We went to Lee Toyota on Saturday, December 19th for a test drive. We drove a 2016 4Runner SR5 Premium and the test drive went well. We decided this was the vehicle we wanted, just in a different color. I asked Robbie Benner, the car salesman who was helping us, “how many different packages there were to choose from?” and he said, “I’m not sure; I think there’s only 3.” In fact there are 6. I walked around the vehicle inspecting it and asked Robbie about the fame. Robbie told me that the 4Runner is a full frame vehicle with a uni-body. In fact, the vehicle is mounted on a full frame. This was the first of a series of misleading facts from Robbie. Robbie is not well trained or knowledgeable on or about Toyota Products.
Robbie would not sell us a Premium for the price we asked for but told us we should just get an SR5. He told me on numerous occasions that the only options that are different between the two are: moonroof, navigation and leather heated seats. Robbie assured me multiple times that those were the only options that were different. If Lee records their phone calls, proof of this would be in the conversation Robbie and I had on the morning of Monday, December 21. This is the second time I was misled. In fact, there are several options that I wanted and was led to believe were included in the SR5. Here is the list of items which come in the Premium but not in the SR5: Leather heated seats, power adjustable passenger seat, softex trimmed seats, turn signal indicator on outside mirrors, auto dimming rearview mirror and homelink universal transceiver. Robbie assured me, on two occasions, that “I was pretty much getting a Premium” when in fact I was not.
The third time I was misled was when Robbie tried coaxing us into pursuing a leasing option. I agreed to the $35,000 price tag because the lease option monthly payment was lower than the purchase monthly payment with $5,000 down. Robbie consistently used the word “equity” when he explained the lease. He continued to assure me that I could use the “equity in the vehicle” to purchase a new one in 3 years. There is no equity in a lease. He continued to mislead me by using the word equity. I shook his hand and told him I would buy it for that price, not fully understanding what he laid in front of me. I did not feel comfortable. The following Monday, December 21, I called him and had him try to explain all the details on the lease again after I did a surmountable amount of research. That conversation with him was when I confirmed to myself that there is no equity in a lease and I would pay approximately $41,000 for the vehicle, if I went with that option, and that a trade in after the 3 year lease was a gamble. I felt trapped and unable to get out of the deal because I had shaken his hand and verbally agreed to buy the vehicle. I believed that was a form of a contract on Saturday.
I continued with the uncomfortable deal because Robbie promised me he would have leather seats installed, which would make the SR5 “Pretty much a Premium,” and I could have remote start installed. I was under the impression the entire time, until signing, that Lee Toyota was going to install seats from a Premium, which included heated and electric movable seats. I found out at signing that I was getting aftermarket leather from someone around town and after-market heated seats with a switch on the side of the seat. I also learned that Lee was having an after-market remote start installed, not Toyota parts at all. Robbie told me Toyota does not make a remote start system, when in fact Toyota’s website says that they do. This is not acceptable. I was fully under the impression that I was getting Toyota remote start and Toyota leather heated seats with an electric passenger seat. This is the fourth time Robbie misled us.
My fifth issue is when we showed up to pick up the vehicle, a separate employee, immediately began to tease my wife by saying, “Hey, did you tell her about the dent, ….we have a new driver that went to pick up your vehicle”. How dare anyone put that stress on someone who just spent an enormous amount of money with their business? How more unprofessional could you be? Unfortunately, I had to wait outside with my two children while they slept, because I would not have reacted well to that.
My wife drove the vehicle home. This is where I inspected it and uncovered the fact that Robbie had lied to us and the SR5 lacked all the option he assured us were in it. I decided I was going to return the vehicle the next day, if Lee Toyota would allow me to. I refused to swallow the pill that we overpaid for the vehicle that according to Robbie was “Pretty much a Premium.” Data from multiple websites dictates that I should have paid: TrueCar-$33,585; Edmunds-$33,911; CarsDirect-$33,410 for that SR5.
My sixth issue is with Mike Mayle. When I called Lee Toyota, on Wednesday, December 23rd at1:18 pm, to discuss my vehicle return options, he asked me a few questions and put me on hold for a short while. When he returned to the line he was irate and immediately began to yell at me, telling me to return the vehicle immediately. I tried to explain that I was at work and that I would have to make arrangements for someone to watch my children so I could return the vehicle. He would not listen and demanded an exact time that I would be returning the vehicle and that he would be waiting for me. My intention before I talked to Mike Mayle was to return the vehicle and get the vehicle we wanted. I was going to keep my business with Lee Toyota until Mike Mayle disrespected me. Soon after that stressful conversation, I received a call from Mike Cosgrove, who acted like a true gentleman and professional, and he calmly provided me another option to return the vehicle, which would be Lee picking it up at my house. Again, if Lee recorded their phone calls one could listen to all these conversations.
My final issue is with Robbie’s lack of character and professionalism. In addition to everything listed above, after Mike Cosgrove and I set up a pick up time for the vehicle, I received a phone call from Lee Toyota on Wednesday, December 23rd at 3:54 pm and it lasted 9 minutes. I left the meeting I was in to answer the call. Robbie called me and began to belittle me telling me he did nothing wrong and that this was my fault and that he supplied me with the exact vehicle I wanted. I tried to remind him of the conversations we had where he assured me I was getting the vehicle I wanted and the lack of information he provided to compare the options. I had to hang up on him due to his ignorance and asinine comments. Recorded phone calls would provide proof of this. Robbie’s phone call solidified my decision to never do business with Lee Toyota in the future.
My wife and I were coaxed and misled into buying a vehicle on false promises, overpaid for it and were both disrespected.
We took our business to Berlin City Toyota in Portland, Maine. We got an SR5 Premium in Magnetic Gray for a better price than Lee Toyota sold us an SR5.
I Recommend This Dealer:
Robbie Benner, Mike Mayle
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