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Your Absolutely Worst ICE (New or Used) Auto Dealer Story

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by Pollux, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. Pollux

    Pollux Active Member

    Jul 16, 2013
    Merry land / District of Confusion

    Yesterday, I started a thread seeking people's stories about their *best* experiences at an ICE dealer. And after a day, I've seen about a dozen stories. Including some that make me think that all is not lost for humanity, even that part of humanity that works in ICE auto dealerships. :) Not enough stories yet, and not so resoundingly good, though, that I'm anxious to go back to an ICE dealer, even one of those listed in this thread.

    So... gee... let's ask about people's WORST auto dealer experiences! From time to time in this forum, across various threads, you'll find ICE dealer stories as an aside while pursuing some other topic. Let's let this thread be the place where everyone can accumulate their absolutely worst personal experiences with auto dealers.

    I'm guessing that there might be a few more stories within a single day than what I have seen so far on the "best ICE dealer experiences" thread. :)

    Please try to confine your stories to those that you *personally* experienced.


    - - - Updated - - -

    And for my own contribution...

    In 2000, my fianceé (now wife) was in the market for a car. She was beginning her career as a public school teacher and needed low-cost, reliable transportation. She went to a big auto dealer on route 128 here in the Boston area. She dealt with a salesman who she trusted. He was charming and sweet and seemingly quite honest, and promised her that he'd take care of her "as he would his own sister". He sold her a few-year old VW Golf, which she excitedly drove away and proudly showed me.

    Of course, I immediately took the car to a trusted local mechanic for an inspection. The results of the inspection implied that that nice salesman and his family routinely practiced incest. The mechanic identified over $2000 of serious repairs required for the vehicle.

    I took the car back to the dealership and of course much conversation ensued. Problems? What problems? How could they possibly trust some mechanic they've never met before? They were very busy people and would get the car into their own mechanic as soon as a slot opened up. Yadda... yadda... frickin' yadda. A couple of hours and unsubtle discussion of Massachusetts Lemon Laws later, the dealer agreed to fix every single problem my mechanic had identified, at no cost to my fianceé. Of course, I had to leave the car and return for it days later. And then I had to have the car re-inspected by my mechanic to verify the work done by the dealer.

    The car ultimately went on to be quite the little high maintenance prima donna. :-( Definitely happy to get rid of it and replace it with a Toyota Prius. But at least the dealer protected me and my family from having to rely on Volkswagen, a big scary company that would've treated me horribly.

  2. William13

    William13 Active Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    South Bend
    My wife went to a new car dealership in Memphis and asked to order a car. She knew what she wanted. Without talking to her, she was told to return with her husband. 1994. !!!!!!! We of course bought her car elsewhere.
  3. Neech

    Neech Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    #3 Neech, Oct 3, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
    I went to a Toyota Tent event sale during a holiday weekend. I was looking at the Camry, liked it, but I intentionally did not bring my wallet (just had my license) so I couldn't get sucked in to buying it on the spot. I don't make big purchases on impulse. Anyway, the salesman/jerk was pretty ticked about that and tells me I have to buy the car because they went to the trouble of working over the holiday weekend. He made it sound like I owed it to him. A few days later I bought a Honda Accord.
  4. Barry

    Barry Active Member

    Aug 9, 2013
    Negotiating was going nowhere, so I was ready to leave.
    I said to the salesman, "I see we're not getting anywhere. I would like my keys back (they were looking at my car for a trade-in price.)"
    The guy refused saying we're still working on a deal. I took out my cell phone and said, "I'm going to call 911 and tell them that you have stolen my car. Is that what you want?"
    He got my keys back for me.
  5. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

    May 8, 2010
    Boston Suburb
    Same thing happened my wife about 15 years ago and my wife has run into this more than once. Two years ago I went with her and told the salesmen very directly that she was paying for the car (Acura) and he should discuss the car with her not me. Of course 1 minute into the conversation he turned to me and started asking questions. We left.
  6. beths11

    beths11 THE LONG RANGER

    Apr 30, 2013
    Molalla, OR
    Two incidents:
    1: Trading in a Volvo sedan for a pickup truck in the early 90's. Had a deal all set, when we went in to pick up the truck and leave the Volvo they had us take every thing out of the Volvo put it in the new truck. They came back and told us they couldn't give us as much for the Volvo as they thought so the new car would be a bit more. We asked for the keys back to our car and left.

    2. Still trying to get a new truck we went to a Toyota Dealer who had an amazing price on a new T100 in the paper. The color, not a very popular one but we didn't care. As we sat signing paper work and refusing all the extras they were trying to sell us, they suddenly said "we won't sell you the car". It was a bait and switch trick and since we weren't giving them any add on sales and hadn't switch to a higher level truck they simply refused to sell it to us. We called a lawyer friend who told us to get names and descriptions. We filed a letter of complaint with Toyota...nothing, Filed a letter of complaint with the State office overseeing dealerships..nothing. Sent a letter from our lawyer $5,000. Settlement...

    Ultimately, we did have a good experience. Called another Toyota Dealership, talked with the fleet Mgr. on the phone made the deal, went in and picked up the truck for about the same price as the bait ans switch dealership(in a color we liked).
  7. CatB

    CatB Member

    Mar 2, 2013
    Alexandria, VA
    My worst and best ICE dealer stories happened on the same day (and I've recounted this elsewhere on the forum, but don't mind repeating it.

    Had USAA buying service info (the old program, new one is terrible, IMO) and talked to a salesman at a Buick dealer in Tyson's. Explained what I wanted, what features I didn't want to pay for, what features I didn't mind paying for, and what I absolutely wanted. I told him I wanted either a 95 Regal at that price, with the current manufacturer's rebate, or the 96 at that price. Saturday morning he called me to say he had the car for me. I asked if the price would be what we agreed, so I drove down to see him. He didn't have the car in stock, he had located it elsewhere and therefore the price was MSRP, not the USAA agreed-on price. I looked him straight in the eye and essentially said "that's not what we agreed to and I'm not pleased that you've wasted my time. I was very honest about what I wanted and how much I was willing to pay and you had every opportunity to say 'no thanks' then, but agreeing to my terms and then backing out was not acceptable." He looked at me and said "But honey, this is a really great price, if you don't believe me, go home and ask your boyfriend."

    I stormed out. Found another Buick dealer, called and asked if they had a female sales rep. They had only ONE. I asked for her to call me back. An hour later, I told her my story, while talking to me, she found the same car in inventory, drew up the papers at the cost we had agreed to, and I bought the car that afternoon.

    Best part was two days later on Monday when a man whose last name matched the name of the first dealership called me at work and asked what he could do to put me in a new Buick. I told him the whole story.

    Best non-dealer story is of course the day I walked into the Tesla store on K St, had two lovely enthusiastic young women answering my questions (one of them who showed great integrity by saying "sorry, this is only my first week on the job, let me check to make sure I'm giving you the right answer.") I have to admit I was sold before I got in the car. Thrilled with the test drive, I borrowed their PC to make my reservation and then started agonizing over features. I knew I wanted 85KwH battery, but couldn't decide if I wanted to go with the P option. Funniest thing was that my then-boyfriend tried to talk me into it because it was the only way I could get contrasting piping on the seats. :rolleyes: Of course, he later ordered the P85+, found himself with too many flats (4 at the same time apparently) and unupgraded back to 21" wheels. I didn't ask if he had contrasting piping, but he wants my lighted T and I think my REUS upgrade too.

    Have to admit that whenever I'm at a cars'n'coffee and a couple walks up, I make a point of talking to them both. When one guy deferred to his wife and said "we're thinking about a new car for her" I gave them a little ride.
  8. cpa

    cpa Active Member

    May 17, 2014
    Central Valley
    We were shopping for a new car. We had decided to look at Chrysler, Lexus, MB, and Acura all in one day to compare. We started at the Chrysler dealer and took a test drive of their top model. Salesman quoted us a price. We thanked him and said we were spending the day looking at different makes and models. He asked us to wait while he fetched the sales manager. So, we waited a few minutes for the sales manager to appear, and he told us that today only he could slash another $500 of the price! I thanked him for his efforts and repeated our plan to research other makes.

    So, he then said, "What will it take from me to have you drive off this lot right now with your new Chrysler?" (Now I was ticked.)

    I replied to him, "Mr. Lee, are you married?" He said yes. I then asked him, "Mr. Lee did you marry the first woman you [f-----d]?

    He thanked us for stopping by and wished us well.
  9. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

    Jun 24, 2014
    Santa Cruz Mountains, USA
    Chrysler, when I bought an Eagle Talon in early 90's. I will never buy another Chrysler product again. Ever. period.
  10. bullgates

    bullgates Member

    Oct 3, 2014
    United States
    Very simple.

    Ford issued a recall (fan switch) that extended 10 years because it was starting cars on fire. We got the notice in the mail to go the dealership and have it switched out ASAP. The letter coincided around the time our switch malfunctioned. Would only work on high or low; anything in between and it would not operate. It was strangely transparent by the fan switch. Come to find out it's because the switch had started on fire and burned the plastic creating a strange translucent effect.

    We stop by the dealership and show the owner the letter from Ford. He checks the car vin and says the car is out of warranty. I thought that was strange considering we had the letter from Ford. Well he proceeds to say that the car was registered (by the dealership) 3-6 months prior to us purchasing it. He says there is no way he can honor the warranty claim unless we bring him our purchase agreement that states we purchased the "As New."

    Well I head home and relay the story to my wife who proceeds to take the purchase agreement out of her file cabinet. It clearly states they are selling the car "AS NEW."

    I head back to the dealership with the paperwork in hand. I get to the dealership and show the owner the document. He looks at it and says "well you caught me lying and I still am not going to do the work." He offers to give me the part if I pay for service. I decline but I still purchase the part.

    I could not believe he sold out his integrity for the labor of the switch. At the time he had 2 mechanics doing absolutely nothing.

    We never went back considering the circumstances. If he is willing to lie about labor for the switch what would he do for a higher amount?
  11. invisik

    invisik Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    When we take our Mercedes to a particular local dealer for any reason, we always walk out with an estimate for at least $2000 of service they insist the car requires now. Always. Such a scam.

  12. Trev Page

    Trev Page Member

    Sep 21, 2012
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
    I've bought a number of cars over the years and while I have too many stories, a couple of them as decent, the others are all bad I'm really looking forward to the Tesla buying experience when my time comes.
  13. Takumi

    Takumi Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Mine's not a ICE buying story, but a car dealer story nonetheless. I used to work for a particular Cadillac dealer in Barrington, IL. This particular location was consistently ranked among the top 5 if not the top 3 for service in the region. My supervisor worked for this dealer for 23+ years. As of this November (2015), that loyalty was rewarded with the loss of employment. The Service Manager along with 2 service writers, the Parts Manager, a parts sales associate, the store General manager, & a few sales people were replaced with new staff because there was a change in the dealer's upper management - one of the upper management retired.

    So why do we need dealers again? Local employment? ???
  14. mobe

    mobe Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    Joplin, Missouri
    In 1979, when I was starting college, I walked into a Chevrolet dealership ready to buy a new corvette. I noticed that the car I was looking at had a run in the paint from the front wheel arch all the way to the rear wheel arch. I pointed it out to the salesman who told me,
    " son, if you can afford to buy a new corvette, you can afford to get it painted". I left, went to another dealer and bought a new corvette exactly like the one I had looked at on the first dealers lot.
    I brought it in to the first dealer for it's first oil change. The salesman approached me in the waiting room and asked why I had bought from another dealer. I told him, " obviously, I could afford the car but couldn't afford to get it repainted". He then remembered what he had told me and made a hasty exit!
    Obviously what happened was that he determined that as a teenager there was no way that I could afford that car so he decided to act like a dick.
    I gotta say, I enjoyed the hell out of seeing the look on that guys face when he realized what had happened!
  15. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

    Mar 24, 2013
    Some scary stories here. Here's mine. I should be embarrassed by it, but I was a different man then.

    For my third pickup truck - first Ford - I went to a dealer I didn't know. I was pressed for time as I had spent the prior 18 months selling off or giving away everything I possessed that I wasn't taking to my new life in Alaska, and as I'd just sold my house, it was time to move on. So I didn't do my homework. Oops.

    Found the truck I wanted; barely used, current year's model. I'd done enough homework that I knew approximately what it might go for...agreed on the price and bought it for $X.

    As I was leaving the dealership, I saw the dealer's weekly ad...and there was the truck I'd just bought, listed as "Was $X". :cursing:

    There's more. I had negotiated one small item: I'd said I would buy it at $X if they would agree to include a ball hitch. Salesman said to go down to the local BallHitchesRUs and pick out what I wanted. As I needed the heaviest day one available, that's what I got. Gave the Ford salesman the receipt and his response was "Oh. We figured the max would be (say) $50, so that's all we'll reimburse you for".
  16. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Aug 7, 2012
    Toronto, ON
    Honda. I will never even consider that brand again. The sales experience was basically "the line forms to your left" if you want one. Afterwards it was constantly in the dealer shop for repair. On one overnight stay the car was broken in to and vandalized. The dealer would not stand behind it and I ended up dealing with the police and insurance on my own for a problem that occurred while it was in their possession. Sheesh!
  17. Vip

    Vip Member

    Jul 11, 2013
    United States
    It's stories like these I ABSOLUTELY hate car dealerships. I despise them so much that I have never been to a dealership to purchase a car. I bought my first car (1997) used from a private seller right out of college. I kept that car until I purchased the Model S in 2013.
    I can tell you as long as Tesla is around I will never go to a car dealership in my lifetime!
  18. pdxgibby

    pdxgibby Software Engineer

    Oct 30, 2015
    Tualatin, Oregon
    We've always been alternative fuel advocates in our family. Shortly after my wife and I were married, she needed a new car and we decided on a 2004 Toyota Prius. It was October 2013 and they had just released the first model year of the 2nd generation hybrid (spaceship body). There was a 6-month wait to get one and well, I'm impatient.

    I called around and located a dealer about 90 miles away that said they had one with the options we wanted. On their word, I drove the 90 miles to the dealership to buy it. I walked in and met with the salesman and we discussed price and trade-in, etc. We reached a deal on the specifics and I signed the paperwork purchasing the car that was sitting on the lot. As I was about to leave, the salesman came and told me that we had a problem. The car that they just sold me had already been sold. But I had signed paperwork showing that I bought it. They told me not to worry, they had another car with the same configuration arriving in the next day or two, or I could purchase a track vehicle (one used for test drives). This was not viable for me as it didn't have the options I wanted, had far too many miles on it and I couldn't get the Federal tax credit because the track car had already been purchased once by the dealership.

    They ended up sending me home in the track vehicle and they would deliver the new car with new paperwork to my house within a couple days. Two days later, I got a call that it wouldn't be here for 6-8 weeks and would I like my trade-in vehicle back? What? What about the paperwork that I had already signed and the fact that you've had my trade-in for a few days and I don't know the condition anymore. Not thinking I had any other options, I said yes. They drove my trade-in back up to me and took their track vehicle back and voided all the paperwork cancelling the transaction. So...back to square one, I guess.

    The more I thought about it, the more I was annoyed that a dealership could sell a car twice -- and leave me out in the cold, so I made a few phone calls. I called the Vice President of Toyota Sales in Torrence California and explained the situation. I also called the President of the dealership directly and explained my situation. Within a couple days, Toyota had reached out to me directly and said that they had re-allocated a vehicle for me to this dealership and it would arrive at the dealership within a couple days. I worked with the general manager at the dealership and he agreed to deliver the car to me, and we would sign the paperwork at my house. He would then take the trade-in back with him.

    In the end, it all worked out. My wife got the new Prius hybrid and she loved it. She drove it for 11 years and 135,000 miles. We upgraded to a brand new 2015 Toyota Prius in November of 2014 (which she totaled within a year, and then we bought her another brand new 2015 Toyota Prius about 2 weeks ago). She's happy again.

    Like I say, "Happy Wife, Happy Life!"
  19. freeewilly

    freeewilly Member

    Jul 22, 2015
    Brea, CA
    True story, my close co-worker went into a Ford leadership to trade-in his extremely old van and try to purchase a used van. He came out with 2 brand new Ford focus, one with stick shift (his wife doesn't know how to drive a stick), one with white color (they both don't like white). The finance option was horrible, he is still suffering to pay off the loan.

    I always want to meet this sale guy, how did he do it???
  20. Pollux

    Pollux Active Member

    Jul 16, 2013
    Merry land / District of Confusion
    I have been greatly enjoying all of the stories posted to this thread but confess that this story awes me!


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