Jeep Dealers No Longer Need Your Money, Just Your Tax DollarsS

A man who took $25,000 cash to a New York-based Zanetti Jeep dealership to purchase a new Wrangler Unlimited was told Chrysler "no longer needs the money" and asked to finance instead. Really? Really.

Richard had configured his ideal Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (burgundy, with Sirius, a hard top and 4WD) on Jeep.com and assumed, incorrectly it turns out, that the price quoted ($24,000) would be the price he'd pay at a dealership. Upon visiting Zanetti Chrysler Jeep Dodge in the Bronx, he was told financing would result in a better deal, then, after much runaround, quoted $31,732 for the privilege.

Giving up, he turned to White Plains Chrysler Jeep Dodge, which told him they didn't want cash, as they no longer needed it. Instead, they wanted him to take financing. For $28,300. They also attempted to charge him extra for sourcing the correct color vehicle.

Richard has yet to purchase a vehicle, despite the $25,000 burning a visceral hole in his pocket. Instead, he's set up a website, offering the money to anyone prepared to sell him the Jeep he wants. Is this really what it takes to buy a car in a recession?

Keep in mind there's a difference between automakers and auto dealers. Auto dealers are separate companies, holding no relationship to the automakers other than they sell their products. Automakers aren't even able to penalize bad dealers thanks to state franchise laws. So don't let bad dealer experiences influence your perception of an automaker because I'll guarantee you'll find craptastic dealers for every automaker - especially in the greater New York area. This place has some seriously terrible dealerships.

That being said, Chrysler still sucks, but for vastly different reasons. [My Efforts to Stimulate the Economy via Consumerist]