Where to begin. I found a used Chevy Camaro at this Dealership (Larry H. Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Provo) on an Auto Trader ad. (Asking price $37,674.00 plus fees). I viewed the ad and also went to the dealership website to get as much info as possible. Checked out the free Carfax report and noticed that this vehicle has been on this lot for over 3 months (a no-no in the car industry, doesn't make the dealer any money setting in one vehicle that long), anyway, thought I could get a better deal. So I contacted the dealership through Auto Trader on 11/16/2020 and asked for a walk around video. Did I mention that I live in Las Vegas? Was contacted by Riley, the internet rep. (great guy and seems to work hard for the customer). Sent me a video in one day. Contacted him back with an offer of $34,000.00 cash, out the door (with me paying tax, title and registration in Nevada), and told him about how long the car has been there. He told me no room to move. Made a second offer of $35,000.00 cash out the door with me paying the extra fees. Was told could not move on price again. We are now at 12/9/2020, and I made a third offer of $36,000.00 cash, out the door. Was told no again. Contacted him again on 12/17/2020 and asked about the price, this time the Sales Manager (name withheld for now) was with him, and got on the phone. I explained I was familiar with the car business (did I tell you, I have owned a couple of car lots in the past) and knew how long the car has been on the lot. Manager explained they were deep into the vehicle and could not go that low. I asked for the best price I could get. Next day the Manager sent me an offer of $37,164.00 plus doc ($299.00), plate fee ($12.32) and vehicle theft assistance fee ($199.00) with a total of $37,674.32 out the door. I agreed to this price with the Manager and asked if okay to do the deal the next day with Riley. The Manager responded with "That's okay, I kindly request you allow us to arrange financing for you if needed. We get small percentage kickbacks and unfortunately we are in this car fairly deep". I did not need financing, I maintained a cash deal in every email, phone call and text sent. So we move on, the next day I contact Riley, asked a couple of extra questions about the vehicle, with me being in Las Vegas, would have to make a deal basically sight unseen in person. Also asked to speak with the finance manager about getting the title sent to me for my registration in Nevada. Specifically asked about who to make the "Bank Cashier Check" out to, you know paying cash for the vehicle. Now was told that I need to give a deposit to hold the car, sounds right, I responded with, I will need a written deal first before I give any money. So I receive a Transaction Worksheet "which was signed by the Manager" for a total of $37,674.32 with tax, reg. and title to be paid in Nevada. I then call the sales person back to give the deposit along with a copy of my driver’s license and insurance card. Received a receipt and all was good to go. So went online and booked my flight, a hotel room and took time off from work to go and get my Camaro. But, not so fast, I now receive an email from the infamous Manager. I am now told that since I did not finance the vehicle through the dealership, they would not sell me the vehicle for the price that was given to me in writing (and signed by the manager). The exact quote was “I hear you placed a deposit down on our Camaro and are not arranging financing. Unfortunately we will not be able to sell you the Camaro. We cannot and will not take the loss in order to sell this vehicle to you. If you would like to pay cash your purchase price on this vehicle would be $38,767. I apologize for the confusion”.
So to be fair, the internet ad did mention that if you don’t finance through the dealership, the price might be higher. However, if you paid attention to the entire history of this deal, “Paying with cash” was mentioned in every offer (email, text, and phone conversation). Also, remember the “I kindly request you allow us to arrange financing for you if needed” comment from the manager. So to say the least, I feel like I have been played this whole time. I am now out valuable time, airfare, hotel, and time off work. I also do not feel comfortable that this unscrupulous dealership now has my credit card info, driver’s license and insurance info. I thought that respectful dealerships “Do Not” play these games anymore, I guess I am wrong. Also, the very next day, they changed the price of the vehicle to $41,652.00. I am now wondering, has this vehicle been used to bait people for contact information. (Not sold in three months at lower price, so let’s up the price, hmmm.)
The upside to all of this, is that I will now post a review about this experience on Yelp, local news media, DealerRate.com, CarDealerCheck.com, Cars.com and Edmunds.com, and the auto manufacturer they represent. I will also post on my social media. If I find there was fraud in this transaction (deceptive ads, changes to signed agreements, etc.), I will also be sending this info as a Complaint to the B.B.B., the Larry Miller Dealerships organization (which owns 65 dealerships), Utah State DMV, Federal Trade Commission and possibly the Utah State Attorney General. If you have read this far, congratulations. I strongly suggest that if you have been treated poorly by a Car Dealership, you also spread the word. Make sure that you keep track of every correspondence, and anything done in person is written down and signed. The public reads reviews more than you may think. And it seems that they are more interested in negative reviews than positive, I know I am. Just so you know, I actually run a company that does forensic auditing for taxes, divorce and corporate misappropriations. So, I am use to keeping and tracking every source of correspondence. I have over 42 records of the above mentioned comments.
I am hoping that upper management within the Larry H. Miller Dealerships organization is able to react to this. From my research, it seems that they run an excellent business model, however, sometimes people just do the wrong thing. As a final note, I am not interested in hearing from Management of this dealership, saying that they are sorry to hear of this “misunderstanding”. Buyer beware!!! Updates coming.