Buying a Car and Getting Away With It

Inspired by our post “HOW TO: Buy A Car Without Putting A Shotgun In Your Mouth,” M. writes in a story about navigating the tricky world of car financing.

Her story serves as a good reminder to read the finance contract with care and if you believe you’re being screwed, be vocal and persistent in pursuing your grievance.

If a business doesn’t believe the customer is always right, guess what? The customer will spend somewhere they’re not wrong.

M.’s dealership knew this and that’s why in the end, she wins. Read more, after the jump…

M. writes:

    “I recently bought a new car and bout 30 minutes after my husband and I left the dealership, our financier called us. He told us there had been a mistake made on the finance contract that we signed. He accidentally gave us a 2.9% APR AND $2,000 in rebates and customer loyalty incentives. OOPS! He thought we were buying a different car and gave us the incentives for the wrong model. The model I bought offered a special 3.9% financing rate OR a $500 rebate (almost all car incentives work this way — either/or on financing and rebates.) He not only gave us the wrong rebates and incentives, he gave us BOTH rebates and the incentive APR.

    When we arrived at the dealership, the financier, along with the business manager presented us with a new “correct” contract. We were extremely hesitant to sign this new contract, under the common understanding that once a contract is signed, it’s legally binding. When we asked the business manager what would happen if we did not sign the new contract, he told us that the entire deal would be undone and we would have to give back our new car. He told us that the bank would not accept the first contract and that it would be declared null and void. For our troubles, they threw in a free oil change and car detailing. OUCH. Talk about rubbing salt in our wounds!

    We spent the entire weekend fuming and called the general manger of the dealership first thing Monday morning. He apologized and invited us back to the dealership to present us with a new deal… a GREAT deal. First, we got the original 2.9% financing back. The dealership basically had to redo the finance deal with another bank and buy down the rate. We also got $1,000 in rebates AND a four year service plan. When we added up the costs on their recommended pricing and maintenance schedule, it added up to more than $1,200.

    EDUCATE yourself about the car buying process and read the finance contract carefully!! If you believe the dealership has made a mistake, be persistent in contacting the people in charge — going higher up the management ladder if necessary. The dealership made the right move in correcting the mistake and going above and beyond for something that they bunged up in the first place.”