UPDATE: Consumer Takes Sleazy Prius Salesman To Court

23 months after we first posted her story, Angela Weigold writes in with the latest update about a Prius salesmen who left multiple harassing phone messages daily, calling Anela a “whore” and put her phone number on online escort websites.

In March of 2007 our civil suit attorney contacted Dan Wolf. Dan Wolf owns Toyota of Naperville and other dealerships in the chicagoland area. Dan Wolf immediately fired Mr. James V Gentile in March 2007…. Toyota of Naperville has been served in November of 2007. Mr. James V Gentile aka Jim was hard to serve. Finally April of 2008 he got his papers…

Update on the criminal case… The states attorney has counted 19 blocked phone calls going to my cell phone from his home phone and his cell phone! Starting December 2005 and ending April 2006. Some how the jerk is having his attorney ( James Moore office of Rockford,IL) to pull off getting the case continued. The latest stunt they pulled was this… Court date in April was continued to June 12th because his attorney told the states attorney that he will take the plea. I was happy and I thought maybe there is some good in this man. But no, I get a call from the states attorney on June 12th to come down to the court house to testify! I could not believe it! So I went down to the court house and met with the States Attorney only to be told it will be continued due to the judge assigned to the case is on Vacation! The next court date is set for August 7th, but I am not going to count on it!

To the dealerships out in the Chicagoland area, if you have him as an employee, watch out, he maybe doing this to your customers! To the public, if he is your salesman, please beware of what kind of person he is!

The wheels of consumer justice grind slowly, and they grind exceedingly small.*

Read previous updates to this thread here.

(Photo: Beth and Christian)

* with hat tip to Friedrich von Logau(with hat tip to Friedrich von Logau

Comments

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  1. Thaddeus says:

    This is why you got to Lisle.

  2. DeleteThisAccount says:

    Wow I work in Lisle.. I didn’t catch this story the first time around. Geesh that is crazy.

    @Thaddeus: I don’t think there is a toyota dealer in lisle :) I think there is at least one in Downers Grove though.

  3. pixiegirl1 says:

    Why would the states attorney call her to come to court when the judge is on vacation?! You’d think they would know when the judge is going on vacation. . .

  4. boss_lady says:

    Every single action this ‘salesman’ has taken so far is oozing with sleaze.

  5. digitalshame says:

    I find this rather interesting, in 2005 I bought a car from that same guy. I was of course not treated poorly as I bought the car. I did however later find out the guy lied about how many past owners there were of the car and there were a ton of issues with my car, which I wasn’t shocked about as the time went on. Later said car broke down and I almost went back to that same guy for a new car. Rather glad I didn’t.

  6. failurate says:

    Wonder if he is related to the Gentile’s of the Gentile Honda-Toyota-Nissan-Hyundai of SE Wisconsin?
    Bought a car from them, they have some good people working there, but also a few shady/aggressive guys that really creeped me out.

  7. IphtashuFitz says:

    Consider yourself lucky. The wife of a childhood friend was murdered in 2005 and after one hung jury the second trial hasn’t even started yet. It’s getting close to 4 years now.

  8. SkokieGuy says:

    Ben, where’s the original post? The link to previous updates doesn’t seem to contain the original post.

  9. Ben Popken says:

    @SkokieGuy: I will fix the thread.

  10. InThrees says:

    Trying to go through the backstory on this saga is turning out to be incredibly difficult.

  11. CaliCheeseSucks says:

    @InThrees: Agreed. I got most of it down. The Comments section is a fun read. I lost a bit of sympathy through the constant posts that were left, but I’m interested to see where this goes.

  12. SkokieGuy says:

    @InThrees: Seemingly, several people who are unable to spell and enjoy RANDOM UPPERCASE, also drive cars. These people don’t like each other and insult and harass each other and sue each other.

    In addition, it seems Anela / Angela is not a whore, even though the Prius Salesman called her one repeatedly.

  13. failurate says:

    I am just guessing that this guy is not 1960-1962 American League All Star First Baseman Jim Gentile.

    [www.baseball-reference.com]

    /deadspin

  14. banmojo says:

    Neither ‘quick’ nor ‘just’ can be applied to our modern ‘justice’ system. The effing lawyers will say “you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water” but isn’t that exactly how we started our great country in 1776? What WAS that if not throwing out the entire bathroom, baby and all? And it seems to have worked pretty well so far, right? Actually, it appears the time has come for us to clean out the effing bathroom yet once again!!! Baby be damned!!!!

  15. RStewie says:

    I gained more sympathy after reading the comments. People are always so ready to think they know the situation better, and that the consumer must be in the wrong because it’s never happened to them.

    There are shady people out there. They do things that are illegal. This is reality, people, and why this website, and others, exists. Just because it’s never happened to you doesn’t mean it didn’t happen to this couple and that it couldn’t happen in the future.

    The best thing this couple did was involve the authorities. I hope they catch this guy (yeah, a warrant does NOT mean an arrest) and that this goes well.

    It’s very likely, too, that some of these delays they are going through are directly related to the arrest warrant. If Gentile’s lawyers are working his case and get the charges dismissed, or something, then this case has a very unstable foundation. Might be something to take note of.

  16. howie_in_az says:

    Sounds like somebody has some issues. If he’s done this to one person chances are he’s done this to others, have there been any other complaints against the salesguy?

  17. Noris159 says:

    Well, I know where to NOT buy my 2009 Toyota Corolla S when I move to IL! Thanks! There’s not a lot of margin on those cars, so I don’t know if that dealership cares anyway, but they won’t be getting my money!

  18. palookapalooza says:

    Went back and read the original post: he wasn’t happy with 33 MPG on the highway in a Prius, when he just had a Pontiac Montana (EPA 17/24). Even if it wasn’t what was presented to him, it was a hell of a lot better than what he had…

  19. nataku8_e30 says:

    *sigh* Unfortunately, the transaction that preceded this debacle sounds fairly par. Car dealers are scum, and the manufacturers consider dealerships to be completely separate entities. When a model is as popular as the Prius, the problem only gets worse.

  20. Noris159 says:

    @palookapalooza: I didn’t read the comments due to the sheer volume of it and agreed that the guy was illegally scammed, but seriously…

    I know the estimated MPG on the Prius was inflated before last year when it was brought down to 45 or so MPG, but the buyer is a little dumb for not researching his product. Do you really buy a $27,000 car without researching it at all? Did the guy even understand how the hybrid braking system worked and why it wouldn’t be as good for a freeway flier? Talk about DURRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

    IN NO WAY DO PEOPLE DESERVE TO BE TREATED LIKE THAT AND I HOPE THIS GENTILE GUY GETS ICE BURNED IRL, but the product blaming of “oh my spine!” and “only 33 mpg!” was pretty terrible. Sure, a longer test drive would’ve helped, but any amount of research would’ve achieved the same thing.

  21. bfos7215 says:

    I think this salesman was scum and needs action against him. Cant believe he felt so burned about this, especially if at first he was promoted.

    on the hand of the dealership, yes this salesman lied to him, committing fraud. He got Toyota to refunded what he had fraudulently done to the customer. Meanwhile didn’t pay a car payment cause he didn’t like that they would not take the car back. For Gas mileage/seat. he than agreed to give the car to auction and they told him if you do that you pay the difference. now they are upset they have to pay the difference. I am usually sympathize with the customer but on the car fact, sorry but you didn’t read your contract and you didn’t research. I was told about GAP insurance once but I read the fine lines and it said it is 100% optional. Once he had Toyota reverse the charges and willing gave up a car he didn’t pay for, umm sorry, that sounds like you took responsibility away from the dealership.

  22. quagmire0 says:

    The salesman is a freak and deserves what he gets. As for the guy buying the Prius – if it’s getting 33mpg highway there is either something wrong with the car or he’s driving 90+ mph. I can set the cruise control to 85 and still average 40+. :P

    But hey, this isn’t really about the Prius – it’s about a creepy salesmen. So there’s really no reason to drag the Prius’ name through the muck every time there is an update.

  23. failurate says:

    Three tips to car buying:
    1. Arrange financing (at a credit union) before you go to the dealer.
    2. Use a blind bidding service like those found on Edmunds.com. Be sure to review the written offer sheet and compare it to what is stated in their e-mail bid/offer. These have worked well for me. Cuts out the face to face negotiations and has generally gotten me the absolute best price available. Dealerships don’t like losing sales to other dealers, no matter how small the margin is. Unless there is collusion, you will get a good price.
    3. Refuse to talk to the finance guy at the dealership. Tell the salesperson that if the finance guy comes anywhere near you, that you are getting up and going home. (You will eventually have to sit with him to sign papers transferring ownership). I really hate the finance guys.
    4. When in doubt, walk away. There will always be another car (especially with new car buying).

    I am sure everyone already knows this now though.

  24. soloudinhere says:

    OK, let’s review the original story here:

    1. Buyer decides he wants a Prius, goes to dealer, test drives Prius for “5 minutes.” Decides this is insufficient time after buying the car. Is bewildered that the dealer won’t let him drive off with a car for “a few hours or the afternoon.” Despite the fact that dealer test drives are, at a MAXIMUM, usually about 1/2 an hour.

    2. Purchases car, financing through Toyota, immediately after purchasing a house, assumes credit is fine. Salesguy catches on that this guy is not so good at this game, tacks on $4100 or so of extra stuff. This is the Bad Thing.

    3. Guy drives off with car, apparently after not reading a word of what he just signed. Decides he doesn’t like it, despite putting a thousand miles on the car in FOUR DAYS. Tries to return it, which is likely expressly prohibited by the contract he signed without reading. By the way, he says “still new car” here but the car was no longer new, it had a thousand miles on it and had been registered, officially making it not in the condition sold.

    4. Buyer enters arbitration with Toyota, who rightfully decrees that buyer’s remorse isn’t a cause for return of the vehicle. Decides not to pay for the car while it’s in arbitration. Is appalled when he tries to trade car in at another dealership and finds it has depreciated about 7% since being purchased…you know, the standard for a new car.

    5. Somehow manages to get Toyota to reduce his loan amount by the cost of the stuff the sales guy tacked on, thus MEDIATING the fraud that occurred in the sale. Toyota applies some of this credit to the payments the buyer decided not to make.

    6. Buyer tries to roll the loan over into a new car, can’t, because his credit (due to deciding to just not pay for the car) has taken a default. Buyer returns car to toyota, who auctions it as required by the finance contract, collecting the reduced value of the vehicle and leaving the loan holder with the difference between the amount financed and the sale price of the vehicle, eg. the depreciated amount.

    7. This is somehow completely unreasonable despite the fact that it is all likely spelled out in his contract. Buyer feels that he should owe no money despite driving a car for 4 days, putting a thousand miles on it, and backing out of a legally binding contract.

    8. All of this has absolutely nothing to do with the harassing phone calls the sales guy made, which are a civil issue and separate from the fact that the buyer is not for whatever reason happy with Toyota.

    Salesguy is a Bad Man, but buyer’s complaint against him is totally separate from the car deal gone bad and he deserves no restitution from Toyota as far as I can tell. Hopefully he learned something.

  25. blackmage439 says:

    I can has grammar? I’m sorry, but that update was difficult to read.

    In any case, I hope this sleazebag, pussbucket, bastard gets what he deserves. It’s a complete, disgusting failure of justice to have this case drag on as long as the the OJ Simspon case; even with clear, irrefutable evidence.

  26. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @soloudinhere:

    Agree completely. The salesman is a scumbag, but there’s no way that this customer is anything resembling a smart consumer.

  27. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @failurate: I didn’t know that, actually. Thats pretty nifty.

    See, you learn something every day!

  28. Thaddeus says:

    @AngrySicilian: Upon further examination, you are correct. I was very wrong. As in totally.

    What I should have said is Naperville isn’t the only place in suburban Chicago to get a Toyota.

    That doesn’t excuse the salesmen. He could wind up damaging the reputation of salesmen everywhere!

  29. Noris159 says:

    @soloudinhere: Thank you for pointing out that the consumer has screwed up multiple times and, aside from the scumbag salesperson getting his comeuppance, the consumer hardly deserves any pity. His wife does, yes; his wife deserves pity on MANY levels *wink*

  30. soloudinhere says:

    @Noris159: I have no comment on his wife, who seems to be sort of the innocent bystander in all this, besides that I hope she realizes that the salesman harassing her is separate from her husband’s rant about the car.

    And I hope she now realizes she should not let him ever attempt to buy a car in the future. Ha.

  31. CaryS says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate here, are we sure she isn’t a whore?

  32. Noris159 says:

    @soloudinhere: Well, that’s the thing. I really pity her because she had nothing to do with it, yet she’s the one being attacked by the scumbag salesman.

    Plus, she’s married to a guy who rationalized and did everything you outlined. Big double whammy there.

  33. failurate says:

    @failurate: Learn to count dumbass!

  34. sodden says:

    @soloudinhere: Accurate, except biased. You completely ignored many facts in order to make the buyer sound worse than he was.

    Facts such as the car not getting nearly the gas mileage he was promised, so much so that he figured it out in 4 days and 4 fillups. Facts such as toyota took 45 days for the first dispute and something like a month for the appeal, both time coming back with a simple NO. Facts such as he garaged the vehicle so as not to put additional mileage on the car. Facts such as the salesman not simply fooling an ignorant buyer, but breaking the law with the extra warrantees. And of course, facts that for the first few days, you CAN break a contract, even on top of lemon laws.

    You also completely ignored the fact that if the cars were such hot sellers as claimed, and held their value as claimed, then 4 days and 1k miles wouldn’t be a problem.

    In fact, the dealership could have made a repeat customer by working out something with the buyer to let him return the car, sell back the warrantees, and perhaps pay a reasonable restocking fee at worse. Considering the prius was so much in demand, supposedly, the dealer could turn around and resell the car to someone that actually wanted it. Everyone would have been happy.

  35. soloudinhere says:

    @sodden: well, a few things:

    first, a google search online would have shown that the prius mileage was vastly overstated thanks to the EPA testing that was in place at the time and subsequently changed because hybrids were getting completely inaccurate mileage figures;

    second, NO new car with the exception of perhaps an exceptionally rare or exotic vehicle will be worth as much as new once it’s been titled, simply because it is now a new car. While he might have been able to get what he paid for it privately, trying to return a used car to the dealer for the price paid for the new vehicle that the dealer can no longer sell as new was unintelligent, at best.

    third, the FTC’s “cooling off” rule that allows you to cancel a sale you are not happy with expressly does NOT include automobiles. There is no obligation in any US state for a dealer to let you return a car. Even if it did apply, you have THREE DAYS to file the paperwork (yes, you can’t just call and say “I’m returning this”) so he wouldn’t have been covered by it anyway, and doubtless the dealer knew this.

    fourth, toyota did let him sell back the warranties, which officially cleared up the problem in the sale. Buyer paid too much, toyota credited him back, buyer paid what buyer would have originally paid, problem officially resolved.

    fifth, I don’t know any dealer that will let you pay a “restocking fee” to return a car that you put a thousand miles on. Maybe if he’d put 200 or 300 miles on it, but a THOUSAND miles is what the average driver drives in a month. In effect, he did pay a restocking fee, the depreciated value of the car plus the payments he failed to make on it.

    sixth, the buyer agreed to the terms of the arbitration in his sales contract, which provided toyota 45 days to respond to the initial arbitration and 35 to respond to the appeal. If he didn’t like it, he shouldn’t have signed it. Refusing to make payments on the vehicle while in arbitration was just dumb, and gave toyota more reason to not make this easy for him. Since the car was in fact owned by toyota, and not by this gentleman, it was toyota’s right to auction the vehicle (standard practice, I might add, for cars that are “returned”) to recoup its investment and stick the loan holder with the remaining amount. These are all things he agreed to in the sales and financing agreements he didn’t read. Garaging the car to not put any miles on it doesn’t absolve you from having to, you know, make the payments you agreed to.

    Here’s the bottom line. When you sign a sales contract on a car, it’s yours. I have no idea why the sales guy decided to go off the deep end, but the deal on the car was done and I don’t see any sort of problem with it. The salesman can claim the car will be worth MORE in 3 months, doesn’t make it true. It’s the consumer’s responsibility to understand when he’s being fed BS before signing a contract based on it.

  36. Segador says:

    I’m sorry his wife was harrassed, but this guy is an abysmal consumer who needs to read what he signs.

  37. angela says:

    This is NO longer about my husband reading the contract before signing.. This is about the dealership and their employee Mr. Jim Gentile having us believe that in order to be financed he needed to take out 3 extended waranties,telling us that Toyota would not finance us unless he agrees to it, their employee making harassing phone calls and would not take our trade-in.

    Mr. Jim Gentile was hiding something or I would never have received these phone calls.

    @ Segador law states that you sign a contract under the pretense of FRAUD then the contract is NOT legal and that is what the civil attorney will prove here.

  38. failurate says:

    You will come out ahead on the harassment stuff, if Diamond Jim has any money.
    But since it appears that Toyota and the Dealership did everything they could to remedy the whopping received during the car sale. I don’t think a judge will let you come out any further ahead then you already are on that.

    And, I’m not a lawyer, but I would probably not post much more online about this pending legal stuff, or at least get a proxy to do it for you. Unless of course you are pretty sure you are not going to win.

  39. angela says:

    @failurate:

    You got this wrong here… Toyota corporate and Toyota of Naperville is not connected. Lawsuit is against Toyota of Naperville dealership and Mr.Jim Gentile.. The dealership is responsible for the harassing phone calls that was made by their employee. The dealership has done nothing to protect our information. The dealership has DONE nothing to fix the problem that the MONSTER Mr. Jim Gentile has caused here. I am sure that we will win here! No order has been given by our attorney to keep quite.

  40. failurate says:

    The guy’s reputation is basically dead now. If he for some insane reason is found not liable and not guilty, you might open yourself up for some liability problems yourself.

    Again, not a lawyer.

  41. angela says:

    @failurate:

    Only said the facts.. Did not claim anything here that is untrue. The guy deserves his reputation to be dead after what he has done. The phone records alone speaks for itself.