Thread: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

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  1. #1
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    Default Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    I just wanted to post this so that fellow viper owners can be aware of what Eric Lee is capable of saying and lying about. I recently called Eric Lee of Latham Motors. I was looking for a used Viper. I have owned four of them so far and this was to make my fifth.
    He told me he had a 97 that had never been wrecked or repainted and the car was in superb condition, and never mentioned any of the problems with the car. I drove 1550 miles from San Antonio Tx. to Twin Falls Idaho to purchase the car because I wanted to see it instead of having it shipped and paying for it before I saw it. Well, turns out he is no Bill Pemberton and lied about the whole car. The hood was repainted due to some type of accident and you could still see the bondo on the corner of it. I told him the facia had been repainted also. On further inspection of it, I found the paint was pealing on the same side from something like battery acid, the wheels had curb checks, there were oil leaks, antifreeze leaks, and he said there were no mods done to it but after looking at the heat shields that were smashed back on and missing bolts from the back of the rear muffler I told him he was lying to me about everything. His statement was " I thought you meant had the whole car ever been repainted"? What a jerk. I still have
    e-mails from him where he said that, and Eric you know you can't dispute that. I specifically asked him if the car had ever been repainted, he said NOOOOOO. When we got there and he realized we weren't first time viper owners he just played dumb about everything. The car was a piece of junk and he even had the nerve to ask me at what price would I buy the car and I told him at NOOOO price would I purchase the car and I left. Be aware that he does lie to people. By the way Eric, the comments you said about Woodhouse and Bill Pemberton show your lack of respect for fellow dealers and your unprofessionalism in the field. This previous post on Eric
    http://vca1.viperclub.org/ubb/Forum14/HTML/012275.html

    tells the truth but I didn't ever get to read this before I called him. A very good friend and fellow viper owner told me about all the bad posts on him so I did a search. I am only posting this so that anyone interested in buying a viper from him USED should remember BUYER BEWARE... he is no Bill Pemberton. I ended up getting one from Preston Dodge in Dallas and they were very truthful and professional. Sorry Bill didn't have one at the time.




  2. #2
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    Can you post the VIN#, just to give someone that might be in the market a heads-up.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    I dont have the vin but I can tell you that it is a Red GTS with Gold wheels and he said it came out of California. I also forgot to say that he was telling me that they had to weld part of the arm back onto the frame behind the left rear wheel.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    Wayne, sorry to hear about your trip. Bummer.

    Ever consider contacting a VCA member in that region to see if they could do a look-see and save you some frustration?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    Dean,
    I should have done at and it would have saved me a lot of trouble but it was a spur of the moment thing and I was soooo excited about it the way Eric talked. Surprise, Surprise.



  6. #6
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    This is the same one in the VCA clasifieds, and the same one I called about some time ago. Never looked back, woodhouse is getting my business.

    James


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    Eric,
    Come on the board and post. Are you trying to rip fellow viper owners off? If you were trying, you did it to the wrong bunch...come here and let me rip you a new @sshole!!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    Wayne, I was surprised to see this post. Here's my version of the story. You called me to inquire about the 97 Viper GTS. I told you it was a (1) owner car with 33,000+ miles. I told you that it had never been wrecked. There is no damage history on the car and it has a clean AutoCheck record. I didn't find the fixed crack around the headlight that you found. You are right on that. I didn't say anything about the wheel scratches because in my opinion they were minor for the year and miles of the car.

    I took detailed pictures of every side of the car so you could inspect it. The front underneath of the nose would have been repainted before I received the car to fix the scratches that almost every preowned Viper has. The whole hood has never been repainted and I did not say, "I thought you meant the whole car was ever repainted!"

    Yes, after we lifted the car so you could inspect it, there was oil on the bottom of the car. Did we find oil leaking? NO. I told you that I would deliver the car and that if it wasn't what I said it was that you could turn it down and send it back. I didn't tell you to pay for the car up front! I told you to have a check ready for the driver if you accepted the car. I do this with all my clients to let them know that I stand behind every car we sell. I didn't even know that you were driving to my dealership to get the car until you were almost here. I want to apologize for the deal not going the way you wanted it to but I also don't feel it is all of my fault.

    I priced the car very fairly. It's a 1997 Viper GTS coupe with 33,000 miles. Red/Gold. Good tires, above average condition and (7) months left on an extended warranty. No, it's not perfect, but if it was, it would be priced much higher. Also, I want Bill Pemberton to know that I did not BASH him! Bill and I have done business before and have had no problems.

    You told me yourself that even your local VCA club members say that you are by far the pickiest Viper owner they know. I also did not think that a couple of NEW VIPER BUYERS walked into our dealership that day. You had told me that you had Vipers in the past. Even if you were a NEW VIPER BUYER, I wouldn't take advantage of you. We don't do business that way!

    Finally, I would like you to know that I do appreciate you driving all the way from Texas to buy a Viper from me and I wish it would have worked out. I hope you are very happy with your Viper that you purchased.

    Eric Lee
    Latham Motors
    208-736-7080


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    I have been looking for a GTS for a few months now (Bill P. was giving me a good deal and I could't pull the trigger and now the car is gone). I have searched every website around and have called and dealt with dealers and have found that some of them know very little about the product they are selling and others just as soon not deal with anyone that is knowledgeable about the car. There are a lot of overpriced cars and bad cars out there and they will sell to unsuspecting people. That sled at Latham's will sell to someone but I doubt it will be a forum member. Thanks for the info Wayne. When I purchase it will either be from Bill P. or a forum member. I have to say that this forum and the people on it are great..I have been sent E mails from people willing to do veh inspections for me and have met Viper owners in Minnesota willing to answer all my questions (thanks Gerald & Jamie) Jerry in Minnesota.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    This guy currently has three RT's on ebay...where'd Smokin go?

    1995 RT/10

    1999 RT/10

    1996 RT/10

    Jerry...HURRY UP...The days are getting shorter already!



  11. #11
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>
    I have been sent E mails from people willing to do veh inspections for me and have met Viper owners in Minnesota willing to answer all my questions (thanks Gerald & Jamie) Jerry in Minnesota.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Jerry,

    No problem, but hurry summer is almost over! Gerald, he wants a GTS..


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    Eric,

    Maybe it would be a good idea then to update your 97 Red GTS ad in the classifieds to indicate the real story on the car instead of the hype. Very few of us in this forum want to buy a sled of a Viper. Just based on what I have seen, you most likely would be off my long list for a seller.

    Ron



  13. #13
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    The car was sold last Friday. I have removed it from the Classifieds.

    Eric


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    This is what Eric Sends me:

    "Let's try to keep your posts on a professional level. You don't have a beef with me so lay off.


    Eric Lee
    Latham Motors"

    Riiiiiight!!!! Professional level Ya this guy knows me!!!...thats the funniest part!!! Smokin is always known for his "professional serious posts!" But guess what, everyone? Eric is my new toy now!!!


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    I really can't complain about Eric. Sure, everyone wishes they got a "better" deal. Maybe I could have worked with Eric more on the price, but he hooked me up with a 2000 RT/10 Steel Gray & Cognac and I can't complain about that. No deal is perfect, but mine was okay.

    Generally, used cars.....I wouldn't even buy from a friend.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    Eric didnt even give me the time of day when I was looking for my car. Talk about professional anything. I didn't know anything about Vipers at the time, I just opened the Dupont Registry and called the advertisers. Never had calls returned when I left messages, and when I would get him on the phone I was basically blown off, I guess because I was young. My business will stay with Bill P FOREVER!!!!!!


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    So Eric, Where are you hiding? Have nothing to say for yourself? HMMMMMM? You scared?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    I have bought 2 vipers from Eric and I feel both deals were very favorable. Both were bought site unseen and his descriptions were very accurate.

    I have referred several friends to Eric and will continue despite what I have read. He may not always get back to me or my friends like he should but he does not do the high pressure
    sale approach that I have seen in some dealerships.




  19. #19
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    Amen Mario.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    Wayne,

    Very sorry to hear your story. I am one of those whom you referenced in your link to the previous discussion about Latham and Eric Lee. He had every opportunity to gain my business but REFUSED to simply return my calls!! Fool me once sham on you, but fool me twice shame on me. I will never do business with anyone that can not make time to return a phone call (especially if their buying a $55K car)!!

    Hope to see ya at one of our club meetings sometime......Kurt


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    I met and talked with Eric for two hours and he was just about the nicest guy I have ever met. I wasn't even trying to buy a Viper from him.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    I think that with a high-dollar purchase you should expect the very best from the person selling it. Be it a car, house, boat, etc. Not everybody is a millionaire yet, but they are thinking about plunking down some very hard earned money to make what is largely a "frivolous" purchase. Oh, don't get me wrong, the Viper is a GREAT daily driver. But many have one just for track days, car shows, Sunday drives, or garage queens (shudder). I have no doubt that Eric is a great guy, as are MANY in this business. I also know how important it is to treat customers with respect and attention or risk losing them forever.

    When I started looking for a Viper in the spring of '99, I called EVERYBODY. Twice. Fitzgerald, Latham, Roanoke, Woodhouse, etc. I only had to call Woodhouse once and they were VERY eager to please. They truly seemed like they wanted my business personally. I couldn't get anybody else to call me back besides the local dealer in Kansas City, and that guy had $$$ signs lighting up his eyes ("We can come down to MSRP for you, and that is a SPECIAL deal! And your car will be available sometime in the next year or so"). It might have been a slightly tougher decision if I had gotten a call back from anybody else, but Woodhouse ended up being the obvious choice for me. This was because they took an interest in ME and did what they needed to do to get me in the exact car I wanted. Next time I will only need to make one call.

    Chris

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    Eric says the car hood has never been repainted but there is bondo on the left front. I should have taken pics of it. Eric sent pics alright from 20 feet back. ANYONE that has owned a Viper in the past and knows what to look for could have very easily spotted all the problems it had. That car has been hit without a doubt. From the previous post...yes, all the comments and posts on this guy cannot be wrong. Also, be aware that when I was there he was telling me about another red rt he has that was wrecked and he was in the process of fixing and repainting that one. It might be one of the ones he has for sale right now. I just feel that it is my passion to let my fellow viper owners know who and where not to go to. I would want someone to post also if this happened to them so that I would be aware of this guy. It's like a brotherhood and we can help each other out. Years ago when there were no computers anyone could screw someone and get away with it but the power of the computer and the internet can solve some of that mess going on. I knew when I posted this I knew he would turn the story around. Sure wished I had a recorder in my pocket at the time I was there. Eric, by the way, saying you appriciated us driving all that way is BS or you would have told us the whole truth and you even stated you forgot to tell us some of the things wrong with the car right here on the board. One day your time will come and paybacks are a b_ _ _ _ _.
    P.S. if anyone needs for me to take a look at a car down this way for them, before they do please let me know and I will go look at it myself and see if what that dealer tells you about the car is correct. I just cannot stand to see people get screwed or lied to. We put our faith in what someone tells us and trust them at first but its people like you that make us doubt everyone instead of believing first.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    As many of you know I purchased a new 2002 Final Edition from Latham Motors.

    First off, I will not try and change anyone's opinion of him, but I will assure you that he treated me fine. I did have a few issues come up during the transaction, however Eric did take care of them as fairly as possible. I plan on purchasing more vipers in the future and I will use Latham Motors again.

    Furthermore, I have two outstanding concerns about the deal. One is more a favor (after purchasing serval vipers, I still haven't had my name on a window sticker. I asked him to see if that could be done) and the other is a form that is missing. When I spoke to Eric about these issues, he was very understanding and stated that he would look in to it right away. I will let you guys know how he follows through with it.

    With that said, I can guarantee you that he is not another Hennessy. Latham Motors is one of the top 5 largest viper dealers in the united states based of volume of new viper sales. He does have a lot of happy customers. I'm one of them.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    I am always amazed at the recommendations people give out. I called just about ALL of the major dealers - Woodhouse, Fitzgerald, Roanoke, Latham, and several others. Bob Woodhouse couldn't even get me a silver GTS, but he called me on the way to deliver someone else's to let me know the silver looked great, and he advised if that's what i wanted, I should hold out for it.

    I was stunned at the bad service from most of the recommended dealers. I felt like I was an 18 year old kid buying a used Camaro... the "well, I dunno.. you ready for a car like this?" and "man this car is so fast you won't even believe your eyes" comments insulted my intelligence. And this was when I could even get calls back. I am still shocked that these large dealers are recommended by people.

    This time around I called Bill at Woodhouse... no issues.. no problems... no pressure. Answered my questions... maybe tempted me with a few sweet deals on Vipers here and there.. but overall I was in control of the buying process. EVERY other dealer I felt like they were trying to "sell" me a Viper - making comments to pressure me to buy "Gee I dunno, I don't think it will be here tomorrow" or "if you buy today I can knock $500 off". All those little BS comments I thought I could get AWAY from.

    In this case, I know why the buyer didn't go with Woodhouse (didn't have what he needed), but it sure is a wake up call when you read these stories about the other dealers. Glad I did right the 2nd time around and went with Woodhouse.

    And no, I have no vested interest in Woodhouse's business except for the free SRT Bill promised me (right Bill?) . Just kidding.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    I tell ya, the first thing I did was call Bill Pemberton because I have bought a Viper from him in the past and sent several other customers to him and they bought Vipers from him. I waited about a month to see if Bill had one that would work for me but I just couldn't wait any longer and started calling around. I know now who not to buy a Viper from. Preston Dodge in Dallas treated me like a Viper owner likes to be treated and had the perfect car for me. I tell ya, this discussion board is like gold for protection, knowledge, and meeting new friends. Hope to see some of you guys at VOI.7 in SeptemberD!!!!
    P.S. Heads up on this...Eric Lee has been calling people to tell them to be careful with what they post here. Just an FYI...


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    Every opinion is just that, an opinion. None of this can be construed as slander.. and he would be a fool to pressure anyone. A dealer selling a previously wrecked car as "like-new", he would be in a lot more **** than anyone here would ever be (lawsuits... got to love it!).

    MM


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mike Brunton:
    the "well, I dunno.. you ready for a car like this?" and "man this car is so fast you won't even believe your eyes" comments insulted my intelligence.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I swore that if I heard one more salesman treat me like they were so much above me (viper wise) I was going to beat their face in with my trusty tire iron. I even had one guy tell me there was no such things as Header Gasket Problems and cracked hoods in the Viper...they were built too well...

    On a serious note Eric I at least give you credit for stepping up to the plate, unlike some unnamed Texan we all know, to defend yourself. I'll have 30k in my pocket if you want to unload that GTS come Sept.



  29. #29
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    Default Re: Beware Viper owners of Eric Lee

    i didn't buy my gts from Bill,but he was the first one i called.i knew i wanted black and all he had was a r/t,i found my black gts from a person that had orig. purchased it from Bill.i felt bad that i wasn't buying from him so i called him to apologize,he was happy i found the car i wanted and assured me the car i was getting sight unseen was A+ and the person i getting it from was A+.Bill is a stand up guy!


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