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Zoom, zoom ... fail! Getting one over on the car dealership

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Bubbler, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    As some of you know, I was in a car accident a month ago. A man so old he fired the last shot of WWI and was the inspiration for Metallica's One video, woke up from his coma, ran a red and drilled my van at an intersection and totalled it.

    Its been a pain-in-the-ass to deal with it ever since. It took damn near three weeks to get our insurance settlement and it took forever to find a car that suited our needs. Finally, we purchased a used '08 Mazda CX-7 last week at a dealership in Indianapolis for a pretty sweet deal. It had 31K miles on it and we bought it for $16,500, a good deal below the MSRP.

    The trick was we bought it out of a lease pool and it had to be delivered from a Chevy dealer in Atlanta. The Indy dealer said if it didn't pass their inspection, or we didn't like it, we'd cancel that order and get something else.

    This morning I got a call from the salesman ... the car we purchased did not pass their inspection. It had hail damage. The good news was that he found another car within 100 miles of the one we bought. I hung up thinking we were OK.

    We get to the dealership and our boy had a sheepish look on his face. "Bad news ... that car I thought I got for you? It's an '07."

    Whatever enthusiasm I had to get our car drained from my face. We specifically did NOT want an '07 model because '07 CX-7's take premium gas only. The '08's can take any kind of gas. I wanted no part of five years of premium fuel when gas could skyrocket at any moment. He sensed that and showed us two '08 CX-7's they had on the lot and were prepared to take a loss from list price to give us because they screwed up.

    He showed me two of them. One had 43K miles on it, the other had 36K. Both were in good shape, and he kept explaining that it was an honest mistake and the dealership was going to take a hit on it.

    Fuck that. I told him why in blue hell should I take a car that has 5,000 more miles on it for the same price? I told him I wanted 100 dollars taken off for every 1,000 miles we were taking on, which in reality is generous on my part, but I knew damn well we wouldn't get that quality of car for 16K and they weren't going to let us take it for 15K.

    It took 30 minutes and Mrs. Bubbler and I wouldn't back off. The owner of the chain (he owns something like 10 dealerships in Indy) finally had to get involved to make the call to give us what we wanted. Our salesman was visibly pissed, and though he was a good guy and though it probably WAS an honest mistake, there's no way in hell I was going to take on a car with more miles without some remonstrance.

    As they cleaned up the car for us to take home, they discovered another surprise. The car we originally purchased had FWD. A glitch in their computer revealed that they accidentally sold us an AWD drive vehicle, an additional value of $1,500. The salesman came out and told us with teeth damn near clenched. It was pretty funny.

    Though it wasn't the car we intended to drive off the lot, and though it has a few more miles on it, we got the car we basically wanted for more than $4,000 less than the list value. We even got the color (silver) we went into the process wanting to get instead of the color we thought we'd be getting (black).

    Meanwhile, the dealership is stuck with that '07 they accidentally brought in, the cost of the transport to take the hail-damaged car back to Atlanta, and the money they lost off the list price on the car we took home. It's nice to get one over on the dealerships for once. Our salesman had a very bad day.
  2. KevinmH9

    KevinmH9 Active Member

    Mr. and Mrs. Bubbler - 1
    Car Dealership - 0

    Good to see you've got everything resolved, Bubs.
  3. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

  4. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Impressive work, Bubs!
  5. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    Yeah, nicely done.
  6. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Mrs. Bubbler was pissed and was ready to walk away lock, stock and barrel. Can't blame her at all, I was pissed too.

    The problem was we would never have come close to the quality of car we got with the Mazda for the same price.

    Yeah, there's Kia's and Hyundai crossovers out there for that price, and though both marque's have become increasingly better-respected, I test-drove a Hyundai Santa Fe and wasn't impressed. Research and the eye-test ruled out Kia.

    In the end, we basically got what we wanted, which is what matters. I honestly hope the salesman didn't get in too much trouble. Though this whole thing was debacled pretty badly, I'm not sure how much of it was truly his fault.
  7. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    It's hard to say whether it was honest mistake on their part or not, because the bait-and-switch is a tried and true tactic for car salesmen. Sounds like it was an honest mistake because it appears the dealership took a bath on it, though.

    When I bought my first brand-new car in 2005, the dealership tried the bait and switch on me. Got a great deal worked out and when the car arrived, it had an "upgraded interior" (which was really just a higher-end sound system, no leather or anything like that) and "upgraded wheels" which I'm pretty sure were actually just the standard wheels.

    They wanted to add $1,000 to the price of the car. I refused saying that I didn't need the wheels or stereo because I was going to be transferring the ones had from my old car to the new one. The salesman got rather indignant saying I was being unreasonable and wanted "something for nothing."

    I said I only wanted what we agreed upon and I know how the bait-and-switch works and if that's a tactic they wanted to use on me, they could find themselves another buyer. Besides, I told him, I'm sure they had some of the "standard wheels" somewhere on the lot that they could switch onto my car.

    After much arguing (it actually got pretty heated with the manager), I walked out and left, only to have them call me before I was more than 2 minutes down the road. Got the car and the upgrades for the originally agreed upon price. And the wheels did look better than the rims I was going to put on it and the stereo sounded better, too. :)
  8. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Try not to break this one too, OK?
  9. StormSurge

    StormSurge Active Member

    Nice job Bubs!

    I would just like to say for the record that I'm on my second Santa Fe ('02 & '08) and I will be more than happy to have a third someday. I love it.
  10. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Bub I am happy for you. You scored a win but they will win the battle. Some sap is going to get stuck with a screwed up deal from those pirates.
  11. OTD

    OTD Active Member


    Good job hanging tough. I suspect the mistake was an honest one, but you've got to hang on for what you want.

    What bigpern did is the key: Never be afraid to walk away. There's ALWAYS another car, especially if you're in a fair-sized city. Nine times out of 10, they'll call you back. The salesman has invested several hours in selling you, and if you don't buy from him, it's wasted.
  12. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    I suspected bait-and-switch initially, but it didn't add up.

    We saw the car online that we were originally supposed to get along with its Carfax report (that's a story for another thread, Carfax is utterly worthless unless someone REPORTS the damage. In this case, the hail damage wasn't ever turned in to insurance), plus, the cars they offered us as alternatives on the lot were listed higher than the one we got.
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