Not long ago we put out a call for your dealership horror stories. We got so many responses that they could not be contained in only one post. From harassment, to identity theft, to good old fashion sexism...we have it all. Enjoy!
Well...that escalated quickly
I suppose i’ll tell my story about a car dealership in Connecticut. I saw a fairly priced 02 WRX in silver on their ad. Called the next day and they assured me it was there and of course I show up and he brings me to a regular impreza to which I say no thank you and leave, fine no big deal 10 minutes driving to that shit hole town isn’t the end of the world. About a week later after ignoring several calls, I finally answer one from a man saying “why didn’t you show up”. I said “I did you tried to bait and switch me which I did not appreciate and now you are calling me after the fact trying to do the same again” to which he responded rather harshly “We do have the car you don’t know what you’re talking about”. From there I explained the difference between a WRX and an Impreza being pretty large and then got a surprising response, “I have all your information on file I will come to your house right now you little bitch, you think you can fuck with me i’ll fuck you up?”.
Four months later my gf’s grandmother pulls up in a Mazda minivan with a sticker from that dealer on the back and I think..... Fuck
Note to self...don’t buy a car in LA
from Christopher M:
I’m wary of car dealerships because about five years ago at a my identity was stolen BY THE CAR SALESMAN. After LAPD’s initial refusal to do anything (they considered it a civil offense and not a criminal one at first, even as he was using my identity to rent an apartment in the luxury building NEXT TO THE CAR DEALERSHIP), he was arrested, convicted, served prison time, and then skipped parole and escaped to Nigeria and is now officially a fugitive. Though he is on Facebook. The dealership’s attorneys then sent me threatening letters advising me to not tell anyone lest I cross the line to libel or slander. I never heard from the dealership itself on the matter, not even an apology and I know now that dealership lies to customers and says it never happened even though there are public records, conviction records, police reports and court reports. No civil attorney wanted the case as it was too much work to sue them since I didn’t have a slip-and-fall and “only” identity theft.
Then about two years ago, after a long year personally and professionally, I decided to treat myself to a luxury car. I decided on a Range Rover Evoque and knew the color combination and model I wanted, and I had test driven one a few months before. I searched all the Los Angeles area Land Rover dealerships and found one dealership that had the car I wanted. Over the course of a couple of days I haggled out the purchase price via email, text message and phone calls, with everything documented. I told them I would come in and pay for the car in cash, with perhaps a bit of financing if I decided. We haggled a firm price for the exact VIN number. So I go into pay… and the dealership tells me they just sold the car. They were quite earnest. They also told me they would get the one I wanted from another dealership. Two months go by and there is no other car. So I looked at their website and found my #2 choice, slightly more expensive but acceptable. And did he process again, in writing and documented. And I go in again to pay and this time a different salesman gives me the “we just sold it” speech.The problem was it was the exact same words, tone, delivery and physical delivery as the last time. I have worked in Hollywood for 20 years and know when people are acting and performances are scripted, and to get the same performance from two different people two months from each other… something is rotten in Denmark. I left again, angry as they tried to sell me a car that cost $8,000 more than the one I had just negotiated for.So I gathered my notes and the VIN numbers of the “just sold” cars. I had a friend in law enforcement run the VINs… and it turns out the cars were sold MONTHS before the dealership negotiated their sales to me. The dealership was advertising cars for sale they did not have.So I presented the evidence to the dealership. At first, the sales director explicitly called me a liar. I then gave them the exact transaction dates and negotiation evidence and informed them that selling something you do not have a claim to is fraud. I told them I was going to make an Attorney General’s complaint for fraudulent practices against the dealership as this was clearly a deliscripted move. I ended up getting concessions from them to custom-built-to-order 2013 Evoque at a very great price. Truth be told, the Sales Manager at the zero hour reneged on the written deal even then and added a few hundred dollars to the final price, but it was still way under market and as much as I despised the process, the people and the dealership, I wanted the car.When I went in to pay for it, they gave me the car and orientation in record time; I was in and out of the dealership in perhaps 20 minutes. And from the time I drive away, I have never even gotten a single follow-up call or email from them. Clearly, they wanted me out of their lives and I wanted them out of mine. I just wanted the car I wanted, I got it at a great price and I will never even drive past their dealership again as without leverage, they cannot be dealt with. And not even then they won’t be honest.
Are you sure you don’t want a Buick?
From Edward D.:
I took a test drive in a Buick while they took my car to “appraise” it. Tried to make a deal. It was dark and raining by then. I asked to put the car in a service bay so I could see it - no. “You can see it right there” (in the dark). I said I am not going to buy a car in the dark so I’d come back when I could inspect the car. They pushed. I said “If it’s a god deal tonight it’ll be a god deal tomorrow morning”. Salesman grabbed my lapels, pulled me forward and screamed (3 inches from my face with spit flying) that I was “a fool if I didn’t buy this car right now”!
I grabbed his wrists hard and calmly told him to let me go. I asked for the keys to my car. “Sorry, we cannot give them to you, they are on the roof”.What? I asked for the manager. Sales Manager: “Your keys fell out the window and are stuck on the roof. Since you cannot drive away in your car, why not buy ours so you can get home?”
“Where is my car?”
“They took it around back and now it’s locked up. The used car manager is gone and your keys are on the roof anyhow so you might as well buy our car tonight” I left and went around back of the dealer searching (in the dark and rain with no lights) for my vehicle. I found it in a back lot behind a gate. There was a sad, scared lot attendant who said he wasn’t allowed to release my car. I told him to open the @#$%^ gate or I would call the police on him for stealing my car plus kick his @$%^&* while we were waiting for the cops. He relented and I used my second key to drive away. I went back the next day to demand my key. I found the GM of the dealership in the showroom and explained what happened. He paged the sales rep and told him to get my key. The sales rep did not move but turned purple and started screaming about what a great deal I passed up. I stood up in the dealership and in my loudest voice told them to release my key or I would call the police then and there for attempted vehicle theft and extortion. They immediately complied and I began to leave. On the way out a sales rep asked me if I was still interested in a new Buick.
News flash...females buy cars too
From Katie M:
In my mid-20s and having just moved out of New York City, I decided to buy my very first ‘adult’ car. I’d had cars growing up, mostly absolute beaters that required a pretty thorough familiarity with a wrench to keep on the road, but I was excited to go to a real dealership and get a decent automobile. I showed up at the first place, a Ford dealership near Arlington, VA, and was absolutely ignored by every member of the sales staff. I’m a petite girl, but still, this seemed awfully strange to me. Without even talking to a salesperson, I headed down the road to a Mazda place, where I’d seen a specific car I was interested in (a used Mazdaspeed3). Of course, the car I wanted wasn’t available anymore, but the sales guy assured me that the Mazda3 Grand Touring would be pretty much the same thing. I kind of laughed a little, assuming he was kidding, told him to give me a call if he got another Mazdaspeed in, and he got PISSED. He told me I had no idea what I was talking about, obviously, told me the Grand Touring was much more appropriate “for a customer like me” and demanded to speak to my husband.
I don’t have a husband, told him so, and walked out. I ended up with my first VW, a 2008 GTi, and just bought my second one in a row. No one at the VW dealership ever asked to talk to a male relative of mine, either!
About 13 years ago, I was fresh out of law school and working in my first real law firm job and decided to get my first ever brand-new car. I wanted an all-wheel drive sedan in a manual transmission and settled on the Audi A4 and just had to go look at one and test drive it to make sure. Went to a dealer and told him what I wanted and he makes a copy of my license, etc. for a test drive. He pulls the car around and I get in and it’s an automatic transmission. I said, “oh, I thought I was clear — I wanted to test the manual.” Without missing a beat, he replies, “oh, no, sweetheart, you don’t want a stick. This will be much better for you.” I swear he was this close to calling me “little lady.” I simply said, “no, thanks,” exited the vehicle and got the exact car I wanted from another dealer who actually happened to be closer to my home.
When I was pregnant, we went car-shopping for a station wagon. A quite young car salesman came over, listened (or so I thought) to our needs (I was visibly pregnant), and proceeded to tell us he knew EXACTLY what we needed.
And showed us a small bright red pickup. We left.
You never know who is going to come through the door
About 15 years ago, my now wife was at a BMW dealership in Florida. She was mid 20’s then and walking around and nobody would help her (too young I suppose). She then noticed “a very good looking black man” on the other side of the show room. She looked closer, and it was Lenny Kravitz, he had just cut off his dreads and there were no photos in the press yet. So nobody knew who he was.
She walked over to a sales person and said: “Look, you don’t need to help me because you obviously think I’m poor, but I’d suggest that you help that gentleman over there, as he could buy this entire dealership!”
Lenny looked at her with a big smile and said “Thank you!”. Then proceeded to chat with her for a few minutes while ignoring the salespeople. LOL
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