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 Story Will Blow Your Mind. It Clearly Demonstrates the Depths That Some Car Dealers Will Go To in Order to Make a Sale.

Be Sure to Click on the Link at the End to Read my Response!


Having just read John from Boca Raton's bad experience, I thought I'd relate an experience I recently had and ask your opinion as to what was going on. I'll try to keep it succinct, but not leave anything out.

Three years ago I got caught in a Corporate down sizing and suddenly found myself jobless after making an annual salary in excess of $60,000. After months of struggling I finally reached a point of being completely unable to meet my financial obligations. I declared bankruptcy.

I've been self-employed since the downsizing, and now make more than I did as a corporate lackey. This is only important because despite the fact that I really could have used a newer truck in my business, I also realized that the bankruptcy would make the loan process more difficult. With this in mind, I figured I'd begin looking at new trucks next year.

Out of the clear blue I got a phone call from a gentleman claiming to be with a Ford dealership's promotions dept. This dealership was four hours away and in another state. Not exactly my first choice of a place to do business. The come-on was that I had been chosen from a list of people who had filed bankruptcy, that the dealership was nearing the end of their fiscal year and needed a tax write-off. Because of this they were willing to take a loss on the price of a new vehicle.

They also wanted to build a loyal customer base, so they were willing to help me re-establish credit. The bottom line was that I would leave with the exact vehicle I wanted (even if they had to order it equipped to my satisfaction), the payments I wanted, and the down payment I wanted. When asked what I wanted I responded that what I needed was a full size, extended cab pickup with very minimal options. (4.6L engine, wing package, air conditioning and power steering. It would sure be nice if it was blue, but I wasn't going to be picky about color. A Ford or a Dodge would be desirable. I did not want a Chevy.)

Being EXTREMELY skeptical (and not having found your website yet) I told them I didn't want to put down anymore than $2000, and I wanted payments no higher than $250/month. I was fully aware of how ridiculous this financial arrangement was, but since they said they were willing to take a loss . . . The guy on the phone said "No problem. That's very doable!"

I made an appointment to be there the following evening only after receiving assurances that this wouldn't take any more than 2-3 hours. (I had to get up at 4:30 the following morning to go to work. Don't forget the dealership was 4 hours away from home.)

The next day I went to a local Ford dealer to see just what the truck I'd laid out was listed for. I discovered that despite being minimalistic in my requirements for a truck, it was still over $21,000 for what I'd laid out. I did some quick math and realized that to meet the financial requirements I'd given them they'd either have to sell me the truck for half-price (fat chance) or finance it for over 10 years (not likely). I called and left a message that I was cancelling our appointment, because I didn't want to waste my time or theirs and I couldn't believe they could do what they were promising.

The following week the guy called back and assured me that they really could do what they'd promised, and offered me another appointment. After asking some very specific questions about how they were going to make this work financially (and getting what sounded like plausible answers), and again getting assurances that this wouldn't take more than 3 hours, I made another appointment. The "Promotions Manager," as he called himself, then proceeded to give me directions to the dealership, which were different from the directions he'd given me previously!

The directions ended at a Chevy dealership. When I asked about that, he claimed that the finance company had moved the promotion. (Wasn't he with the Ford dealership's Promotions Dept. last week?) When I told him that I specifically wanted a Ford or a Dodge he assured me that they could get whatever brand I wanted. I reluctantly said I'd be there.

When my wife and I arrived we filled out a ton of paperwork, and received one vague explanation after another about how they were going to complete this deal. All of this took up about 2 hours. At that point the "Finance Manager" (not the guy I'd spoken to on the phone) I'd been speaking with all this time introduced me to his new "assistant" who was to keep us company for a few minutes while he worked with another couple. A few minutes became an hour and a half.

Finally another man (who I'd never seen before, but was apparently the one I'd spoken to on the phone, the "Promotions Manager") came running up to the "assistant" and told him I'd been sitting there too long, and he should take me outside to the lot and have me begin test driving trucks until I found the one I wanted. As we headed out the door I reminded the assistant that I'd asked for a Ford or a Dodge, and wasn't really interested in a Chevy.

The "assistant" did everything in his power to get me to test ride one of the trucks on the lot. Unfortunately they were all Chevys so I kept saying no thank you. Finally after walking the entire lot, and finding no Fords or Dodges (not that I expected to), we returned to the showroom. Within minutes the "Promotions Manager" came running at me holding out a cell phone. He explained that the gentleman on the other end was a good friend of his that worked at a Ford dealership "right down the road!"

He wanted me to tell him exactly what I wanted in a truck. I did, and he asked me to put the "Promotions Manager" back on. A few minutes later the "Promotions Manager" hung up, and gave me directions to the Ford dealer. He told me that his friend had exactly what I wanted, and all I needed to do was go there to test drive it.

As it turns out this Ford dealership was 43 miles away. Fortunately it was on the way home. At this point I'd been there for over 4 hours. When I arrived at the Ford dealership I met the man I'd spoken to on the phone. He immediately hooked me up with one of his salesman who walked me out to the biggest truck lot I've ever seen. The salesman asked me to describe what kind of truck I wanted. I thought this was rather odd since I'd already done this on the phone, but I went through it all again anyway. The salesman literally stopped dead in his tracks, looked at me and said that he doubted he had anything to show me.

As it turns out, this lot had few very stripped models of full-size pickups with virtually no options on them, and over a hundred that were loaded, with nothing in between. I test drove the least loaded one we could find, and told the salesman that I was satisfied with that truck, despite the fact that it was much better equipped than I really wanted or needed; and that I was still very skeptical as to how they were going to put this together for $2,000 down and $250/month. If you've ever seen anyone do an honest to God double-take it can be absolutely hilarious.

The end of the story for that night was that this salesman and his boss claimed to have no business relationship with the "Promotions Manager" who'd sent me to them, and didn't know anything about the deal I'd been promised. If I wanted the truck they'd shown me it would require $6,000 down and payments of $399/month. My wife and I headed home feeling like we'd just totally wasted 7 1/2 hours.

But this isn't the end of the story. Three days later the "Promotions Manager" called me to inquire as to why I hadn't come back to complete the deal!!! I relayed to him what happened at the Ford dealership, and he tripped all over himself apologizing for the misunderstanding. He then asked me to set another appointment with him and he would have a truck I would be satisfied with. I told him to check his inventory and get back to me when he could offer me what I wanted. He called back the next day and offered me a four year old Dodge 4X4 with over 50,000 miles on it, a regular cab (not extended) and not even the minimal options I'd asked for. I told him that wasn't even close to what he'd offered me in the first place. At which point he wished me good luck and hung up.

What kind of a scam is this? Does this sound like anything you've ever heard of before Tony? I'll be curious to hear your answer.

Dave in the Northwest.............

My Answer to Dave!

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