I will preface this review with something positive before I get into the nitty gritty. We worked with Kathy Harmon on the possibility of trading my Mazda for a new 2020 RAV4 Hybrid. If you happen to come here for a car, I happily recommend working with her, she is great. We got the chance to really develop a relationship with her and I was looking forward to purchasing a new vehicle from her. Being a new car buyer, I am not as versed in the normal car buying experience as most people are. So, during the process I relied a lot from the advice of family. I thought we had everything figured out until I had to go in and sign papers by myself on Thursday 12/6. I went in thinking the car was set and ready to go and all I would have to deal with was signing the papers. Nope.
That’s where I met Rick Palmerton who is in the finance department. During my visit we discussed a couple of extended warranties that I had originally decided may be a good idea if I am going to be investing that much money in a vehicle. So, after agreeing on a couple of extended warranties, I left but felt a little uneasy.
After looking these over on the contract with my boyfriend and parents, we noticed he had tacked on almost a total of $4,000 to my total price on the vehicle. I ultimately decided to have these removed after further discussion with my family, and when I asked Rick to do that, he continuously told me,
“as you mentioned when you were here, $40-50/month is a small price to pay for this kind of coverage on a $30,000+ vehicle.” To which I continued to re-state, “yes but after further discussion I would like to have them REMOVED.”
Rick continued to persist…. and I got 2 more emails that re-stated the same thing as well as mentioning that,
“I also disclosed to you the 5% fee that would be imposed if you signed the contract and backed out of the deal, to which you replied ‘I will not be backing out of the deal’, and signed the contract. I will forward this to my sales manager, and he will be in contact with you.”
However, after speaking with the team from another dealership, they reassured me that legally they cannot charge me a 5% fee for backing out of a contract that was invalid from the get-go. There are laws that protect the consumer as well as the dealer. At the end of it all it is 110% your choice to follow through with it in the end. Since originally, I had a co-signer for my vehicle purchase, if the co-signer had not signed the contract yet, legally it was invalid.
Here were some other things that were fishy:
At Mark Toyota, Rick told me that my down payment could be cash or check only.
o Another dealership ensured that is not the case and you can use any of the following options: cash (not a preferred option), check (not a preferred option), debit, or credit.
I was pretty much threatened that I would have to pay 5% if I backed out of the contract… that was invalid without a co-signature in the first place. I don’t know if this is to coerce you to just go through with the whole thing or not, but it isn’t right.
o The contract literally states, “You are obligated to purchase, subject to availability of financing through dealer on terms: "Acceptable to You.”
Both pamphlets that I received were outdated:
TFS Tire and Wheel Protection – Platinum Plus with Cosmetic Coverage & Key Replacement
Listed ©2017 at the back-right hand corner of the pamphlet with M/Y date (4/17)
Toyota Extra Care Platinum Vehicle Service Agreement
Listed ©2018 at the back-right hand corner of the pamphlet with M/Y date (3/18)
I NEVER heard from the sales manager, and better yet… I was the one that called him to let him know that I would no longer be buying a car from there due to my experience with Rick. Although Elton B., the sales manager was very understanding and apologetic of the situation I highly doubt he knows the full truth as to what happened. That’s why I am writing this.