Ford Escort (one of the cars she specifically ruled out purchasing). Initially, this same woman was advised that she would need only five references for her file. But upon filling out the applications, she was told that she would need seven more. When she offered to return at a later date to provide the information, the salesmen acquired several false references (presumably from other applicants) to complete the woman’s file. She declined any offers made, left the dealership, and never returned.

This incident was isolated. But other customers who have obtained vehicles through the dealership have complained of other underhanded practices. For instance, one gentleman recounts buying a car that malfunctioned just one day after driving it off the lot. The man returned the vehicle and demanded that it be fixed. J.D. Byrider explained that a warranty fee would have to be paid prior to any repairs being made. Another angry consumer in Mesa, AZ reported having multiple mechanical issues with his used vehicle. Finally he returned the car to the dealership, only to be told that if he didn’t continue making payments, his credit would be destroyed. On this promise, J.D. Byrider also delivered, and the gentlemen ended up with more debt than he had when he started. The bevy of complaints range from inoperable vehicles, harrassing phone calls (from Byrider’s finance company CNAC), inflated prices and interest rates, to failure to abide by warranty stipulations. In December of 2004, Kentucky Attorney General, Greg Stumbo filed a consumer protection lawsuit against the company for a number of state law violations. Some customers were even awarded restitution for their financial troubles.

There are those customers who’ve smoothly and successfully purchased cars at various Byrider lots. But more and more examples of underhanded business practices are being revealed. The consensus is that J.D. Byrider has been profiting for years off of the unfortunate circumstances of its clientele. A website dedicated to outing these instances is www.jdbyridersucks.com. Here, used car buyers can review the experiences of past and current Byrider car owners. Those considering doing business with this dealership should be wary of any dealership that won’t allow clients to examine and test drive the merchandise before making a purchase, as is the case with J.D. Byrider. As common sense would dictate, read ALL the fine print before signing any documents. And last, but not least- don’t allow sales personnel to pressure you into an agreement by making attractive promises.

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