Here's everything you need to know about this business's owner, he's amazing! And I'm not even talking about his knowledge or passion for Saab's, I'm talking the full package as a human in our society. Make sure to read through every unbelievable part of this combination of circumstances that happened to fully understand, and I'm sure you will agree with me.
I flew in to Philly from Michigan on a Friday afternoon, to buy a Saab Aero Wagon from a used car dealer in South Jersey. The car was a complete lie as advertised, and I didn't buy it. But this left me in a lurch about how to get back to Michigan. With it being 4:00PM on a Friday, I knew my chances and money were dwindling. I decided I didn't want all of the money to be wasted on travel, and looked for another Saab to buy to get me home. I came upon a 2002 9-3 Convertible that was in Demetri's possession at Precision Plus Auto.
At this point, I have never met or heard of this stranger. I told him about what had happened to me, and the pinch I was in. It wasn't his fault, nor his problem. Yet, he listened very carefully, and took empathy towards my situation. He agreed to stay open past closing for me, and to help me out on the price... But that's not the end of this story...that was just the first thing he did.
I Uber'd from South Jersey through Philly Rush Hour Gridlock at 5:00pm to Demetri's business. I didn't get there until 6:40 pm, 40 minutes after Demetri was supposed to close up. Yet, he was there on his own time as promised.
I quickly looked over the car, which was as promised as well. Demetri told me that the Tag place closed at 7pm. We had only a few minutes left. He called the workers (that he was on great terms with) and convinced them to stay a little later for me and him. He drove me up to the Tag Office, and drove there and back to his shop and then back again when I forgot my driver's license. When we got back to his shop to finalize everything, that's when I learned about how overall knowledgeable and passionate he was about Saab cars. You can tell that it's been 40 years of love for him. This man is also a huge personality, and full of life.
I left and stayed about an hour west of Philly that night. Demetri called that night to see how the car was. The next day I continued on to Michigan via the 76 PA Turnpike. I stopped for food and gas at 11:30am at the Sliding Hills turnpike rest area. At the gas pump I was getting something out of the trunk while pumping gas, and had the convertible down. I got a phone call during, and accidentally (out of habbit) closed the trunk (where my keys were) to go answer the phone. Well with the roof down, even though the car was unlocked the rear seat and trunk release were locked and disabled. I was stuck and locked out at a rest area gas pump with an unlocked, top down car, in the middle of nowhere, and looking like a fool.
My roadside assistance fumbled around with poor communication to get me a locksmith that had to come and go a few times (from an hour away, each way) because of the lack of proper tooling for the job. While I waited at the gas pump for this guy for hours, I called Demetri. He ended up driving to his shop on his day off to do some wire tracing, to try and figure out ways electronically to get into the trunk. If the locksmith had failed, he had came up with some involved things that I could do. But 6 and a half hours later, while still at the pump... the locksmith got in through my rear seat lock and got the keys.
The locksmith left at this point, and I started to get ready to get back on the road only to discover that all of the door opening had drained my battery. I bought some cheaply made jumper cables at the rest area, but no one would stick around long enough for me to get the necessary charge to start my car with those crappy wires. I called roadside again, and a tow driver came out with an uncharged jumper box, no cables, and a rush attitude to get back to a family function. He wanted to tow me to a garage in the middle of nowhere that was closed until Monday morning. There were also no hotels or motels anywhere in the remote area to accommodate me until Monday morning. So that was not an option to me. I refused the tow, and he tried ONLY one time to jump the car, played with the fuses a little, and left with an attitude. I also found out later that he broke the fuse cover into several pieces in my engine bay.
It is now almost 9 at night, and I've been at that rest area for over 10 hours at this point...still stuck. On top of my car not starting, now my dashboard won't light up when I try to start the car, and some other weird things were starting to happen that were not happening before the tow driver got there. At this point I called Dimitri to tell him what was going on. Dimitri had been driving that car as his personal car for months before I bought it. He had put in a new battery, and knew that something weird was going on that had never happened while he owned it. He was beside himself as to why the car couldn't just be jump started with the proper amount of amperage. He felt sorry that I was going through all of this, and decided that on a Saturday night (on his night off and while with family) that he was going to go back to shop (for the second time that day for me) to get another battery, the necessary parts, and then drive out over 200 miles each way in the middle of the night from Philly to help me. Once again at this point, I only met Demetri yesterday. My problems are not his problems, he sold me the car... that's it.
While Dimitri was on his way out from Philly, I called roadside again and told them that I needed a tow driver that could properly bring the required equipment to try and do the job right. A second tow driver arrived with the proper equipment, and tried troubleshooting the problem but couldn't figure it out. He then told me that he could tow me to the garage (which was actually open) but that they wouldn't be able to order parts until Monday, and that it would likely be Tuesday or Wednesday before they could get the parts I needed installed. Knowing that Dimitri was on his way I refused second tow and waited for him to arrive.
He got to the rest area about 1 in the morning, within 5 minutes he discovered that the first tow driver had improperly removed some of the necessary fuses for the car to start correctly. Dimitri had some spare fuses, put them in, and used his own jumper box to jump the car on the first try. Dimitri had drove out several hundred miles with another several hundred mile return trip ahead of him, paid for gas and tolls, on his day off, while he was with family, to come help me... a customer.
He went so far above and beyond any level I've ever known of customer service expectations. When I bought that car I didn't just learn about a really passionate Saab guy who knew the cars inside and out. I met a new friend that I will have for the rest of my life. Based on my experience, if I lived in New Jersey or Eastern Pennsylvania, there is no other guy I would EVER go to other than him for my Saab service. Demetri is the man!