UPDATE: After posting this article “Is Vroom Legit,” Vroom’s Better Business Bureau certification has a “revoked” status and the BBB has given them an F rating.
It’s the question I wanted to know before I bought from them, and if you’re looking to purchase a car, the question you want an answer to: Is Vroom legit? While it’s true they are a real company that trades on the NASDAQ under VRM, their service is about as awful as it gets—but only after you buy a car.
As an emerging Tech PR communications pro, the online car buying concept excites me. Sadly, Vroom has fallen short, and what appears to be a communication problem, may turn into a PR disaster. Customers are quick to forgive mistakes, but only when the company is quick to address the problems. I hope Vroom commits to this action soon. Until they do, I felt the right thing to do was to write down my experience as a PR pro and customer.
Vroom First Impressions
Vroom does a great job on the sales side of things. They have a wide selection of vehicles and they’re all priced aggressively. A few dealers we looked at couldn’t even compete in price.
If you create an account they go as far to give you a follow-up call to help. If you call into their sales department, a real person answers in record time. They do know how to make a first impression for sure. After numerous web searches on the term “is vroom legit” seeing nothing of substance, we decided to buy, and that’s when things started to get weird. (I would later discover why there were no negative experiences online.)
The Vroom Buying Process
I’ll try to keep this as detailed, and fair as possible. After all, you’re looking to find out is Vroom legit? And you don’t care about bias or objective BS. Here is my full experience.
The $500 Deposit
As soon as you express interest in a car and make a $500 deposit via any major credit card, they will hold the car you were interested in, giving you time to make your purchase and complete paperwork. I asked a few clarifying questions and gave my ok to move forward.
The Vroom contract
The next step is when they send you an extremely lengthy contract with only 24 hours to review, sign, and send them money. In our case, because we paid cash we had to send them a cashier’s check or wire transfer. Unlike a credit card, you can’t cancel these or dispute these, so we were a bit nervous.
The most concerning thing in the contract is a lack of clarity on responsibility of failure in delivery.
“Vroom is not liable for any failure or delay in delivering the Vehicle toVroom Contract. Page 3 of 6
you where such delay is due, in whole or in part, to any cause beyond our control or without our fault or negligence, including, without limitation, acts of God, civil commotion, strikes, terrorism, illegal acts of third parties, or government demands or restrictions.”
Taking this up with their legal department and amending the contract, they accepted our changes and we sent the cash. This was the moment I got a bit nervous and asked myself the question you want answered: is Vroom legit? What if they just don’t send a car?
How does Vroom ship cars?
Vroom advertises they will drop off your car right in your driveway, but that’s not the full story.
Three days after we sent payment and paperwork, we heard from Vroom that our car would be shipping, arriving on August 18th. Then we got a call on August 9th, that it would arrive the next day! Shocked, but excited by the new timeline, we confirmed. They said the delivery service would follow up on the day of delivery.
When the delivery service did follow up, things got weird. The delivery service asked about the location of “my dealership.” I almost responded they had the wrong number, but because I was expecting a call from Vroom I asked if this was about a Vroom car. It was— I still have no idea why they thought I was a dealership, but the gentleman informed me their driver would arrive between 7p – 10p at night.
The Vroom Problems Set In
At 9:30p I got a call from the driver, who didn’t speak English, trying to explain where he was. I had no idea what he wanted me to do, or if he was lost. Finally, he spelled out the name of a truck stop/gas station, asking me to come to him. I told him he needed to drop the car off at our house, but he refused. Finally, he texted me his GPS location via Google Maps and I tracked him to a gas station 1/4 mile from my house.
Fortunately, my wife was home and was able to take me to the truck stop at nearly 10 pm at night. Relieved to see our car, we figured our Vroom experience was finally complete. We were wrong.
Car Vibrations, Bad Tires & Missing Features
Our first problem was immediately obvious, the car vibrated at slow speeds. It was a 2017 Volvo S60 Inscription Platinum but it rode like a rusty truck on a gravel road. The problem intensified when we took it on the highway.
After taking it into the local Volvo dealership they confirmed the problem using their Road Force Balancer. The tires registered at 15, 47, 68, and 72. They informed me no tire should exceed 20 and determined the tires were defective and unsafe to drive on. They also noticed a slight bend in the right rear wheel. But that wasn’t all, they also informed us the car did not have the blind spot monitoring system (BLIS) as promised. Interestingly, I asked about all these issues ahead of time.
Vroom’s Service After The Sale: The Games Begin
Problems happen and I understand that, but two weeks after the problem was first reported the issue still wasn’t addressed. Every call into Vroom service took a minimum of 20 minutes to answer. Many times it took over 1 hour. (Sales still picks up quickly, but they won’t help you with service.) Is Vroom legit from a service standpoint? No.
Ana, Tekima, and Frenchie at Vroom assured me they would take care of the issues and were pleasant, but not helpful. Then the games started.
At first, they ignored the Volvo Dealer’s Road Test Balance, getting “confused” over tread depth—declining the repair request. After I pointed out their error, they said they’d look at it again and apologized.
Asking For The Dealer To Send Documentation
After repeated calls almost daily, waiting on hold for countless hours, they asked for the Volvo dealer to send a letter to them explaining the issues. The dealer obliged, but again there was no response. Finally, after continuing to call them, one representative told me they were not going to help. The defective tires, bent rim, and lack of BLIS, were our problem now. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
How I Got Vroom To Fix Our Issues
After being turned down, I decided it was time to flex my rights. I informed them they misrepresented the vehicle, and I couldn’t, in good conscience, stay silent. If they didn’t make the situation right, I would have to be honest in my review of their service online. I also said I’d have to file complaints with the AG offices in Iowa (where we lived) New York (where their headquarters are) and Texas (where they ship cars.)
I also reached out to their CEO, Paul Hennessy on his LinkedIn profile and via his direct email at email@example.com. To date, I’ve received no response from him.
Only after beginning to post negative reviews and reply to some of their public tweets, did I finally hear back from a man named “Michael” and his boss, Jimmy Gloff after almost 1 month of constant calling. They wanted to compensate us for the cost of the damages, but it wasn’t that simple. Is Vroom legit? Read on.
To Get A Check, I’d Have To Sign An NDA
In order for them to make the issue right, Vroom informed me I’d need to sign an NDA contract first, promising to not speak about, post on social or write about my experience. If I signed the document, only then would they fix our problems. Just to get what we paid for, we’d have to sign a gag order! This explains why it’s difficult to find anything negative on Vroom.
Vroom Reviews Hidden?
People desperate to get their money back from bad experiences in the past weren’t posting Vroom reviews likely because of this NDA. Desperate to get their money back, they sign the document and shut up. In my view, they were holding my own money over my head to keep me quiet about their lack of organization.
I told Mr. Gloff this was the worst possible solution and I would not be signing the contract— he finally agreed to send the check anyway. Truthfully, Jimmy and Michael were the only folks in the entire company that were a redeeming factor. They apologized, they listened to me, and they were kind. I wish I spoke to them first.
Is Vroom Legit?
Is Vroom legit? The verdict, in my view, is not yet. They have a long road ahead of them. Because this was probably the worst company I’ve ever worked with, I decided you should know.
Not everyone has the time and patience I do. I love the idea of online car buying disrupting the lazy dealership model. I think it will promote better deals in the long run and I hope Vroom turns around before they hit a dead end.
Disclaimer: I’ve done my very best to be truthful and detailed about this entire scenario to the best of my ability because when I searched “is Vroom legit?” I found nothing online. If someone had written something, it would have saved me a lot of time and frustration. I wish Vroom and their employees the very best, but people need to be aware this is happening.