I’ve had at least one unsavory experience with car salesmen. I’m not talking about your average joe trying to get rid of an old car he used to drive, I mean professional salesmen. In my case, when I was researching deals for new cars, I found a make and model with my specs that was reasonably priced, and they were offering 0% apr and 0 down. Awesome, I thought.
I call around to a few dealerships and I find one that is offering the deal. They say they have a few of these models around and I schedule an appointment to come in.
So I get my used car detailed and go into the dealership. First thing I am told is that the guy that I talked to on the phone isn’t there. Ok. Then I’m sitting down with another salesman and I tell him about the deal I found (0/0), he says, “Well, that’s not happening.” Hmm. I say, “Sure it is, it’s already been arranged.” He proceeds to go check out my used car and offer me a price on it. The price is reasonable. I go pick out a car and we are almost done.
The deal does happen, by the way, but this isn’t the end.
Now I’m sitting in the finance guy’s office. My credit is good, so the (0/0) deal is kosher. But a bit of chicanery is about to take place. He enters the contract into the system as if I were including a service contract into the deal. Only because I happen to be looking at his computer screen do I notice that a small amount of interest is being included. I say, “Hey, why is there interest there?” He explains about the service contract, and I say, “I want THIS deal.” Pointing to the scrap paper on which the salesman scribbled down his “terms”. So the finance guy changes the contract to (0/0) with no service contract.
Next thing I notice is that the price I was quoted for the new car is nowhere to be seen on the contract, and, being an engineer, am a bit dismayed by the fact that I can’t figure out how the math on this contract corresponds to any conversations I’ve had so far. Turns out, they were including the used car in the price of the new car, which would have shorted me about 4000$. By this I mean, when I talked to the first guy on the phone, he tells me 20,000$ for the cost of the new car and the discussion about how much I will get for the trade will take place later. When they write up the contract, they list the price of the new car at 24,000$ and then give me 4000$ for the used car.
My opinion thus far about car salesman is that they cheat. They will try to screw the customer for the most money possible. And my experience is only one out of many, so I wanted to get some people to share their horror stories.
And wasn’t there a company that didn’t give its salesmen commissions? What was that, Saturn? What happened to those guys?