How To Kick A Scammy Car Dealer In The Nuts

While we spend a lot of time on this site talking about the importance of writing a good complaint letter, of finding the executive contact info, and cc’ing letters to appropriate regulatory bodies, sometimes the best way to win is to stop playing Mr. Nice Guy and start playing hardball. Demonstrate, in no uncertain terms, just how much more costly it would be for the business to ignore your complaint than to resolve it. That’s the lesson learned from, Unscrewed: The Consumer’s Guide To Getting What You Paid For.

His first story is about how he himself got screwed, and then unscrewed, on the first car that he bought…

After happily put-putting home in the new car, he noticed an ad by the dealership in the paper offering a $1500 discount for any car purchased over the weekend. For some reason, his salesman never mentioned this offer to him. When Burley tried to ask for the deal retroactively, the dealership said sorry, we can’t change a contract once it’s been signed.

“I replied, “What do you mean? You advertised the special. The sale representative should have told me about it! It’s just not fair.”
“That’s our policy. I’m sorry.”
“It’s a bad policy,” I said, for lack of any other words, and hung up the phone.
I was livid. I’d just been screwed out of $1200… Something had to be done.”

That day, Burley typed up a notice and printed out tens of copies. He went to the dealership manager’s office, who continued to try to stonewall him and refer to their “internal policy”. Burley opened the envelope and placed the flyers in front of the manager.

“What do you intend to do with those?” he asked..

“Mr. Smith,” I said coolly, even though my hands were sweaty and shaking, “at this point, it doesn’t really matter to me whether I get my money back or not. I am going to exercise my First Amendment right to stand on that public sidewalk in front of your dealership. I’ll hand one of these flyers to anybody walking onto your lot. I’ll be carrying a picket sign with the same message.”

The notice said: “AKAMAI MOTORS LIES TO ITS CUSTOMERS! They advertised a car at one price and then sold it to me for $1,200 more. For details, please call Ron Burley at [redacted].

I continued, “I’ll bet that, in just a handful of Saturdays, I can convince a couple of dozen people to shop elsewhere. It could end up that, by not paying me what’s due to me, you lose ten times that much in future business. It won’t put any cash in my pocket, but I’ll feel a lot better about things. What do you think?”

Mr Smith returned to let Burley know that bookkeeping was cutting his check at that very moment and he could pick it up on his way out.

Burley could’ve filed complaint letters and made calls up the management food chain, he could’ve cc’d letters to the Attorney General and the FTC, and maybe even eventually been forced to take the dealership to small claims court, where he would’ve won, as it is actually the law that merchants have to honor their advertised price. Instead, he chose a direct course of action that in broke the problem down to terms that any simple business could understand. Much more expeditious, and probably more satisfying.

Comments

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  1. gibsonic says:

    Some people are just way to passive in their personalities to be this bold…although $1200 or $1500 is a pretty good motivator.

    But for the most part people that ARE passive will stay passive. (What’s that law of physics ‘Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Objects at rest tend to remain at rest’ ?)

    For instance, yesterday I was telling my father about how you don’t legally have to let the retail door nazi’s check your receipt upon exit. He was completely passive about the issue and basically didn’t care if he was doing something he didn’t have to. Evidently I need to send him to the store with my 3 small kids more often and see how much hassle it can be to show a receipt that has been put away to free up hands to deal with kids and often times being faced with a line of sheep waiting for their receipt to get check…

    ironically, my dad does play very good hardball in the pre-sale stage of pretty much anything. weird.

    • Classtoise says:

      Depending on my mood, the time of year, and what I bought, I will or will not humor them.

      If I just bought a movie or a game and it’s a one item receipt, I’ll happily smile and go “Sure, here you are.” and let them see it. They, in turn, smile, nod, and wish me a pleasant day.

      Likewise, if I’m in a sour mood, or I bought a lot of stuff, I’ll force a polite nod and when asked, I will respond “Sorry, I’m in a hurry.” If they get the police involved (they haven’t, yet, but there’s occasionally an officer standing by) I will gladly hand over the receipt so that everyone involved gets to see how much of a bully the receipt checker was being.

  2. OldElvis says:

    I went to school with someone who’s mother could not get a problem fixed on here car. On Memorial day weekend she plarked here car in the front of the dealership with a sign in the window saying” XXX sold me this car and refuse to fix it”. On Tuesday Morning they sent someone to the house for the keys ,and fixed it right away.

    I personally remind people tha screw me of that old Saying, If you like the service you get, you’ll tell 2 people, but if you hate it you’ll tell 10.

  3. ptkdude says:

    @gibsonic: Interesting note about the receipt-check. I refuse to shot at BrandSmart because of that policy.

  4. peakay says:

    The guy featured in this story is a tool…if he is too dumb to take advantage of advertised specials, why is it somebody else’s fault? And, who’s to say they didn’t factor much if not all of the 1500 discount into the price of the car since we was happily put-putting home?

    Man up: do your homework in advance and don’t be so passive aggressive…save everyone the drama.

    • Classtoise says:

      It is not the customers job to know all the deals and savings that the vendor is not including. You HAVE to honor a deal, whether it requires you to bring it up or not, so long as conditions are met. It doesn’t matter if I don’t realize it until after I payed or a month later, if you did not honor the sale (and it’s within the statute of limitations, obviously), I am entitled to my money.

  5. mantari says:

    OMG — We’re training CONSUMER TERRORISTS with these stories!

  6. Black Bellamy says:

    @ptkdude:

    Yeah he doesn’t have to “legally” show the receipt but the store can then tell him he is no longer welcome there. Ever. Legally.

  7. mrmysterious says:

    @mantari:

    What’s wrong with a little jihad against scumbags?

  8. foghat81 says:

    @peakay: I basically agree. How about being an informed consumer first, then writing books. Plus, I find the statement “They advertised a car at one price and then sold it to me for $1,200 more” a little wrong. Not a lie, but wrong. Just IMO.

    I mean, it was a newspaper ad! It wasn’t written in code on the back of a napkin at the Wendy’s across town. They didn’t conceal it from shoppers! Maybe next time the guy in front of me at McDonald’s orders the medium drink for more than the larger Hugo drink, I’ll tell him to put on a sign and stand out by the drive thru

    • ncaptiva says:

      @foghat81: You people are so freaking moronic. You expect every shopper to be aware of every single ad a company has out before they go shopping? And if they didn’t know about it until 5 minutes after their purchase, then it’s all their fault? He never implied they attempted to hide the ad from him. He clearly explained that they made an offer on ALL sales over the weekend. His purchase qualified. I can’t wait to see you flush $1500 down the toilet next time you’re in the same situation. Stupid hypocrite.

  9. Sucko-T says:

    I’m waiting for some idiot car salesman to come defend the dealer by saying that if the customer is willing to pay the non-ad price without seeing the ad then it’s a fair deal. I suppose that’s true, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s dishonest and illegal in some states.

  10. Major-General says:

    @Black Bellamy: I was once told by a lawyer that to stop a customer to see a receopt that the store is detaining you on suspicion of a criminal act, and had better be prepared to charge you immediately with a crime.

    I have asked if they have actually caught any shoplifters this way, and invariably the answer is no.

  11. Coder4Life says:

    @peakay:

    No look at it this way.. You go to your local Best Buy or Circuit City, and then they sell you a computer thats on sale, but since you did not mention the AD you don’t get the discount.

    Any retailer could do that, there would be millions of law suits.

    All the cars there should of been marked -1500 discount.

  12. ptkdude says:

    @Coder4Life: I could see this as an issue if he was buying a computer at best buy or something, but when you buy a car you negotiate the price. There isn’t a set price for the car, and I can virtually guarantee the ad didn’t say “negotiate your best price then we’ll take $1500 off”.

  13. ScoobyInc says:

    Maybe some can help me: I purchased a vehicle last November. The dealership sold me a FWD model, and had my family and I under the impression it was an AWD. We requested an AWD model, we discussed an AWD, and we even confirmed in the vehicle that it was and AWD model. The next day, we all realized it was a FWD model.

    After numerous complaints with the dealership, keeping our cool, and even having the Police involved nothing happened. We contacted HYUNDAI USA, even Hyundai International: their response was basically figure it out with the dealer because they are their own entity.

    And because we signed a contract, none of the complaint agencies offered any help. I contacted 16 different agencies including BBB, FBI, FTC, City, County & State Attorneys, City Board of Trade, and more. Not a single agency helped.

    I then recently even contacted as many e-mails as I can gather for HYUNDAI USA and International (about 25, only 4 came back undeliverable) and received two generic responses.

    I just don’t know what to do anymore, the car is almost a year old. I tried to hold out for the first 6 months and didn’t drive the car at all, but at a certain point I couldn’t afford my old car and my new one and had to start driving the Hyundai.

    I know its a long post but if anyone has any ideas or can offer any help I beg that you comment back, I am at a loss here. I ended up loosing more money and still dont have the car I was supposed to receive and paid for. All because the contract has a VIN that if a FWD vehicle from a scammy dealership! They (Hyundai USA and the dealership) even send me flyers & notices that say AWD.

    If anyone can please help/comment back!

  14. Ben Popken says:

    @peakay: You obviously don’t understand the law.

  15. JustAGuy2 says:

    @Ben Popken:

    Can’t the dealership just claim that the $1500 discount was included in the price the customer paid for the car? So long as the customer paid at least $1500 below sticker, seems like a reasonable position to me.

  16. Hoss says:

    If the tactic worked, then I’m completely in support of Burley. But as a suggestion, many car salespeople would cause you serious injury if one ever tried to picket their dealership. Knowing that, I’m wondering if the facts were embellished a bit

  17. Buran says:

    @peakay: Too stupid to be psychic and know that the dealer held something back? Do you think the customer’s name was Deanna Troi?

  18. Buran says:

    @Hossofcourse: And then be hauled off to jail for committing assault. Any salesman who claimed to have done something like that is probably a liar.

  19. Buran says:

    @ScoobyInc: Does your contract list the VIN? Check with Hyundai Customer Care to verify what type of vehicle that VIN matches to. If it does match to a FWD version you are probably out of luck, unless you have something in writing that claims you were negotiating for an AWD version. If you do have something in writing to that end, consider small claims court suing for the difference.

    VW customer care also throws you back to the dealer if you have a problem. Fortunately, my problem should be solvable for just $25 — but if I should have gotten an accessory at purchase time, I’m going to ask the dealer to send it to me. (out of state purchase).

    Fortunately, they seem willing to work with me. The only problem is that the part is on backorder, so I don’t have a success story — yet — to share. But hopefully I’ll know soon if they at least ordered it for me.

  20. joeblevins says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate here. The $1500 off car coupon is a joke. You show that first then they inflate the ‘original’ price by that. Your out the door will generally be the same whatever. You think if you could normally negotiate invoice, it will now be invoice minus $1500? no….

  21. Buran says:

    @Major-General: Of course, while that is true I wonder how they enforce such things. The “greeter” at the door has no way of knowing the name of the person who just walked past him, and you can’t touch someone without being guilty of assault, so he’s powerless to actually try to stop you and demand information from you.

    The “don’t come back” threat is an intimidation tactic, especially since the only way to actually notify you that you’re banned is to tell you — and how can they do that when you’ve already walked right past the greeter and to your car?

  22. Buran says:

    @joeblevins: That is why you negotiate a price BEFORE you discuss any such things or your trade-in or financing. I knew I was getting $500 over invoice (and the salesguy was cool, and worked with the VW club I’m in, and knew we were all informed customers — no shenanigans) before anyone even brought up how I was going to pay.

  23. 3drage says:

    Legally he has no ground to stand on. Due to his lack of knowledge that there was an advertised price, the dealership is not obligated to provide the price savings. It is similar to a reward being offered to a person bringing a lost item back to the owner. If the person bringing back the property is not aware of a reward, the owner is not obligated to pay. Ethical? Not really.

  24. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Major-General: I don’t think the intention of receipt checking is to catch shoplifters, but deter them.

  25. peokuk says:

    good for the guy, but how is this not extortion?

  26. nutbastard says:

    I’m just about ready to try this out with an auto repair garage that screwed up majorly. brought my old celica in for a smog check, it passed, everything was cool, car was ready to go… i hop in it, jump on the freeway, and whoomp! the hood flies up, smacks the front corner of the roof, is then ripped off the car, and goes airborn down the freeway. I put the top down, put the hood in the backseat, and drove back to the shop, blocking the bay doors with my car, and basically causing a scene. they said they would fix it. it’s been 3 weeks and a few days. they say they got a hood but they are waiting on the hinges. i’ve been driving my old corolla with about 10% clutch grip remaining since. If it’s not fixed by friday, im going to do exactly this. you dont just give a customer their car back without making sure the hood is latched. that shit is dangerous. thankfully, no one was hurt – no accidents caused… scary, though.

  27. Buran says:

    @nutbastard: Yeah. While you should have checked it yourself, you shouldn’t HAVE to do that. Their mechanics should have safed it before giving it to you! You’ve got every right to complain and ask them to fix your hood.

  28. Buran says:

    @peokuk: Extortion is asking for money that isn’t legally owed to you.

  29. not_seth_brundle says:

    @Buran: 3drage eloquently explained why the dealer doesn’t owe this guy.

  30. doormat says:

    Someone tried to do this once to the “King of Cars” (The Chopper, who has that show on A&E). Well suffice to say that he got blocked in and threatened by the guys at the dealership, including “The Chopper” for standing on the sidewalk with his car and a sign. He got The Chopper arrested, but he entered into a plea agreement involving a donation to charity, it was sealed (which basically removes it from public scrutiny) and The Chopper filed a lawsuit against the guy who protested, trying to go after him for damages.

    So something like this can backfire on you.

    [www.reviewjournal.com]

  31. wring says:

    oh cmon, lowly consumer pwns rotten car dealership for once! let’s be happy for him.

  32. AtOurGates says:

    @joeblevins: Spot on.

    There should have been some terms and conditions in the ad, something like, “Discount taken from MSRP, Not valid with any other discounts, with this coupon only, between these dates and times, valid only on select vehicles, etc… etc…”

    Now it’s entirely possible that the advertisement in question lacked these disclaimers, but even in this case the dealership can fix this by having their advertising agency or the newspaper write a letter of retraction saying that they messed up and giving the additional conditions that should have been in the disclaimer.

    All that said, it’s difficult to discern from this story if the dealership or the customer was being particularly prickish. There’s no mention of the type of deal that the customer got. Perhaps even without the coupon he was getting a good deal, perhaps not. Buying a car is all about negotiation, a well informed customer should be able to get the same deal with or without a coupon.

    Certainly many car dealers are scum, but “I didn’t read the terms and conditions of a coupon” isn’t a valid reason to picket outside of a car dealership and tell everyone else that you got screwed.

  33. Echodork says:

    Hey, I ordered a pizza last night, but I didn’t realize there was an online coupon that could have saved me two dollars. I should go stand out in front of Domino’s with a sign, handing out flyers…

  34. ThyGuy says:

    Extortion is the process of threatening sabotage to get something in return. What he did was extortion, but honestly, it is damn hard to convict someone of extortion in this day and age.

    Another type of extortion is bribery.

  35. shfd739 says:

    Tard. Who buys a car nowadays whithout looking in the paper and cross shopping different dealers or researching online. Even with his $1200 back he probably still over paid.

    Im gonna try that time next a store asks for my receipt,Ill politely say no and keep going. You just saw me come from checking out so you should know I paid for it, besides the shoplifters dont politely wait in line they run like hell hoping no one chases.

    When I bought my Mountaineer the dealer swore up and down it wasnt AWD, I looked under it and saw the front axle and transfer case, so I paid 2wd money for my AWD truck. The window sticker of the one you were looking at would say what drive it was or better yet you should have looked.

  36. gibsonic says:

    @shfd739:

    There are plenty of websites and blogs that discuss the door receipt nazi’s, specifically Best Buy…

    be sure to read up to know how you should conduct yourself, what to say and what your rights are and the stores limitations are.

    long story short, unless they are willing to fully accuse you of shoplifting, they can not detain you in anyway or force you to show your receipt.

    most (larger)stores follow these 6 criteria to identify a shoplifter

    * You must see the shoplifter approach the merchandise
    * You must see the shoplifter select the merchandise
    * You must see the shoplifter conceal or convert the merchandise
    * You must maintain continuous observation of the shoplifter
    * You must observe the shoplifter fail to pay for the merchandise
    * You must apprehend the shoplifter outside the store


    a receipt checker at the door can’t possibly meet all these criteria.

  37. infinitysnake says:

    @Ben Popken: What law is that?

  38. jeffeb3 says:

    @Echodork:
    No, because they would refund you the $2 if you asked.

  39. n0ia says:

    @scoobyinc: Most dealerships have a policy that allows you to return the vehicle in a specified time limit.

    First of all you should have read the window sticker and the information regarding the vehicle.

    If you have documents that you and the dealership signed stating that it was an AWD model, then there shouldn’t be any dispute.

    Secondly, that next day when you realized it was FWD, you should have went to the dealership and requested to return the vehicle. Call the bank/insurance company/etc. and deal with them as well.

    Since you’ve been driving it this long, and you likely have no proof that you were negotiating on an AWD model, then you’re best bet is probably just to trade it in on the one you want – even though you’re going to be upside down.

    @3drage: Individuals aren’t held by the same law as businesses. If a business advertises something, then they are legally responsible to abide by that advertisement – regardless of who sees it.

    If a retailer advertises a game console at a certain price on a certain day, then they are required to have x amount of consoles in stock for that day. You tell someone that you’ll sell them a game console for $100 but someone else buys it first, then oh well. You’re not bound by law to have x amount because you’re not a retailer.

    @Echodork: If this ad was required to receive the $1500 off, then yea, this guy should be SOL, but it just said it was an advertised discount.

    While this is probably borderline extortion, and carrying a picket with that phrase on it is possibly slander (technically libel), the dealership still should have made him aware of the discount at the time of purchase – whether it was included in the price or not.

    Just goes to show that car dealerships remain sleazy.

  40. grouse says:

    @Ben Popken: Yeah Ben, what law are you referring to here?

  41. joe_bob says:

    @Echodork:
    Wait, you were gonna save $1200 on pizza? Oh, that’s $2… I guess your story’s a little different than Burley’s.

  42. XTC46 says:

    I work in retail and get this crap a lot. Our sales run Sunday through Saturday and not a week goes by where I don’t get a complaint that a person came in bought an item which according to the add comes with another item for free (after mail in rebates) Typically the person came in, didn’t grab the item that was free then gets mad once the sale is over (and the rebate is not longer valid) and says its the salesmen who is at fault for not putting the free item in their cart. Customers need to take some responsibility for their own actions, do the research, shop around. You will end up with better deals.

    Also, as far checking receipts at the door, as long as their is a sign that says the store maintains the right to search your bag and check your receipt you as a customer are obligated to do so. The sign acts and a condition of allowing you to shop at the store, by entering the store and making a purchase, you are agreeing to that condition.

    GIBSONIC has it right. In ever store I have ever worked in the policy was in order to accuse someone of shoplifting you must see them pick up the item and maintain visual contact with them until they leave the store. as long as they are in the store, they have committed no crime. And under no circumstance are you allowed to physically restrain a person because they are so afraid of getting sued.

  43. rdm7234 says:

    It’s called “racketerring” and it’s a federal crime.

  44. Actually it’s quite a common practice. I walked into my dealer 10 years ago, intent on buying a Mitsubishi Eclipse, having learned about a $2000 dealer incentive online. After dealing with the salesman and a good 4-5 trips for him to “work it out with the manager” while never admitting there was an incentive, finally a manager came out. I said “Look, is there a rebate or not? Because I’ve got a piece of paper in my pocket that says there is.”

    Manager said, quite calmly, “Yes, there is. But if I can sell you the car without that, I’m going to.” He didn’t even try to hide it. So I’m sure that if you dig through the small print he’ll happily point you to something that says he technically doesn’t have to mention such a discount to you.

  45. grahamsz says:

    @SCOOBYINC: Unfortunately to get anywhere you’ll have to prove what you discussed.

    We found ourselves in a similar boat with Ford. We discussed a vehicle with cruise control, they priced a vehicle with cruise control and when we got it home we discovered – no cruise.

    They gave us the run around. “Your price was too low for an escape with cruise control.” “Cruise control isn’t an option on the Escape” “When you buy from us you are getting a specific VIN” “Nothing we say to you or print on our website can be expected to be accurate” etc…

    I’m much to lazy to hand out flyers, so rather I bought up all the google ads for Longmont Ford and put my story up there. Garnered quite a few hits.

    Weeks later I discovered that due to their ineptitude they still had that car listed on their website. I pulled it up, and printed out the same screen that i’d been shown in the dealership that indicated the prescence of cruise right next to the VIN of the car we had.

    They pretty much sulked off quietly and eventually came back and offered to bring the vehicle up to the spec that we’d paid for. That in itself was a pain in the ass, but they eventually made good on their word.

  46. grouse says:

    @rdm7234: Very funny.

    @Duane: He wouldn’t need any small print. In general, two people can make whatever contract they want unless there is law (statute or case law) prohibiting it.

    So either the salesman is committing a criminal offense, in which case it should be easy to find the statute that creates the offense. Or he’s doing something which sets up some sort of civil liability, or makes the contract void or voidable. In that case it should be pretty easy to identify the law as well.

    The third possibility is that there is no such law.

  47. SOhp101 says:

    @Black Bellamy: And what Best Buy is actually going to tell you that you’re banned for not letting them see your receipt? The chances are slim to none.

    @strum40: It’s perfectly legal… at least here in CA. All they have to do is list how many cars are actually selling at this special price (often it’s only one).

    @n0ia: CA doesn’t have a buyer’s remorse law (I believe they’re required by law to have little placards around salesmen’s desks that warn you about this).

    @ScoobyInc: Unless you have it somewhere in writing that the dealership claimed they were selling you an AWD model you’re square out of luck. Was the car new? If so it should have had a window sticker and that certainly would have stated AWD/FWD.

    Was it used? Then sorry to say but you should have verified the VIN before purchasing.


    And… how to kick a scammy car dealer in the nuts? DON’T BUY A CAR FROM THEM.

  48. kruz01 says:

    I want to get this straight… and i work at a dealership. And I am a very big fan of corporate responsibility; I am also a big fan of personal responsibility. They left happy with the car so i am assuming they liked the price and they like the payments and they liked the car. So whats the big deal if you put an ad in the paper selling your car for 1200$ cheaper and I drove buy and saw it and asked to buy it would you give me the 1200$ cheaper price first or would you try to get the most out of me??? If you say the cheaper you are either a bad business person or you are a lier.

    Also, I have another gripe about customers who want “Invoice Pricing” why do you think you deserve it. Why should I go ahead and give you my bottom line on the car are you my family or my girlfriend. No, you are someone who is paying me and i guarantee that 95% of the time you have taken from my life is worth more that a little 100 mini. I do not show you 5 different cars and pretend to be interested in the life of your children for that. I am a human being that you lie to and you expect me to treat you like dignity. Forget you… I only wish that dealerships didn’t make sales people deal with everyone cause as soon as you say invoice i want to grab you by the hand and walk you to your car and have you waste someone else’s time.

  49. Johann says:

    How to really kick a scammy car dealer in the nuts: pretend like there’s something on the ceiling and wait until he looks up.

  50. ScoobyInc says:

    @SOhp101: Thank you for your reply. Thats another portion of the incident. They hid the window sticker from us, we never saw it. We later found it crumbled up in the center console (wonder why?). We walked into the dealership and started discussing purchasing a specific model with AWD. As we sat in the vehicle, inside the dealer’s shop area, with a salesperson and even confirmed it was an AWD. The salesperson confirmed that it was and we continued with the deal.

  51. SOhp101 says:

    @ScoobyInc: You will want to seek legal counsel regarding this. All new vehicles must be sold with a window sticker and a dealership that fails to do so is breaking federal law (Automobile Information Disclosure Act). It’s only a $1,000 fine/vehicle if it never was put on the car but it’s a whole lot more if they’ve done it intentionally.

    Only problem is that it’s already been nearly nine months now so I’m not sure how strong your case would be. Threatening legal action won’t do much; a lawyer threatening legal action will do a whole lot more. Good luck.

  52. qtrino says:

    I’m normally a pretty passive guy but I draw the line for some things. Years ago I was renting an apartment that came with an ancient washing machine, and after a few months of use it died-needed a new motor. My landlord at the time figured he could get me to shell out for the motor by claiming misuse on my part.
    I explained to him that yes, I could buy the motor, but when I moved out I was taking the motor with me (it’d be my property, right?). He was pretty surprised and wanted to know why-after all, what would I need it for? My answer: spite, pure and simple. I would’ve put the thing under glass and made it my dining room centerpiece before I let him get it!

  53. n0ia says:

    @KRUZ01: I’d say you’re a bad business person based on your grammar and spelling.

    Aside from that, if somebody knows to ask for invoice pricing, then they have either been in the car business before, or have friends or family in the car business.

    I used to work in a dealership – fortunately in service, not in sales. One of the service writers was the general manager’s (and later the owner) brother. I got all kinds of information that nobody else in that dealership would have been privy to.

    You selling a car for $500 over invoice is probably going to result in a satisfied customer, which in turn is going to give you a good CSI score, which in turn is going to put a LOT of money into your boss’s pocket, which should trickle its way down to you in some form of incentive.

    Tell me I’m not right, and I’ll tell you that you should go get a job at a better dealership because the customers aren’t the only people that your boss is screwing.

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  55. bbbici says:

    i used to sell cars. basically, the dealer is getting the same minimum profit no matter what the negotiation is. sure you’d get $500 off, but then you wouldn’t get free floormats, etc.

  56. jrdnjstn78 says:

    @KRUZ01: Why can’t you sell a car at invoice? you’re still making a profit, you’re just not making as much as a profit as you’d like but then again there are so many people who go to dealerships without doing any homework at all. So I bet you get plenty decent checks, unless you’re an asshole of a salesperson (and we know there are plenty of those).

    @ScoobyInc.: I have found that alot of dealers will toss the window sticker into the console or glove compartment, if they just received the car or there was a big sale or etc. You should have asked to see it. I would sell the car privately. I can’t imagine that you can’t get what you owe on it since you say that you hadn’t really driven it to much. Then go get what you want and do lots of research.

    I’d say 90% of salespeople are all running scam. They are out to make money of course. Car salespeople are not paid until they make that sale. My ex was a car salesman and he would come and tell me all the crazy things they do.

    A guy who is getting a paycheck by selling you car is really going to tell you something like “hey we have an advertised special this weekend, do you want to take advantage of it”? This guy got lucky that he just happened to look in the paper and see it.

    If you’re car shopping and go in blindly then don’t cry when you get screwed. Vehicles are marked up outrageously. There is a Kia dealership by my parents house. They had a weekend special I think on a Kia Rio. Anyways all weekend long it was marked at 7,999 on the front window. Well come Monday and that price was gone. They had a new special, i think it was the “get screwed special”, that same Kia Rio was now marked up to 12,000. So yeah a 5,000 dollar mark up in just one day. Do your homework.

  57. Spooty says:

    @doormat:

    Interesting – first I’d heard of this.

    For anybody who cares, it seems that both parties dropped their suits within a year.
    [www.reviewjournal.com]

    Unless something else happened since then?

    BTW, note the choppercarsfraud.com website. It’s apparently created by another guy, who has a huge grievance against The Chopper. But his site and story seem to me to be on the edge of paranoid schizophrenia….

  58. Leofan7 says:

    When my mom purchased a 1974 Chevy Nova almost brand-new, she was so disgusted with it she parked it in front of the doors at the GM finance office in Fort Worth and left a note on the windshield telling them where to shove it. She never paid another payment, and she didn’t get a peep from GM.

  59. BubMcJub says:

    @KRUZ01: Ever heard of negotiating? You’re torqued off because your customers want to negotiate? You equivocate that with stealing one’s children? You have no clue how the world works do you? Incidentally, nobody walking on that lot owes you anything. The time you spend with the customer who buys nothing is paid by the customer who buys something. It’s called the cost of business. It’s clueless salesmen like you who give “salesman” a bad name. I know, I’m a salesman, and I get a ton of repeat business because I’m not like you.

    Kudos for the customer who stuck it to this dealer. I’m a business owner and it really torques me off when I see other business owners take unfair advantage of their customers to undercut me. It’s nothing short of criminal. What this customer did was neither extortion nor libel nor racketering. It’s called exacting well-deserved justice, and I sleep well every night knowing that will never happen to me.