For all those states currently placing either limits on or banning outright the direct sale of Tesla cars to the consumers, the Federal Trade Commission has a few pennies for your thoughts. Namely, that by claiming that such regulations protect consumers, they’re actually protecting the industry itself, to the detriment of consumers. [More]
An employee of an Ohio Chevrolet dealership probably didn’t expect to say the words, “Can I pet your monkey?” during his work day. When a customer brought a pet spider monkey along on a trip to the body shop, the employee asked to pet the animal. It bit him, drawing blood. [More]
Maybe they sent out the wrong mailing at the wrong time. Maybe they’re planning way ahead. Or maybe Gabriel’s local Hyundai dealership is putting whatever random crap gets people to open messages from them in the subject lines of their e-mails. In Gabriel’s case, it worked. He opened it. [More]
The new site TrueCar is a great concept: you can figure out a price for your car and trade-in online, without any of the frustrating negotiations, or even changing out of your pajamas. Reader Alex used the site to get a price for a new Jeep, and his eight hours of trouble began when he and the dealership valued his trade-in differently. [More]
When buying a new car, should you trade your old one in or see how much you can get on the open market? The conventional wisdom is that you get more money on your own, but meeting with buyers and doing paperwork is a hassle you may not want to bother with. Also consider the tax advantages in some states if you trade in at the same dealer where you buy your new car. [Consumer Reports]
It’s not a bad idea for a website: Consumers looking to trade in their vehicles upload the details and allow multiple dealerships to place bids. But what if only one dealership is involved? [More]
Brad and his wife drove a few hours to a car dealership, planning to pay cash for a new vehicle. Well, not cash exactly: they were putting part of the balance on a credit card (for airline miles or other rewards, we’re guessing) and had a cashier’s check for the rest. The dealer agreed to this deal over e-mail and over the phone. Then, when they reached the dealership, they were handed a credit application to fill out. Wait, why did they need their credit checked when payment in full was sitting right there in their hands?
Earlier this year, the Massachusetts state Senate passed a “Right to Repair” bill that would allow your local mechanic to have access to info that is now only available to car dealerships. But the legislation has stalled in the state House. Sick of inaction, 16,000 Bay State residents petitioned the state, and everyone will have a chance to vote on it come November.
After Wil’s purchase of a new car didn’t go as smoothly as he expected based on past transactions with Ford, he didn’t give them a great survey rating. The dealership manager’s completely proportionate response? To e-mail Wil and tell him that he is no longer welcome at the dealership, and to never come back.
Amanda’s car is pretty new: it’s a 2008 Honda Civic. She’s its first and only owner, and a trusted family member performs all maintenance on it. When the battery died recently, a mechanic changed it out for her. What was supposed to be the car’s original battery….wasn’t. It was a reconditioned battery that had clearly served her well for 4 years, but didn’t belong in a factory-fresh car. So how the heck did she end up with a used, refurbished battery instead of the shiny new one that it clearly deserved?
Allen wanted to look at a new Dodge Charger. Not test-drive it. Just look at it, and maybe check out the interior or sit inside. But the dealership he visited wouldn’t let him even look at the car without taking down his name, address, driver’s license information, and phone number. Annoyed, he left the dealership and did a Google Images search or something instead.
As has been demonstrated in episodes of both Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, the relationship between car owner and car repair shop can be all-too-similar to the relationships you have with your friends and loved ones. But what does it take to push consumers over the edge to the point where they break up with the people who fix their cars?
When Kat and her husband traded in their old Ford Focus, the dealership told them that they would be able to pay off the loan faster than the couple could. This was true, if by “faster” they meant “not at all.” See, Kat’s husband was wounded while serving in Afghanistan, and is due a $19,000 grant from the Veterans Administration to buy a vehicle. This grant is a check cut directly to the dealership. Two months later, the VA, acting with all of the swiftness and efficiency that government agencies are known for, hasn’t sent the check yet. Naturally, instead of actually contacting the couple about the issue, the dealership just went ahead and didn’t pay off the loan as promised. They won’t until the check from the VA shows up. This is affecting Kat’s husband’s credit, and is just generally rude.
A woman in California has a brand new, extras-packed Nissan Murano convertible worth a whopping $62,130 sitting unused in her garage. Why? Because she says the car dealership should never have sold the vehicle to her husband, who has been diagnosed with dementia.
Last year, Brandon’s car was destroyed in an accident, and he went shopping for a new-to-him vehicle. He found a nice 2008 Honda Civic at a good price with a clean Carfax report. Sweet deal! Now Brandon’s in the market for a new car. At another dealership, he learned that the Civic isn’t worth as much as he had thought as a trade-in, because the vehicle had sustained severe body damage in an accident, then was rebuilt. How did they know this? The now-updated Carfax report, of course.
Where do you draw the line between a business offering an incentive for you to fill out a survey and an attempt to buy your opinion outright? And just what would a business need to offer you for you to part with whatever principles you might have?
We can’t name the specific Jeep dealership where Andy recently brought his car, but can offer his story as a cautionary tale. His experience confirms what we all secretly fear while speaking to service representatives: anyone who doesn’t source their own parts and have their own copy of the service manual is pretty much screwed.
During holiday sales weekends, car dealerships want to lure you in with big deals on delightful new cars. But during these weekends, and in the weeks after, there are really only a few dealers want you to drive off the lot: a luxury ride, a big truck or an unpopular model.