How To Avoid Car Dealer Rip-Offs & Scams - How to Buy a New Car, Used Car, Car Leasing, Car Financing, Auto Warranties & More! - Spilling the Beans on the Car Dealers!
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This Car Dealer Horror Story is in the form of a letter written to a car dealer complaining about . . . well, you just have to read it! It's Unbelievable . . . Yet so Typical!

To Tim Brown:

Dear Mr. Brown this is a story of what happened in your dealership from May-Aug. My husband Mark was in your dealership in May having his work van serviced. Mark had wandered onto the used vehicle lot and found a Chevrolet Suburban he thought I should look at.

Mark called me and I met up with him at your dealership. We both liked the Suburban and since we had been tossing the idea of a Suburban around a bit because of the cargo room as we have a big family.

We went into the dealership and talked with Mike Lowburg who ended up making the deal for us. As we were looking at the car for the second time a couple walked over to us on the lot and told us that the very same vehicle was on the dealership's Internet site for $2000 less than sticker price!

We went back into the dealership and talked with a man named Hank and asked that he look it up and tell us if it truly was on the Internet. Hank left the room and came back to tell us it was NOT . . . just the first of many times we were lied to.

We talked some numbers over with Hank and Mike and got the "hey, what can I do to make this deal for you tonight?" thing. Lucky for us Mark stood firm and wanted to go home and think it over with a promise to come back in the morning to finalize the deal. When we went home I looked up the car dealer's site on the Internet and indeed found our vehicle and VIN number at $2000 under sticker price.

First thing in the morning we went back with VIN number in hand to talk to Hank and Mike and told them of what we found. After some discussion of if it was the same VIN and vehicle we did get the price of the car lowered $2000.

Next we went into finance with Julius. We told him that we wanted the best warranty we could get for the car and were told what our options were. He never showed us the warranty or what it covered. Mark expressed to him that if we needed service work on the Suburban we would need a rental in the warranty big enough to accommodate our whole family as well as a rental while our car was serviced for a shake in the car that was on the car lot's "we owe" list to be fixed. We trusted Julius and signed the papers and this is where the trouble started.

As we drove the car off the lot the power locks stopped working so we turned around and took it to service. Unfortunately it was during a holiday weekend and we had to leave it for 4 days. After leaving the Suburban with the service department we went over to enterprise rent a car where we stayed for 2 hours until they could find a car to accommodate us. The very next week I took the car in to have the shake fixed. Bruce was a nice man and our advisor who kept the car for a week and told me the shake was fixed. When I went to pick the car up... Driving home on the freeway it was still shaking.

I took the car back in and this time they had my car for another week (every time it went in it was for a week or two) and they replaced 3 of my tires. I did have a little problem with my rental because the dealer only wanted to pay $30 a day and that would only get me a mini car. After some heated discussion (after all I don't drive a Suburban because it looks pretty) I was told I could have a mini van. When I returned to reclaim my vehicle and driving it home on the freeway again the same problem.

This went on 4 times through the summer taking up my precious time and trying to squeeze out of the dealer a car that would fit my family. The last time I was in I was only allowed a Chevy Cavalier (that time it was 2 weeks) and boy was I hot. During this time I got a little worried that my warranty would not cover a car to accommodate my large family should I require service work and made a call to Julius. I talked with him and was told I was covered and that it all depended on availability. I also asked him for the number for the warranty place as I had not actually seen my warranty.

When I called the warranty place I was appalled to find out that NO I was not covered for a vehicle to accommodate my family just $30 a day and I new from experience that $30 would only get me a Cavalier....Bold faced lied to again.

After 4 trips to the service center and taking up my whole summer at the dealership I was done! We called down to the dealer and talked to a man named Mike Traheo who was very friendly and suggested that he get us into another Suburban. He promised to call back the next day and never did.....Another lie.

We finally called back and were told there was nothing on the lot to accommodate us but that after the weekend he would call back as he was sure something would come up. Again no call. About this time my husband's boss took him into meet with Don Carter in fleet who started working on it for us. After several days we had still not heard from Don (truly he was just trying to help a friend as a favor and there was nothing on the lot for us to look at) so we called him back and were told there was just nothing he could get us into. That same day my husband also called Mike Trehio and was put on hold for a very long time and finally hung up. He called back and had him paged 3 times but he never got him back on the phone.

At the same time we were doing our homework and called the dealer to see if there was anything on the used lot we could get into and spoke to a woman named Renee. Unfortunately there was nothing on the lot but she assured us that if we came down she could have us into a Suburban for $23,000. This was after we told her we needed third row seating and dual air still she insisted that the price would be $23,000. Thankfully that night we talked to Don who told us her numbers were way off. How much more time would we have wasted on this one?

Three months into the deal my husband went into the dealership on a Friday night and talked to a man named David Visco. He went over the numbers and looked at our deal and credit and came up with some numbers we could work with on Tahoe. David promised he would be in the next day and even gave Mark his cell number so we could reach him and that I just needed to come pick out the color I wanted. He quoted us numbers of $26,000 for the price and $238 a month without after market leather and $279 with.

The next day we called the dealer and left messages and had David paged many many times but nothing. We finally went in to the dealership to find Dave was not even scheduled to work that day. We ended up being set up with Doug Dooly through John Wagner who said "it's OK Doug will make this happen." Doug told us he was called the "mechanic" because he was able to take a bad deal and make it turn out right so again we trusted him.

I had finally picked out the car I liked and Joe was working on the deal for us and it was rounding the 7th hour we had been there. We finally went into finance and that is when John Wagner came over and told us to just come in on Monday to finalize the deal but we could take the Tahoe home with us. We talked with John and told him Mark was going out of town and we would not be able to get back until Tues. or Wed. and he said that was fine but he would not be in. Mark was a little concerned with this because every time someone makes a promises to us we get lied too but John was jumping up and down saying "Trust me.. Trust me" so we took his word for it and went on our way with our new car. He also told us that when we brought it back to have the after market leather installed we would get the car detailed gassed up and a loaner Tahoe for the day.

This brings me up to today. Joe Viccico called today around noon asking for some numbers from my paper work and I gave them to him. I told him I was happy he had called because I wanted to make sure all the paper work was ready for us when we went in and he said he would have it ready. I also expressed to him that I had not gone through delivery to get my owners manual and had no idea what some of the controls did. Joe told me that although he was off at 3 he would call us at 5 to meet up with us at the dealer and show us what the buttons did and make sure everything was OK for us.

Mark called me at 4:30 to meet him at the dealer and when we walked in we told the girls at the counter who we were. First they tried to have Julius deal with us and we said NO WAY we would not ever deal with him again. She then told us to have a seat and wait for the next available person in finance. After a while a man comes out and said "this was a deal that was made on Sat. and we have no idea what it was about." After that Mark and I went outside for a breath of air when we met up with Doug Dooly again. We told him about our dilemma and told him that it looked like nobody wanted to sell us a car. He told us to wait 2 minutes and if he was not back to go ahead and leave. We waited the 2 minutes and then were on our way. I have to mention here that Joe never bothered to call nor show up like he promised.

I know we got a good deal and it was a headache all the way around but if this is the way Brown and Brown does business I want to have no part in it. Unfortunately for you we have 6 children who will be needing cars and a 15 year old almost 16 who is praying for a car but Brown and Brown will not see the business from us.

Is this the way your dealership works? This deal was made in May....We have been lied to up one side and down the other. Every single person we have dealt with has lied to us or given us the run around! Does it take a bucket of money and to pay sticker price to get some attention? If this is so I feel so very sad that another person in the human race could treat another in this way. Last time we were in on Sat. we spent 8 hours dealt with 4 people and still were not finished with the deal. I don't get it.


PS: As we walked out to give the keys over from the Suburban and get the keys to the Tahoe our salesman asked what the problem was with the Suburban. We told him about the shake and it not being fixed. He told us that he used to be a parts dealer for many years as was his brother,father and grandfather. He took one look at the Suburban and the uneven gap in the door frame and told us he would bet money that the frame was bent. Further more he told us that the service shop had to know about it and just didn't want to tell us.... More lies!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was my response to Hilary . . .

Wow! This is a classic example of how some large dealerships will tell you anything you want to hear just to get your money.

These guys are corrupt from the top down. If the owners and managers didn't allow their sales people and finance people to lie and cheat like they are doing to you it would never happen.

Therefore, dealing with the owners probably will only get you more frustrated. The best thing you can do is to threaten the owner that you are going to tell your story to the media, the state Attorney General and you're going to get a lawyer. Unless...they take the Suburban back and give you full credit for what you paid for it.

Also demand that they reimburse you the full price of the warranty, since they misrepresented the coverage to you and they failed to provide you with a copy of the warranty.

If they refuse to do this talk to a lawyer and contact the Attorney General of your state. These creeps are out of control, and you need to put them in their place.

Tony Iorio

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