UPDATE: Uncle Joe's Auto Sales out of businessPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Customers became so upset with Uncle Joe's Auto Sales in the past, they would protest.
Apparently, their complaints were heard because Uncle Joe's, located just off of 25th Street and Bell Road, is out of business.
Customers like Joe Maria are not surprised.
"I'm glad, I'm glad they can't do what they did to me to other people and others that I talk to," he said.
Maria is just one of dozens of people who wrote to 3 On Your Side claiming to have been taken advantage of by Uncle Joe's.
Maria said he purchased a vehicle from the car lot, but claims he was the victim of "bait and switch" and wound up with a junk car with all kinds of problems, like not having a back window.
He said this is not the car he handed over a down payment for.
"You would go in and they would ask you for a deposit and then once you handed over the deposit, then they would run your credit," Maria said. "At that time, they would say you don't qualify and they had signs all around saying no refund."
A few months ago, 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper went to see Frank Michela, who manages Uncle Joe's.
3 On Your Side wanted to find out why the business had so many complaints, but he told us he had plenty of happy customers.
Well, you won't find them now because Uncle Joe's gave up its dealer's license and shut down following our 3 On Your Side report and a string of citations from the state.
Two citations were for failing to keep proper sales records, another citation was consigning cars from other dealers and another citation was failing to keep consignment records.
Uncle Joe's was also issued a cease and desist order for failing to give buyers titles to their cars.
"Not surprising at all," Maria said. "I wouldn't put it past them."
As a result, Uncle Joe's surrendered its dealers license to the state and closed down.
It should be noted that while the name has changed, many of the same employees who worked for Uncle Joe's Auto Sales still work for the new company.
3OYS: Complaints rack up against Uncle Joe's Auto Sales