Following pushback from at least one area resident, the new owner of a Virginia Beach Toyota dealership has changed course and will honor service agreements established under the previous owner.
Virginia Beach resident Linda Hopkins purchased a Highlander from Charles Barker Toyota in May 2019. The car came with “Riding With Charlie” benefits — free oil changes, inspections, and other perks for life — designed to keep customers using the dealer’s service department.
All that changed when Barker sold the dealership to the Maryland-based Hall | MileOne Auto Group in February. Hopkins said she received an email from the new owners shortly after the sale saying they were discontinuing the former benefits program and transferring old customers to its own Hall Rewards program, which included free inspections but not oil changes.
“It’s definitely not worth it,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins called and complained to the dealership, which she said initially had no effect. In her mind, both the new owners and perhaps Barker, had a duty to honor old service agreements as part of the sale.ADVERTISING
“It’s not like they are just buying the building,” she said.
Hopkins had planned to take other steps, like filing a complaint with the office of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. However, another email from Hall on March 4 seemingly solved the issue. The new owner had decided to honor free oil changes for vehicles purchased from Barker between May 1, 2018, and Feb. 16. For Hopkins, it was enough.
Inside Business reached out to Bill Baker, Hall | MileOne Autogroup president, but did not hear back in time for publication.
Barker sold his Virginia Beach Toyota dealership in February to the Maryland group. Barker said in a February interview that without a successor for his businesses, he was figuring out his next move. He also sold two Lexus dealerships to Priority Automotive in December. Barker still owners four luxury car dealerships in Virginia Beach.
The Hall subsidiary of MileOne was created when longtime owner Kenneth Hall sold his dealerships to them in 2006. The brand operates 18 locations in Hampton Roads, Elizabeth City, North Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina.