I believe it is important to share my experience at Sport Chevrolet in Silver Spring as I attempted to buy a 2019 Equinox over Thanksgiving weekend. In writing this review, I have done my best to focus on just the facts. What was my experience? The dealership got me to come to their location on November 24th under false pretenses with a sales manager agreeing to one price over email and the dealership not honoring that price once I arrived.
As one might expect, I was not happy when I left Sport Chevrolet on the 24th. No one likes to be "duped;" and to make things worse, when I opted to go with Sport Chevrolet, I missed out on a comparably priced deal at a different dealership on a 2019 Equinox with a less appealing interior color.
Even so, I decided to contact by email the owner/manager, Gibbs Fogarty, to give him an opportunity to "make things right." See email to Gibbs lower down in this review. I laid out in detail for him the email exchange between his sales manager and me to demonstrate that the totality of those communications make clear that Sport Chevrolet would “match” the $489 per month price of another dealership and that all that remained was a visual inspection of my trade-in to confirm that the physical condition was in deed what I had described to the manager. Given the fact that my trade-in is in excellent condition with ZERO exterior or interior damage, THERE WAS NO GOOD FAITH BASIS for Sport Chevrolet to not honor the agreement reached between a sales manager and me.
To his credit, Gibbs did call me and was certainly a "nice guy" over the phone. However, he did not honor the price told to me by his sales manager of $489 per month. Instead, Gibbs offered to sell me that same car at $529 per month -- an increase of $40 per month and $2,880 over the 72-month financing period.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Here is a more fulsome summary of what transpired on Saturday, November 24th:
On Saturday, November 24th, I negotiated over email with Sport Chevrolet Internet Sales Manager, Elyse Baumer, a firm out-the-door price on a 2019 Equinox. I was exceptionally careful in my emails to ensure that Elyse and I were on the same page. I explained exactly what I wanted included in the final price: an extended 5 yr/60K warranty, all taxes and fees, trading in my 2016 Acura TLX, and a hitch installed on the new Equinox by the dealership. I told Elyse that I had worked out a price of $489 per month with another dealership but on an Equinox that had an interior color that I found less appealing. I told Elyse that I did NOT have any paper work from that other dealership showing the pricing. I provided the VIN for my trade-in so that the dealership could look over the Carfax and do anything else that was required to assign a value to my trade-in short of a visual inspection (the purpose of which according to Elyse would be to confirm that the physical condition of my car was I had described it). After Elyse stated that she could meet my desired price of $489 per month, I went so far as to confirm my understanding of our emails with a phone call to her. Elyse confirmed the terms over the phone including price and the need to perform the visual inspection of my car. Based upon our conversation, I emailed Elyse a copy of my drivers license and other sensitive information. I then drove to the dealership. Once there, they visually inspected my trade-in, and I test-drove the Equinox that I understood I would be buying. After a few minutes, a salesman told me the numbers were "too far apart." I asked for my keys, spoke to the General Manager, Kyle Bacon, and went home.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
As mentioned above, here is my November 25th email to the Owner/Manager of the Dealership that carefully lays out the details of my negotiations with Elyse Baumer and the remedy that I was seeking:
After a series of emails and phone calls with the Internet Sales Manager, Elyse Baumer, I drove to your dealership last night, November 24th, to close the sale that she and I had worked out. I arrived around 4:30 PM. Elyse greeted me, I test drove your Equinox with Antonio, and your dealership visually inspected my Acura TLX to confirm condition. And then after waiting a few minutes, I was informed by Antonio
This claim made last night by your dealership that the numbers were “too far apart” is simply uncredible, specifically contradicting the communications between Elyse and me.
Elyse and I began emailing on November 23rd with me expressing interest in a specific Equinox listed in Sport’s online inventory. On November 24th, Elyse confirmed that the car in which I was interested was on your lot and available for sale. As our email exchange progressed and we began discussing numbers, I asked Elyse to give me a value on my trade-in (a 2016 Acura TLX) and to do so, I gave her my car’s VIN, mileage, and interior/exterior color. See email from me to Elyse at 11:18 AM. We then had emails back and forth about my Acura payment amount, etc.
After those emails, we focused in on numbers for the Equinox. I informed Elyse that I had numbers from another dealership. Elyse asked questions trying to discern how the other dealership arrived at their price of $489 per month. As an explanation for why she initially was having trouble getting to $489, Elyse shared that she was “confused about the 0% which she neglected to use.” See email from Elyse to me at 1:15 pm. I then confirmed 0% and other things included in the other dealers pricing. See email from me to Elyse at 1:24 PM. I was transparent: when I did not know something, I stated that as well.
And here is the key take away....after having an opportunity to review my Carfax and assigning a preliminary value of around $19K in advance of visual inspection of my Acura and after correcting her apparent oversight of not using the 0%, Elyse then said “OK, we can match it” referring to the $489 monthly payment and asked when I could come to your dealership. See email from Elyse to me at 1:34 PM. I then asked Elyse to confirm the details of the offer, and she said “we still need to see your Acura.” See email from Elyse to me at 1:58 pm. I then telephoned Elyse to make sure that her email simply referred to the need for a visual inspection. See Samsung Phone Log showing call at 2:15 PM. I wanted to make sure that the dealership was simply verifying my car was as described (e.g., no interior damage such as rips and no exterior damage such as dents). Elyse agreed that the dealership simply needed to make sure that the visual inspection did not find damage that would diminish the value based upon what she had learned from my emails and her own review of the Carfax which she specifically referred to during our phone conversation. To expedite the purchase process, I then emailed my private information as requested by Elyse including drivers license, insurance card, and Acura statement. See email from me to Elyse at 2:42 PM.
The totality of the communications between Elyse and myself make clear that we had an agreement that Sport Chevrolet would “match” the $489 and that all that remained was a visual inspection of my car to confirm condition. Because my Acura TLX is in excellent condition with ZERO exterior or interior damage (nothing about the condition of my Acura TLX could have diminished the preliminary value, if anything, the value may have been enhanced based upon condition), there was no good faith basis for Sport Chevrolet to claim the numbers were “too far apart” and not honor the agreement reached between a sales manager and a customer.
And so I reiterate my request that you honor the agreement reached by Elyse and me. I look forward to a timely response.