Scarritt Lincoln Mercury should rename themselves “Scary” Lincoln Mercury because they confirmed all of my fears regarding shady car dealerships. I read reviews a lot to steer clear of unethical companies and unreliable products, but I have actually never been compelled to write a negative review before. I am an educated professional whose sole purpose of writing this is to inform others so that they don’t have the same experience that I did with this company.
I went into look at a used car and the sales people were very friendly. We had discussions about price and when they presented their numbers, I brought up the Kelly Blue Book on their car and my trade. Because of that, we used those numbers to negotiate a price. I told them if I could get the price they wrote out in detail, that I would sign for the car on the spot. If they couldn’t honor that, I would pass. My current car was not paid off yet and running well, so I wasn’t in a rush to buy. They told me that two people had come in looking for my trade and they could sell it quickly. The sales person said, sign here below what we worked out (informal figures) and I will talk to finance. After going in the back (I assumed he was speaking to other staff) he said “I can get you these numbers, but we just need to try and get you the best finance deal. Why don’t you take the car tonight so that I can advertise your trade here, and come back tomorrow to sign the paperwork?” I said I would only take the car home if I could get what he wrote down and he said, “It may not be exact, but we can get you close to the monthly payment.” At that point, another salesman came up and said, “We can get you close to this so you might as well take the car home and make sure you like it.” I told them if they couldn’t get what we discussed, that I would rather take my car home and talk on the phone about financing so that I didn’t have to drive an hour back if I was not happy with the final price. They encouraged me by saying, “The owner will work with us once you are approved.” So I took the car home.
The next day, after friends, family and coworkers all saw or rode in my “new car,” I got a call at work from a third salesperson who left a message stating, “We worked it out to get close to the payment you wanted, so come in and we can finish the paperwork.” I called her back and asked the amount and interest rate, but she said she didn’t have the exact details from the other salesman, but only knew that it was near the payment we discussed. So I drove over an hour to the dealership and sat down to wait for the paperwork. The finance guy sat down and said, “Well, you’re approved!” I was extremely happy and excited to purchase the car. Then he said, “The only problem is that we can’t get you near the payment you wanted. He showed me the numbers and it was over $4000 dollars more than discussed and nearly $100 more dollars per month! I told him that I only took the car home under the impression that I was getting what I signed for. I asked him to see that paper and he told me it wasn’t there. I asked him to look in the file and he said “It’s not here.” Then I reached over, looked through the papers myself and pulled it out to show him that we negotiated price and I signed my name for documentation.
After talking awhile, he went to get one of the owners. He came out and slammed his business card in front of me, pointing to it, saying, “That’s me” to let me know he owned the place. He started talking to me in a condescending way indicating that I knew nothing about purchasing a car. He also belittled his staff saying that they shouldn’t have done this and I informed him that their mistakes shouldn’t affect me. I told him that I was referencing the Blue Book when we came up with the informal numbers and he said, “I don’t believe you, I am going to look it up.” Shortly after that, another Internet salesman came out with my car key. During the wait time, I looked up reviews for Scarritt and was shocked by the stories of others that were similar to mine. I told the salesman that I would like to read these to Mr. Scarritt. He came back and said, “He is on the phone.” He wouldn’t even come back to apologize and give me the key himself. I felt as if I had wasted too much time already and left. I felt extremely upset, scammed, and embarrassed that I had fallen for this type of dishonesty.
I developed the following hypothesis:
1. The sales people are genuinely nice and wanted to give a fair deal, but the owner stepped in after discussions and rescinded the informal agreement. This would show an obvious lack of integrity in the company and suggest that this is regular practice.
2. The sales people do this trick all the time. They let people come in, negotiate a price, and tell them to drive home to make sure they like it, knowing they will fall in love with it. Then, when the person comes back with less willpower than myself, they agree to pay the higher price than agreed upon.
You be the judge, but either way, it is no way to run a company. $4000 dollars to an individual is a sacrifice, and to a dealership it is nothing. I would advise that you chose an honest, fair dealership versus Scarritt Lincoln Mercury who are unethical, unprofessional and do not deserve your business (which is probably much more than $4000). Good luck with your purchase elsewhere!