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A Typical Example of the Kind of People Who Give the Car Business the Bad Reputation It Has... Even in Canada!

Hi Tony,

My name is Jane and I just had the worst experience at a local car dealership here in Winnipeg. I am newly married and was searching for a vehicle with my husband. This would be my very first time experience at a car dealer.

We were interested in a Isuzu Rodeo that was on the lot. So we checked it out on Sunday afternoon. Sure enough we were played by the strings of the salesman's hands. I had questions regarding the vehicle which he couldn't answer (financial inquires) so he introduced us to the finance manager who would give us the information we needed.

Well one thing lead to another . . . and in the end I gave him $200 to hold the vehicle, so that I could have family take a look at the vehicle the next day. Also the Finance person, indicated that he is unable to look for a finance plan at that moment considering it is Sunday, all financial institutions are closed so they would contact me the next day.

The next day Monday I called my own financial institution first thing in the morning about financing and was approved, just in case I chose to go ahead with the vehicle.

Later in the morning I received a phone call from the dealership and informed me of my approval of their financing and the vehicle is ready to go and I just have to sign the final papers. I told them that my family will look over the vehicle after work before I finalize the deal. This was okay with them.

When we all arrived, my brother looked over the vehicle and noticed that there were some dents, little cracks on the window and also, he had a bad feeling of the dealership, sales person and the vehicle itself. My brother knows more about cars than I do, so I relied on his instincts.

He also indicated that Rodeos are no longer being made and that in the long run I may have problems looking for parts etc. so I changed my mind on going ahead with the purchase.

I went back to the salesperson and told them that I have changed my mind and that I would like my $200 back. Well, from this point on the salesperson went ballistic and got aggressive. He demanded to know why I would change my mind and gave me an attitude that I was totally unprepared for.

Next thing I knew, I had 2 other people coming down on me including the finance person I dealt with the day before. They told me that I can't change my mind because I put a deposit down!

I told them no, you told me it was just a hold and that I can get it back. Then they said they are unable to because they have no authorization from the GM (general manager) and it is not guaranteed I will get it back. So from this point I knew I wouldn't get my $200 back. I also told them, I haven't signed your final papers for this vehicle so I can change my mind.

They started giving me the speech that they worked so hard to get me this vehicle and took 3 hours of their time. I told them, I don't think so, it took me only 30 minutes from my own bank to get a finance approved and besides, it is their job to spend time looking for financing when someone wants to purchase a vehicle. So I asked when is your GM here, they indicated tomorrow, so I told them to have your GM call me and I left. I had to get out of there. The situation was getting nasty and I couldn't handle it.

At this point I was angry, ashamed and upset that I just couldn't think and was so sick to my stomach. I couldn't grasp how everything just went out of control. I really felt like dirt. I am an honest, kind, fragile and an emotional person and I don't do well with confrontations so this experience really knocked me to the floor.

So after a day to recuperate, I look back at the situation and the mistakes that I have made and how easily I was fooled. My only concern is....

  1. My $200, I don't expect to get it back, I know I haven't signed the official papers (finalizing the purchase) of the vehicle but I did initial a form when I "thought" my $200 was returnable (To them downpayment). Is it okay to just walk away at this point?

  2. Am I safe...meaning even though I backed out of the situation are there consequences of my decision besides loosing my $200. I just want to have peace in my mind that by me walking away, the dealership has no hold on me, financially and legally.

Tony, I know I an sounding like a sad story, but I have no one to turn to who knows so much about the car dealership industry and am so emotionally distressed by my ordeal. I surfed the internet to find similar situations and experiences and came upon your website. Which I wished I had before I've had this horrible experience.

I don't care about the $200 but I am just concerned that the dealership has grounds to hold me at their mercy with this vehicle. (I know I haven't signed those final papers - this is the #1 thing I did right).

I would appreciate your reply and to at least ease my mind.



My Answer to Jane

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