I was recently discharged from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. My wife and I moved out to Arizona to try and make a fresh start after loosing everything due to medical bills from a wreck I had in 2004 and some bad choices we made with credit after that event. I blame no one for that, the circumstances forced the bankruptcy.
I am grateful to Pinnacle Nissan for making the effort to get me into a car, however, the experience was an eye-opener for me.
I was called by Nick Mateao(sp) after I had been discharged. He called me and stated I "had been approved for 10,000 dollars and to come down to pick out a car. Needless to say, I was ecstatic and started looking on their web site.
I found a nice car at the 9900 dollar range so I called Nick and ask him to place a hold on that car for me, that I would be there at 4:30pm . He said the car was perfect and that it would be here when I arrived.
Here is the letter I wrote in response to an Email from the General Manager, Mr. Jonathan Turner. thanking me for the purchase. I know some will criticize me and say I should be thankful to them for the car, and I am, however, I do not believe they should deal with a person in my situation in the manner they did, and I was a foolish man to allow thenm to go so far.
I have not heard from Mr. Turner as of 7-8-2009.
I was so excited about this purchase I brought my whole family (son, his wife and my wife) to your establishment to see the car. When I approached Nick, he told me "the car had "just" been bought and the person paid cash and had already taken the car. (We found out AFTER I had purchased another car that the 2004 car WAS still on the lot and I will explain how I found out in a moment.)
You must understand I felt as if the old bait and switch tactic was used on me.
My son asks Nick why he did not have the courtesy to call me to ask for a deposit to hold the car, if he knew someone else was interested in it.
My son works 3 minutes away from your dealership. He could have been there in a moment's notice to make whatever deposit was required. Nick offered no response and immediately offered to show me other cars. I wanted to smack Nick on the back of the head so hard at that moment. I contemplated leaving the lot immediately, but again, I needed a car.
I realize in my situation, I am at the mercy of the "establishment" and the banks. Even though I was highly pissed at Nick, we continued on and found a 2006 Toyota Corolla; at least that is what the windshield stated in nice colorful paint. We found out that the car was actually a 2008.
I ask Nick the asking price; he did not know and rushed us back into the dealership. As we walked into your dealership, we noticed a young couple sitting at one of the sales desks. I ask Nick if they were the couple that purchased the 2004 Corolla, he said, "No, they were trying to buy the car WE were trying to buy and that we had better move fast if we were going to get it".
REMEMBER THAT LAST PART
Nick told us to wait while he went to get the price of the car. After waiting for approximately ONE HOUR, Nick returns with his boss, I believe his name was Jeff (military guy injured in Afghanistan).
Jeff, directs us to an office and begins to talk about the car. He tells me I have to put down $1000 dollars to get the deal financed. My original arrangement with Nick was $500 and he knew this.
OK I thought, here we go, let the back and forth games begin. I informed Jeff that I had $500 and that was it. I also brought him up to date on the situation with the 2004 Corolla. He made no comment and STILL, we were clueless as to the price of the car even after asking "again".
Jeff left us to see about refining the deal for the down payment. After another 20 minutes, he returned and stated he could get me a payment of $399 with the $500 down. I said, Ok, and inquired about the price of the car AGAIN. Jeff stated we would get that in the Finance office. At this point, my wife and I were looking at each other wondering why we could not get the price of the car.
As we proceeded to the finance office, Nick asks me for my license and a copy of the insurance to show full coverage. I told him I could obtain the insurance information if I had access to a PC. He led me into the "SECRET Documents Area". While in there, Nick scolded another sales representative for being on the phone while a customer had been waiting on your sales floor for an hour. The other sales representative recanted back angrily that he was on the phone...Nick cut him off by stating my presence in the room.
THE SITUATION GETS INTERESTING
As we were all sitting waiting, I sat near the young couple that Nick stated was trying to buy our car and thought, ok, if they are buying OUR car, why are they in here if WE are getting it; so I ask them what car they had purchased.
I almost fell out of my chair when they stated it was the 2004 Toyota Corolla so I inquired further to be sure it was the same car and found out it was the same car from the web site, the one I told Nick I wanted. I also found out they were NOT paying cash for the car and they were NOT buying our 2008 Corolla.
Are you keeping up with the number of times I have been lied to or mislead so far Mr. Turner???
If I had any sense about me, I should have demanded my checks back for the $500 dollar deposit and walked out but again, people in my situation cannot be fussy, however, I felt totally mislead by Nick.
Now!! We are in the Finance office. I ask Nick again for the price of the car, no answer, he just said that Walid would give all that to me. So I ask Walid!! It was only at THAT time did I discover the price of this car and I was shocked. STILL, I am at the mercy of my situation, your establishment and the banks so I tolerated the total lack of professionalism by your sales staff and ask Walid why the car was so expensive. He very politely declined to answer stating that we would have to ask Nick. Walid told me the price of the car but stated also that the price may change due to the banks finance requirements.
WHAT???? The price is the price, how can THAT change?
In a normal financing situation, I would have gotten up and walked out of your establishment so fast we would have been a blur to the people on the floor, but I stayed. I thought, I need a car and my options are limited at this point, so I tolerated the insolence and remained in my seat even though my wife insisted we get should leave.
As Walid explained the banks requirements and reviewed all of the charges on the contract, I was shocked to discover I was being required to include several "add-ons" to the price of the car.
Tell me Mr. Turner, Why is it that certain financial institutions "require" me to purchase the Extended Mechanical Warranty Coverage or the Credit Life and Disability protection to be approved for the loan?
I ask Walid, "Do I have to purchase these items? he stated that I was NOT required to get them but the bank may not finance the purchase without them. Again, my options are limited; I am at the mercy of the requirements so I told Walid to move on with the financing even though I did not understand, WHY these were requirements to be approved for a loan.
We finished the paperwork and discovered the payment was NOT going to be $399 as Jeff stated.
Again, are you keeping up with the number of lies I have been told?
After signing the papers at 15.9% interest and a payment of $432 dollars a month for 72 months, Walid told me he would do what he could to get the interest and payment lower.
WHAT??? I'm STILL not approved as I was told?? I felt STUPID for even allowing myself to be taken for the ride I had allowed myself to be taken on and for this long and then at that involving my family in all of this.
I can only imagine what kind of IDIOT they feel I am at this moment. After the paperwork was complete, Nick came back to lead me to my new purchase.
NOW HERE IS THE BEST PART Mr. Turner.
As we left the showroom, I looked to my left and saw the original car I had ask Nick to hold for me so I walked over to the car and verified it was the same one I had discovered on your web site. It was sitting there, nice and shiny, ready for its new owners, the YOUNG COUPLE I had talked to in the Finance waiting room.
My suspicions realized, I walked over to Nick and ask him if he knew what "HONESTY IS ALWAYS THE BEST POLICY" meant. It is apparent your sales staff has no clue what dealing HONESTLY means. Has the economy gotten that bad for you that your staff has to resort to lies and misleading customers to make a sale?
Nick began to apologize, I stopped him and angrily stated my total disgust with the whole situation and him. Even Walid made the comment to us, he was a little off???
Again, in a normal situation, any other customer would have told Nick to shove the car up his hind parts and walked off. I wish NOW, I had of done that and in reflection of this situation I may still bring the car back and ask for a full refund of my monies.
THE ICING ON THE CAKE
Walid called me on July 7 stating that he had reduced the payment and for me to come in to resign the papers. When I arrived, while we were chatting a bit, Walid (meekishly) discovered that the bank had reduced the months to pay back the loan from 72 months to 60 months...OH NO...he didn't see that... OH, AND, OH NO, the interest rate went from 15.9 to 16.9 percent.
Mr. Turner, if the man is that incompetent you might want to consider telling him to take his 6 College Degrees and go make some rockets. He would be better suited for that kind of work.
AGAIN... I stayed because I NEED A CAR"!!
Now that I have had time to reflect on this deal, I am VERY DISSAPPOINTED, not in your sales staff, but in myself for allowing them to go as far as they did to complete this deal.
I felt I HAD to compromise and accept anything instead of negotiating my way into a better deal.
So... am I stuck with this car?
I do not feel STUCK per say because I love the car, it is very nice, low miles etc, etc... However, I do feel I did not get the best deal possible because of the statements from your staff that the banks would NOT take the deal if, the numbers weren't right.
So, I am asking for your advice and assistance.
I would like to keep the car, however, I do not feel I should have to pay the $441 dollar payment nor do I feel I should have to accept the 16.9% interest rate when I was TOLD before-hand, the payment would be $399 dollars and the interest rate 15.9%.
If you feel the deal should stick, then I have no choice but to bring the car back and ask for the deposit back. I cannot in good conscience keep this car knowing how I was treated by your staff and feeling I was taken advantage of due to my situation.
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