April, 2000: My truck was repossessed for non-payment. Aproximately 16 months worth of non-payment but the history of the truck explains why and all I wanted was my old vehicle back and they could have taken the truck. My car was still on their lot when I learned of the fraud they committed. I tried to return the truck then, and they refused.
Condition of truck: Outwardly, it was a great looking truck. It had power everything, alarm, 4-wheel drive, cruise control, and air conditioning. Within the same month I bought it, the air-conditioning went out. Shortly after that, the truck stopped wanting to climb hills, (standard hills on a normal road) The truck as long as it was in my possession was not used for off-road driving. Under normal conditions it lagged. The transmission slipped. I would drive down a freeway and with no warning, the vehicle plunges from 70 mph to 30 mph. When I try to give it gas, the engine just spins. $14,000 peice of junk!
Here is the history of the truck, the fraud, and the high pressured sales tactics of the Ft. Myers Lincoln Mercury Dealership. It also explains the numerous attempts to get the Florida Dealer's Financial, Inc to investigate it and correct it.
The following report has been filed with the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. They claim they can only make suggestions to the accused party but can not do anything if the party does not want to comply.
Complaint is against Ft. Meyers Lincoln-Mercury, Inc. located at 14200 S. Tamiami Trail, Ft. Myers, FL 33912: Phone: 1-800-226-5462: President: Philip Clemente
The Agricultural report asks the following 2 questions:
1. Explain your complaint fully, describing events in the order they occurred: (full details following)
2. What would satisfy your complaint? Answer: The car dealership would take back the truck like I asked them to when I found out they made a crooked transaction with me. And they return the $2,000.00 cash I gave them AND reimberse me for all of my belongings I had to sell in order to pay off their scam. I want face value at what it would cost me to replace everything. And I want my credit report to be corrected and erase this matter entirely.
Update: This request did not happen. They refused my truck and would not give me trade in back. Here is my story:
I went to Ft. Myers Lincoln-Mercury to buy a truck but couldn't get financing so I left. The sales manager (Jim Crowell) called me a couple days later and said he got me a loan. I went to sign papers and he said he needed the title to my car and once they got the title they would give me $1,600.00 trade-in value and I wouldn't need any more for down payment. My Credit Union (name witheld because they are not involved) held my title up in a committee but Mr. Crowell said he's holding the truck for me and needed something in good faith.
Mr. Crowell asked me to write a check in the amount of $1,000.00. I told him I don't have that money in my account. He said it was only to show the bank (Florida Dealer's Financial) that I had made a down payment and when I got the title to my car, he promised to give me the check back.
Mr. Crowell said once he got the title the bank only required $1,600.00 which I would get from my trade-in. A few days went by with no release from my title. Mr. Crowell asked for another check in the amount of $1,000.00. He told me neither check would be cashed and I could have them back.
I had been driving the truck (1991 Nissan Pathfinder) pending the financial matter to be resolved. When my Credit Union released the title to my car, Mr. Crowell changed his mind and kept the two checks. He said the bank requested the $2,000.00 and the title to my trade-in.
I called the Florida Dealer's Financial and talked to Will. He said he knew nothing about a trade-in, only that I had paid $2,000.00 cash down payment. I told him they were holding 2 checks pending the release of my title but the checks were suppose to be given back to me. Will said there was a breach of contract and they did this transaction illegally.
I went back to Jim Crowell and told him there is no way I can keep the truck under the circumstances. I asked him to take it back. He refered me to his boss (Chick) and Chick refused to take the truck back so I threatened to turn them in. Chick said if I did, all they had to do was turn me in to the police for writing checks with no money to back them. I told him I was lied to and tricked into writing the checks. I said I wanted my car back (it was still in their used car lot). Chick wouldn't let me have my car back.
He demanded I pay $300.00 a week towards the checks. I told him I didn't make enough money to pay for their arrangements but I would try.
When I couldn't keep up with paying them off, paying the truck payments, and my rent, I went to the president of Ft. Myers Lincoln Mercury (Phil Clemente). Mr. Clemente called in Chick and Andrea. Both of them lied about the checks. Chick only gave me $100.00 instead of $1,600 for my car. He also claims he tried to deposit my checks and they bounced. That was a lie. The checks were never sent through my bank.
I had stopped payment on both checks but when Chick found out, he threatened me and told me to replace the checks so I had to write another check in the amount of $1,000.00. He kept the check they certified through tele-check.
I told Mr. Clemente what they did to me was wrong and illegal and they pressured me and tricked me into buying the truck. Mr. Clemente said they could afford to hire an attorney and if I didn't keep quiet about this, they would call the police about the checks.
I reminded him that I was lied to about what the checks were for and that they were suppose to be returned to me when my Credit Union released the title to my trade-in. Chick denied the whole deal and I was told I had to sign papers stating I would pay $100.00 per week towards the 2 checks. I did the best I could but got behind in all my bills. I had to sell everything I owned (except my clothes) in a rummage sale. I took the money from the rummage sale and gave it to Mr. Clemente to pay off their scam they pulled on me.
Florida Dealer's Financial is refusing to give me anything in my folder. They said I have to get an attorney to subpeana it. I can't afford an attorney. Fran (last name not known) with Florida Dealer's Financial said it was Ft. Myers-Lincoln Mercury who committed the wrong doing, not them; however, I have talked to every manager at her office and each one of them knew about the scam and yet they refused to help. They knew there was a breach of contract right from the start back in 1998 when this all began.
I have tried from the very first month I got the truck until now to resolve this matter and all they did was repossess the truck. They seem to have gotten away with the crime. I have in my possession BOTH checks which were returned to me after I paid them off. Neither one of them were stamped by a bank. They held the checks in the office at Ft. Myers Lincoln-Mercury.
Now I have no transportataion because they kept my car and I lost my truck this month: April, 2000.