I emailed back in forth with Joey Gesauldo and talked to him on the phone before I committed to driving a 544 mile round trip with my wife and 2 year old son to trading in our car for a smaller more fuel efficient used car I found on their website for $7872. Since I assumed it is slightly unusual to trade in a car of higher value for a "downgrade", I shared the reason for our decision. My wife was recently diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and is currently under going chemo treatment and we want to reduce some of our bills to help us through our difficult times. It would have been easier to not bring my wife and son along, but she needed to go along to sign over our car. I don't expect to get special treatment for sharing our troubles, I just expect someone to hold to their word.
From the pictures online, the used 09 altima looked very nice for the year and price. I specifically asked if there was anything wrong with it that I couldn't see, as I didn't want to travel such a long way with my family to find any unpleasant surprises. I was assured that this was a "clean" car and had been throughly checked. Upon arriving at the dealership, I was happy with the looks of the vehicle with keeping in mind that is was a cheaper used vehicle. It wasn't until I started it up to find that the check engine light wouldn't go off. I realize this can be pretty meaningless, but not something you want to see on a car that had been "throughly" inspected. Also taking a closer look at the rear fender, we found extensive bubbling rust/corrosion in the fender well and the start of rust on the other rear fender. At this point, I wasn't very happy that i wasn't told of this because I don't expect a 09 to have so much corrosion. Although at this time, I was considering purchasing the vehicle if these issues could be worked out.
During our email exchanges and phone conversation, Joey reassured me that the dealership has a "price match guarantee", that they could match or beat any offer I received from competing dealerships. I told him I had recieved one offer for $11k and gave him the details on our car using their website's trade-in app. He reassured me several times that matching that number shouldn't be a problem and the offer could be higher once we brought the car in. He told me several times to make sure to bring in a copy of the competing offer. I made it clear, that the deal could only work if I received a similar offer. When we got there, they only got the vin number and mileage off our car. They didn't ask to drive it or look at it closer. After a few minutes of sitting there, three employees came out to tell us that they couldn't honor the agreement due to having the altima we were looking at at such a low price and that the other dealership only offered the 11k due to over charging for their car. Mind you, none of this was brought up beforehand. They said the best they could do was a straight up even trade.
Joey said very little during this discussion, letting the older employees do the talking for him. We left without him acknowledging him going back on his word or any sort of apology. He went inside before we left and never said another word to us. I couldn't decide if he was too ashamed to talk to us, or if it was just easier to ignore my wife and I.
I left feeling like instead of receiving any sort of compassion for our situation, they were like hungry sharks with the scent of blood in the water, hoping to prey on our perceived vulnerability.