Alexander Auto in Cornwall Ontario Picketed by Unhappy Customer – June 20, 2013

Alexander AutoCFN – For most people a vehicle is the largest purchase they make next to buying a home.   For Shirley Brunet her birthday gift to herself of a 2007 Dodge Caliber turned into a nightmare.     To the point that Ms Brunet and her family were picketing Alexander Auto in Cornwall Ontario as they are refusing to resolve the issue to her satisfaction.

In the video below she complains of issues with the car that she not only alleges that Mr. John Alexander, CEO, refused to fix, but she states lied about even bothering to repair!

Mr. Alexander spoke briefly with CFN and said that he had no intention of refunding the car and then became irate and stated that he had no further comment.

dodge caliburMs Brunet & her family said they’d keep picketing Alexander Auto until he refunds her car or has it fixed properly.

Alexander Auto is not affiliated with the Better Business Bureau and has no rating.

We will be updating this story as it evolves.    Do you have any lemons or laurels for Car Dealerships in the area?  Email with your stories!

subscribe to cfn


  1. If This Car Was Safe ted She Has 90 Days To Take It To The Ministry Of Transportation Let Them Go Over The Car if its not fit for the road they will close him down and get her monies back .

  2. Author

    Suzanne two things. Most people don’t know what rights they do or don’t have. The other is that a safety only covers basic safety issues and not some like electrical and other issues…

  3. The majority of these cars sold from there are from rental companies who had them used as daily rentals, tell me when the last time was you heard of a rental car not abused?

    The old 30 day warranty statement. Lady, I feel for you, sounds like you were dicked around. Hope your problem gets resolved by the Dodge dealer, the company who truly knows the car.

  4. Ms. Brunet I was in Cornwall/Fossoli this morning and I saw you along with another lady each on the opposite sides of the road and it was too late for us to honk. We know about lemons since we had some. I will make my own honk sound now for you. All dealers are crooks. Take care.

  5. If I was buying a used car I would have it checked by an independent garage .. Probably the one I usually use to serviced my car…… I have never bought a car off a lot used without having it checked….

    I don’t think there is much the lady can do since the warranty was only for 30 days..

    You can always call APA.. I bought most of my cars based on their recommendations and never went wrong..
    We as buyers need to do our homework too!

  6. i worked there a few years back for a year.. i seen so much junk leave that lot.. so much stuff he’s done to just sell it.. he’s had engine lights taken out.. by passed computer’s to make stuff work.. the car’s on his lot need alot of work.. and he only does bare minimum to make them work

  7. Caveat emptor. It’s not a “new” car, it’s not a “one month old” car: it’s 7 years old! A 3rd party inspection would have been a good idea.

  8. Well first of all pple its a 30 days on the safety, Mr. Alexander never offers any type of warranty unless you paid for one which is worthless anyway. Secondly some of the vehicle were dialy rental most are lease returns. Thirdly educate yourself before making the second largest purchase of your life and get it looked over by a reputable garage and Fourth research the make and model on the internet. And lastly Mr. Alexander is piece of work and you should contact the MTO to report the piece of _ _ _ _.

  9. oh if you did the financing at Alexander Auto he probably added extra fees so you might be able to get out of the deal. That the paper to the bank that financed the deal, let them look it over.

  10. WOW…Glad I saw this. I was just approved for a car loan there.. I am gonna shop somewhere else.. I heard alot of bad but never really thought anything of it. I hope you get justice Shirley.

  11. I’ve got something to say regarding Mr. Alexander, he was speeding on Vincent Massey and cut me off while I was in the right and driving the speed limit required on that road, further more I had my 1 year old grandson with me… I should of called the police on him at the time but I was shaken up and worried about the safety of my grandson…I have heard so so many bad deals from this dealership and how he purchases his vehicles from the car auctions , cars that were in prior accidents. I would never never buy a used vehicle from that place…. I feel for you Ms. Brunet that you worked so hard for your car and some asshole like him rips you off…his day will come “KARMA”

  12. If you think MTO will get involved good luck. I bought a car from a local garage and after bying it and paying for it realized the motor was not even mounted in place and the cradle was roted and the exhaust was leaking and the tires were finished. I called MTO they inspected the vehicle and the car was never driven on the road.It was only towed on a dolly backward and had to leave the key on position. It registered 100km on the odometer from safety date.Took it to my friend to check it out. Then realized this was a piece of junk sold by a garage on PITT street west near the royal bank. The MTO said that they could not do nothing because maybe I made the wholes,change the tires and it was not a guaranty. MTO as to be contacted in KINGSTON then Perth and a officer from Ottawa will show up. A real joke. GOOD LUCK AND HOPE THAT PICKETING HELPS OUT. There is no one else will help you. I crushed the car at scrap yard never seen the road.

  13. Sorry to hear about your plight, you should call OMVIC which is the ontario motor vehicle industry council. All dealers have to be registered with OMVIC as well as the sales people being licensed. These are the only people who can help you with this lemon.

  14. I bought a 2003 grand am from alexander auto. in 3 years i put 3 sets of barings 2 window track kits 2 computers and had to replace the engine,fuel pump and wiring harness. 30,000 km after i got the car.i called gm when the motor with 146,000 km siezed they told me the paint wasnt original niether was the interior. makes me wonder if the gauges were change .which if not registered is elligal…..

  15. We purchased some lemons from Cornwall from different dealers but we knew that they were cheap enough to get around but never had major problems. What I want to point out is that a lot of dealers do purchase cars in auction and we know some right here in Ottawa.

    One day my husband purchased a Mercedes and a nice car indeed. There is nothing like German engineering. We had a Volkswagon that I loved so much from the same dealer but by husband had his sites on the Mercedes. That Mercedes was owned by someone in the Niagara Falls area (a small town outside) and my husband loved that car – and 4 wheel drive. When we bought it there was a young guy where we went to his father’s garage and he took it there for safety inspection. While driving it on the Queensway to the west end he noticed some things that had to be done. The brother of the salesman was so upset with the brother for allowing the car to be fixed at their expense that he fired his brother that is what kind of cheating goes on. We now have a Toyota Camry. My husband had at least 20 cars in his life and we had a number here since we are in Ottawa and the super has to keep cleaning his specs to make sure that my husband still has the same car. LOL LOL. All dealers are crooks and I mean that fully. It is buyer beware.

  16. I have known John Alexander for many of years now, and when I was in the business we used to safety and repair many of his cars..likely close to 300 over a period of time. John always insisted on putting the customer 1st and doing whatever was reasonable to facilitate a repair.
    sadly, most folks do not understand what a safety check actually entails.
    Alexander Auto has sold several 1000 vehicles over the past few years, and quite honestly this is not a newsworthy item, especially for a fellow business looking to attract more advertisers.
    I have been in the auto business for over 30 yrs, and it is impossible to satisfy every customer. With that said, when a customer starts to threaten or get verbally abusive, there is not much else to do but to ask that person to leave.
    Please bear in mind also.. Alexander Auto is an employer in this town, pays excessive property taxes, and also has remitted many thousands of $$$ in GST and PST to the govt.
    While I can understand this ladies upset,buying a used car is just that..As I used to try and explain.. they are not making any new 2007’s this year!
    The car is 6 yrs old, and while it may be new to this lady..iand like anything that has been used..there will be problems.
    I have always had the utmost respect for John Alexander, and his way of doing business.
    Thank You

  17. from personal experience,, you know why their cars are cheap,, no not because of no admin fees etc, they are cheap because they are low milege lease and rental returns, they are all junk, of course you may hit a GOOD ONE IF YOU BUY A FEW LOL,,REMEMBER IF SOMETHING LOOKS TOO GOOD FOR THE MONEY,, THEN YOU KNOW SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE,, IN THIS WORLD YOU GET WHAT YA PAY FOR

  18. I purchased a 2007 Chev pickup from Mr. Alexander. The truck came from Quebec and had no front licence plate bracket when I test drove the vehicle. I was promised that an OEM licence plate bracket would be installed before I picked up the truck. Alexander Auto installed a piece of junk they took off another vehicle on the lot, they installed a used licence plate bracket off a Sunfire.

    I tried to contact John several times with no success so I bought an OEM bracket and installed it myself. I then took John Alexander to small claims court.

    The first court appearance his wife showed up and told the court John was too sick to attend. The second court date John didn’t appear, he sent his wife again to do his dirty work.

    The court ruled in my favour and it cost John Alexander $500.00+ for an OEM licence plate bracket that cost $50.00 at the dealership.

    I received a cheque in the mail about two weeks later.

    Stand up for your rights……….. the guy is an ass.

  19. I had the misfortune of buying my first car from there. After nearly colliding with a school bus due to a faulty ABS sensor they claimed they had fixed (several times), a woman ran a red light and my car was sent to a local garage for repairs. I asked to see the ABS sensor – the wires were completely corroded apart… CLEARLY FIXED. This guy is a crook. Best of luck to you!

  20. Ms. Shirley Brunet you may want to be the first to review this business on google. search “alexander auto cornwall ontario”,results on the right below the map, there’s a button “be the first to review”.

  21. I bought a van from this crook and took him to small claims he did not show up in court he send his wife. He is a crook I wish you the best Shirley

  22. Not all used car dealers are crooks, Fitzgerald in Eamers Corners is the most honest dealer & is well known for fair prices & honesty

  23. Re: Comment from Jim Luciani.
    You said you were in business and dealt with Alexander auto.
    CORRECTION.. you were in business. You are no longer in business..The way you treated your customers i know why your shop and station went under.{MODERATED} This lady is finally standing up to this shady disrespectful guy and Mr Jim who ran a business into the ground is backing him up. Go figure..

  24. My dad bought a caravan from Alexander auto a few urs ago and decided to get another mechanic to look over the van. After that dad contacted him and he refused to do the repairs. So he called the Mto and Alexander auto was fined and had to pay my dad an amount.

  25. @johndoe.. The station on Brookdale is closed while the owner who is from Toronto and has owned it for the last 2 years actually, awaits permits for renovating the site. Furthermore, I had not owned the station for almost 7 yrs, I sold my share long ago.
    Whilst the garage was open we did a lot of work for Alexander Auto, and had several customers referred back to us for isuues not relating to a safety check. I would say 99% went away happy with the way that John had dealt with their issues.There is and will always be a % that will never be satisfied.

  26. regarding Jim Luciani’s 1st comment …. so it is ok for your buddy to lie to the customer and say he sent the car to bensons when in fact he did not this in your opinion is “PUTTING THE CUSTOMER FIRST” lmao please inform us the name of your used car company so we will know where NOT to buy our next vehicles there either if you think lying to the customer is good business sense …. no wonder i see so many license plate covers with FITZGERALDS on it

  27. So the ladies admits Mr Alexander already repaired her mirror on her car witch was reasonable. And then the ladies comes back after her 36 day warranty on the safety is up with an issue that doesn’t even relate to any of the safety specifications. From what the ladie says Mr Alexander then tried to determine the problem for the lady at his shop and when no such leak was found he refused to spend any more time and money on the issue. I do agree with Jim, this story is not worth publishing. Stop wasting peoples time. And leave this business alone

  28. I back everything that Jim has said. Sounds like the man is looking at the big picture, instead of believing what this shady ladie says. By the way these people caused an accident today resulting in one person being token away by ambulance and potentially injuring a young child who was thankfully ok! These people didn’t even go see if the victims where ok. The ladie who bought the vehicle took off like she had something wrong, while her sister stood there and kept picketing. What does that say about her character. Besides the point. I don’t even believe this women has a problem with her vehicle. Temper tantrums get you no where as you can see. Grow up and leave this poor business alone.

  29. The people united will never be defeated! My fleet is filled with Alexander auto trucks. John Alexander has treated this city very well. My people stand behind you.

  30. FWIW…It’s a used vehicle! I bought a 2003 Grand Am several years ago from Alexander Auto. It’s was well priced and looked great. It still looks and runs great. I did my research using the VIN number to find out the car’s history and it was a lease return. Most lease returns are in good shape and mine was a good example. My mechanic gave the car a thumbs up too. Within the 30 day safety, the turn signal stalk/assembly went defective and Alexander replaced it with a used one that acted up too. He then had a brand new one installed and problem solved. My experience with Alexander Auto was positive. As for a brand new car bought from a local dealer…that is a sad story…the motor blew when just off warranty! Would I buy from Alexander again?…….Sure….after doing some research. Good luck to the lady and her car troubles.

  31. in october i bought a truck from alexander auto drove it a little , then for the winter i used my car then in the spring took the truck out for a drive at this point i put only couple hundred kilometers on it felt something wrong with transmission went to go see the at alexander auto he said he did’t car and said if i don’t leave he will call the police, two weeks later tranny problems couple thousand later truck back on road the guy is a well you all know what

  32. what a scam artist this guy sounds like 🙁 wont find me there looking for a vehicle…the bad outweighs the good. Too bad for you Mr.Asshole, sounds like YOU need a “TUNE UP” ;(

  33. re; Jim Luciani
    I know you have dealt with John for many years, you can be the first person to atest that he is very hard to deal with and that customers leave unhappy with their junk vehicles all the time. I know John and yourself very well and he doesn’t fix anything that isn’t part of the safety and tells customers to go to the garage where the safety was done and everybody gives the customer a hard time so that the 30 days run out. Don’t lie for this RICH LOW LIFE. And how come some times safeties can be done in 20 minutes???? I have seen first hand cars sent out to garages and be back in 20 minutes with a “complete safety”.

  34. I am not from Cornwall, I just happen to go on your site because of another article. From what I could read, this guy is a crook and god bless you Shirley for fighting against injustice and your rights. Mr Luciani, the comment about remitting the gst and qst does not make him an honest man, he is abiding the law. Too bad he is not doing that with his customers.

  35. @JULES

    All dealers are not crooks as you stated. It is indeed buyer beware, merely commonsense . Resellers of automobiles do not manufacture the product they merely present it for your consideration. If you can predict what is going to fail outside the warranty you definately have an edge over me. The best advice that I read above was to contact OMVIC . While we all have an opinion, in this case a business could be unfairly harmed by irresponsible comments. I would like to see the outcome printed so as to be fair to all parties.

  36. @jules
    your story sucks

    what we need here is an expert to review the car in its current state and give a report on its status…. no doubt 10K for this piece of sheet, mr. car salesman greased her good.

  37. Wow, this is not good practice of Alexander Auto, but I must share it with you that it is more than 5 years old…All warranties and guarantees are gone long time, expired….but the rule of Buyer Beware comes in effect here…Every one buying a vehicle, it is common sense, get the history of the vehicle for work done, or work not done, get it inspected by your own certified technician, make sure it is not the same garage that they use, it is worth it…You could have saved yourself this mess and not have the headaches… Good luck.

  38. You are right David Oldman but some dealers are not so honest with the public. What my husband does now is that he looks up what people post about certain type of vehicles both the good and the bad. We had over 20 different cars in our time and there were good and bad things about all of them. With the net I would tell everyone look things up and look up about the car that you wish to purchase by putting in the number that is usually on the dash board or somewhere and you can find out about the history of that car. We had experience with good and bad dealers and it is the same with buying a house have a mighty good inspection done by a qualified person and not jump into it head first just because you like it since it can cost you tons of money.

  39. Cars are junk service is the worst, mr Alexander hides in his office from complaints. Buys total losses , repairs CHEAP. Sells for top dollar,

  40. The car that we have now is a 2009 Toyota Camry and 4 cylinder but a very good car and very good on gas. When we bought the car from the salesman at Tony Graham Lexus Toyota in Ottawa’s west end he told us that it was a leased car. The man was honest and he said that it drives very well. We took it out for a test drive and sure enough with the weight of the man in the back (he was a big man) and my husband and I at the front it road very well and still to this day it is a very good car and great on gas. Another salesman told my husband that he drives such a car and he doesn’t work for any particular car but the kind where they buy them in auction and they sell them. He likes the car very much as well.

    Some car dealers will be more honest with you and others are very dishonest. Nobody is going to be really on the up and up since they have to sell or else they would be out of business. These days the competition is even worse with the state of the economy. Do the research like what David Oldman said and that is the best that you can do.

  41. Alexander Auto sucks!!! I know more than enough people in this town who have nothing nice to say about that dealership or Mr. Alexander. If people don’t get informed or know exactly what they do there to make an easy dollar, you will be screwed over. I knew someone who worked there for a long time and knew all of his “crooked ways”. I knew someone else who also had his odometer {MODERATED} As long as he makes his money, he will keep ripping off good people, especially ones who can’t afford a newer car and go see him. Ya wonder why it’s cheap, nothing more had to be said. Get informed before purchasing off {MODERATED}. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. His mere warranty is to shut people up and by the time the major problems happen, it’s too late or you got screwed over cause you didn’t get it looked at elsewhere prior to purchasing. I personally feel with the increase in complaints, I am doubting that his business will last much longer. It’s people like him who use and take good people’s hard working money to be only sold crappy lemons!! Shame on you and I’m sorry, but I hear and know more of bad from Alexander Auto than good. That is my say and buyer beware indeed!!!!

  42. Hi Let me just say that yes i hate big companies that scew small people. I do feel sorry for you. On the other hand i have to say i bought a 2006 chevy uplander mine van there about 4 years ago. I can say i an truly lucky or it was a great van i never had a problem with it. I am very pleased with my van. I have had 2 chryslers in my life and never again. I do hope you all the best My van comes from alexander motors in cornwall and i could not be more pleased with it 4 years and still going strong

  43. Hi im posting again. I dont know what is wrong with Cornwall service. There is no customer service pride in Cornwall anymore. Businesses in Cornwall just do not care about their customers any more. This is the cornwall mantality. Ive been to many places out side of cornwall and the service is excellent. Cornwall businesses need to do some major changes and major training in customer service and public relations. Seems no bussinesses have been trained i customers service. If businesses want to learn about great customer service then go to Upper Canada Village and see what excellent customer service is all about. I truly wish someone would fix the customer service in Cornwall. Cornwall is a beautiful place but there is No Customer Service here at all

  44. Hi im posting again. I dont know what is wrong with Cornwall service. There is no customer service pride in Cornwall anymore. Businesses in Cornwall just do not care about their customers any more. This is the cornwall mantality. Ive been to many places out side of cornwall and the service is excellent. Cornwall businesses need to do some major changes and major training in customer service and public relations. Seems no bussinesses have been trained i customers service. If businesses want to learn about great customer service then go to Upper Canada Village and see what excellent customer service is all about. I truly wish someone would fix the customer service in Cornwall. Cornwall is a beautiful place but there is No Customer Service here at all

  45. lash….it just isn’t Cornwall. Customer service, as we know it, has been going downhill everywhere for quite a while. You point to Upper Canada Village as an example of good customer service. That is a tourist destination; of course they’ll have good customer service. Try going to any big store and try and find customer service. It can’t be found.

  46. Hugger you said it well on this article and I will say something to all. Just lately my husband and I were shopping around for a car and he wanted a six cylinder car and another Toyota since he likes those cars. We looked around high and low in Ottawa for what he wanted and to no avail. He looked at Toyota vehicles that were not to his liking here in Ottawa including the price. Well low and behold my husband scouted the net and fell on what he wanted in Cornwall – yes Cornwall. We went down to Cornwall a few weeks ago and purchased a Toyota Camry from your Toyota Dealer on Brookdale Avenue and very excellent service and excellent deal and so much so hat my husband compares his Toyota XLE to lthe Mercedes that he once had. My husband showed a former teacher his car this morning and he told my husband that he got a good deal. Every dealer is different and in Cornwall you are treated better than in a big city and like Hugger said that Upper Canada is a tourist destination and they need your money and will do what they can for you. We are more than pleased with the Toyota Dealer in Cornwall on Brookdale Avenue. Every dealer is different and one thing is I wouldn’t deal with Alexander Motors at all ever. The very best service came from Toyota on Brookdale and a much better service than we had here in Ottawa. It is buyer beware just like when you purchase a house it is you the buyer that has to look into things before you decide on the deal.

  47. Author

    Jules I hoped you and your husband will call Troy from the dealership and tell him to advertise on CFN because he keeps saying no….

  48. Jamie we will try and call Troy and he was a wonderful gentleman and I will say that about him. This man showed a great deal of class and something that you don’t see here in Ottawa. For a manager to come out and shake our hand showed that he is a good person. We purchased our previous vehicle here in Ottawa at Tony Graham Lexus Toyota in the west end of Ottawa. We went over to Mendes to look around and the manager was YUCK! The salesman was ok but not the manager. The very best service was from Cornwall Toyota on Brookdale Avenue and that is the truth. One of my neighbors spotted me today and asked me how we found the car from Cornwall and I said it was tops. Our supers saw us come in with the car two weeks ago and they were thrown and said WOW! My husband wants to do his business with Troy’s Toyota dealership from now on. The sales people there and all staff are great people. It was worth the trip going to Cornwall for an excellent deal. We never had an ounce of problem with the previous vehicle at all and only because my husband wanted a six cylinder Toyota and we couldn’t find one since all were four cylinders. We never did anything to the previous vehicle except the usual change of oil and the like. My husband swears by this vehicle and even the previous one we had but especially this one which is his baby.

  49. Author

    Jules you realize you are saying something good about Cornwall after everyone thinks that you hate it. The fact that you and your family keep coming back means you don’t really hate Cornwall, do you?

Leave a Reply