I left the deposit on Saturday afternoon on a car that had not been cleaned up yet. Salesman was pretty confident it would not be shown that afternoon, I was also pretty sure it would not be shown, dealerships were incredibly slow that day (very cold, windy, not many people out car shopping). Also, when he called later that day he said I would have to sign a form indicating that the deposit was for that car.
On Monday when I said tear up my check he said he would. To deposit it two weeks later was incredibly foolish on dealership's part (mine too, I should have driven over there and picked up the check) After speaking with the sales manager (car salesman is already gone from this dealership) he was terribly apologetic about the situation. He said, "without going into details, we dropped the ball on this one. It's an electronic deposit and we will get it reversed."
I would not have left a $1000 deposit on anything I wasn't sure I couldn't get back or apply on another deal, etc. But I disagree that I held up a sale or that the dealership had the right to deposit my check.
I also learned a valuable lesson and in the future I will retrieve the actual check in these kind of situations. (I hope we don't have to do any car shopping for several years! I consider it the 7th circle of Hades, possibly the 8th circle with DD)
Deposits for different types of transactions vary on refunds. I have never heard of a dealership trying to keep a deposit on a vehicle where the transaction was cancelled within 24 hours (business hours since they are closed on Sundays). And to deposit it two weeks later without any matching paperwork ! I agree they dropped the ball alright.