"Beware Unethical Sales Communication-Bait & Switch-big time!"
- Bait & Switch at Coggin Deland
Buyers beware - this dealership (specifically internet salesman Christian Arango and Manager Bobby Bunton with whom I met, demonstrated intentional use of bait & switch tactics ultimately. I can be emailed at theJMcorporation@gmail.com to share specifics. I would encourage buyers to see the Better Business Bureau rating for this dealership as well (presently an 'F' with many like stories) while other nearby dealers have 'A' ratings.
Let me start by saying that Arnold "Vlad" Martinez was the secondary sales associate who sat with us the longest, but he was least culpable in the deceptive bait and switch. [Vlad, when you read this, I hope you consider alternate employment after graduation at a dealership that lives up to the promise of integrity, and that you remember my experience.]
The short details are that Christian Arango emailed me a clear price of $31,466 for a new 2018 Odyssey EX-L. By email, I clarified (and have in writing) that there were no other fees besides the dealer fee and taxes/tag transfer. When I arrived to sign the deal, it was "a mistake" and the cost was $1995 higher (for the "appearance package"). We left. Christian called back many times, and finally said by phone that they worked out the deal and had "good news for us". We reluctantly went back in, but this time the offer was higher than the previous offer. I have written evidence of the agreed upon offer which Christian and Bobby would not honor. The dealership allowed these sales team members to bait with an offer (in writing) twice, and then switch the offer.
There's more to the story, so here's the long version:
Upon expressed interest to purchase a 2018 Honda Odyssey EX-L, Coggin Honda Deland documented in several emails their pricing for the vehicle. My family was lured into the dealership twice for offers that were provided in writing through official Coggin Deland sales emails, phone calls, and in documentation used at the dealership, of which many are attached. Of particular concern, in email communications, sales associate Christian Arango clarified the pricing of the vehicle when pressed to explain any additional fees, and intentionally did not mention any “appearance package” or pricing.
On October 5, 2017, my family asked to meet Christian Arango at the dealership to purchase the vehicle after receiving many calls/offers to do so. Upon arrival, and after waiting 90 minutes to purchase the vehicle for the agreed upon price, the deal was increased by exactly $1995-the dealer now wanted to add the “appearance package”. This $1995 fee was to include a series of options not present on the vehicle we were set to purchase (and not desired), thought the dealer said now that they could not be removed. Further, this package was not previously discussed, nor does it appear in the emails with Mr. Arrango. It also did not appear in the dealership sales sheet documentation when they originally tried to sell us the vehicle at full MSRP pricing. It became clear to us the dealership was trying to make up for a lower advertised offer that got us in the door. We actually agreed to pay the additional appearance package, but asked that other options be included, which was well within reason to at least ask. Sales Manager Bobby Bunton then said they couldn’t do any better, despite seeing the written messages from his sales associate to the contrary. As we disappointingly left, Mr. Bunton offered to let us shop the deal around, specifically saying that they were sure they’d still be the best deal and to come back if we couldn’t do better for this deal-“they would honor it”. He also even offered to have the van delivered to us if we so liked.
Over the next 10 days, my wife, two young children and I shopped the offer around, during which time we received many calls from Christian Arango. One such call was to relay that “there was good news” and that they had worked out a deal for us. During a follow-up call, Christian detailed the options/pricing, which largely coincided with our request when we were at the dealership originally. So, on October 19, 2017, I returned to the Coggin Deland (over an hour from my residence) to make this deal once again and was told the deal was off the table and that the pricing offered in the call from Christian only hours before my arrival, and previously in writing by Bobby Bunton was now almost exactly $4,000 higher than the attached offer, proposed only 13 days before (same exact vehicle/VIN#). It should be noted that the vehicle of interest had not been sold and was still on the lot in the exact same position as it had been on October 5th. Essentially I now felt the dealership was providing a number so high as to entice me to leave quickly. I did so after asking Christian and Bobby to explain why I was called in for a better offer and why false offers were provided originally and perpetually. No explanation could be given, and the sales associates including Christian acted like they had no authority and it was just a “series of mistakes”. If these are the sales tactics Asbury Automotive wishes to use, I sure wish they wouldn’t tarnish the Honda brand with them.
I don’t know what Coggin Deland hoped to accomplish here–they did exactly what I would have done to intentionally anger someone.
I was within my right to shop around (as any buyer is), and the dealer is within their right to change pricing at any time (which they often do), however when a commitment is made, in this case repeatedly both verbally and in writing on repeated occasions, and then left unfulfilled in person, the consumer can have no trust in the dealership. I believe my experience is something about which the public should be made aware. I am also willing to share pricing details about what another local dealer shared about Coggin Deland. I also reported this to the BBB and will assume the dealer will twist the story in their response, but I provided written evidence, including the direct email communications and a picture of the a written offer which was retracted.
Other Employees Tagged:
Christian Arango, Bobby Bunton