My husband and I went to The Greatest Deals on Wheels in Newton New Jersey to buy a used car. When we got there, all the cars were filthy and dented. We looked around the lot, focusing on cars under $1000 for at least fifteen minutes before someone came outside of the office to help us.
The man who came out to assist us was named Steve. He asked us what we were looking for. My husband told him nothing expensive since we would never be approved for a loan. He handed us a card and told us he was the bank president. The way he said it made us think he was joking, so we laughed. He told us, very nasty, to go back to Staten Island.
We apologized, not realizing that he was telling the truth about being the bank president. Steve told us that "soemtimes you have to shut your mouth and open your ears". My husband, not taking offensive to Steve's nasty remark, proceeded to talk with him while I looked around. A green Grand Am caught my attention. The car was scratched and ugly, but I was interested in that model car.
I joined my husband and Steve when I saw them looking at a car that looked like it should be junked. When Steve went to start it, it would not start.
All of a sudden Steve asked me if I liked the Grand Am. I said yes and before he gave us a chance to look at it, he basically shoved us inside the office to "work out the numbers".
He gave us a good deal, so we thought. He came accross as trustworthy and honest. All of the other people who assisted us had treated us nicely and were very polite. There was no reason to think they were ripping us off.
We ended up giving a downpayment of $500, with the agreement to pay off the remaining $1000 of the deposit over the next month. After that we would pay $65 a week for 36 weeks, and if we failed to make a payment they would come and repo the car immediantly.
We were also told the car had "on time" installed in it. It is a device that shuts the car down if you are even a day late with your payment. We were not told that we were being charged $295 for it's installation and removal once we were finished paying off the car.
We were told we could pick up our car the next day. The car had to go through their "101 point check-list" before it was released to us. That seemed even more trustworthy.
We went back the next day at 1pm but was told the car would not be ready until 5 or 6 because one of the windows was not working.
We left, returning at 4:30pm. The car was being taken out for a test drive. When the mechanic brought it back, it was taken out again, we were told by Steve, this time by the master mechanic.
When the key was finally given to us and we got in, we noticed that the car was beyond filthy inside and out and smelled so bad it stung our eyes. The engine was also making a very loud noise, like the fan was breaking. Knowing we had a 30 day warranty, we felt safe enough to take the car. We believed if it was anything serious, they would have fixed it.
Not five minutes after we drove it off the lot we opened the passenger side window and it fell off the track. We took it back to the lot. Steve told us that he forgot to tell us that the window needed a new part, and that it was on order. I mentioned the noise in the engine, and that it sounded like the fan was going. He said to me, "that may be. Drive it and see what happens."
Furious, I left the lot with my husband, who assured me everything would be fine.
It was now 7pm. The sun was setting. We went to turn on the headlights only to find we had no headlights.
That night a mechanic we knew came by our house to look at the car. He said it wouldn't last us six months.
After that I looked up the business on the Better Business Bureau and found it was not in good standing. I also went on the website and found it was not only misleading, but filled with outright lies.
The next morning we called the owner, Steve Nacht. We told him we no longer wanted the car and did not want to do business with him. He kept assuring me that if we brought the car in the following Monday he would have his mechanic fix everything wrong with the car. I pointed out to him what I read on the website. That the car would be put through a 101 point check-list. I asked him how I could trust him, and his mechanic, if they failed to do what the website promised and that his mechanic couldn't even see that the car had no headlights.
After about an hour and many calls back and forth, Steve Nacht finally agreed to give us back our deposit and take back the car.
When we went there the next day they held $20 from the deposit, saying that it had been for the credit report and was non-refundable. I pointed out the that $20 was for an application fee and I was never told it was non-refundable. Mr. Nacht's wife Judy, who was the one handling the refund, merely shrugged her shoulders at me.
I gave up at that point and just left.
Staten Island, New York