Skeezy Car Dealer Is Holding My Deposit Until I Come Back To Talk To Him

Don plopped down $500 at a Hyundai dealership with the understanding that he’d get his money back if the sale fell through. He wasn’t happy with the terms of the deal, so he went with another dealership and was assured that he’d get the money back. The dealer still has the deposit and told Dan he’d like him to come in and have a sit-down about why the sale didn’t happen. Dan just wants his $500.

He writes:

Two weeks ago I attempted to purchase a 2010 Hyundai Elantra SE from Long Island City Hyundai in [redacted], NY. I left a $500 deposit on my credit card and $4500 via an electronic check transfer. After a lot of seemingly intentional confusion regarding matching a competitors price (I showed them the prices for both cash and financing and they matched the competitors cash price but only if I were financing), and then being made to wait close to 4 hours for their finance department (and losing a day of work) I got disgusted and canceled the transaction. No contract had been signed and per New York law the deposit is fully refundable. The salesman himself confirmed that the money would be refunded.

The dealer’s posted policy is to refund Credit Card deposits on the Friday following the cancellation. As I canceled the deal on Thursday the 17th of June, I expected to see the credit card deposit refunded on the 18th. As of Today I still have not been refunded. I spoke to Jack (who is a manager or possibly owner) on June 29th. He “wanted me to come in so we could talk about the deal falling through.” I wanted my money returned before I would entertain anything of the sort. At this point I believe it became clear to him that I was not going to buy the car from him. Since then I have called back a couple of times every day and he is always conveniently “out” (despite a friend calling immediately afterwards and speaking to him).

All I want is to get my money back. I already purchased the car from another Hyundai dealer and had nothing but a wonderful experience.

I’ve filed a complaint with Hyundai and the Better Business Bureau. I can call my credit card company and dispute the $500 deposit but I’m not sure how to proceed with respect to the deposit from my bank account. Is there a similar mechanism for “disputing” such a transfer. Obviously I can and will file a case in small claims court- but I would prefer to avoid that as it takes a lot of time and effort. Is there someone else I should be contacting? It is possible the dealer has gotten the message and will refund my deposits now- but since they are actively ignoring me I have no way to determine that.

How would you go about getting your deposit back while leaping through minimal flaming hoops?