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It is with great internal conflict that I have to resort to posting this on the internet. I am sorry that it has come to this and I seem to have run out of options:

I have to apologize in advance for the volume of what I am posting here: It is the truth as best I can remember. Believe it or not I have left out some details that are better left out.

Before I go into the details, I would like to explain why I am so upset with the whole situation.

I first met Bob Woodhouse at one of the Viper Days events at Gingerman raceway and I remember him blowing by me so fast on the straightaway after the final turn. I spoke with him later that day and he was a genuine stand up guy with charisma and integrity. He answered all my road racing questions and I would call him from time to time and ask his advice. As you all know, Bob is a very busy man but he still took the time to talk to me. He knew the answer to everything...quite a guy.

I ended up buying a brand new 2000 diesel Excursion from him and mid april of 2002, I traded in the Excursion and bought a brand new 2002 F-350 diesel dually crew cab 4 X 4. I will never NOT own one of these trucks again! Phenomenal.

Being a business owner myself, I would have to say that I marvelled at how professional and genuine EVERY single person who works for him throughout all levels, polite and courteous parts guys to the sales staff,etc...... I would always wonder how he could possibly stay on top of everything and make all these people so good. I referred several people who bought new vehicles from my friend, Bob Woodhouse, as well. I felt it was the least I could do for all the help he had given me.

The frame recall surfaced however long ago it was... I waited and noticed the bracket holding on the steering box was cracking. I was not really comfortable with the idea of someone cutting and welding pieces of my frame. I knew Bob Woodhouse road raced his car all over the country with his Viper tech, Rick Maxwell doing all necessary maintenence and repairs. I am very into the corner weighting and alignment of the car and could not bear some third party welder coming in from somewhere to hack up my car. I got a "brilliant" idea to drive my car almost 600 miles to have Bob Woodhouse do the recall since he had done so many up to that point. I rationalized the value, in my mind, of what I had seen up to that point of having Woodhouse do the recall:

1. Woodhouse was the #1 Viper dealership inthe country.

2. He road races and has the best Viper tech in the country.

3. From all of my past experience with Bob and every Woodhouse employee, I had such supreme confidence I was making the right decision without a doubt. ==> I knew Bob would take care of me like he had done in the past.... I figured Rick Maxwell would be up to the task of performing the frame recall and doing several other things like installing brake ducts and installing a new set of Unitrax cryogenically treated stubs that come out of the differential as mine were worn and the u-joint caps were spinning.

I drove out there, dropped off the car and the Woodhouse courtesy van took me to the airport fantastic right? Good so far.

I get the car back three weeks later and took the car for a test drive on the highway... I was surprised to feel the rear end of the car to be VERY squirrely under threshold braking. It also had uneven weight transfer characteristics when I did a right-left-right-left slalom. One side grabbing, loading, and unloading differently than the other.

1. I get out of the car at home, there was differential fluid all over the rear fascia. Rick must not have put the seals in properly when he swapped the stubs.

2. I took the car to get the alignment checked.

==>The mechanic showed me how the right front tie rod was not locked down at all! I could have been killed...

3. The rear wheels were toed OUT instead of IN like they are supposed to be! This would explain the rear of the car wanting to come around under threshold braking. As the 13" rubber would be looking to follow road contours away from the centerline in the toed out state!

Bob apologized for not locking down the lock nut on the tie rod and credited me the money I had paid for the alignment. Everything was cool, sometimes people make mistakes right? No problem. I understand.

After driving the car home something still did not feel quite right, I was not sure if it was me not being used to the alignment, or something wrong with the car. So to ease my mind, I took the car to the local dealership to check the car out.

The local dealership found mistakes made on the recall and that the right rear tie rod dust boot had been torn. I cleaned the wheels a few days before the trip and did not remember the dust boot being torn.

Rick did not ever mention to me the boot was torn, nor was I given the option to have it replaced.

I also noticed the Bobby Archer toe link bracket that was on the car when it got there, was no longer installed on the passenger side anymore. Rick told me it is not necessary on the right side since the left side has the reinforcement bar.

The local dealership gave Woodhouse a quote on what it would cost to fix everything. Bob did not like the price and had one of his trucks come out to pick up my car. Bob told me they would fix every mistake and get me back my car promptly.

It was THREE weeks before I saw my car again. I remember talking to Nancy Schanno(The woman who handles all viper service business jointly with Rick Maxwell==> He does the work and she corresponds with the customer regarding timing, what's going on, when the car is scheduled to be done/etc......For a woman doing a man's job, she's not bad at all, you know?) She was supposed to call me back by a certain time on a Friday or Saturday to let me know if the car would be ready for the weekend. She did not call me back that day and by the time I called over there the receptionist told me she was gone for the day......

You have to picture that I had not had the car about 6 weeks and they kept coming up with reasons why the car was not ready yet. I was not too happy and asked to speak to Bill Pemberton. I explained to Bill how I had not had my car for going on 6 weeks and that I was not too happy Nancy had not called me back. Bill told me he is just a salesman and did not have any knowledge of the exact scoop. I understood this but was very unhappy nevertheless.

I also remember asking Bob to drive my car on the highway and to do some threshold braking after the alignment was completed. I asked this favor of Bob because he knows how fast I drive my car and high speed stability is very important to me. When I asked him how the car handled now, he said, "Sooweet!"

So I get the car back after 6 weeks and go for a ride.... I was so surprised to feel the back end of the car being squirrely again under threshold braking and the same uneven weight transfer doing the slalom. It was not as bad as the first time but did not feel right. I set up another appointment to check the alignment. I drove the car for a day or two before the alignment check. I thought I might not be used to the way Woodhouse aligns the cars. I did have Rick Maxwell send me the alignment specs of what they put ont he car so I could possibly understand the car's behavior. It took rick a few tries to get me the right sheet..... What a joke!

Normally, you get -.75(left front) -.73(right front) or whatever # they put on it and the same for the rear. Sometimes it is not perfect to the hundreths place, but it should be close right? WRONG! I do not have the exact #'s on hand but it was something ridiculous like

-.23(left front) -.75(right front)


-.8(left rear) -1.4(right rear)

The toe # were all over the place as well.

Rick told me that even though the #'s were not even, that they were in the normal range of the factory specs. I told him this was unacceptable for the 2nd time after a screw-up. He said that since the car is 2" lower and has such awesome brakes, that the rear of the car will pull a little bit under braking.

When I asked him why the car did not pull like that before he worked his magic, he could not answer.

I took the car to a closer alignment place than the 1st time and for only $100.00 this guy put a beautiful alignment on the car which from that point on this will be the only guy aligning my car.

He also showed me what the alignment specs were from Woodhouse before he fixed it. All I have to say is the rears were toed OUT a total between the two sides of 3/8". Just to put it into perspective, the rears are normally toed IN 1/16" on each side making a total of 1/8" total toe IN. There is 1/2" discrepancy between what it it supposed to be and what Woodhouse Dodge put on my car. It also used to be able to have Zero camber in the fronts, but after the recall it can only be -.75 degrees.

Even after all this I still would have bought another vehicle form Bob Woodhouse..... Until this happened==>

When the motor was out of my car sometime in Feb-March 2003, I was cleaning the engine compartment from 73,000 miles of grime and oil/etc you cannot get at with the motor in the car...... When I noticed a HOLE BURNED IN MY FRAME RAIL! This is the rail that goes between the two lower frame rails that extend under the core support towards the underside of the front fascia.==> This is the same rail to which the steering box is welded.

I can say that with the engine in the car, you really could not see the hole with the crank pulley and all the misc. in that area. I am sure it was an honest mistake by whoever did the welding. Still not what one would expect from a dealership of the reputation of a Woodhouse!

I called Bob and explained the situation to him and he gave me his word he would pay for the hole to be fixed. I got the car back on the road mid-end June 2003. I did not call Bob until August as $400.00 was not that big a deal especially with the high workload I was under and staying out late at night driving/racing the car into the wee hours of the morning. He called me back about a week later as he sometimes does and I was too busy to call him back.....
I called him about 3 weeks ago to finally settle up with him and left the first message to please call me. After about 3-4 days of not hearing from him, I decided to leave him a message that the repair cost $400.00(4 hours at $100.00/hour) and that he could simply reverse $400.00 on the credit card I used to pay him. I figured it could not be any easier than this as he would not have to write me a check or anything...

==> I looked for a refund about 1.5-2 weeks later and there was nothing.

So now I called every 1-2 days, and it struck me odd that Bob always seemed to be in a meeting or on the other line. But the girl always asked me who it is so Bob can decide whether he wants to talk to the person or not. With most successful men with so much on their plate, it is sometimes impossible to get a hold of them on the first try. Last tuesday or wednesday the girl tells me Bob is at Road Atlanta racing and that he would be back the following Monday.

By this time, my patience has worn thin and I asked to talk to Bill Pemberton. Bill tells me Bob will not be back until monday..... I start to tell him the story(which he already knows by the way) and he seems like he really does not want to hear it. That's fine, I guess. ==> So I ask Bill if he can give Bob this message for me: "I have been calling and calling you for the last 3 weeks and have not heard back from anybody and I would like my money like you promised..." Bill says, "Bob will be back monday."

I tell Bill that If Bob does not call me in a reasonable time frame I might have to be forced to post what has been happening to me on the internet......

Bill went crazy and started to yell, " You go ahead and post this on the internet, and WE have so many things on you to fire back your head will spin!!!!!!"

I asked him why he was being such a PRICK and he said, " Alright, there you go calling me names like you do to everybody..... Come on! Is there anything else you want to call me????? Come on!....."

I told him he was totally out of line to speak to me in that manner and that our conversation was finished and to give Bob the message...

The question I have here is this: What the heck did I ever do to Bill Pemberton to deserve this treatment?????

I called monday and Bob was at the doctor's office, then he was on the other line, then in a meeting. I called tuesday and the girl told me he was on the other line and did I want his voice mail. I told her I would hold until he was off and she asked me who she should say is calling. I told her I am a guy who has been leaving voice mail messages for Bob for the last 3 weeks and that he has not yet called me back. I told her I would really like to speak with him after he is finished with he call he is on!

Here is when it really hit home...... She says, Bill Pemberton and Bob Woodhouse are no longer accepting calls from you.......

I guess this is what a guy who buys $80,000.00+ of vehicles in a span of 2 years who refers customers to buy new cars/trucks from Bob Woodhouse gets!

I guess this is what a guy who drives his car almost 600 miles to get the frame recall done by Woodhouse gets! A bunch of crap and Bob and Bill "No Longer Accepting My Calls......" Nice, Very nice.

Anybody have any suggestions on what to do? I cannot believe I have been treated like this.......

Paolo Castellano
 

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i dont know what to say except i am sorry to hear that! as far as suggestions, i dont know if you want me to actually post them. and to think i was going to contact them when i wanted to buy my next viper! if only every shop had a David Weaver in them :bowdown:
 

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Focus!
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Wow, Paolo - this is the first time in five years that I haven't heard anything less then STELLAR about Woodhouse's service and customer satisfaction. This is going to be a really hot topic - hopefully you'll get some answers on this as well as let Bob and Bill tell their side of the story. I don't think the threat to them helped any, but I can understand under the circumstances what your motivation was.

Good luck - I think you'll have to wait this one out to get some questions answered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Clint Sever said:
Wow, Paolo - this is the first time in five years that I haven't heard anything less then STELLAR about Woodhouse's service and customer satisfaction. This is going to be a really hot topic - hopefully you'll get some answers on this as well as let Bob and Bill tell their side of the story. I don't think the threat to them helped any, but I can understand under the circumstances what your motivation was.

Good luck - I think you'll have to wait this one out to get some questions answered.
Clint, I am just as shocked as you and many people will be after reading this thread.

I cannot imagine what I could have possibly done to them to deserve this!
 

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The bad publicity is not worth $400.00. Sounds like a bad decision on their part if the story is just as you posted it. Hope everything works out for both parties.
 

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Paolo:
I was also shocked to read your circumstances. I have (had) only 2 real experiences with Viper Dealers, both of which have been excellent. Chuck Tator is too far for you to deal with, but isn't John Gastman (Gassman?) at Roanoake Dodge around the corner from you? As an alternative, you may want to give him a call.

As for Woodhouse, I would imagine that the only way to get your situation resolved at this point, is to arrange, somehow, a face to face meeting. Beyond that, perhaps someone else reading this that "knows" Bob can act as an intermediary. Still amazes me to read how nonsensical these things can turn into.
 

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RedSnakeGTS said:
i dont know what to say except i am sorry to hear that! as far as suggestions, i dont know if you want me to actually post them. and to think i was going to contact them when i wanted to buy my next viper! if only every shop had a David Weaver in them :bowdown:
No shit!
 

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SeriousEric said:
RedSnakeGTS said:
i dont know what to say except i am sorry to hear that! as far as suggestions, i dont know if you want me to actually post them. and to think i was going to contact them when i wanted to buy my next viper! if only every shop had a David Weaver in them :bowdown:
No shit!
Thank GOD for DAVID WEAVER!!!!!!! :thumb:
 

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Hey, we have Tom Sessions in our area, who is also the tech for ViperDays! :thumb:

I'm amazed that this post was initially deleted over on the VCA site?!
 

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I'm shocked. Keep us abreast of how this works out.
 

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A couple replies on two issues:

1. As far as the moderation on .org, I am dumbfounded. I turned in my "wand" months ago and don't have any idea why an objective thread would be tampered with or deleted. It meets all of the board rules, including "first hand" (not 3rd party) experience. Bad move on part of the boards that only makes their site sponsor look worse - why would they want to do that?

2. There is NO WAY that Bob Woodhouse would refuse to take somebodys call unless he had been threatened or something similar. As Paolo said, he is a businessman. And you simply don't turn away calls from a customer - good or bad - unless there was a very good reason to do so. I strongly suspect that there is a lot more to this part of the story. It seems to me that Woodhouse has gone out of their way to make Paolo happy, including sending a trailer 600 miles to pick up and deliver back his Viper for service. And if it was for recall work, he paid nothing for it anyway (besides the upgrades). Even if the work was poor (which I won't debate), it seems very clear that Woodhouse has gone to great lengths to make it right.

Lest you think I am a biased source as I too have bought both of my Vipers from Woodhouse, let me add this: Their service department is not the greatest and they know it. Rick Maxwell is a very competent guy, especially when it comes to track cars. Yet he does NOT do all of the work on Vipers that are brought in. Indeed, I would guess that he does less than half, as he has track cars he is usually involved with in the shop. Are the other Viper techs competent? More than a few people have been unimpressed, including myself. Like Paolo, I had my GTS in for service and it came back with a new problem. It took me 3-4 local dealer visits to get it figured out and when it was figured out it was determined that it was a mistake made in Blair. And it wasn't easy to get them (service) to admit the mistake until their own paperwork backed it up. Oh, and one call to Bob and it was all taken care of.

Is that acceptable? No. Are Bob, Bill, and the rest of the gang aware of it? You bet your ass. They need some work in the service department and they know it. I understand that they have already made a few changes recently to help move it up a notch. Undoubtedly one of their biggest challenges is communications, as we have also had a few Vipers from KC that took a little long with no reply from Nancy or Rick. Again, Bob is VERY aware of that and has vowed to try to get it fixed - if it hasn't already been fixed since Paolo's unfortunate experience.

Would I buy a vehicle from Woodhouse Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ford, Lincoln, Nissan? ABSOLUTELY 100% WITHOUT RESERVATION. Their sales side is without equal and I have yet to hear so much as a peep of a bad experience on that end. Great pricing, great follow up (Bill Pemberton), and great service on getting your new car delivered. Would I go back for mechanical service? If I were local to Blair, yes. From Kansas City? Only after some assurances from Bob that they have stepped up their efforts to make it match the sales side - superior in every way.

I trust that this issue shall be resolved to both parties satisfaction. I have never met Paolo, but I know for absolute certain that Bob Woodhouse is as upstanding a guy as you will ever meet in the Viper world. There is literally no person in the Viper world today that I admire more, and I am not easily impressed.
 

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I can understand about the first part.
But, about the frame.
We cut holes in 'em all the time(fuel, wiring, etc.).
As long as it is a reasonable hole, there should be no problem.
But, it should be the customers decision.
 

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If you check .morg, Bob Woodhouse is actually "lurking" the boards (or is s/n is anyway). I hope this thing gets resolved easily. It's a shame it had to come to Paolo posting this situation.
 

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It's not messing with him.
I said it should be the customers choice.
He was not allowed to choose.
He is right to want his money back.
 

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Given Bill's normally happy-go-lucky attitude, I would think something major would have had to happen to cause him to not take someone's calls. I've purchased one Viper from Woodhouse - at the same time I got a friend to buy the same car at the same time. Flawless delivery and no complaints - hell, I still call Bill and talk prices from time to time.

I would be suprised if Bill or Bob didn't try to make this right - either way, I would think there has to be more to it than $400.
 

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Y2K3SRT said:
Lest you think I am a biased source as I too have bought both of my Vipers from Woodhouse, let me add this: Their service department is not the greatest and they know it. Rick Maxwell is a very competent guy, especially when it comes to track cars. Yet he does NOT do all of the work on Vipers that are brought in. Indeed, I would guess that he does less than half, as he has track cars he is usually involved with in the shop. Are the other Viper techs competent? More than a few people have been unimpressed, including myself. Like Paolo, I had my GTS in for service and it came back with a new problem. It took me 3-4 local dealer visits to get it figured out and when it was figured out it was determined that it was a mistake made in Blair. And it wasn't easy to get them (service) to admit the mistake until their own paperwork backed it up.
Not that I have been around for a long time, but this is the first time I have heard negative remarks about Woodhouse service.
 

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Paolo Castellano said:
I also noticed the Bobby Archer toe link bracket that was on the car when it got there, was no longer installed on the passenger side anymore. Rick told me it is not necessary on the right side since the left side has the reinforcement bar.
I fabricated a set of inner toe link struts for my GTS after seen a set of Archer's for $250. HELL of a difference! When my car was in the shop for the recall, they were not able to reinstall the strut because the left side recall bracket goes right where the toe link strut was. The new stiffener does NOTHING to reinforce the inner toe link, but the new piece *can be* modded to stiffen it.

Very sorry to hear about your Woodhouse story. Seriously out of character, to say the least. Your alignment was way, way out of range. Did your ride heights change? You can get seriously wacky numbers by turning the spring platforms a few turns the wrong way.
 

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GTS Dean said:
Paolo Castellano said:
I also noticed the Bobby Archer toe link bracket that was on the car when it got there, was no longer installed on the passenger side anymore. Rick told me it is not necessary on the right side since the left side has the reinforcement bar.
I fabricated a set of inner toe link struts for my GTS after seen a set of Archer's for $250. HELL of a difference! When my car was in the shop for the recall, they were not able to reinstall the strut because the left side recall bracket goes right where the toe link strut was. The new stiffener does NOTHING to reinforce the inner toe link, but the new piece *can be* modded to stiffen it.

Very sorry to hear about your Woodhouse story. Seriously out of character, to say the least. Your alignment was way, way out of range. Did your ride heights change? You can get seriously wacky numbers by turning the spring platforms a few turns the wrong way.
GTS Dean, what do you mean by "spring platform"? are you talking about the spring perch?? as in if you do not install the springs correctly it will alter the alignment?
 

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I'm glad we can speak more freely here - you should see how many people got edited at the other site.

I don't fall for the line that any business is in the holy of holies - they are only as good as they treat me. And that goes for each one of us. Who gives a crap how good someones reputation is if they treat you like a terd because they can't get it right and you keep calling them?

Paolo got a bum wrap - period, end of story - if they're as honorable as everyone says - they'll fix the dang $400 problem.

Hope it works out buddy, you didn't need or deserve that treatment!
 
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