Dealer Tried to Renege on Agreement

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by PriusRos, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. PriusRos

    PriusRos A Fairly Senior Member - 2016 Prius Owner

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    As some of you know, I picked up my beautiful Winter Grey IV with Solar on Friday. Everything worked out in the end and it could have been a very good buying experience except that it was soured by what happened at the dealer. :( I am posting my experience to warn others about this type of tactic. *Warning- Extra Long Post Ahead!*

    Before I get into it, I want to say thanks to fellow Priuschatter mr.scott.com for telling me about this car. He first contacted me to invite me to see his blue IV with solar. When the salesman at this dealer emailed him about the winter grey arriving, Scott immediately let me know about it so I was able to end up with the rare IV with solar within about 10 days after I had started placing orders. I also wish to thank PC’er Fred Garvin, who was the first to invite me to see his IV with solar (blizzard pearl) and all the others on this forum who have directly or indirectly provided so much information on the new generation Prius.

    The dealership is in the Baltimore, MD. I won't name them at this point because I still have to go back there and finalize some paperwork and I'll wait to see how they treat me then. When Scott told me about the car, I contacted the salesman, J. I was a little hesitant because I already had deposits with two other dealers -- but they were telling me it could take between two and four months and here is one that was definitely on its way from New York. Also, grey was only my third color choice after white and blue (the two that I had seen). However, I decided to take the plunge when J. assured me that they would definitely honor the Carmax appraisal price for my 2006 Prius trade-in and would include the floor mats. He also said they wouldn't charge me the $100 dealer processing fee.

    Getting full price for my trade-in was an important factor because I was being told, not only by Carmax, that the car would lose value rapidly once the new Priuses start arriving in full force and used ones will be flooding the market. When I received the appraisal of $15K from Carmax on July 19, they told me that it was only good for 7 days and I would most likely lose $500 if I reappraise it after 7 days.
    So I placed a deposit by credit card over the phone and J. faxed me the receipt and agreement, which accurately reflected our conversation. During the week it took to get here, I went to the credit union and paid off my 2006 in full and joined another credit union because the rates were much lower and applied for a new car loan there. J. Called me on Thursday to tell me it had arrived.

    On Friday, before I went to pick up the car, I had called J. to ask him to for several modifications - i.e., change the reverse backup beeper to a single beep, let headlights turn off immediately, and disable the automatic door locking when driving. When I arrived, the car was ready and everything was done as I had requested. We took it for a test drive and to fill up with gas, and then I took some pictures of it with my old car. Except for the rain, everything was going really well.

    We went inside and started to fill out the contract. J. took my Carmax appraisal and disappeared. I visited the restroom and when I came back out I saw there was something wrong. J.'s face was red as he told me that the Carmax appraisal far exceeded the actual value of what they would normally pay for a 2006 Prius and this is what they are willing to do: since I am saving some money on taxes by trading it in rather than selling it to Carmax directly, they would give me $14,200 which would be the same as Carmax giving me $15,000. I told him that I had already taken the tax difference into account and that they had agreed to give me the Carmax value. When he told me that $14,200 is all they were willing to give me, I gathered up my papers and started to leave. Surprisingly, he didn't try to stop me -- he just said he'd process the refund of my deposit and promptly did so.

    As I headed towards the door, I decided that I should give them a piece of my mind so turned around and asked to talk to the manager. I told him in a voice loud enough to be heard by others around (at least, I hope it was), “I know that the new Prius sells itself so you think that losing a customer is not that big a deal. However, you’re losing much more than one customer. I was going to recommend this dealership to my friend, who is also looking, because J. has been very good to work with and everything had been going well. Now I won’t be recommending you at all and in fact I’ll make sure everybody knows not to come here because you refuse to honor your agreement.â€

    He told me that the Carmax appraisal was way over what they would normally pay for this car and that I wouldn’t be losing anything because with the tax difference, trading it in here for $14,200 would be the same as selling it to Carmax for $15,000. He said that they would never get $15,000 at auction for it, to which I replied, “Why would you need to sell it at auction?? All you have to do is fix it up and sell it for $18,000!†Of course he said it would never sell for $18,000 (actually I’ve heard of someone who bought a 2006 for $19K recently) and I told him it’s beside the point. You agreed to pay me whatever the Carmax appraisal was. (Since the appraisal was done, 12 days before, I had put very few miles on it, keeping under the 30K that it was appraised at, and of course I’d had no bumps or accidents.)

    So, for a second time, I gathered up my belongings and headed out. I’m glad they hadn’t taken the keys to my old car yet and it was still parked where I had left it, which I guess means they hadn’t even looked at it. As I was about to drive off, the manager comes rushing out and asks me to please wait while he talks to the GM. So I did. Then he came back out and told me they would honor it and sorry for upsetting me. He explained that when he told J. to tell me they would give me $14,200, they didn’t expect I would just get up and walk out and he was expecting to talk to me. I said that that’s what made me so mad, telling me that $14,200 IS THE SAME AS $15,000 …. Did they think I was that stupid? The tax difference was already something I had factored into my calculations which is why I didn’t sell it to Carmax to begin with. I also pointed out that they obviously aren’t going to lose any money on that car. So he apologized and I ended up buying the car under the terms of our original agreement.

    Again, this should have been a happy and straightforward purchase, but they ended up ruining it both for me and for the salesman by trying to gyp me out of $800.
     
  2. LoraJ

    LoraJ Active Member

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    That is so frustrating!!!! Did you have the 15K in writing on the contract? I just don't understand why dealerships continuously get away with these tactics.
     
  3. PriusRos

    PriusRos A Fairly Senior Member - 2016 Prius Owner

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    It was in writing on the agreement that the salesman faxed to me. That's why they realized that they have no option but to honor it. They might not have realized it before.

    I just don't understand why they are willing to ruin customer goodwill by trying to pull a fast one like that.
     
  4. Bilbrey

    Bilbrey New Member

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    You would think that car salespeople would get a clue in this economy and realize that the old tactics are not going to work any more. Their attitude (in my opinion) is part of what put the car industry in the position it is in...

    My dealer screwed me (and sadly, I let them get away with it). I put a deposit down for my Prius and was told what the price would be ($30,150 with the Solar roof/NAV package).

    Yet when I went to pick up my car, it was $30,350?!? They said that it came in with floor mats and they 'could not take them off because it was on the sticker'. Sorry, but that is baloney. But since I was considering getting the floor mats anyway, I let it slide.

    The dealer did take $50 off (which they said they would, and allows them to claim to be under MSRP).

    So, with taxes and fees my $30,300 turned into $34,603.38...

    Optional goods and services
    "Protection Plus" paint, seat and carpet protection - $895.00

    Other goods, services and miscellaneous charges
    Optional DMV Electronic Filing Fee - $29.00
    Document Preparation Fee - $55.00

    Government Fees and Taxes
    Sales Tax - $2,890.63
    License fees - $358.00
    Registration/transfer/titling fees - $67.00
    California tire fees - $8.75

    But what really hurt and how I was really screwed, was by the CARS program. I have a 1991 Lexus ES250 that I was going to trade in. It was listed as 18MPG till Friday July 24, then it changed to 19 MPG, but I did not find out till Sunday when I went to pick up my car.

    The government change on Friday cost me $4,500. :mad:

    At least you were able to get your deal, with a bit of a hassle.
    I spent $4,700 more than I was 'expecting' to because of CARS and floormats. And I paid more than I should have for the Paint/seat/carpet Protection...

    But I will look on the bright side and be happy that I have a nice new 2010 Prius that I do like very much.
     
  5. grand total

    grand total Member

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    They are willing to risk that because $800 now is worth more to them than any ill will you may be able to generate.
     
  6. PriusRos

    PriusRos A Fairly Senior Member - 2016 Prius Owner

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    Ouch... I do feel bad for people who thought they had an eligible car under the CARS program only to find out at the last minute that they're one mpg off! The $895 for paint protection is also ridiculous.
     
  7. reverai

    reverai New Member

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    Actually according to the CARS web site,had you gone though the process and bought your car before the change of average mileage for your car, it would have been honored. You would have needed to return to the dealership to sign one more paper but that would have been it.

    Steve

    Steve
     
  8. PriusRos

    PriusRos A Fairly Senior Member - 2016 Prius Owner

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    I think if I published their name on these websites it could result in the loss of a couple of sales. I copied the posting and sent it to Toyota customer service -- with the name of the dealer. See what they have to say. I wanted to send it to the dealership owner, but I don't know how to get his/her email address.
     
  9. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    No, it cost you $4,500 less the value of the 1991 Lexus as you would get rid of it either way.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Bilbrey

    Bilbrey New Member

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    Yes, but the car had qualified before July 24th, and I had no reason to suspect that it was going to 'change'. So I decided not to take the Friday off work and instead go over the weekend to get the car. :(
    On July 30th they revised the program saying they would 'honor' deals that had been completed before July 24th, still leaving me out in the cold.
     
  11. Bilbrey

    Bilbrey New Member

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    True, but the car is a true clunker and is not worth much at all.
     
  12. PriusRos

    PriusRos A Fairly Senior Member - 2016 Prius Owner

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    Yes...what did you do with the Lexus?
     
  13. Bilbrey

    Bilbrey New Member

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    Still have it. And if I can not sell it in a few days, I'll give it to the next door neighbor...
     
  14. eddiehaskell

    eddiehaskell Member

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    At least you weren't done like me. I agreed on a price with a salesman and when the car I want comes in, he wouldn't return my calls for 3 days...actually he still hasn't returned any calls. This forced me to contact the manager - when the manger asked the salesman what happen, he said that he never gave us a price or even mentioned pricing! This was a FLAT OUT LIE!!! I would never wait on a dealership to get a car I want without knowing the price. Heck, I specifically called them to see if they could beat a price at another dealership. Now the car I wanted has been sold and I need to find another before the CFC money runs out. :(

    I'm 99% sure this what happened:

    - I called on the first day of CFC and secured a price on a car the dealership had coming in.
    - I make follow up calls everyday to make sure everything is in place and they are working on getting my car
    - After 3 days CFC is a raging success and my car comes in...
    - The weasel salesman sees that he can now sell the car to someone else for ~$1000 more
    - Salesman lets someone else get the car, forgets about me and doesn't have the courage to return my calls or tell me whats going on

    People like this give car salesman a bad name.
     
  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Regarding floor mats, (not sure what the situation is on 2010s now), it was tough/difficult to get a of Prius w/o floor mats back in 05/06. It seemed to be common knowledge here that you practically couldn't get a Prius w/o them.

    My (Toyota Sunnyvale) dealer was pretty straight up with me on my 06. IIRC, he said they're port installed. If he's quick enough, he can yank them from one of the cars they've ordered while still at port (or will order?). That way he can put my unwanted mats in the another car. He said that if he's not able to do that, he'll eat the price of the mats and give them to me. Well, my 06 came w/no mats, which is I wanted.

    Yeah, regarding the ES250, yeah, its twin, the 91 Toyota Camry V6 (I used to have one) also mysteriously got its EPA values bumped from 18 mpg to 19 mpg combined. I noticed that too when trying to lookup the figures for another post.
     
  16. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    CARS is a federal program so you can't blame the dealer when the rules change. Floor mats are an accessory. If you don't want PIO--walk. All most salesmen care about is the commission in the near term. They won't be there in the long term. The car's not sold until an agreement is signed. If the VIN isn't on the paperwork then IMO you have a reservation, not a sale. You can complain to Toyota but they don't care as they are in collusion with the dealers regarding the BS fees. You can complain about the dealer here but it probably won't affect the traffic through the showroom. When you are ready to complete the customer satisfaction survey call the owner or GM & ask what a good survey is worth to them. If you can't come to an agreement then you are free to screw them over with the lowest scores on every question. Yes, 99% of all salesmen give the other 1% a bad name.
     
  17. Bilbrey

    Bilbrey New Member

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    I didn't blame the dealer...

    But the car dealer I went to exemplifies why the car industry is having problems... As you point out, greed still drives their motives, not customer satisfaction.

    You may find this interesting...
    I stopped back by the dealership to ask if they would change my configuration options. The service department said there was a cost associated with doing that for customers. I pointed out that my salesperson said it was a free service. They said she was wrong, and that it would run a few HUNDRED dollars for them to change ANY options (I just want the darn back up beep switched to one beep, and open all doors on unlock). I mentioned that I had not filled out the customer satisfaction survey yet, and that I was certainly going to mention this in the survey. Upon mentioning the survey their attitude changed IMMEDIATELY and they said they could make an appointment to have me come in free of charge and get those options changed.

    If I had filled out the survey, they were going to try to screw me...

    At this point, I'd go to another dealer, but that would just be changing one dealer for another...
    :(
     
  18. PriusRos

    PriusRos A Fairly Senior Member - 2016 Prius Owner

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    Right. My dealer did change these options for me for no extra charge. No problem. Floor mats were included, too. I was thinking everything was going very well (obviously too well) which is why I was not only pee'd off, but also quite disappointed with them, when they tried to screw me out of $800 at the last minute.
     
  19. fred garvin

    fred garvin New Member

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    PriusRos -

    Congrats on the car!

    You had a disciplined research process and ultimately got a great deal on great car. The solar is a rare thing, still.

    My hope is at some point soon you let the anger go and enjoy the car - it would be terrible if something attempted, but thwarted by your strength, in any way diminished your enjoyment of the new car.

    Again - congrats!
     
  20. mr.scott.com

    mr.scott.com New Member

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    Based on Ros's thread here, and several other such threads, it seems like there are many, many dealers and salespeople like this. No offense to the few good ones, like Diane in Cal. and some helpful salespeople in Chicago and Hawaii that post on PC regularly, but it seems like there are a ton of stories like these where shady deals are attempted, and many tons of stories of people walking out of (or avoiding) many dealerships after games are attempted. It is hard to avoid the dealership scenario where games are played to squeeze every dollar they can out of a customer. Most will try anything to take advantage of a situation or a customer.

    I am sorry, but the truly honest dealerships that put the customer first are in the minority. In most cases, it seems like most of the salespeople are pawns in the games played by the dealership. Just my opinion.

    I was happy with my deal and 2010 purchase, but I went through games at a half dozen dealerships to get there.
     
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