A Texas woman says she got an unwanted surprise after putting a deposit down for a new Honda Civic Type R, as the dealership allegedly regrets that they charged her no markup on the hot new car. Now she says the dealership wants to use it as a show car for three months before she can take delivery. [Update: The dealership gave her the car Friday.]
Alma Bluesummers put a $1,000 deposit down on a Civic Type R on May 17 with Jack O’Diamonds Honda in Tyler, Texas, per documents she posted on Imgur. Her car was set to arrive this week between June 24 and 28 according to screenshots of text messages between dealership employees, her and her significant other that were also posted on Imgur. However, after a dealership employee told her which VIN was hers, she says they changed their story.
Her deposit was for the first Civic Type R they would get in stock, and both texts as well as the dealer trade request note that the car would be sold at MSRP—with no markup.
After her expected delivery window was up, Bluesummers texted a dealership contact to inquire about her car. That’s when she says she received a call back from her salesman instead of a text—which always feels a little shady, as it breaks the paper trail.
In that call, Bluesummers says that the employee claimed that the General Manager is now regretting agreeing to sell the car for MSRP so early now that they’re getting a lot of texts and calls letting them know that the car is being sold for $12,000 over MSRP. Because of that, they’ve decided to keep the car for a minimum of 90 days after it arrives to use as a showroom demo “to draw in customers and get their money’s worth,” Bluesummers said in the video.
Bluesummers is devastated. The car is waitlisted almost everywhere by now, and now she has to worry about her car not being physically in her possession after it arrives.
In a note to Jalopnik, she clarified that the dealer isn’t trying to back out of the deal to sell her the car at MSRP, but she does feel as if she was misled into believing that the deposit would allow her to purchase the car upon its delivery to the dealership. She was only notified otherwise on the last day of her ETA.
Likewise, she says the dealership is not holding her money. While the document she signed upon making the deposit specifies that the deposit is non-refundable, it’s only non-refundable if Jack O’Diamonds “fulfills all obligations to the customer.”
Since they don’t have the car yet, Bluesummers says that the dealership has been pressuring her to take the deposit back, which she obviously doesn’t want to do with a car that’s so hard to find. Of course, if she did withdraw her deposit, the dealership would be allowed to set the price they want on the car, which could then include some mark-up in response to the demand for the car.
Additionally, Bluesummers told Jalopnik that the General Manager asked her to put in writing that she would pull her videos on the ordeal, but did not offer to out the details on her car’s delivery in writing. She also noted that her salesman was not allowed in the room when she and the General Manager met to discuss the issue.
“I don’t particularly want to be mad.” Bluesummers told Jalopnik via email. “I want my agreed upon car when it arrives and a legit sales contract on this car they keep assuring me I can buy and is mine.”
Jalopnik attempted to reach out to the dealership to get their side of the story, however, the general manager who is handling the issue was away from his desk at the time of publication.
However, a dealership representative responded with their side of the story in response to the one-star reviews that have popped up on their Facebook page now that Bluesummers’ plight has gone viral:
Thank you for your concern. The agreement made with the customer remains the same, nothing has changed. The car will be on our showroom floor upon its arrival temporarily for other Honda customers to see until a delivery date is determined no later than September 15th.
The representative did not specify when the car would be released beyond “no later than September 15,” however, they did note in another response that it would be roped off and no one would be allowed to drive it. As of Thursday evening, their representative also claims on Facebook that the car has yet to arrive.
We will update this story with any new information if we hear back from Jack O’Diamonds Honda.
Correction/Update [11:01 a.m. ET]: The car has not arrived at the dealership yet, per Bluesummers—they merely posted the expected VIN in texts. She says she was told by the General Manager that the truck with her Civic Type R on it had been by the dealership, but did not release the Civic Type R off the truck. This has been changed above. She also explained more of her side of the story, which we’ve added into the text above.
Update #2 [1:36 p.m. ET]: Vice President of Jack O’Diamonds Honda Charlie Wright posted the following update on the dealership’s Facebook page saying that the first Civic Type R has arrived at their dealership, and will likely be delivered by the end of the day:
To all our wonderful friends and customers in Tyler and east Texas...
The good news:
Our first Civic Type R has just arrived and is being unloaded off the transport.
The bad news for all of you but one:
it’s already sold and will likely be delivered before the end of the day (we have to send it through the normal pre-delivery process first).
To our first Type R buyer...congratulations and wishing you many thousands of miles of safe and pleasurable driving in what maybe the most talked about car of the year.
To all our other wonderful friends and customers...we’re sorry we are unable to give you a first hand glimpse of this exceptional vehicle. However, at some point, hopefully sooner than later, we will be getting another one and we’ll let you know just as soon as we do. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
Another, since deleted comment by the dealership on one of seemed to indicate that they did intend to keep the vehicle to show in their showroom:
However, another comment the dealer’s Facebook account made at 12:56 a.m. ET stated that she was picking up the car today.
Update #3 [3:10 p.m.]: Bluesummers confirmed that she’s in the process of picking up the car. The dealership also released the following statement apologizing for the ordeal:
The owners and management offer our sincerest apology to Alma Bluesummers. All of us here at Jack O’Diamond’s Honda are very sorry for the manner in which we handled things prior to the delivery of her Honda Civic Type R. We are pleased to say that Alma has now taken delivery of her new car, and we have honored our original agreement with her.
In hindsight, we realize Alma should never have been told she would have to wait 90 days to take delivery. We should have asked if that would be acceptable to her. We were eager to give people in our community an opportunity to view this highly talked about car on our showroom floor but we recognize this was not fair to Alma who was also eager to take delivery of the car. However, though our intentions were misguided we always intended to honor our pricing agreement with her. We never based any decision on our desire to get more money from her.
Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to us, and we are sorry that it took extraordinary measures for Alma to resolve this. We do our best to respond immediately to any customer concern and to make things right, and we will be working to understand why that did not happen in this case.
Every year, we help thousands of people have a great car-buying experience. We missed the mark on this one, and we missed it by a lot. We’re making it right, just as we do with every one of our customers. We encourage anyone with questions to come in, talk to us, and see how we operate.