"Know before you go"
I really regret to rate this dealership not as high. Obviously others have had fine experiences and they've been in business for many year, so they must be doing something right. My biggest mistake was being asleep. I went in thinking that as a Costco client, there'd be no haggling. It would be cut and dried.
The upshot is that I cannot blame my lack of readiness on anybody but myself for not being sharp. Yes, they are not social workers and have their own business interests uppermost in mind. I should have been ready for that. Like a bum attorney, I didn't do a good job asserting my interests. My biggest regret is that I didn't continue walking away. I caved into persistence.
Here’s my story which I explains my rating of Livermore Toyota.The outcome was made beter with contact with Mark, teh general manager, but I have misgivings in-between for not being listened to and possibly even respected.
There is an epilogue. It made things a little sweeter.
I didn't have much contact with our initial contact, Sergio (Costco designee at Livermore Toyota), who introduced my daughter for whom I was buying the car, and me to Jacqueline, Jacqueline was nice, had a great personality and was earnest. After our test drive in a Corolla Hatchback, and presently back at the showroom, I started wanting to talk turkey, She brought in her manager, Matthew. That when this experience went South.
Costco referrals are supposed to get no haggle treatment? Right? Ha! You look at the Costco price and that’s it. Take it or leave it. Matthew as not about to let us leave. The Hatchback was beyond what I wanted to pay. But he smelled a kill. In so doing, he did not listen to me; argued about how bad Chevys were when I mentioned we wanted a replacement for an Aveo. (I had thought that would be a Corolla Hatchback, but beyond my range). After he asked the highest I would go, he shoved a piece of paper for me to write it down. “16.9K.” (I based that on the price of a new 2016 Corolla I had gotten 2 years in Pasadena).
My maximum price was not enough to get the Corolla Hatchback, and I did not know that Toyota had such a thing as a Yaris hatchback (called a liftback), or I would have asked to see it. . This would have fallen well within my price parameters., And it met an equivalence in size anyway to the Aveo, which my daughter explained to them that she loved. Why her and my mentioning this didn't ring a bell, and get us fixed up with the car of our needs in terms of size and budget. I did a little bit in sales in my life, and I do remember qualifying the customer for a sale. He did not mention the Yaris Liftback, which had a special offer by Toyota Motors for 1.9% APR. With an 800+ FICO I probably would have qualified. And in my very limited experience as a sales person, I remember how we were trained to serve the customer, not the other way around. He just wanted a kill.
Although I had not come in looking for a used car and mentioned as much, he conveniently swung around and gave me a price on a like-new used Corolla about an arms-length away in the showroom.. I didn’t want it due to the price being a bit high and that it was used, even though it had had just 652 miles on the odometer. I think, in retrospect, that since it was getting to be very late and rainy outside, he pure and simply didn't want the bother of shuttling us out to the lot to see the Yaris Liftgack. If he could get away by selling us a car—any car that we would bite on without him having to labor himself---the better. Whatever you call this, a lie is a lie whether by misstating facts, or as in my instance by omission, is wholly dishonorable. The manager just got his digs in at Chevy and how they couldn't move their vehicles. That's why, according to him, they were able to offer me 0% APR (I had visited a Chevy dealership earlier that day.) I had walked away from an offer they put together (with a price and financing quote in hand). Matthew would give me neither, which brings me to the next step of this fiasco.
Three or 4 times I asked the manager for my APR. I was going to co-sign with my daughter to help her establish credit even though I would be the one paying for the car. It was my belated graduation gift to her. .Finally he scribbled down 6.99. I was flabbergasted. He said interest rates were high these days. He added it was a combination of my daughter’s score and mine. That should have raised a red flag.
(I subsequently learned from my credit union that APR is computed on the co-signer’s FICO alone). This “hybrid”, concocted by the Livermore mgr. was expedient.
So instead of taking me to see and test drive the Yaris Liftback on a rainy night, late, he lowered the price on the used Corolla to about $400 above what I had said was my maximum. I agreed though I felt little trust in him. I did feel for Jacqueline, who had worked hard. I remember thinking that she’s going to learn the ropes from him. I hope she sees through his outward dishonesty and can remain independent from negative influences. His way is not the way to do things.
Then the next step was about as bad. The finance was 6.99 APR. I rejected all the extra add ons from Gap to those “platinum,” “gold,” etc. Never had bought one in my life and wasn’t about to then. I was told he could get the interest lowered by them running just my FICO alone past Toyota Financial Services (TFS), not combined with my daughter’s as supposedly had been previously done. “Toyota doesn’t have to know,” the finance mgr said, as if he was being personal and tipping the scales in our favor by keeping a secret from TFS. However, this was contingent on my buying one of the extra add-ons, which would come to about $24000. I agreed to do this in exchange for a better rate, which turned out to be 4.49. This whole procedure was a scam. My credit union was to tell me a couple of days later that something like this does not exist. This whole procedure was concocted by Livermore Toyota, which makes me ask if the Management knows about this. Perhaps they even sanction it. Not only is this immoral, but I wonder about its legality. No wonder they had us sign an arbitration agreement.
This night in Livermore was a bear, to say the least. I didn’t go their to be argued with or to be conned. Luckily, the car is solid. Just today I cancelled the add on stuff. My Apr isn’t affected contrary to the promise (threat) the night of the finance signing that the lower rate hinged on getting these superfluous add ons.
My attempted follow ups with Lauren, Customer Satisfaction Rep, were in vain. Though we did have a brief discussion in the phone, where I felt she was dismissive, she said if I need to get back with her, to connect with her any time. Four calls and an electronic message have not been returned. So I guess I’m not wrong about her dismissiveness. Fortunately, Mr. Fussleman, General manager whom I wrote to, responded that he was going to talk to his team, he said, about the incident.
Mark offered to take the car back. My daughter was accustomed to the like-new car and so we decided to keep it. As far as the add-on extra care insurance, I signed the documents, whcih will apply the $2300 as a prepayment. As of this writing, TFS has not eceived these documents but I hope they do soon, obviously.
All in all, like any big-ticket item, know before you go. Do your research and be prepared to not only assert your own interests but to be your own best defense attorney. Sales is a highly competitive business, and when they see a stool pigeon, as I was, they'll go for the juggler.
Other Employees Tagged:
, Went in for new car, came out with used