Let me start by saying I am surprised that something like had happen to me because usually I am very careful, but how careful can you be inside of a dealership that just wants to cut your head off?
On Saturday April 16th, 2011, I went down to Larry H Miller Chevrolet in Provo to get a new car (used one). When I entered the premise, one salesman approached me. He asked how he could help me? I explained that I needed to buy a car. He asked me right on the spot how much I can afford to pay? I answered, as a student, I can only afford $150/month for a car. I also told him that I can put $1000 down and a Dodge Intrepid trade in, which has some engine noises. So he told me to come inside. Then he asked me to wait a little bit and went in talking to the sales manager. When he came back, he told me they have a car for me (that wasn't in the market yet) if I wanted to take a look at it.
Before I go further, let me say that I don't have any experience when it comes to buying cars, so I had no idea what that salesman/dealership was planning for me.
He showed me a 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo LS 2D Coupe. The car looks nice and I went in for a text drive. Right before I got in the car, my auntie (who was with me) caught a strong smell of cigarette on it. But the salesman assured us that it is something THEY can remove easily. We also notice a little chip in the front glass, which he also agreed to fix.
After my test-drive, we came back to the dealership. Again as a student, I rely on my car heavily, so I didn't even think about asking for another car or look around (yes you can say that was stupid of me). I asked him for the price of the car. He gave me a paper that listed $9595 with my $1000 down and my Dodge Intrepid (which they will also give him $1000 for). So I stood up ready to leave cause I didn't plan to buy a car for that much money. The salesman refused to let me go. He asked me how much I could afford. So I told him if he can take the price down for $7000 with my $1000 down and my dodge intrepid, I will do the deal (again stupid me, I should have leave). So he went in and talked to the sales manager once more. When he got back, he told me $7000 plus my $1000 down payment and no trade for the Dodge. Again stupid me, I accepted.
When we went it to sign the paper the total amount of the car came to $10,125.91. With my $1000 down, I have $9125.91 dollars to pay with a 6.50% interest rate and $216.96/month. He charged me $951 for a 2 year service warranty (remember a 2003 used car), $595 for GAP insurance.
He told me he is going to look for a better interest rate for me. If he found one, I will need to come down and sign a new contract.
So when I went in to pick up the car, right after I signed the deal, the salesman told me that it wouldn't be ready (meaning he wouldn't get the smoke out today and fix the chip on the glass), so I agreed to pick up the car on Monday instead, so he can get those works done. I gave him my cellphone number to call me when the car is ready on Monday.
Monday afternoon around 3 o'clock, I decided to call the guy, because I didn't hear from him the all day. He told me that they are working in the car right now. That he would call me back. Two hours later -nothing. So I called back. He told me yes the car is ready to go. I went down there excited to get my new ride. Well guess what? The cigarette smell was still strong at a point that he had removed the carpet rugs and put them in the trunk of the car; the chip in the glass was still obvious, he assured me that they didn't fill it in. After many arguments and headaches, I accepted to have the odor removal company come to my house to do the job. Meaning I will be driving this car with the cigarette smoke to go to school on Tuesday morning. Needless to say that I smelled like someone who has been smoking for 50 years when I got in class.
One of my classmates, who is also a dear friend, told me that there are some stuffs that I actually don't need in the car since it is a used car. So she told me to go down then and have the dealership removed the $951 for the service warranty and the GAP insurance so I can bring my payment down.
Luckily for me, the financing manager called me and told me that he had found a better interest rate for me (keep this in mind!) and he will need me to come down and sign a new contract.
When I got there, I didn't tell him anything about my intention to remove the warranty service and the GAP insurance (a total of $1546 extra). He also refused to tell me at first how much my new interest rate was. I let him typed in everything, then before he printed them out, I told him I needed to remove the warranty service and GAP insurance. I wish I had had a camera to film his facial expression.
Then I asked him with the removal of these two things, how much the payment is now? He told me he had to check because he is not sure if removing those things will change the interest rate. I asked him again, how much is the new interest rate? No answer.
I asked again how much is the car now with the removal of those things? He finally replied $6,825.05. A $2,300.86 difference!!! I was astonished!!!! That's when my eyes started to open and I started to realize what was really happening there.
Then he told me because I had removed those things, my interest rate (was 6.50% originally remember), which was supposed to decrease and that was why he had call me to sign a new contract, has now been increased to 6.99%. My monthly payment would be about $167/month.
I signed the new contract and left the dealership with refinancing options with my bank in mind (they couldn't get my bank to finance it). Later I will find out the reason why my bank refuse to finance the car was because they had sold it to me 133% more of what it is worth.
On Tuesday night, the cigarette odor remover guy came to my house, as promised. He put a chemical in the car and told me not to drive it for 24 hrs. He will come back the next day to spray it. The next day he came in and finished the job. He told me you need to wait a few days for the smell to be completely out. On Thursday morning, I almost chocked in the car driving it to school. Whatever the chemical he put on it to remove the cigarette smell made me cry my eyes out. My nose was dripping and my throat was burning.
I got a ride from my auntie on Friday to go to work and on Saturday, April 23rd, I went back to the dealership to return the car and get something free of cigarette smoke. I got hooked with the same salesman again. Like the previous time, they wouldn't let me look around for what I wanted. They showed me a 2001 Volvo (wagon style). So I asked if they had anything else. They told me no. I am gonna have to wait on Monday.
I talked to the sales manager and even try to appeal to the human/dad on him by asking how he would feel if I was his daughter and someone did something like that to me? He told me that I am jumping to conclusion too fast. I have to wait for the cigarette odor to be removed in the car.
I told him I don't smoke, how can I drive with a car smelling like cigarette that bad? Besides, even if they work on it for several days, I have no guarantee that the smoke would be totally removed. They didn't care less. I ended up driving the car back home crying on the road with the smell of cigarette still burning my throat.
I am not the kind of person who screams my head off all the time about discrimination or racism. I will leave these options up to judgement. I am foreign.
I am sorry about the long description but I had to. Every details count. I lost $4000 in this car. And I hope nothing like that would ever happened to anyone else. Larry H. Miller is a powerful dealership in the country. I am sure my little report will do nothing to its reputation. They will continue on ripping people off. So if you read this STAY AWAY FROM THEM!!! Or do a little research before you buy from this dealership.