Here is a nice letter from one of our customers:
Dear Mr. Rock Collins,
On July 8, 2010, I purchased a 2006 Ford Focus. I was ecstatic to have a car that was in great shape that I could afford, and I was surprised that I was able to get financing. Two days earlier, I was heading over from Fort Bragg to see my daughters in Auburn, when my 23 year old Ford Bronco II overheated an hour into my trip, causing damage to the head gasket. I called my ex-husband who was not happy to hear from me, and he told me I blew up my car, but offered no other assistance. I was stuck in Upper Lake. I had been living on meager wages, and had not been making enough to keep up on repairs on the 23 year old Bronco. The car had been breaking down with problems over the last several months. My ex-husband really didn’t want to keep up the maintenance on it, and because of that I had gone to court recently and requested spousal support, not knowing what my financial future would bring. I had saved a few dollars before my car died, but didn’t have enough to purchase a decent vehicle. So I did not know what I could do about a car, especially since I had just recently declared bankruptcy as well. I was in financial hell, so to speak.
On that fateful afternoon, my daughter drove several hours to come pick me up, and I secured the blown-up car at a local car repair shop. I arrived in Auburn late that night. The next day I listed the Bronco on Craigslist to see if someone would buy it outright so I wouldn’t have to tow it back home. I then combed the newspapers for a vehicle. I sent e-mails out to car dealers whose newspaper ads showed cars I could afford. Although, I had very little hope that any car dealer would be able to finance a decent car that I could afford. Over the last 18 years, I had had cars with varieties of problems, never a car that was in 100% tip-top shape. There was always an air conditioner that didn’t work, or a heater, or I needed brakes, or the transmission leaked. I lived with what seemed like forever, cars that got me where I was going, but never knew if I would get home with them. Even though my ex-husband worked on our cars and kept them on the road, it was not something he liked doing, and, for instance, if I mentioned that the gas tank leaked when I put in over 6 gallons, I was told to only put in 5. I guess you could call him a duct tape mechanic, and I had used cases of it over our 25 year relationship.
The next day, I purchased an old Ford Ranger with over 200,000 miles on it, and the owner told me it “should” last me, but wasn’t going to make any promises since the vehicle was old, and I was also worried since I had just blown up one car with no warning. I had not heard from any of the car dealers that I e-mailed that morning, but when I got back home, I received a call from Mr. Deno (spelling?), from Future Ford of Sacramento. He told me to come on down and look at the cars and that he could help me out. I had seen a 2005 Ford Focus in the paper, saying it could be purchased for $199 a month. Me and my daughter went down to Future Ford of Sacramento, and met Joseph Richardson. He showed us what was available, and I test drove a 2006 Ford Focus, and after we came back to the dealership I began the process of trying to buy the car. The loan negotiator (Saul Casey??? – please ask Joseph as I could not get this gentlemen’s name right on the phone message I received – as the cell phone connection wasn’t clear) jumped in and began working on the purchase of this vehicle, which was terrifying for me because of all of my financial woes after divorcing the year prior. I had the need for a decent car that I wouldn’t have to spend every cent to keep together, but then worried about whether I could even get financing I could afford. Saul C. went back and forth with lenders and me to see what he could devise. He finally found a lender who would allow me to make a $500 down payment on the vehicle and trade in the Ford Ranger, with payments of $238 a month (which included $20 for gap insurance). The tax, license, and registration were included in the financing, fortunately because I had spent my last cent on a down payment.
Joseph Richardson drove us around town to get the required documentation needed to secure the funding, and hammered out the fine details of how this would all work out. Frank Lagasso compiled all of the paperwork and had me sign. I was shaking, and freaked out, but Mr. Lagasso acted like this is what he does every day, and probably wondered what the big deal was? No one at Future Ford of Sacramento knew what had transpired in my life up to that day regarding cars. Everyone there treated me like a real person who needed a car that wasn’t missing something; a car I didn’t have to worry about. I drove out of the dealership with my “new to me” car that afternoon. I received a limited warranty with the car, and road-side assistance. It is the first car payment I have had in years, and I love paying for a car that runs well and that I really like, which hasn’t been the case in such a long time. I have almost 4,000 miles on the vehicle to date, and I check the oil and fluids before I go out of town, or every month, whichever comes first, and it doesn’t use oil and water like my other cars. I am amazed. Without the persistence and tenacity, kindness and respect, I received from Joseph Richardson, Saul C. (???), and Frank Lagasso, I would have never had a wonderful car to drive. Now I can go see my girls in Auburn without worrying about breaking down on the side of the road, and even worse, calling up my ex-husband! I want to thank everyone at Future Ford of Sacramento for their help and for getting me a car – which is much more than just a car to me – it is truly a lifeline.