My Review Of De La Fuente Cadillac:
I hate having to write a complaint, but I hate even more feeling like my buying experience was a disappointing one and I don't think what happened to me should be acceptable.
To preface, my husband and I had decided to purchase a 2011 Cadillac SRX. We had researched the car thoroughly and knew it was "the one" for us. We were returning to the US from living overseas for several years, so we began our correspondence with De La Fuente Cadillac in El Cajon. We let Enrique Rodriguez know that we would not need a test drive, we knew EXACTLY what we wanted to purchase and which features we wanted included, were military and were looking for pricing information. Enrique "Rick" Rodriguez from De La Fuente in El Cajon told us they could order the SRX exactly as we wanted for $39,500 plus taxes and fees and asked for a $500 deposit to process the order. They seemed honest and friendly, so we were happy to choose them as our dealer.
My daughter and I arrived in the US at the same time as the SRX, around the Christmas holiday. I arranged with the dealer to come in today to purchase and pick up the SRX. I dropped my rental car off and the dealer sent someone to pick us up and give us a ride to the dealership, which I found very helpful. But upon arriving and beginning the paperwork, I felt very taken advantage of.
I was presented with a Theft Protect form that Enrique Rodriguez told me I was obligated to purchase for $299 since it had "already been installed" in the vehicle and could not be removed. I told him that I was not interested in the plan and that on the form itself, in bold print, it said that I did not have to purchase this plan to take the vehicle. From line 8 of the form "PURCHASE OF THE SYSTEM IS ENTIRELY VOLUNTARY AND IS NOT REQUIRED IN ORDER TO PURCHASE, LEASE OR OBTAIN FINANCING FOR THE COVERED VEHICLE." He told me that that was not the case. At that point, I told him I needed to speak to my husband, who was still overseas, finishing his military tour. Upon talking to my husband, he agreed that the form was clear -- we shouldn't have to purchase the Theft Protect plan. I again told Rick that we did not want the plan and he again told me that was not optional. At that point, I asked him to fax a copy of the form to my husband so that he could take it the legal office at his squadron to have them look at it. They looked at the form and agreed that according to the form itself, we did not have to purchase the plan. Again, I told Rick, and so did my husband, that we did not want to purchase the Theft Protect plan. At that point, Rick told my husband that because they were cutting us "such a good deal" that if they didn't sell us the Theft Protect Plan, they would lose money on the transaction and not be able to sell us the vehicle. To be noted -- in our emails prior to the SRX being ordered, we never tried to negotiate a lower deal from De La Fuente Cadillac. We simply emailed and asked what our pricing would be as a military customer and accepted the offer they gave. The "Theft Protect Plan" was never mentioned and we never would have been interested in it.
At that point, I felt completely trapped. I was stranded at the dealer, new to the area, with a toddler daughter and was 8.5 months pregnant. To say I felt taken advantage of doesn't being to cover it. What should have been a pleasant experience and a fun day was completely soured.
To add a little bit of salt to the wound, Rick at one point commented that my children were going to be too close in age. (2.5 years apart.) I said that in the beginning I'd worried they'd be too close too, to which Rick told me "Well, there's birth control to prevent that."
Rick's comment about my reproductive choices was not what bothered me the most although I felt it was inappropriate. What bothered me the most is that I was taken advantage of and forced to buy a Theft Protect plan that I clearly did not want and should have been within my legal rights to decline without losing the option to purchase the vehicle I had ordered and put a deposit on 6 weeks prior.
As I left, Rick made sure to tell me to give him good marks on his "report card."
I will not be returning to De La Fuente Cadillac in the future for any sort of business. I found my experience there to be extremely disappointing. I really do love the SRX... I just wish Rick had been as classy as the car. And that I wasn't forced to purchase something that I clearly and repeatedly stated I did not want and that according to the form itself, I shouldn't have had to purchase. I am not looking for an apology from Rick, as I really don't want to hear from him again, but I would like to have my $299 returned. I have contacted customer service at Cadillac and will be making what happened to me known. Looking at other local review sites, my story is definitely not a one-of. Other people have had the same "Protect Plan" scam run on them as well.
As a side note, Randy Hanslik at the dealership, who gave me a brief tutorial on how to operate my new vehicle was very friendly and fantastic. Efrim, who picked me up from my rental car company was also outstanding. However, Rick was not and I'm extremely disappointed with how he conducted business and treated me. His behavior was abhorrent.
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