Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Car Quest - The Results - Upside Down

I recently wrote about the problems I was having with my car and my attempt to stay calm. This problem resolved itself two weeks ago but it is only now that I am ready to talk about it.

Part 1
I had an appointment to meet with the sales manager to discuss my options. Last November, I bought a Certified Pre-Owned car from a local dealer. During the first seven months my car need numerous, expensive repairs. My brother went to the meeting with me. When we arrived, we were told the sales manager left for the day. WHAT?!!! They called him on his cell phone and we were told that the salesperson X would take care of us. USELESS!!!! He tried to sell me a new Mazda 6.

My brother, who was fabulous throughout this whole process, asked the dealer to show us the service paperwork for the 130 point Pre-Certification. No one in the entire dealership was able to access this report. The salesperson explained that I was upside down. They offered $4000.00 less of a trade in that I owed on the car. They told me that I could just roll-over the difference on a new car loan. We then found out that this dealership has a reputation for sending out cars that they know will break after 30 days. Their BBB report shows 16 complaints in the past 3 years. I checked all the local dealerships and no one came close to the number of complaints this dealership had.

Part 2
We decided that we would check out another dealership. I was told that July was a great time to buy a car because there were many incentives. My brother and I went to another dealership. They were going to help me. They were going to get me in a new car TODAY! I told them that I was not going to rush into buying a new car because it did not work so well last time. They called me and emailed me twice a day. They offered me a deal but it was not good enough. My brother was the negotiator. He is the CFO of a construction company and deals with bids all day long. He went into the meeting prepared and knew exactly how much money the car was worth. The end result ... No Deal.

New strategy .... go back to dealership #1 and get them to fix the car they sold me at a reasonable price. My brother went to the service manager and still could not get the Pre-Certification report. The manager offered me a 10% discount. Seriously! They already charged me two $70.00 diagnostic fees to confirm what I already told them ... a broken window and a broken wheel hub. He tried to explain to them how valuable a gesture of goodwill would be for the dealership. It would be worth every penny of word of mouth advertising. The dealership did not care. I will never do business with them again. I am telling everyone about my bad experience.

I got my car fixed. My brother found me a different mechanic that fixed my car for $250.00 less than the dealership. My car is upside down. It is not worth what I paid for it or owe on it for that matter. I am stuck with it.
Post edited 08.15.08. The following links describe the tricks and scams car dealerships and salespeople use.


Slop -n- Goulash: Dinner of Champions! said...

I sure hate to hear that, Michele. I sure wish it had turned out better for you. When I went to buy my used car about 4 years ago, I originally wanted a Jeep and had my eye on a used one. But I had read a website top to bottom - or something like that and this guy gave you every single detail and I knew it by heart. I went into that dealership with a check I had gotten online - they would have rec'd cash for the car had they dropped the price $2000 but no. They seriously pulled every single trick this guy on the website said a crooked dealership would. I walked out and went to a different dealership and had a wonderful honest salesperson. When I squinted at him when he'd tell me some good thing, he'd laugh and say, "You've been to another dealership, haven't you? One that tried to put one over on you..." He knew and he was a great salespersona nd it has been a great car. Anyway, hope it turns around for you.

Steve said...

I hate car dealerships. You should experience how they train their sales reps - be relentless. Then they will laugh about you when you're gone, talking about what they were able to talk you into. Good for you, sticking to your guns!

I'm curious, did you use before purchasing it? You can still look up your VIN on there now to see what kind of history it has.

Wei said...

I know how you feel about negotiations with car dealerships; in the past few months (before my injury) I had to do negotiation for my mother's new car and my own used car. I think I visited about 15 car dealerships within three months. It was hard to find an honest salesperson who wouldn't stick me with a bad deal.

I'm glad that you were at least able to get your car fixed; I'm still working on getting the AC fixed in my own car.

Thanks for your support, BTW, about my knee. :)

Michele said...

I learned a hard lesson. I did not do my homework when I bought the car in November. I did see the Carfax report and it was clean - no accidents - one owner.

MAM: I found a website detailing out all the tricks a few weeks ago. I wish I saw it before I bought the car in November.

Steve: I can only imagine what the training is like for a car salesperson. They will not give you a straight answer when it comes to financing. They keep asking how much you can afford and then back in to a ridiculous six or eight year car loan. At the second dealership the "closer" tried to offer me an extra $1000.00 in trade in if I bought the car immediately. I am sure they follow some sort of script.

Wie: It sounds like you did the right thing by going to several different car dealerships. It involves so much time and stress.

Davidx said...

I have always felt that i got the poor end of the deal when buying a car, rightly or not. What is this web site you mention that discusses car dealer "tricks?"

Michele said...

DavidX: I am not sure of the original site I found about dealership tricks but here are two that have a lot of information. I get upset reading them because I know that I was had.

Frances said...

When you opt for affordable used cars, you get to save money which you could set aside for emergency purposes.