To give a background. My wife and I are foreigners and we have traveled around US for past 2 months. We bought a car in Florida (Honda Odyssey) and we planned to sell it in California to leave for Asia. Hence we visited couple of dealers around San Francisco Bay area. One of the dealers was San Leandro Honda. All dealers gave pretty much same offer (between 3.5 and 4.2 K). We decided to go with San Leandro Honda where Mr. Brook was attending us. He seemed really nice and fair, open and very helpful and »understood« that we do not have time since we are leaving the country soon. He checked the car and said that based on Kelly Blue book it is worth 3.5 K, but he can give us 4K. He said we can go around and we will get offers around 4 (maybe few hounded dollars more) but that we have to be aware that it is very complicated to fill out title transfer since we are foreigners and the car is from Florida. Based on everything we decided that he knows what he is doing and we trust him. So we asked what we need to do a sale. He said that only original clean title (we had application for a title since Florida is using some electronic titles or something). He agreed he will do us a favor and make a call to Florida to our car seller. We were relieved that we have enough time before our planned departure. Next day we called Mr. Brook and he said that we can do the deal but it is going to take him 2-3 weeks or more to get the title and that he cannot give us the check till then. So if we have time to stay in US and wait it is ok?!?!? We contacted our seller in Florida and Florida and California DMVs. We were able to get the original title in 2 days from Florida. So this is the first thing that bothered us. Is Mr. Brook incompetent or was this some kind of scam (abusing our time limit?!). He even said to us that we did a great job of getting the Title so quick (so he is obviously incompetent if we are normal foreigners not in Auto business??). So we called to arrange a meeting to finalize the deal. We asked him if there is anything else or can we finalize as agreed. He said »no, if you have Title and it is clean, we transfer the title and I write you a check«. So this was on Friday, and we said »so we can come on Monday afternoon and finish this in a day so we can buy a flight ticket«. He confirmed that if we bring the title he gives us the check and we are off. So on Monday afternoon at 14:30 we came and he was not there (even though he said he is there all the time). We agreed to come next morning at 9AM, since other employees told us that at this time everybody is in and that Brook is one of the first arrivals. We waited until 9:45 for him to show up. He was again all nice to us asking when do we have a flight out. We said that we have a flight the following day. At that point he wanted to see the car again. After 3 minutes he came back and said that service man have checked the car at night already before (how since we had the keys to the car????) and started to point out what is wrong with the car. Stating things like back differential (?!?!? This Honda is front wheel drive and not 4 wheel, so no back differential!!??), engine something, etc... and also a broken wind shield, already broken on the first day…. So he gives new offer 1.5-2K?!?!??!? One day before we have to leave, he gave us a new offer that was 50% lower??? He said that it was his mistake that he should look at the car more thoroughly when we first brought it in. And that he is really sorry. But if we do not have time, he can do us a favor and give us 2.5K, which is 40% below original AGREED price!!!???
-taking advantage of any issues or special circumstances you might have
-not keeping his word on an agreed price
We really hope this is not a standard of doing business in USA and that we just had bad luck. Nevertheless if you can’t trust a certified Honda dealer, which car dealer can you trust in USA??
Simon and Barbara Kolenc