We fucked up the contract..so we call the cops and say you stole it....


pdf of lawsuit attached to page.

In a nutshell

Dealer sells car

customer trades car for slightly more expensive different model

dealer writes up paperwork for same price as first vehicle and signs off.

Calls back customer wanting him to sign new contract to correct pricing error.

customer refuses

Dealer calls cops reports vehicle stolen, has customer arrested.

Customer calls Alien and Predator attorney at law to go medeival on dealership.


As a business that writes up estimates I have to honor. If I fuck up and charge the customer $47 for a $200 part, I dont get to demand the customer come back and pay for it later.

As someone who has had the occasional unhappy dealing with a car dealership, having a customer use the contract against the dealership gives me a fit of giggles.

Me things the plaintiff here is gonna own a car dealership or two when this settles out.

The problem is that car dealers, like a lot of businesses, hire under-educated people with little professionalism and often poor judgement. I’m sure the owner of the dealership would never have been this stupid.

He’s going to fucking pay through the nose for hiring the wrong fool, I’ll bet, though.

Something like that happened to me years ago. My ex and I leased a car, signed the contract and off we went. When it was time to return the car, he looked at the contract and figured out what we were going to owe. He headed down to the dealership with a cheque for something like $40.

He gave the paperwork, the cheque and the keys to the lady at the desk and headed out, a done deal. Later that evening, they called to say that the decimal point was in the wrong spot and we owed $4000. We told them that we paid what we had agreed to and they threatened to take us to court.

We ended up going to see a lawyer and he said that because we didn’t know there had been a mistake made and everything was done in good faith, that they had no legal recourse and that was the end of it.

The President of the dealership has admitted fault and apologized. Plaintiff’s lawyer is going to be very pleased to see that. The case will settle for a big number. Probably an undisclosed big number, but still…a big number. Wish I had a case like that.

His liability insurer will, you mean.

Someone at the dealership should be prosecuted for filing a false complaint. That is a criminal offense and the police are not there to settle that business’ screw ups.

True, but won’t his insurance rates also go up now?

Agreed. I was thinking there was a missing step in the OP:

Dealer gets arrested.

at least in my case, my insurance specifically does not cover criminal acts on my part. Then again I am an owner…im supposed to know better.

I love the dealer quote “It is my plan to let him keep the $5,600 and to make Mr. Sawyer right. …”

Remarkably gracious, dontcha think? I mean, letting the guy keep his own money, that goes above and beyond. :rolleyes:

I took that as more of a reassurance to the public.

4 hours in jail isn’t worth a 2.2 million dollar paycheck. I think when everyone looking at the lawsuit says “damn, that guy sure was lucky to have that horrible thing happen to him,” the damages being sought might be a liiiiittle bit high.

Still probably going to settle for six figures. The insurance company probably doesn’t want to roll the dice with a jury on this one, and the dealership really doesn’t want the publicity associated with a trial.
Might be kinda fun if a competing dealership starting running ads with something like “At XYZ Cars, we won’t have you arrested for getting a good deal…”

Hey, this guy walked in and paid cash (more or less) for a $35,000 car. To him, maybe 4 hours IS worth 2 million dollars.

I don’t understand why the arrest happened at all. Either the dealership employee told more than a few lies to the police or the police fucked up the investigation pretty bad, right? A car dealership can’t just declare a car stolen and sic the police on someone without the police asking a few questions, I’d hope.

Eh, it’s just the negotiating starting point. He might as well start off with a high asking price. After all, this is what car dealers do to customers, it’s only fair when someone else turns it around on them.

Well he can do the same…at DTZ cars you’ll get such a deal you should be arrested.

Yeah. Although there are stories occasionally where the police appear to unhesitatingly arrest people apparently at the request of a business.

Best Buy (aka “Arrest Me”) comes up frequently in such cases.

Mike Bolesta was arrested for paying with $2 bills – entirely legitimate US currency. Admittedly there was bad blood there – the Best Buy had screwed up an installation, re-installed at no charge, then called him the next day and demanded he pay for the reinstallation or face arrest. Still arresting a man for paying with US currency ranges from “laughably stupid” to “laughably stupid and evil,” especially when you’re essentially using the police as enforcers for extortion.

Ronald Kahlow was arrested for writing down prices in Best Buy. I don’t know, and find it interesting to speculate, what the official charges were – perhaps “Numeracy in Public?” Of course it’s legal to write down prices in any store, so why the police didn’t simply tell BB to go to hell is a mystery that only a fairly lazy reporter could have unraveled…unfortunately none seems to have mustered the mild level of interest to address that point in the stories I’ve found.

It’s in the link that you provided…

That doesn’t make it less stupid, but it certainly eliminates the need to speculate.

Some stores in the UK don’t appreciate people writing down the prices either (link)