Great People. Good Service. Fair Prices.
June 16, 2015
My family and I were on our way home to Phoenix from a road trip to visit my sister in St. Paul, MN. As we were driving down the I-90W near Chamberlain, a fairly large deer decided to play 'Chicken' with my 2008 Nissan Armada. Neither party walked away from the duel; the deer still lays on the side of the road near mile marker 265 and the Armada was towed to a towing facility not more than 500 yards from the site of the incident. It was 3am and so the local police dropped me and my family off at the hotel and I filed my claim with the insurance company (Metlife). In the morning I woke up and called a local body shop to have them go inspect my vehicle to see if they could get us back on the road; fortunately or unfortunately the body shop suggested the car was a total loss. I spoke with an adjuster at Metlife and asked them some very important questions: 1. What do I do about a rental car? 2. What do I do about my luggage? 3. What do I do about my Cargo Carrier (metal basket that connects via my towing hitch receiver)? The adjuster informed me that I was more than 30 miles from the nearest rental car company they worked with so I was on my own there. They suggested I find a rental car that would suit our needs (7 people and a bunch of luggage) and they would cover up to $40/day for 30 days. Other than that they'd send out an appraiser in the next couple of days and let me know if they'd pay to fix it or pay me for the loss of the vehicle. Every rental car company I spoke with (hundreds of miles from me) told me they would not let me attach my cargo carrier to any of their vehicles and the best they could do for me was get me a minivan, which would hold the family but not our luggage - highway yard sale perhaps? uggh. :( Here I sit 200 miles from the nearest town with a rental car company, with five young children who are sick of eating from the gas station next to the hotel, with no means of transportation, and no plan in site. I was literally in tears...the night before the police officer and the hotel clerk had suggested I contact the local car dealer because he had been known to help people out. They each wrote down Willrodt Ford and the phone number on separate sticky notes - so I pulled one out of my pocket and dialed the number. A gentleman answered the phone and within two minutes told me that he'd have someone at the hotel shortly to bring me by the dealership and see what could be done. I got to the dealership and explained my situation to Pat - he pointed to a Chevy Suburban that would seat my family and had a tow hitch!! In less than five minutes I was in the Suburban driving back to our hotel to show my wife the car. I was extremely nervous but the vehicle seemed to drive well and my wife said it would work. I went back to the dealership and told them I was nervous about the vehicle and asked if they minded that I have it looked at by a local mechanic - they said no problem and let me drive away again! I was able to get my stuff out of my wrecked vehicle, feed my children, and load our stuff from the hotel into the Suburban...without every signing a thing. I called around to some mechanics asking them to do a look-over and when they heard I was buying from Willrodt they agreed to test drive it but said, "Those guys are reputable. I've never seen them steer anyone wrong and I think you'll be fine driving it to Phoenix." I was shocked so I called the next nearest car dealership and they said almost the same thing. I made up my mind to buy the vehicle. The paperwork process took about 15 minutes and I paid about half of what I expected to pay for a comparable vehicle. Willrodt Ford turned a dire situation into a solved situation (we even made it to Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse!!) and really helped my family out. I'm not sure I'll ever be in South Dakota again but if I were a resident I wouldn't buy my vehicles anywhere else. Great guys -- I cannot say enough to express my thanks.