We've all seen those signs in shop windows that snarkily remind us that all sales are final. If you decide you don't like the color or something, tough titties. You bought it, now it's yours.
So what if a retailer sells somebody something, then decides that it wants to take back that item and re-sell it for more money. Sounds crazy, no? Well, the truth is stranger than fiction my friends, because that's exactly what happened at a Chesapeake, Va. car dealership.
Priority Chevrolet decided after the fact that it had sold a Chevy Traverse for $6,000 short of its actual value. When the buyer refused to return it, they tried to have him arrested for theft. He answered that challenge with the biggest "fuck you" an American can utter. A $2.2 million law suit.
It all started in May, when Danny Sawyer, a 40-year-old registered nurse, decided it was time to trade in his 2008 Saturn Vue for something a little fresher. Continuing down more or less the same path as his previous four years of crossover ownership, Sawyer chose a black 2012 Chevrolet Traverse as its replacement.
Now here's where it gets complicated, according to court documents posted online by the Virginian-Pilot. Sawyer came in the morning after the trade-in and asked if he could have a blue one instead. Priority's sales manager, Wib Davenport, said ok, and wrote up a contract for $33,957.55. Sawyer drove his new blue Traverse home, thinking that was the end of things. Only it wasn't.
He left for a cruise the day after buying his blue Traverse, and returned to a barrage of voicemail messages from Davenport, who said that he'd made a mistake. The blue Traverse was allegedly worth $39,000. Whoops, Wib!
In essence, Sawyer said "a deal's a deal," and wouldn't allow welching of any kind. He kept the car, despite Priority's repeated calls for him to return it. By the middle of June, Davenport had grown frantic enough to call the police, and Sawyer was arrested on June 15. He got out on bail, but didn't have a car and had to walk five miles to get home.
A deal is a deal, and a contract is a contract, so the charges were dropped. But dropped charges or no, Sawyer seems pissed. The $2.2 million lawsuit he filed against the dealership — which he said kept trying to get him to sign a new contract even after the charges had been dropped — Sawyer accused Davenport and Priority of fraud, negligence, slander, and violating the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, among other things. He said that he has lost sleep, wages, and reputation as a result of the ordeal.
Photo credit: Associated Press