DON MCGILL TOYOTA CUSTOMERS BEWARE!
MISLEADING/DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES BY AUTO DEALER FINANCIAL SERVICES:
TOYOTA FINANCIAL SERVICES - DON MCGILL TOYOTA OF HOUSTON, TEXAS
Heres our story
After searching for several months on the Internet for the best deal on new/used car, my wife and I finally purchased a certified used car (2002 Toyota Camry LE) from Don McGill Toyota (11800 Old Katy Rd, Houston, Tx-77079) in Dec. 2002 for $14,995 (the internet-advertised price including 6-yr/100,000 miles limited powertrain warranty certification). As an option, we added leather for an additional $1,000. Including TTL & Fees, total cost came to be $17626.51.
We financed the car with Mary Li (Finance Manager) of Toyota Financial Services at Don McGill Toyota. We decided to make a downpayment such that our monthly payment would be $300 (for 5-yr financing at the APR offered). Accordingly, the Finance Manager calculated the downpayment amount with $300 as monthly payments. She then told us that for about $305 per month (i.e. only about $5 and few cents more per month) we could get Lo-jack and 10-yr bumper-to-bumper warranty (to include electronics, electricals, etc.) in addition to the already included 6-yr/100,000 miles certified powertrain warranty. When asked about the total cost for these extra items/service, she said it would be about $600. It seemed to be a good deal so we agreed to purchase this extra option/service at $600. We requested Mary Li to calculate the downpayment once again so that our monthly payment would still be $300 with the optional service added to the amount financed. She re-calculated the downpayment, which was $6,279.71. We paid $6,279.71 as downpayment. So the amount financed was $17626.51+$600-$6,279.71 = $11,946.80. Finally, Mary Li lead us hastily sign and initial several papers. Having trusted her, we quickly glanced through the papers and signed and intialled all the papers without objecting to her failing to make us aware of the exact/actual charges put on the contract papers. Moreover, she did not hand over copies of these papers to us at that time. She said the contract papers would be mailed.
We waited for about one month for the contract papers to arrive but they did not. However, the monthly payment bill arrived right on time. The bill did not show the balance due or the amount financed. So we decided to check our account online. We were surprised and shocked at what we saw - the financed amount shown was unbelievable - $14,795.77 (not $11,946.80 as expected). We contacted Mary Li at once to request for the contract papers in order to check what might have happened. She said the contract papers could not be mailed because of backlog and would be mailed soon. But the contract papers did not arrive during another one month. We called her several times again, left messages and sent certified letters indicating the incorrect financed amount. Finally, after about two months, the contract papers arrived. On the contract paper we noticed two (2) mysteriously added false charges: First, supplemental warranty charges were $1,750 the amount that we never discussed or were told of. Second, this number ($1,750) had been added twice as supplemental charges (mentioned above) and in the sale price of car as well. Even the Dealer fees ($227.04) were added twice in the sale price of car and again separately as dealer fees. It was obvious that in an attempt to show profit on her part, the Finance Manager (Mary Li), had played around with the numbers and had cheated us of about $2,850. By misleading overcharges on optional items/services, she had tactfully added about 20% to the initial car price.
So once again we called her, left messages, and sent certified letters explaining the issue. She never responded for about a month or so. Finally we managed to set up an appointment with her. On the appointment day, she kept us waiting for about three hours pretending she was quite busy. Actually, she simply seemed unwilling to discuss the matter with us. Finally, after three hours of waiting, she was rude enough to tell us that she couldnt help us since our papers were not with her and were with Robert Tabak (her Financial Director; now a Production Manager at DonMcGill Toyota). We realised she was not going to accept her faults regarding the issue herself. So we had to give up all hopes of resolving the problem with her at that time and, unfortunately, we returned home without any resolution.
Then we contacted her supervisor Robert Tabak at Don McGill Toyota. Unlike Mary Li, he dealt with us in a very proferssional manner. During the discussion, Robert Tabak explained to us that the $1,750 charge was for the additional supplemental comprehensive warranty in addition to the 6-yr/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and that we had signed for it. Of course we had signed! But we were told it was for the 10-yr bumper-to-bumper warranty with Lo-jack and for about $600. We did not recall seeing the charge of $1,750 when we signed the paper. Regarding another charge of $1,750 (that was included in price of the car), he said the charge of about $1,500 was for the Lo-jack and was unable to explain about the rest. The Lo-jack price document seemed to be forged. Charges were written by hand which we never saw during signing. We had never agreed to this high Lo-jack charge with Mary Li. Nor was there any verbal agreements or numbers shown to us by Mary Li on such figures when we signed for Lo-jack plus supplemental warranty during financing.
We realised we had been tricked! The Finance Manager had tactfully misrepresented numbers and had added the false optional charges. The Production Manager agreed those were high charges and said there could be a mistake by Mary Li. Therefore, he offered to settle the issue right there by giving us a credit of $1,000 only the suplemental warranty charges if we agreed not to pursue the matter further. However, the credit of $1,000 offered was not acceptable to us. And, unfortunately, once again the matter remained unresolved. And still is.
We dont believe it was simply a calculation mistake/error by Mary Li since we know of other customers of DonMcGill Toyota who were mislead in exactly the same fashion by Mary Li. We have their statements to prove it. We believe she did a big mistake by repeating such an awful act. She has already misled us and has wasted a lot of our time. Our attorney mentioned that she might be targetting the minorities. There have been lawsuits filed against Toyota Motor Credit/WFS Financial last April for such activities.
We now plan to file as many complaints and charges (fraud/document forgery/misrepresentation) as we can against DonMcGill Toyota/Toyota Financial Services and the Finance Manager (Mary Li). She is now working at the Don McGill Toyota-Katy location (21555 Katy Freeway, Houston, Tx-77450). Wed rather spend our money on case-filing charges and/or attorney fees instead of leaving the money with the crooks!
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