My Review Of Mercedes-Benz of Sarasota:
I have been looking for a high quality SUV for business purposes. I have been looking around, but have always wanted to own a Mercedes. I was driving back from Miami and decided to stop in Sarasota to stretch my legs and get something to drink. I happened to drive by the Sarasota Mercedes dealership and decided to stop in. The saleslady, Laura, came right out to meet me and we discussed what I was looking for. After looking at a few different models, she took me to see a GL450 and also told me about a GL350 "that might or might not have been sold". We test drove the GL450, but the color was not what I wanted. The 350 was sitting right next to the one we drove, and she kept saying how nice it was and she was pretty sure the deal would fall through. The 350 was perfect for me and I told her so. We talked with the manager, Brendan, who said that they would keep me posted on the 350. I said that if that deal did not work for me, then I would be okay with ordering one just like it, as it really was the perfect vehicle. Well, on Friday at 5pm, Laura called me and said that the 350 was mine, and could I come get it that night. I said no, but I could be there Saturday morning. I was told I had to bring a personal check, not a cashier's check. I met my broker Saturday morning and got a check from my brokerage account and deposited it to my checking account, then went to get my new car!
We arrived at the dealership and the tone was entirely different. They sat us down and questioned us for 20 mins on where the funds were coming from. Laura and another man by the name of VLas got very serious faces and started telling us about exporting these cars and said that Homeland Security and the FBI monitored car sales. That if one of these cars was used by a terrorist to blow up something, both the dealership and the saleslady would be investigated and the person buying the vehicle would be arrested. They made it sound like something from the movies. It was that melodramatic.
After finally passing the interrogation, we waited over 3 hours for the finance department. When we finally got in there, it went very fast, which was the only plus to the entire visit. But when the finance man tried to get approval on my personal check, the check processing declined it. I explained that the whole deal just happened late the following day, and I had just deposited the funds into my checking account that morning, so of course, the funds were pending, as it was a Saturday and the banks would be closed on Monday for MLK day. I even had the deposit slip to show them that the funds were deposited that morning. But that was not good enough. Then the finance man said "Why didn't you just bring a cashier's check?". I mean, really????? I was told by 2 different people that I needed a personal check, absolutely not a cashier's check. It was then decided that I could come back on Tuesday after the banks were open and to bring a cashier's check.
Well, here it is Tuesday, and I don't have the car. I went to the bank this morning and got the cashier's check. Laura actually texted me numerous times while I was there telling me to bring 6 months worth of bank statements and brokerage statements to show them. I told my broker and banker what they were asking and was told in no uncertain terms that I should NOT give them anything. They said a car dealership has no business asking for personal financial information unless I was financing through the dealership. My broker said it was a complete invasion of my privacy and probably illegal for them to demand such things. He said he would prepare a financial statement for them, one that did not show what I was spending my money on, but would show my net worth. He said he would have it for them tomorrow morning.
I went to the dealership, with the cashier's check, and did not even have time to sit down before Laura was asking where my financial records were. When I explained what my broker said, and that he would have a financial statement ready for them in the morning, I was told that I could not have the vehicle until they received all of the financial records they were asking for. Again I was subjected to the melodramatic, over the top story about terrorism and Homeland Security. I was told the only way I could buy the car without giving them my financial records was to finance it through them. But of course, then I would still have to show proof of income.
I don't know about anyone else, but I have never heard of someone being treated like a criminal or a terrorist just because they wanted to buy a car. I would not recommend anyone to buy a car here unless you want to be subjected to an interrogation about where your money comes from, and be prepared to prove that you can afford one of their precious vehicles.
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes | No