WILL THE REAL 'DUMMY' NOW STAND UP?
I AM ERECT ... WITH A TAD OF DYSFUNCTION ...
Caveat Emptor III
© - Tom Hyland - 1/9/11
“Buyer Beware!” - that is the English translation of the title. Although I have been aware of this important principle for many years, I recently ‘Screwed Up’ - Royally!
On Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 I bought a car - a 2007 Ford Fusion SE - at Liberty Ford in Randallstown, Maryland - ‘THEY’ the Saleswoman, Shalanda, and the Sales Manager, Steve -
PLAYED ME LIKE A VIOLIN!
Don’t get me wrong, I still Like my car ‘Silver III’ - but - it AIN’T what I thought I bought!
I proudly told people that I had a V-6 Engine - but - just this past Tuesday, January, 4th, I was told that according to my VIN Number, it was only 4 Cylinder! DUH! I was attempting to Re-finance through my Credit Union at Johns Hopkins. I boldly challenged her, and offered to go outside and open the hood, and SHOW her. She would not budge.
According to the Loan Officer, the NADA Print-Out only Valued this used car at $12, 500 or so - YET - I had looked it up on Kelly Bluebook, which stated a value of $15,500.
Why was there a $3,000 Variance? She had no idea, but NADA was what they used - Period!
As I had ‘Rolled’ my Balance of $4,800 on my Trade-In over to this purchase, Plus the $15,500 - the Total value I ‘THOUGHT’ I was getting was $20,300 - and - I was only Financing $17, 800 - including Taxes, Tags, GAP, et cetera - I ‘THOUGHT’ I had made a ‘Good Deal’ - saving about $2,500. Now, two months later, I’m finding out - NOT SO!
WHY was I so Dumb? Let me Count the Ways ...
For the First and Only time in my life - I did NOT actually ‘Test-Drive’ the vehicle I purchased! DUH? You might say! How could I have been so Stupid?
When I arrived at the Dealership around Noon, I had a print-out in hand, from their Website, which was printed at 1:30 AM saying this vehicle, a 2010 Chevie HHR was Still Available, or In Stock - was told it must have been sold on Saturday, and simply not deleted from Inventory. Second choice was a 2009 Honda CRV, which we did ‘Test Drive.’ Loved it, but after the Saleswoman went inside and ‘Pow-Wowed’ with the Manager, it Cost too much.
She told me they had a bunch of cars in the Back of the lot, which just came in over the weekend, so let’s take a look. This we did, after strolling through and looking at many cars, I finally found a 2009 Silver Ford Fusion, which looked great. It was blocked in by another Ford Fusion, and another car. So she had to move three cars in order to get it out. She told me to go ahead and drive it. I took it out onto York Road, and traveled North several miles - Sunroof wide open, Stereo blasting away, and it had a Digital readout for both Compass and ambient Temperature - I LOVED IT!
Upon my return, and another ‘Pow-Wow’ between the two aforementioned dealership people, I was told it Cost too much, my payments would be too high. So, the other Fusion was a 2007, common sense told me that it was two years older, therefore would be cheaper - so I asked what about this one? She went back in for another ‘Pow-Wow’ and came out with an answer that was acceptable, so I said “Okay, let’s Write it up!”
I ‘THOUGHT’ it was the SAME CAR, but just two years older, the Mileage was 29,940, which meant it had an average yearly mileage of only 10,000 which seemed very good to me. I walked around the car, looked at the tire tread, and felt good about what was happening. This process seemed to take forever, around three hours had passed, and I was anxious to be done. Another hour of paperwork, and adding GAP insurance, et cetera, and the Dealer Prep was finally done. It then took me close to another hour, to transfer all my ‘crap’ from my Cruiser. When I finally pulled away, it was going on Five O’Clock! A FIVE-HOUR ORDEAL!
Now, I realize the ‘CLINCHER’ ... ‘Alphabet Soup!’ The average consumer, including me, has NO CLUE as to the Alpha Letters used by Manufacturers to designate Different Models - LE, DE, XLT, XYZ ... Whatever ...
In my case, the car which I Drove was a SLE - but - the car which I Bought is a SE ---
BIG DIFFERENCE! The Former is like ‘Top of The Line’ Model, loaded with Everything - while the Latter is NOT!
I was determined to leave that lot with a ‘new’ Used car, and I did! I was also ‘WORN DOWN’ by ‘Bait and Switch’ Tactics - which means - THEY WON! I GOT SCREWED!
However, in my defense, I must add that - during all the Signing, I DID ASK Shalanda to send me a Print-Out listing all the ‘Features’ of the car - WHICH I NEVER RECEIVED!
As this car had not been officially ‘Prepped’ there was NO STICKER on any window, like every car on every lot usually has! Nowhere on the Sales Contract does it list ANY features!
Had there been one, I would have READ IT - it would have Stated a 4-Cylinder Engine, and its Liter Size (which I still have no clue) - and under the ‘Three-Day Rescission Law’ ----
I might have been able to RETURN it for a Better Deal, or a different car?
ALAS - I AM THE STUCKEE!
CAVEAT EMPTOR! BUYER BEWARE!
‘STUPID IS - AS STUPID DOES!”
© - TKH.
P.S. - If you are ever going to buy a Used car -
CHECK THE NADA LISTING!
Relying on Kelly Bluebook Value SCREWED me out of TWO GRAND!
I am Stuck with Paying this Balance Down -
BEFORE my Credit Union will let me Re-Finance!
Which means I am also Stuck with a Higher Interest Rate!