Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Please pass the Calgon on March 14, 2013, 12:46:56 AM

Title: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38, #75, #77
Post by: Please pass the Calgon on March 14, 2013, 12:46:56 AM
Not even a little impressed with a local car dealership tonight. A week ago I emailed them exactly what I wanted; I was exceptionally clear about the year, model, package, the accessories, and the color. I sent the guy who was helping me a quote I'd gotten from another dealer, and he agreed to meet it. He emailed me a final quote. I gave him my approval and they brought the vehicle to their location from a dealership 4 hours away (because the color I really wanted is apparently "rare" in our state). Yesterday I got his celebratory & victorious emails about having located & obtained it. This morning I got his excited emails about it being at the dealership and ready for me to inspect. He wrote things like: "IT'S HERE!! :)", "<insert exact description of van & accessories> is sitting right outside with your name on it. What a way to start the morning :)", "it's right outside my office window!!". The plan was for me to arrive first thing tomorrow morning and do the final inspection before the final accessories could be installed. At 7pm this evening I get a call from him... there's been a "mistake". He says he put in the wrong model's numbers when doing the original calculations. Now he wants me to pay $2050 more. He tells me that he already went to the managers who say the difference is too much and they won't honor the promise he made. I explained that this is was not my fault; I was exceptionally clear in what I wanted, I spelled it out several times, I was given a final quote and held up my end of the agreement. I asked him to go back to his managers again and let them know that I was seriously disappointed in this turn of events and didn't appreciate this last minute shakedown. They refused to honor the quote I was given and I feel like I gave them ample opportunity to step up and make this right.

Sooooo, I emailed the main guy who helped me and the other manager who answered a couple questions for me, I emailed their General Manager, I posted the situation both on their location's Facebook page & on the head company's Facebook page, I left a review on Google+ and on Yelp, and I Tweet'd about it. I kept my description of the events polite & factual but let my disappointment in their customer service be known. I have ALL of his emails & all of mine to back up what happened. Several of my friends have "liked" my note or added comments imploring the dealership to honor their promise. No cursing, no threats, no anger...but not a small amount of frustration.

Now I'm wondering if I went to far. Should I just have let it go after I told the salesman that I wasn't paying anything over what my original quote was for and him saying that he couldn't do that? I get that mistakes happen, but he's had this for a week and suddenly spots the mistake mere hours before I'm to head up there? I really, really wanted that vehicle and unfortunately it IS rare in that color. The original deal was okay, nothing spectacular and it definitely wasn't a stunning savings over the list price.

What could i have done differently to handle this firmly but gracefully?
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: EMuir on March 14, 2013, 12:51:33 AM
Did you buy it?  If you want to have further doings with this dealership, you might not want to have reviewed them so harshly, although it is good for others who can avoid your mistake. If you walked away from it, leaving your opinion of their service is what you're entitled to do.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Amara on March 14, 2013, 12:52:56 AM
I think you were deliberately low-balled. I have no doubt they planned to do this all along because they thought they could bamboozle you into paying the additional two grand when you got there, saw the car, and became emotionally bonded to it. Their whole method--stating the color is rare in your state, saying they had to get the car from elsewhere, making you wait--all smacks of the build-up to their final action. 

But you didn't fall for it. Now they are stuck with the car. I say stick to what you have done online. Dealers used to be able to get away with this a lot more. The Internet hasn't made their tactics go away but it has made them a lot more visible.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Miss Unleaded on March 14, 2013, 02:58:58 AM
I think you were deliberately low-balled. I have no doubt they planned to do this all along because they thought they could bamboozle you into paying the additional two grand when you got there, saw the car, and became emotionally bonded to it. Their whole method--stating the color is rare in your state, saying they had to get the car from elsewhere, making you wait--all smacks of the build-up to their final action. 

But you didn't fall for it. Now they are stuck with the car. I say stick to what you have done online. Dealers used to be able to get away with this a lot more. The Internet hasn't made their tactics go away but it has made them a lot more visible.

Yep I totally believe they did this deliberately.  And if I were one of their potential customers, I'd be very interested to know that they engage in these kind of business practices.  I don't think you went too far at all.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: jeni on March 14, 2013, 03:09:11 AM
No I don't think you went too far, I agree with the posts above, I think it was deliberate and they were hoping you would agree.

Something similar happened to me in negotiating the sale of a car, I was firm about what  I wanted and eventually the salesman phoned me and verbally agreed to my terms. So I went in and signed the contact of sale which contained the terms, then it went to the Sales Manager who crossed out several things and basically changed the terms.  So that was it, the sale was off, the contract was ripped up and I went elsewhere.  They had also added extras to the car that I had spoken about, and this was way before I had even looked at the contract, it was just a discussion at that stage.  In my case it wasn't a lot of money but it was the principle of it, there had been lots of negotiations and the sales rep had said the terms were agreed.  Basically they got me there under false pretences.

Let us know what response you get!
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: sweetonsno on March 14, 2013, 03:10:34 AM
What exactly were you hoping to accomplish? Talking to the business and the managers is definitely appropriate, as they may have the power to allow the salesman to honor the quote. Leaving a review on Yelp or another web site designed for consumer ratings is also appropriate, as it's a way to help other potential customers decide whether or not to go to that particular business. Tweeting or Facebooking strikes me as more punitive, as you are offering/spreading negative information to people who don't need it/aren't looking for it.

If someone walked up to you in the street and said, "Don't go to Burger Goddess; their severs are jerks and their mayo is obviously fake," or a friend called you to let you know that the barista at her local café had a gross phlegmy cough, you'd probably think that their primary concern was getting back at the establishment rather than helping you avoid the same fate.

Basically, I think the line is whether or not your actions can be helpful or productive. Can your action possibly get you what you want? Would it be valuable to your specific audience? If the answer to both questions is "no," I think it probably falls under the category of venting and should be treated as such. Do it to your sounding board for whatever amount of time you've decided is acceptable, then let it go. Chances are that this particular type of post isn't going to be especially relevant to all of your followers/friends.

I'm of the opinion that all you have to do to handle this situation firmly but gracefully is reiterate that you agreed to pay X price for the vehicle and that if they can't offer the vehicle at that price, you aren't buying. Basically, you could have stopped after confirming that the dealership wasn't going to honor the price. There's absolutely no need to do anything else. Walking away without causing a scene is perfectly firm and graceful.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: zyrs on March 14, 2013, 03:12:39 AM
You have handled this well. 
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: katycoo on March 14, 2013, 04:30:04 AM
I would not have hit social media until I was certain the situtation could not be resolved to my satisfaction.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: kherbert05 on March 14, 2013, 05:00:50 AM
They are paying the price for trying to scam you.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: MorgnsGrl on March 14, 2013, 06:00:36 AM
I think you were fine. And as a potential customer of a car dealership I would appreciate the heads up about their practices.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Zilla on March 14, 2013, 06:12:38 AM
I agree, you were fine.  I also think this was deliberate. 
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Winterlight on March 14, 2013, 06:57:14 AM
Considering they tried to bait and switch you? They bought those bad reviews and comments.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Coralreef on March 14, 2013, 07:38:11 AM
Car dealerships...  and they wonder why they don't make the most trusted lists. 

I think you dodged a bullet there.  They had a week to work it out.  And a colour being rare?  Please!  Thousands of cars are made each year, I don't think the manufacturer runs out of paint.

Personnal experience : when I was shopping for my car, I went to several dealers.  I knew exactly what I wanted, how much I could afford, etc.  One of the managers put a sealed envelope in front of me and said that this was his deal and that if I took it, I had to buy the car.  I got up and left.  The sales rep called then next day, he got a rather frosty (but polite) response.  Never, ever play games with my money.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Knitterly on March 14, 2013, 08:51:38 AM
Add me to the list of those who think you behaved appropriately - including hitting up social media.

I have also used social media for reviews (both negative and positive), as it reaches more people than sites like Yelp. 

Mr K and I had a similar situation when we purchased our car.  There were two BigBrand dealerships fairly close to us - one was about 20 minutes further away.  We went to the closer dealer and the salesman was utterly slimey.  He gave us a quote and began throwing in things as "required fees" that were actually optional upgrades that we didn't want.  We negotiated the price we wanted, but then when we came back in to sign the papers, he told us his managers rejected the deal and we had to pay more, so we walked away.  We also wrote a strongly worded letter about how very disappointed we were in the service we received.

We went to the other BigBrand dealership further away and negotiated a good price that was honoured.

A little while ago, I took our car in for the annual maintenance and took it to the closer BigBrand dealership.  The service was TERRIBLE!!  They didn't even take the car in until well over an hour past my appointment time.  And of course they came back to me with a long list of things the car didn't actually need doing (like replacing the brakes, which had just been replaced a month prior).

Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Lynnv on March 14, 2013, 09:16:27 AM
I think you were fine.  They chose the way they do business, you are just broadcasting their choices.  If they want to do business this way, the poor reviews they garner are just the price they pay for acting that way.

I say this as someone who just bought a car from a fairly smarmy dealer and a pushy sales guy...but it is a less common used car, and we were willing to sit and wait out all the tactics and BS until we got the price we wanted.  But if someone was to ask me, I would not recommend the dealer at all.  And we will never take our car there for service based on the way they deal with things in the showroom.  And we didn't get treated nearly as badly as you did.  If a dealer did this to me, I would be putting it out there far and wide too.

Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: MrTango on March 14, 2013, 09:51:38 AM
I'll add my voice to the chorus: OP, you were fine.

I also do my research and know exactly what I want and what I'm willing to pay for it before I ever step foot in a dealership.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: WillyNilly on March 14, 2013, 12:19:51 PM
I think you were fine. And I'm sorry about the deal falling through!

Last year DH and I bought our truck - we had to sift through so many slimy car dealers and dealerships it was amazing. Our biggest hassle was doing preliminary shopping online and then coming to find the advertised prices often were contingent on financing, while paid-in-full-with-cash prices being about 10-30% higher. We found dealers selling cars with open recalls on them (we were looking at used) - how ridiculous is that?  They could get the repairs done for free, its a recall for goodness sake, and yet they were just selling them as is - made us wonder what else they weren't bothering to maintain or fix up!

We definitely looked at reviews of the dealerships and appreciated the honest feedback. There are some decent sellers out there, and they deserve to get the business over the shady ones!
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: lmyrs on March 14, 2013, 12:39:30 PM
If the dealership honestly believes that they are engaging in fair and honest business practices, they should not have any concerns with any actions the OP takes to broadcast those business practices, including social media, standard media or skywriting. On the other hand, if they're embarassed by their conduct, they shouldn't have done it.

And suggesting that the OP not Facebook or Tweet the experience because it may not be relevant to all, or even most, of her friends and followers? Well, I challenge abyone to find someone who only posts things relevant to all of their friends. I guess if all your friends and followers are a homogeneous group - like only my family and I only post about my family, that could qualify but I so not suspect that is the norm.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Please pass the Calgon on March 14, 2013, 12:54:07 PM
OP here w/ update:

I've been on the phone w/ the head sales manager all morning. He ran the numbers w/ me and came back with only a $300 difference and I suggested they cover that in the name of good service. He agreed that that would be the honorable thing to do. Then he wanted to run the numbers one more time "just to be sure I figured it correctly", and said he'd call me back. An hour later he calls back and they found the mistake....their internal price sheets were wrong (again, not my problem). After having him take me through the numbers again, they are off by $1,171. And again I said that I still think that since this is totally their problem and since its happened twice now, I think they should deal with that loss and honor the original quote. Cue him saying he couldn't authorize that much and needed to go to the general manager. I said "Great, go ahead with that. I left him a message this morning too. If he needs would like to speak with me I'm happy to have that conversation".

And now I'm waiting again.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Amara on March 14, 2013, 01:02:39 PM
They're just playing with you, OP. Look at what they did. They said "only $300" more. You get excited. Not great, but do-able, especially because you tell them they can swallow that small amount. They suddenly the numbers need to be re-checked? And now it's an $1,100 difference? What a liar. The whole dealership is crooked and smarmy. You're wasting your time.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Sharnita on March 14, 2013, 01:06:59 PM
I wonder if you could/should report them to the BBB.  You are obviously savvy and tough enough to catch on to what they are doing and to stand up to them. Other customers might be tricked, feel pressured, etc.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: lowspark on March 14, 2013, 01:15:16 PM
Cue him saying he couldn't authorize that much and needed to go to the general manager.

And here's where I would have said, "OK, but I'd rather not hear back from you or anyone else at your dealership unless you're calling to tell me that you're going to honor the original agreed-upon price."

Really, I wouldn't listen to any more excuses, stories about what mistake they made, or how much of a difference it is from the quote. Unless it's LESS than what I was promised, I don't care if it's only $1 more. I'm moving on.

And yeah, I'd be going to another dealership asap.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Redneck Gravy on March 14, 2013, 01:22:44 PM
AS long as you gave factual and accurate information on social media I think you are OK.  It's when misinformation is posted that I see an issue. 

Everyone knows that social media is a hotbed of gossip and other information - if people don't want their business dealings out there they shouldn't misrepresent themselves.

This deal smacks of the baloney you constantly hear about.  See the movie Fargo for a perfect example of upsell malarkey. 

My last used car purchase (which is all I ever buy), I took in a cashier's check for the amount of money I planned to spend (knowing I would have to come up with a little more) and negotiated down to that point and then paid TTL to get out the door.  Cashier's checks seem to make them believe that you are serious and to get on to closing the deal and getting you out the door. 
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on March 14, 2013, 01:27:42 PM
They're just playing with you, OP. Look at what they did. They said "only $300" more. You get excited. Not great, but do-able, especially because you tell them they can swallow that small amount. They suddenly the numbers need to be re-checked? And now it's an $1,100 difference? What a liar. The whole dealership is crooked and smarmy. You're wasting your time.

I agree.  Time to move on to a different dealership, OP.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: jedikaiti on March 14, 2013, 01:38:35 PM
I wonder if you could/should report them to the BBB.  You are obviously savvy and tough enough to catch on to what they are doing and to stand up to them. Other customers might be tricked, feel pressured, etc.

I bet the local news channels would love a car dealer to do an expose on, too!
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on March 14, 2013, 01:42:43 PM
I definitely think it's time to just walk away and find another dealership; this one is determined to hose you.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: WillyNilly on March 14, 2013, 01:44:25 PM
OP here w/ update:

I've been on the phone w/ the head sales manager all morning. He ran the numbers w/ me and came back with only a $300 difference and I suggested they cover that in the name of good service. He agreed that that would be the honorable thing to do. Then he wanted to run the numbers one more time "just to be sure I figured it correctly", and said he'd call me back. An hour later he calls back and they found the mistake....their internal price sheets were wrong (again, not my problem). After having him take me through the numbers again, they are off by $1,171. And again I said that I still think that since this is totally their problem and since its happened twice now, I think they should deal with that loss and honor the original quote. Cue him saying he couldn't authorize that much and needed to go to the general manager. I said "Great, go ahead with that. I left him a message this morning too. If he needs would like to speak with me I'm happy to have that conversation".

And now I'm waiting again.

How many mistakes are they going to have? I mean if they can't get their math right, after how long and how many re-tries, can you trust they get their cars right?  You might find your vehicle is missing the spare tire, or owners manual or gas cap - after all they have proved to be a pretty air-headed group at this point!

To be honest, no matter what number they come back with, if it were me, I would no longer trust them.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: jedikaiti on March 14, 2013, 01:44:41 PM
Yea, at this point I wouldn't buy a soda from them without a significant discount.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: DavidH on March 14, 2013, 01:56:32 PM
The dealership is clearly being slimy, but if you don't mind playing the game, there is a better than average chance you'll get what they originally agreed to.  If the color is rare in the middle of the model year it means one of two things.  One is that the whole world wanted that color and they sell all they can get.  The other is that they think it won't sell in your market and thus don't order it.  If it's the latter, they will be more willing to deal since they are now stuck with this car and it's better to sell for less profit than have it live on their lot.  Since dealerships finance cars, you may need to wait 30-days or 60-days until they have to either pay interest on it or sell it. 

As an aside, the programs and hold backs on cars change frequently, so they may actually have made a mistake about what the car cost them.  Even so, it doesn't make that your problem. 

Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: doodlemor on March 14, 2013, 02:04:30 PM

This deal smacks of the baloney you constantly hear about.  See the movie Fargo for a perfect example of upsell malarkey.

This made me think of Fargo, too.  I was going to suggest that you ask them how the hockey game is going.

OP, these guys are still playing you, and they are disgusting.  I don't think that you should buy from them at all, because that is just rewarding this old-time-horse-trading chicanery.  How would you ever trust the service department there to be honest in caring for your car?

I pod those who think that you have become emotionally invested in this particular car.  I think that you should go to some other dealers ASAP, and see what else is out there. 

And if you see Jerry Lundegaard, go elsewhere, especially if he is pushing a tan Sierra.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Cat-Fu on March 14, 2013, 02:08:18 PM
I'm guessing the issue isn't their math or their price sheets—this is just their shady way of bargaining.

I think you were fine in what you did. TBH, I recommend you update your review to inform about this development.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: rose red on March 14, 2013, 02:13:00 PM
They are trying to wear you down.  If it was me, I would walk away even if they finally agree to the original agreement.  If this is your dream car, it may be difficult to walk so I don't blame you if you stick to it.  However, if you can be happy with another car, I don't see the point of letting them string you along and then reward them with a sale at the end.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: MrTango on March 14, 2013, 02:17:16 PM
I'd walk away from the dealership and get the same car ordered through a different, more honest dealer.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: miranova on March 14, 2013, 02:24:08 PM
Something similar happened to me recently.  I was looking for a particular car and my husband can be on the phone during the day more than I can, so he did a lot of the research.  He got on the phone with a particular dealership over 100 miles away and they promised a certain price.  They KNEW we would be driving almost 2 hours to get there.  My huband asked, over and over, so this is the FINAL price, no other fees etc and they said yes, over and over.  We said we'd come by that night, and we were ready to buy.  We cancelled an event with friends and went.

Went, drove the car, ready to buy and sure enough an additional $700 in fees were added on.  For a $10,000 used vehicle.  We were absolutely firm, we would not be paying a penny more than the quoted price and we weren't going to wait around and argue about it either.  We got the "but that fee is on every car we sell, there is nothing we can do about it".  My husband says, fine then make it up with the price of the car, I don't care how you do it but I'm not paying a penny more than what was quoted.  Back and forth to manager who moved about $100.  Do we look like idiots?  I was like look, this is not about money it's about integrity.  I'm not giving any money to someone who lied to me to get me in here.  There are thousands of other cars out there.  And if this fee is on EVERY car you sell, then your representative should have known that and should have told us that on the phone.

Here's the best part.  Their response to that is that "she isn't really supposed to get into that when people call".  My response:  "Oh so it wasn't a mistake then, it's actually your POLICY to lie to customers over the phone.  Got it".  And we left.

The crazy part is, that salesman called my husband (not me, even though it was supposed to be my car, because you see I'm just a female) over and over and over again for weeks, trying to get us to reconsider, and STILL not honoring the original quote.  Even when we told him we had bought a car elsewhere, he wouldn't stop calling.  My husband had to threaten him with a harassment charge before he stopped calling.  We did not ever give him any indication that we would consider buying the car after the moment we walked out, so it's not like we were leading him on either.  It was "we are not buying a car, any car, from you.  Stop calling".  For weeks.

I still need to sit down and write that review.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: JeanFromBNA on March 14, 2013, 02:32:03 PM
I think that you've been fair in your dealings with them.  You didn't misrepresent what they did anywhere.  Review sites are fair game.  I have no patience for reviewers who slam businesses online for non-legitimate complaints, like the jerks who reported me to the BBB for enforcing the contract that they signed, or a friend who was dogpiled on yelp and FB because the hipsters thought that his business should provide free parking for nearby restaurants.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: gemma156 on March 14, 2013, 03:06:13 PM
No I think your actions were fine.  My aunt had a similar thing happen many years ago.  She and her husband had taken their old car for a trade on a car they had decided to buy.  Get to the nitty gritty of the deal in the office, the salesman then at the last minute added an extra $2,000 in cost's.  My aunt was livid at the bait and switch method deployed by the car dealership and then cancelled the deal on the spot, and demanded their old car back immediately.

The dealership were so comfortable they were going to get away with it, they had already begun to trash the car mats, and other such stuff from their car long before it was officially theirs to do what they wanted to it.  The salesman commented that it was too late and they had reconditioned their car already, so my aunt said fine, it's a straight case of theft and she would be calling the police to retrieve their car back then.  They ended driving out the dealership with their old car all spruced up at no cost.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: lowspark on March 14, 2013, 03:27:16 PM
I had a very similar experience to that gemma. This was y-e-a-r-s ago. We bought a new car and it was one of those situations where they wanted us to drive home in our new car TO-NIGHT! and then bring it back tomorrow for the final cleaning and spruce up they usually do. OK. Next day I bring it back and sit in the waiting room for them to do their thing and the salesman comes over and tells me that it turns out they underestimated what we still owed on our trade in and we owed another $xxx (I don't remember the amount now, but several hundred at least) and "how do you want to pay for that?" (his exact words).

I was like, ummmm... I don't. You quoted us a final drive out price, and that's the price I intend to pay for this car. If it's more than that, I don't want it. We went round and round with him (and now his manager) repeating the "how do you want to pay for that?" line. I finally said, Look, I'd just as soon have my old car back and you can keep the new one. Can I have my keys please?

Well, I have no idea what they'd done with my car between the previous night and that morning but they just finally backed down and said that they weren't going to charge me anymore and I should keep the new car.

If they'd been unsure of the payoff for my old car, if they'd said price contingent on payoff which has to be confirmed in the morning, etc. then I wouldn't have taken the new car home in the first place. We'd signed all the paperwork and everything was final. If they actually expected me to whip out my checkbook and smile as I covered their miscalculation, they completely underestimated me.

One thing I learned very early on: never get emotionally attached to anything till it's already yours. Plus, there are 10 more car dealerships just down the road which also have cars they want to get off their lot. No one dealership has the one and only car that I can't live without.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on March 14, 2013, 03:28:57 PM
No I think your actions were fine.  My aunt had a similar thing happen many years ago.  She and her husband had taken their old car for a trade on a car they had decided to buy.  Get to the nitty gritty of the deal in the office, the salesman then at the last minute added an extra $2,000 in cost's.  My aunt was livid at the bait and switch method deployed by the car dealership and then cancelled the deal on the spot, and demanded their old car back immediately.

The dealership were so comfortable they were going to get away with it, they had already begun to trash the car mats, and other such stuff from their car long before it was officially theirs to do what they wanted to it.  The salesman commented that it was too late and they had reconditioned their car already, so my aunt said fine, it's a straight case of theft and she would be calling the police to retrieve their car back then.  They ended driving out the dealership with their old car all spruced up at no cost.

...and now I'm thinking of National Lampoon's Vacation.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Please pass the Calgon on March 14, 2013, 03:33:51 PM
OP w/ another update:

When the GM called me back I stated my case, politely. He kept insisting it was an internal mistake and refusing to honor the quote. I persisted that their internal problem shouldn't keep me from getting what they had offered and then he got all snotty and arrogant..."I'm soooo sorry that no one in YOUR world has EVER made a mistake!" Really? That's how they train GM's to speak to customers these days? After a few other condescending remarks from him, I was done. I asked him to thank the other two men for their time and ended with "I will not be buying this  or any car from your dealership if this is your idea of customer service". I did update my Yelp and Google+ reviews to reflect today's events. The one on their Facebook page has mysteriously vanished.

My "I dont want to go through this again" is currently outweighing my desire for a new car.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: miranova on March 14, 2013, 03:40:45 PM
I'm soooo sorry that no one in YOUR world has EVER made a mistake!"

Oh I hate that.  The polite and correct response when one makes a mistake it to apologize and CORRECT it.  Not to make it someone else's problem.  I'm not paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for someone else's mistake.

We got that same thing recently from customer service for a credit card company, that told us we could do a balance transfer with 0% interest and no fees.  Then we get hit with a ginormous fee and 24% interest.  You should have heard my Dh on that phone call.  They just wanted us to suck it up and pay the money because THEIR service rep was wrong and was stating an offer that didn't yet exist.  They even listened to the original call and knew that we were right and weren't just making it up.  They just insisted that we shouldn't believe everything they tell us on the phone because it might be a mistake, because anyone can make a mistake and some of the service reps are incompetant.  Yes, they actually said that.  We finally got them to just reverse the entire transaction, including fees, but not before HOURS of argument over whose job it should be to fix THEIR mistake.  Dh would not get off the phone until he could see the transaction reversed online, because as he told the supervisor, "I can't trust what you are saying, you just told me not to believe anything your reps tell me".  Yes, everyone makes mistakes but I can't remember the last time I expected someone else to pay money for MY mistake.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: magicdomino on March 14, 2013, 03:52:00 PM
And this is why I have bought my last two vehicles, and steered a friend towards a particular dealership.  Do I get the lowest price?  Maybe not rock bottom, but it is a fair price, and no games are played.  There is a dealership less than a mile from me, but just walking into the showroom is like walking into a shark tank.

Not sure what I'm going to do if I want something other than a Ford next time.   ;)
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: magician5 on March 14, 2013, 03:59:37 PM
You might want to review pertinent posts at http://oncars.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

The guy knows what he's talking about.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Cami on March 14, 2013, 04:19:02 PM
A few years ago, we were in the market for a new car. We had decided on the make and model. We were all set to buy from Dealership A when we saw a full page newspaper ad for Dealership B that stated in letters 3" high, "We Will BEAT any written offer." So my dh went into Dealership B with a written offer, honestly expecting them to beat it by maybe a dollar. No great expectations. He went in and talked to a salesperson who looked at the offer, walked off to the coffeeclutch of salespeople who all proceed to break out into loud laughter.  My dh is standing there, wondering, "What the heck?" He finally has to walk over to them and say, "Excuse me?" They proceed to stand there and mock him and say that he's a fool if he thinks they are going to beat that offer. My dh points out that they have an ad in the paper saying that they will (and there was no asterick or fine print) and demands to speak to the GM. The GM comes out and tells my dh to leave the lot and to stop wasting their time.  My dh actually filed a complaint with the state AG office for fraudulent advertising and they told him he was one of many with the same complaint against that dealership.

As it happens, a year or two later, my dd was in speech class with the son of that GM. One of their assignments was to give a speech on some secret knowledge you have. The kid got up and gave a speech about all the ways his father's dealership screws people over. It was enlightening. (I can't believe the father would have wanted the kid to do that, but he did it.)
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: BabyMama on March 14, 2013, 04:47:29 PM
A few years ago, we were in the market for a new car. We had decided on the make and model. We were all set to buy from Dealership A when we saw a full page newspaper ad for Dealership B that stated in letters 3" high, "We Will BEAT any written offer." So my dh went into Dealership B with a written offer, honestly expecting them to beat it by maybe a dollar. No great expectations. He went in and talked to a salesperson who looked at the offer, walked off to the coffeeclutch of salespeople who all proceed to break out into loud laughter.  My dh is standing there, wondering, "What the heck?" He finally has to walk over to them and say, "Excuse me?" They proceed to stand there and mock him and say that he's a fool if he thinks they are going to beat that offer. My dh points out that they have an ad in the paper saying that they will (and there was no asterick or fine print) and demands to speak to the GM. The GM comes out and tells my dh to leave the lot and to stop wasting their time.  My dh actually filed a complaint with the state AG office for fraudulent advertising and they told him he was one of many with the same complaint against that dealership.

As it happens, a year or two later, my dd was in speech class with the son of that GM. One of their assignments was to give a speech on some secret knowledge you have. The kid got up and gave a speech about all the ways his father's dealership screws people over. It was enlightening. (I can't believe the father would have wanted the kid to do that, but he did it.)

It was Matilda's dad, wasn't it  ;D
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: AnnaJane on March 14, 2013, 06:34:17 PM
A few years ago, we were in the market for a new car. We had decided on the make and model. We were all set to buy from Dealership A when we saw a full page newspaper ad for Dealership B that stated in letters 3" high, "We Will BEAT any written offer." So my dh went into Dealership B with a written offer, honestly expecting them to beat it by maybe a dollar. No great expectations. He went in and talked to a salesperson who looked at the offer, walked off to the coffeeclutch of salespeople who all proceed to break out into loud laughter.  My dh is standing there, wondering, "What the heck?" He finally has to walk over to them and say, "Excuse me?" They proceed to stand there and mock him and say that he's a fool if he thinks they are going to beat that offer. My dh points out that they have an ad in the paper saying that they will (and there was no asterick or fine print) and demands to speak to the GM. The GM comes out and tells my dh to leave the lot and to stop wasting their time.  My dh actually filed a complaint with the state AG office for fraudulent advertising and they told him he was one of many with the same complaint against that dealership.

As it happens, a year or two later, my dd was in speech class with the son of that GM. One of their assignments was to give a speech on some secret knowledge you have. The kid got up and gave a speech about all the ways his father's dealership screws people over. It was enlightening. (I can't believe the father would have wanted the kid to do that, but he did it.)
Did DD take notes? I'd like to hear about that, and I bet the AG would, too!
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: GSNW on March 14, 2013, 06:41:30 PM
OP was in no way impolite or out of line.  The dealership wasted her time and energy, refused to make it right, and then the GM was inexcusably rude.  This is why review sites exist.  I realize not all reviews are accurate, but ill use trip advisor as an example - I AWAYS read the bad reviews, and judge based on how the management responds.  Using this test, car dealership fails completely.

That email correspondence could be local news gold, and I would see if your local station is interested.  It IS in the public's interest to share.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Outdoor Girl on March 14, 2013, 06:47:35 PM
This happened to a friend of mine.  She had two brands of cars in mind.  One of them was at a dealership a friend of hers worked at.  She didn't use her friend as the salesperson (I don't think it was allowed).  The salesman she did have wrote out the deal and gave it to her and she agreed to it.  Later that day, he called her at home.  Turns out he made a mistake and needed another $2000.  Rather than fight about it, she just cancelled the deal and went with the other brand of car she was looking at.  Apparently, her friend was hassled, basically calling my friend a flake for backing out of the deal.  He left that dealership soon after.

If someone called me a flake for backing out of a deal that was off by $2000, I could live with being a flake.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: IMissItaly on March 14, 2013, 06:55:26 PM
OP, have you checked to see if your banking institution has a "New Car Buyer" program? I bank with a credit union, but friends have told me that certain of their insurance companies also offer this service.

The way this works is that the credit union/bank/insurance companies work with certain auto dealers in the local area to ensure that their members get the best possible price on a car.

Along with this, the dealer will do all of the legwork to find the car. All you have to do is have the specs that you want, down to the color/engine size/interior, on hand when you speak with the agency. It's up to the dealer, according to their agreement with the banking institution, to find you the make and model that you want.

I've purchased my last two vehicles this way and it was marvelous.

I applied for my loan through the credit union, told them I wanted to use the NCB program, and later that evening a dealer called me. I told him what I was looking for and he said that he'd just received a new pricing guide from the credit union and would look to see what I would be paying for the car. He was very surprised and said "Oh, you'll be paying the same price we paid for the car". He could not, according to his agreement with my credit union, charge me any more than what was listed on that price sheet.

That was a Friday night. By the following Monday he'd located the make/model/color/interior that I was looking for and arranged to have it delivered to his dealership that week. I picked it up that week. They also gave me a decent price on my trade-in (which needed a new engine!).

I can't advocate for this type of program strongly enough! I knew what I wanted and got it, for cost, without having to haggle or deal with a car dealership I felt was out to rip me off.

Check to see if either your banking institution or insurance company has a program like this.

Best of luck with your purchase!
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Cami on March 14, 2013, 07:36:35 PM
A few years ago, we were in the market for a new car. We had decided on the make and model. We were all set to buy from Dealership A when we saw a full page newspaper ad for Dealership B that stated in letters 3" high, "We Will BEAT any written offer." So my dh went into Dealership B with a written offer, honestly expecting them to beat it by maybe a dollar. No great expectations. He went in and talked to a salesperson who looked at the offer, walked off to the coffeeclutch of salespeople who all proceed to break out into loud laughter.  My dh is standing there, wondering, "What the heck?" He finally has to walk over to them and say, "Excuse me?" They proceed to stand there and mock him and say that he's a fool if he thinks they are going to beat that offer. My dh points out that they have an ad in the paper saying that they will (and there was no asterick or fine print) and demands to speak to the GM. The GM comes out and tells my dh to leave the lot and to stop wasting their time.  My dh actually filed a complaint with the state AG office for fraudulent advertising and they told him he was one of many with the same complaint against that dealership.

As it happens, a year or two later, my dd was in speech class with the son of that GM. One of their assignments was to give a speech on some secret knowledge you have. The kid got up and gave a speech about all the ways his father's dealership screws people over. It was enlightening. (I can't believe the father would have wanted the kid to do that, but he did it.)
Did DD take notes? I'd like to hear about that, and I bet the AG would, too!
Yes, actually she did! She remembered the story and the minute the kid started to speak, she realized he was telling some good secrets.

Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Scuba_Dog on March 14, 2013, 08:04:39 PM
OP, have you checked to see if your banking institution has a "New Car Buyer" program? I bank with a credit union, but friends have told me that certain of their insurance companies also offer this service.

The way this works is that the credit union/bank/insurance companies work with certain auto dealers in the local area to ensure that their members get the best possible price on a car.

Along with this, the dealer will do all of the legwork to find the car. All you have to do is have the specs that you want, down to the color/engine size/interior, on hand when you speak with the agency. It's up to the dealer, according to their agreement with the banking institution, to find you the make and model that you want.

I've purchased my last two vehicles this way and it was marvelous.

I applied for my loan through the credit union, told them I wanted to use the NCB program, and later that evening a dealer called me. I told him what I was looking for and he said that he'd just received a new pricing guide from the credit union and would look to see what I would be paying for the car. He was very surprised and said "Oh, you'll be paying the same price we paid for the car". He could not, according to his agreement with my credit union, charge me any more than what was listed on that price sheet.

That was a Friday night. By the following Monday he'd located the make/model/color/interior that I was looking for and arranged to have it delivered to his dealership that week. I picked it up that week. They also gave me a decent price on my trade-in (which needed a new engine!).

I can't advocate for this type of program strongly enough! I knew what I wanted and got it, for cost, without having to haggle or deal with a car dealership I felt was out to rip me off.

Check to see if either your banking institution or insurance company has a program like this.

Best of luck with your purchase!

You may have just saved what is left of my sanity after trying to work with dealerships over the last few months.

We've been thinking of leaving our "traditional" bank and going to a Credit Union for awhile.  If we can find one locally that offers this program - the deal will be done!

Thank you!
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Peregrine on March 14, 2013, 08:12:03 PM
For those in the US, Costco offers a similar program as the bank/insurance company one.  I don't know if it works on used cars though.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: LifeOnPluto on March 14, 2013, 08:16:27 PM
OP I think you were fine. I find this extremely hard to swallow - that there was an "internal mistake" and the GM "refuses to wear the cost".

And even if it was a genuine mistake, that absolutely doesn't excuse the GM's rudeness over the phone. 
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Arrynne on March 14, 2013, 08:19:33 PM
We bought our last three cars using Costco's special pricing. You get fleet pricing, which is usually either a few percent or a few hundred above or below dealer invoice...plus you get to see the invoice. Dealer or manufacturer incentives usually still apply. You still have to (get to) haggle on protection plans and after market add-ons. It's specific to new cars.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
Post by: Minmom3 on March 14, 2013, 08:38:05 PM
I think that you've been fair in your dealings with them.  You didn't misrepresent what they did anywhere.  Review sites are fair game.  I have no patience for reviewers who slam businesses online for non-legitimate complaints, like the jerks who reported me to the BBB for enforcing the contract that they signed, or a friend who was dogpiled on yelp and FB because the hipsters thought that his business should provide free parking for nearby restaurants.

Heh.  There's a lumber hard I pass on my way out of town that originally put up a chain at each side of their parking lot, to keep out bar patrons from the bar next door.  Apparently, that chain wasn't doing the job, because I drove by a week ago and there's a Large White Steel Pipe gate at each end of the parking lot, with big old printed signs that say "BarNextDoor patrons are not allowed to park here".  Mind you, the lumber yard closes at 6 at the latest (summer hours) and the bar is open until whenever the legal closing time is here in California (2 a.m.?), but the lumber yard does not want bar patrons parking on in front of the store.  They don't even block off the whole lot, they do leave nearly half of it available to the bar patrons, but what they block, they DO block thoroughly.  No place of business has to allow parking for other businesses in a privately owned lot...
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Promise on March 14, 2013, 08:52:39 PM
I think they should have eaten the loss since they quoted it to you and you had it in writing. However, you said that you had another quote from another dealer. Why not just go to them now to purchase? Mistakes happen. Since no money changed hands and no contracts were signed, I guess they had the ability to back out of the agreement. it's unfortunate.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: IMissItaly on March 14, 2013, 09:13:02 PM
I can't remember how to quote, but for Scuba_Dog:
"You may have just saved what is left of my sanity after trying to work with dealerships over the last few months.

We've been thinking of leaving our "traditional" bank and going to a Credit Union for awhile.  If we can find one locally that offers this program - the deal will be done!

Thank you!"

You're very welcome. As I said, I swear by this program. My credit union is one of the top rated credit unions in the country and I don't hesitate to point people to them if they're qualified to join.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: magician5 on March 14, 2013, 09:28:18 PM
Unless I'm mistaken, you don't have to leave your current bank (if you like it) in order to open a minimum-balance Credit Union account and borrow from the Credit Union.

And, to cut down any dealer's ability to confuse the deal by juggling trade-in values and financing rates, never finance with the dealer (Credit Union rates are much more straightforward) and shop your current vehicle around to simply sell it for the best price you can get. Than internet-shop for the exact vehicle you want, and buy it from the dealer that offers the best price.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: sparksals on March 14, 2013, 11:42:33 PM
OP, have you checked to see if your banking institution has a "New Car Buyer" program? I bank with a credit union, but friends have told me that certain of their insurance companies also offer this service.

The way this works is that the credit union/bank/insurance companies work with certain auto dealers in the local area to ensure that their members get the best possible price on a car.

Along with this, the dealer will do all of the legwork to find the car. All you have to do is have the specs that you want, down to the color/engine size/interior, on hand when you speak with the agency. It's up to the dealer, according to their agreement with the banking institution, to find you the make and model that you want.

I've purchased my last two vehicles this way and it was marvelous.

I applied for my loan through the credit union, told them I wanted to use the NCB program, and later that evening a dealer called me. I told him what I was looking for and he said that he'd just received a new pricing guide from the credit union and would look to see what I would be paying for the car. He was very surprised and said "Oh, you'll be paying the same price we paid for the car". He could not, according to his agreement with my credit union, charge me any more than what was listed on that price sheet.

That was a Friday night. By the following Monday he'd located the make/model/color/interior that I was looking for and arranged to have it delivered to his dealership that week. I picked it up that week. They also gave me a decent price on my trade-in (which needed a new engine!).

I can't advocate for this type of program strongly enough! I knew what I wanted and got it, for cost, without having to haggle or deal with a car dealership I felt was out to rip me off.

Check to see if either your banking institution or insurance company has a program like this.

Best of luck with your purchase!

We bought our Ford Escape last year via the USAA buying program. We got a huge discount. Costco also has one but we had far better luck with USAA. 
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Please pass the Calgon on March 14, 2013, 11:59:51 PM
I think they should have eaten the loss since they quoted it to you and you had it in writing. However, you said that you had another quote from another dealer. Why not just go to them now to purchase? Mistakes happen. Since no money changed hands and no contracts were signed, I guess they had the ability to back out of the agreement. it's unfortunate.

That's what we're planning to do now. The other dealer is 3 hours away, but we can combine it with a visit to see our brand new niece :) I confirmed the quote with this dealer again this afternoon and can only hope everything goes smoothly this time.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: PastryGoddess on March 15, 2013, 12:03:09 AM
I second, third, or fourth the suggestion to open an account with a credit union
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Gyburc on March 15, 2013, 06:03:41 AM
OP, I think you handled this absolutely fine. I think you were being scammed right from the start, particularly because of the 'excited' texts the salesman sent you (which to my mind were really unprofessional). The GM's manner was the icing on the cake, and really, they deserve to lose custom. Good luck with the new dealership!

By way of comparison, DH and I had our windows replaced a few years ago. We had a quote from one company, and then a salesman from a second company came round. He claimed to be able to match the initial quote, and when we told him what it was, he was visibly taken aback, it was clearly much lower than he had expected. Nevertheless, he called his boss straight away and they agreed to honour his word; we got the windows for the low price.

If we ever need more work, we will definitely consider them, because they behaved professionally.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Kari on March 15, 2013, 08:40:40 AM
No, you didn't go too far. This is a common scam among car dealerships, as my recent research into car-buying has indicated. I've read so many stories from people who reported that Suchandsuch Dealership promised them a car for one price, then sat them down with paperwork for a much higher price, blaming an invisible "manager" for the markup and pressuring the buyer to pay. The more dealerships get publicly called out on this, the more likely they'll realize that trying to milk a few thousand dollars more out of one person won't be worth the hundreds of thousands lost from bad publicity.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: JeanFromBNA on March 15, 2013, 09:15:15 AM
I think they should have eaten the loss since they quoted it to you and you had it in writing. However, you said that you had another quote from another dealer. Why not just go to them now to purchase? Mistakes happen. Since no money changed hands and no contracts were signed, I guess they had the ability to back out of the agreement. it's unfortunate.

That's what we're planning to do now. The other dealer is 3 hours away, but we can combine it with a visit to see our brand new niece :) I confirmed the quote with this dealer again this afternoon and can only hope everything goes smoothly this time.

Fingers crossed for you that all will go well.   :)  Pictures, please, if it does!
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: DavidH on March 15, 2013, 11:08:02 AM
A couple of things to consider when financing a car.  One is that the dealer in many cases gets money back from the finance company based on the interest rate you pay.  If the finance terms are the same, it can even be helpful to finance through the dealer since that may get you a better deal on either the new car or the trade in.  The flip side to that is that you need to know your credit score and what type of interest rate you can get elsewhere before simply relying on the dealer to finance the car. 

Another point is that you may get a better interest rate by financing through the manufacturer if they are running a promotion.  You need to balance the value of the low rate with any incentives that apply if you buy the car rather than finance it.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Spring Water on Sundays on March 15, 2013, 11:19:26 AM
I don't know the legalities, so this is just from an ethics/smart business perspective: *If* it had been an honest mistake (and I don't believe it was, but let's pretend for a minute), and that mistake would cause them to lose hundreds or thousands of dollars if they honored the original quote, I think they are within their rights to admit the mistake, and apologize profusely when they tell you they just can't do it. They should also go out of their way to help you find the car you want at the price you want as a gesture of good faith. And maybe throw in some free oil changes or tire rotations when they do get you the desired car. That's how you build customer loyalty, which is a hugely important piece of the auto sales business.

However, still pretending to believe it was an honest mistake, they handled it completely wrong and treated OP miserably when she refused to go along with it. They are jerks and I wouldn't buy a car from them even if they called me later to tell me they could do the deal after all. I wouldn't trust them or want to give them my business after being played like that. Buying the car is only the beginning of the dealership/client relationship - there is also maintenance, warranty work, etc to consider during the ownership of the car. These guys messed up big time.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Girlie on March 15, 2013, 01:46:22 PM
I ditto the above. I work in customer service and have had moments when we've really fallen on our duty to provide the very best customer service.
I am always embarrassed when this happens, and I bend over backwards to make it right.

The fact that no one at the dealership really seems to care about anything other than OP's money (and getting more of it!) tells me everything anyone should have to know in order to never attempt a purchase from them.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: hjaye on March 15, 2013, 03:15:31 PM
I'm pretty sure it's a standard sales tactic at that dealership and many others.  It's amazing how many......oops math mistakes, going to cost you more.............................. stories I've heard, and been a part of myself.  I've never heard one where the mistake meant the buyer was going to end up paying less than was originally negotiated.

Mine is pretty straightforward. Everything was done, and then we get the ooooohhhh, there is a mistake, when you traded in your car there was a balance on it that was more than what the car was worth and we were going to add that to the price of the vehicle.  We made a mistake and subtracted that amount instead of adding it, so now your payment is going to be 75.00 a month more than what we said it would be, and even though I know what we said it would be was right at the top of your budget (it always is) this now puts you 75.00 a month above what your maximum amount is supposed to be.

They always bet on the buyer falling so in love with the car that they'll suck it up and agree to paying more than they wanted to for the car.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Twik on March 15, 2013, 03:28:07 PM
Me, it was the "Oops, we aren't going to pay you the amount we promised for your trade-in, because we checked it over, and it's horribly unsafe - the frame is bent."

Yes, the car I had driven with no problems for five years, with regular maintenance (and definitely no frame-bending accidents) suddenly became a death trap as soon as I traded it in.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: JenJay on March 15, 2013, 04:03:20 PM
When I was about 8 months pregnant, in June (in other words hot, tired and cranky!), we spent about 5 hours haggling over trading in our car and buying a new one. Finally it gets down to a mere $300 difference on our trade and the salesman would not budge. We knew what the car was worth so we wouldn't budge, either. I stood up to leave and he got all exasperated "I can't believe you're willing to lose this deal over a few hundred dollars!" I replied "I'm not, I can go get a car just like that one for the price I want from somebody else. You're the one losing the deal." We left and he called us the next morning, begging us to come back. I guess he had to see for himself that yeah, we'd walk.

Another time the sales manager tried to puff up his chest and get in DH's face. DH works in law enforcement so he just laughed and said "I've got guys a lot bigger & scarier than you threatening me every day, and they actually mean it. Sit down." Boy did he deflate fast!

Before we bought our last car I emailed every major dealership within 50 miles and said "This is what I want. Do you have it and how much?" Only one salesman refused to give me a quote. The winner was the guy who not only gave me the best quote but bumped the car from the base model I'd been asking about to one with a few goodies. I said "I'll be there by 6!" he said "I'll have your paperwork ready!" We were in and out of there in about an hour.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: miranova on March 15, 2013, 04:09:35 PM
I don't play the trade-in game.  It's just another way for them to mess with you.  Easier to just sell my old car on Craigslist. 

I also don't play the financing game.  Yeah, it means I drive cars forever because I will pay myself a car payment into a savings account until I have enough for a quality used car.  I don't make a lot of money, I just do this instead of a car payment.  You would be surprised how many dealerships want nothing to do with cash.  We had several tell us not to bother, they can't make any money on us if we had cash and they pointed us to other dealerships that might help. 
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: bansidhe on March 15, 2013, 04:10:22 PM
I second, third, or fourth the suggestion to open an account with a credit union

We did this and bought our cars through the credit union's broker. So.much.easier!
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: JenJay on March 15, 2013, 04:34:50 PM
I don't play the trade-in game.  It's just another way for them to mess with you.  Easier to just sell my old car on Craigslist. 

I also don't play the financing game.  Yeah, it means I drive cars forever because I will pay myself a car payment into a savings account until I have enough for a quality used car.  I don't make a lot of money, I just do this instead of a car payment.  You would be surprised how many dealerships want nothing to do with cash.  We had several tell us not to bother, they can't make any money on us if we had cash and they pointed us to other dealerships that might help.

We always figure out what our car is worth and then take it around and get trade-in quotes from several dealerships. When we're ready to buy I expect the place I'm buying from to match the best quote.

I've never financed through a dealership, we always got pre-approved through our credit union. I'm going to see if they have a buying service next time we buy or do the Costco thing! I envy you being able to save up and buy a car outright. DH is a "buy a new* car every few years" guy so as long as we've paid it down enough that it'll get paid off I don't fuss about it.

*When I say new I mean new to us. We always look for something that has 10-25k miles so it's sold as used but still under warranty for a bit.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: zyrs on March 15, 2013, 04:58:08 PM
I'm pretty sure it's a standard sales tactic at that dealership and many others.  It's amazing how many......oops math mistakes, going to cost you more.............................. stories I've heard, and been a part of myself.  I've never heard one where the mistake meant the buyer was going to end up paying less than was originally negotiated.

Mine is pretty straightforward. Everything was done, and then we get the ooooohhhh, there is a mistake, when you traded in your car there was a balance on it that was more than what the car was worth and we were going to add that to the price of the vehicle.  We made a mistake and subtracted that amount instead of adding it, so now your payment is going to be 75.00 a month more than what we said it would be, and even though I know what we said it would be was right at the top of your budget (it always is) this now puts you 75.00 a month above what your maximum amount is supposed to be.

They always bet on the buyer falling so in love with the car that they'll suck it up and agree to paying more than they wanted to for the car.

Yes, it's a standard sleazy sales technique.  I found this out in the 1980s when I needed a job and started selling vacuum cleaners.    I didn't know about the sleazy, underhanded stuff that particular company did until after I had sold a few and to this day feel bad that I exposed the people I demonstrated for to their sleaze.

If the sale was cash or credit card, that was one thing.  If they went for the in-house financing with a down payment, it always ended up with "the finance company refused you credit unless your down payment is higher, so we need to pick up the machine."  Usually the person had made the mental switch to " the machine is mine" and would find more money somehow in order to keep it. 

If you didn't buy a machine, you'd get a call a few days later from someone in the company offering you a much more attractive deal than the salesman could ever offer you. 

They also scammed the salesmen out of their commission, but that is a whole other story.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: kherbert05 on March 15, 2013, 05:10:42 PM
Mentioned this thread to my sister and she reminded me a story about one of our cousins.


Cousin and her DH were newly married and this was the first major purchase they were making together. The dealership tried the ooops we forgot a few fees you owe us $XXXX after the deal was signed but the ink was still wet thing. She said, "no you just attempted fraud" - and put down her business card - she is a lawyer. "Now honor our signed contract or I'll be pressing criminal charges against you,". They got the orginal deal - though she did have to tell her DH to pick his jaw up off the floor.


According to her DH - when they left he asked, "How did you do that," And she replied, "Just remember (my parents) and the glasstop table story. (Basically table was marked  on sale for $150. Mom called Dad. He left work. They had finished paying for it when the manger came running over saying it was mismarked it was supposed to be either 1,500 or $750 Dad basically said the same thing it was marked $150 and you sold it to me for $150 honor it or I press fraud charges and go to the press - the table is sitting my my breakfast area right now)
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: mich3554 on March 15, 2013, 05:28:09 PM
I've never financed through a dealership, we always got pre-approved through our credit union. I'm going to see if they have a buying service next time we buy or do the Costco thing! I envy you being able to save up and buy a car outright. DH is a "buy a new* car every few years" guy so as long as we've paid it down enough that it'll get paid off I don't fuss about it.

The last 2 times I bought a car, I had financing set up through my bank and allowed the dealer to attempt to beat it.  I did not tell them what my financing was, so they had to give me their best possible rates in order to try to beat what I had already set up.

Each time, the dealer beat my bank's financing by 2%....
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38, #75
Post by: Please pass the Calgon on March 15, 2013, 08:57:30 PM
OP again:

I came home from work to find the following message on my Facebook account...

Honda: We're terribly sorry for the treatment you've received from this dealership. We'd be glad to document this matter in full and make the dealer aware of the complaint we've received. If you'd like us to do so, please give our Customer Service department a call so a bit more information could be gathered. 800-XXX-XXXX between Mon - Fri, 6 AM - 5 PM PST.
3 hours ago · Like

And so I called them. Explained the whole situation, offered to forward all my emails, and received validation from them that what happened way not how they want to hear about the dealers behaving. Unfortunately since the dealerships are independently owned, they can't force the dealers to do anything, but it sounds like those who get too many complaints lodged start to lose out on incentives they can offer to customers or premium choice of vehicles to sell. The man who helped me said that I probably wouldn't hear anything back but that it was all documented and he'd forwarded it to his boss as well.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38
Post by: Sharnita on March 15, 2013, 09:02:47 PM
That is good.  I am sure they are unhappy to heat about what happened - for a lot of people that would end their relationship with Honda.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38, #75
Post by: Please pass the Calgon on March 15, 2013, 11:04:48 PM
Thanks to some of your advice, I followed up w/ our credit union and Costco to see what their programs offer. I have info out to 2 other dealerships via those programs, and we're going to visit the one 3 hours away on Sunday. I really like the sound of no haggle - fair pricing at this point.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38, #75, #77
Post by: lovepickles on March 16, 2013, 01:23:47 AM
Oh my dear you MUST haggle. It is not rude. Do not let this dealer get you down. I went to over 8 different dealerships before I bought my ideal car. Get them down to the lowest possible number then say you'll think about it and walk in with that number to the dealership the next town over. If they say no then say you'll just go back to the other guy because he was such a nice fella and he worked really hard for the sale.  When calling another dealer NEVER ask a dealer if they have x color in stock if you want it. Ask for y and then see if they mention having x. Appear to be flexible even when you are not. Expect to spend 4 hours AFTER you agree on a price and reject any other sort of fees they like to add in. Be willing to walk away after sitting there for 3 hours. That is how the game is played. Also walk in with your own financing and don't fall for the after business hours financing and they'll fix it on Monday scam. Major banks give pre-approval letters and if they are a dealership like Honda they must honor them. Also find out the TRUE cost of the car to the dealership. I used a GREAT worksheet when i bought my Toyota a few years ago: http://www.carbuyingtips.com/download.htm the buyers offer was right on. Dealers wouldn't go below.

My major statement here is do not be afraid to say "no thanks" to unreasonable offers. Some dealers will turn you down. The true trick is to find a dealer with duplicate cars and often that is in a kind of remote area. I knew when i rolled up and saw the dealer had 3 cars in x color that he was more likely to make a deal. Also if it has features you don't want you don't have to pay for them ... ask them to take them OUT and not charge you for them. God knows I can't stand car alarms so I had them rip that out.

Best of luck dear! Buying a car can be empowering. Don't let those nasty dealers get you down.

xoxox
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38, #75, #77
Post by: Winterlight on March 16, 2013, 12:40:20 PM
Thanks for the worksheet- I'm thinking about buying a car in the near future myself.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38, #75, #77
Post by: miranova on March 16, 2013, 12:58:14 PM
Oh my dear you MUST haggle. It is not rude. Do not let this dealer get you down. I went to over 8 different dealerships before I bought my ideal car. Get them down to the lowest possible number then say you'll think about it and walk in with that number to the dealership the next town over. If they say no then say you'll just go back to the other guy because he was such a nice fella and he worked really hard for the sale.  When calling another dealer NEVER ask a dealer if they have x color in stock if you want it. Ask for y and then see if they mention having x. Appear to be flexible even when you are not. Expect to spend 4 hours AFTER you agree on a price and reject any other sort of fees they like to add in. Be willing to walk away after sitting there for 3 hours. That is how the game is played. Also walk in with your own financing and don't fall for the after business hours financing and they'll fix it on Monday scam. Major banks give pre-approval letters and if they are a dealership like Honda they must honor them. Also find out the TRUE cost of the car to the dealership. I used a GREAT worksheet when i bought my Toyota a few years ago: http://www.carbuyingtips.com/download.htm the buyers offer was right on. Dealers wouldn't go below.

My major statement here is do not be afraid to say "no thanks" to unreasonable offers. Some dealers will turn you down. The true trick is to find a dealer with duplicate cars and often that is in a kind of remote area. I knew when i rolled up and saw the dealer had 3 cars in x color that he was more likely to make a deal. Also if it has features you don't want you don't have to pay for them ... ask them to take them OUT and not charge you for them. God knows I can't stand car alarms so I had them rip that out.

Best of luck dear! Buying a car can be empowering. Don't let those nasty dealers get you down.

xoxox

I know that some people truly enjoy the haggling game etc and I'm not saying it doesn't work but I just refuse to participate in that.  I HATE IT.  I will not spend my time doing something I hate in order to give someone a LARGE amount of money.  If a dealership doesn't want my money unless I'm willing to play the game, they just won't get my money.  I have managed to buy multiple cars in my lifetime without haggling.  I know what I want, I do research ahead of time, I know what I am willing to pay and what I'm not.  I won't go back and forth with games.  The smart salesmen out there can tell who has this attitude and who doesn't like "the game" and will adjust accordingly.  The less intelligent ones just lose a sale when they fail to realize what type of customer they are dealing with and won't adjust their techniques.  I have bought several cars that involved no haggling or games whatsoever, because I just leave when that stuff starts.  I am honest about what I want and whether or not I'm serious about buying that day, and if they can't give me what I want, no problem, have a nice day and thanks anyway. 

After the bad experience with the car dealer that pulled the bait and switch, I had a different car within 2 days at a different dealership and it was more car for the same amount of money.  I walked in, signed the papers that were ready for me, handed over the cashier's check, got my keys and drove away.  You really don't HAVE to haggle.  It's not necessary, it's just one of many strategies.  If you manage to find an intelligent dealership that can see that you are serious as a heart attack when you say what you want to pay and not a dollar more, you will find that those dealerships will cut straight to the chase and tell you their best offer immediately.  It's refreshing when you find one. 
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38, #75, #77
Post by: ettiquit on March 16, 2013, 08:17:20 PM
I have a somewhat similar story, though it happened after the car was purchased, papers signed, and the car was brought home.  The dealer called because the bank didn't give us the interest rate we had agreed to.  The difference amounted to something like $420 total - so, $7 more a month.  I said "no", and since I knew we'd have to sign new papers for this to happen, I told them I'd just drop the car off the next morning and that they could keep it.  They were astonished, and to be fair, I don't think they were scamming me.  But when I decide on a monthly payment, I never budge..not even a dollar.  They found another way to make up the difference and we kept the car at the same price.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38, #75, #77
Post by: MrTango on March 17, 2013, 11:07:31 AM
I have a somewhat similar story, though it happened after the car was purchased, papers signed, and the car was brought home.  The dealer called because the bank didn't give us the interest rate we had agreed to.  The difference amounted to something like $420 total - so, $7 more a month.  I said "no", and since I knew we'd have to sign new papers for this to happen, I told them I'd just drop the car off the next morning and that they could keep it.  They were astonished, and to be fair, I don't think they were scamming me.  But when I decide on a monthly payment, I never budge..not even a dollar.  They found another way to make up the difference and we kept the car at the same price.

My response would have been that it's their problem.  They signed the papers agreeing to a given monthly payment and interest rate, and it's not my concern that they didn't confirm it with their bank before the transaction was finalized.
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38, #75, #77
Post by: lovepickles on March 17, 2013, 02:33:30 PM
Miranova I totally agree with your approach. I actually call THAT haggling by not accepting a price. When I "haggle" I name a reasonable price and deny any add-ons and circular logic that confuses the buyer. My version of haggling involves lowering an offer given to me and walking away if it doesn't suit me. It is sad that I actually refer to it as haggling, now that I think of it. But in this day and age if you don't accept a price given to you by a seller it is viewed as haggling. Perhaps referring to it as a counter-offer is more respectable. Unfortunately dealerships use the negative description of a respectable counter-offer by referring to it as haggling-- most likely to discourage the buyer from presenting a reasonable offer.

My apologies for the use of the term "haggling" it is decidedly inaccurate. 
Title: Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38, #75, #77
Post by: miranova on March 17, 2013, 05:00:27 PM
Miranova I totally agree with your approach. I actually call THAT haggling by not accepting a price. When I "haggle" I name a reasonable price and deny any add-ons and circular logic that confuses the buyer. My version of haggling involves lowering an offer given to me and walking away if it doesn't suit me. It is sad that I actually refer to it as haggling, now that I think of it. But in this day and age if you don't accept a price given to you by a seller it is viewed as haggling. Perhaps referring to it as a counter-offer is more respectable. Unfortunately dealerships use the negative description of a respectable counter-offer by referring to it as haggling-- most likely to discourage the buyer from presenting a reasonable offer.

My apologies for the use of the term "haggling" it is decidedly inaccurate.

Oh, no apology necessary! 

I see what you mean.  What I picture as haggling is what my ex does that makes me cringe.  He NEVER stops pushing.  He pushes and pushes and pushes and pushes the salesmen for hours and when they finally agree to something, he adds another condition. I used to HATE being in the same room with him when he did it.  I know he got some good deals, but I also know that when we left everyone was like "what a jerk".  He had no instinct for how off-putting he was to other people.

Me and Dh on the other hand, well the deal is either on or off in about 5 minutes.  Which is the way we like it. I don't know if over time we pay a lot more but if it's only a little more, it's worth it to me.  I've done my research so I know I'm not getting totally scammed, and I don't have to spend hours doing something I hate. 

Sounds like you and I are in agreement!