Last week, we showed you video of a dealership employee stealing from a customer's Tundra at Hampton Toyota of Lafayette. The customer, Jason Leonard, suspected that some of his belongings had been taken out the truck on previous occasions, so he complained to dealership management. He evidently received no response, so he placed a camera in his truck on a subsequent service call to keep a digital eye on his stuff.
What he saw was a technician taking quarters and looking through a pill bottle. There was reportedly another video that showed a second employee watching porn on a diagnostic computer while sitting in the truck, but that footage was pulled from YouTube before we could check it out for ourselves. After sending a letter to dealer Mark Hampton, along with a DVD of his surveillance video, the three employees involved with the issue were fired and Leonard received a $2,000 extended service contract on his truck.
After the news hit websites like, well, Autoblog and Consumerist, the dealership decided to post a response video on YouTube. In the video, owner Mark Hampton reiterates the events that transpired as detailed in an official letter signed by both Hampton and the rankled customer. In the video, the dealer describes the entire ordeal, including what lead to the firing of the three workers.
Interestingly, Hampton says that he took Leonard out to lunch and offered a personal apology before the videos were sent to the press, showing that the dealership took steps toward doing the right thing even before the matter received media attention. Hampton also reiterates that Leonard went back for service at his dealership after their lunch meeting, presumably illustrating that he now trusts the service department to take car of his truck.
For our money, we think the dealer did the right thing in taking care of the customer, while also firing those implicated in the videos. It's also impressive that the owner of the dealership met with the disgruntled customer in person and gave him an extended service contract for his troubles. However, cynics will likely suggest that the video apology was necessary to begin healing the dealer's public image, not to mention the possible benefit of going on record to potentially head off further complaints and/or legal action by Leonard or other Hampton Toyota customers. Hit the jump to view the response video for yourself, and let us know if you think the dealership handled the matter well in Comments.