When you go car shopping, you can expect to run into dishonest dealerships. But I have to say that Shottenkirk really takes the cake in this regard--I don't think I've ever had a vehicle price grow by $3000 before...over the phone! I can only imagine how much the salesman would have tried to rip me off if I had actually stepped foot in their dealership.
The call started off amicably. The salesman asked some general questions, just gathering information. He asked me the Auto Trader price, and I told him that it was 17000 from the "calculate monthly fees" screen--this price includes applicable discounts and 10% down payment. When he asked the amount I was going to put down, I said "something like 2400", and he replied "2433, right?", which meant that he was looking at the same exact screen as I was (remember that part).
So he says that he'll call me right back with a final price on the vehicle. I'm just about to head out the door to Shottenkirk when the guy calls back. He tells me that the price is 20,000--that the discount has already been applied and that he suddenly can't find the numbers we'd just discussed on Auto Trader (note to salesman: if you're going to blatantly lie and use a price bait-and-switch tactic, you might want to avoid confirming the customer's pricing information to the exact dollar as he reads it to you over the phone). But, he will graciously sell the vehicle to me for $20,000 after with the $2,433 10% down payment (so in other words, he'll sell it to me for $22,500). Naturally, it turns out that I didn't qualify for a single discount that would have helped in any way.
Look--I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday; I know that the car industry is filled with lying liars, and that I'm going to have to go through a half-dozen experiences like this one every time I want to trade out my vehicle. But usually the worst dealerships manage to at least get you in the showroom before they start their tired shell games, and Shottenkirk was so dishonest/incompetent that they couldn't even manage to get that part right. After an experience like this, there is NO chance that I'll consider buying a car from Shottenkirk, now or in the future.