• Report: #1062049
Complaint Review:

Plaza Auto Mall

  • Submitted: Tue, June 25, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, June 25, 2013

  • Reported By: Shadow63 — Forest Hills New York
Plaza Auto Mall
2740 Nostrand Ave Brooklyn, New York USA

Plaza Auto Mall AKA Plaza Toyota, Toyota Auto Mall Illegal/Unethical Business Practices, Disrespectful Brooklyn New York

*UPDATE Employee: Response From Plaza Auto Mall

*Author of original report: No commendation for just doing what the law requires

*UPDATE Employee: Re: Jim

*Consumer Comment: DON'T Give Them Their Reward!

*UPDATE Employee ..inside information: Response From Plaza Auto Mall

*Author of original report: Not entirely wrong

*Consumer Comment: YOU Played Right Into Their Hands!

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My mother is 87 years old.
She saw a page in AAA’s Car & Travel promoting several car dealerships.
It said “Save thousands”, “No haggling”, etc.
Sadly, she took this as an endorsement and asked my wife and I to take her to Plaza.
The 8 hours we spent there had to have been comparable to what an enemy combatant faces at Guantanamo! And, almost 2 months later, we’re still working on being credited for the many thousands of dollars worth of programs they added to the contract without our knowledge or permission.

Mom went in with a planned budget of $10k - $12k.
She just wanted basic transportation and of course at her age, she doesn’t expect to be driving for more than 1 - 2 years more.

The up-selling began immediately.
The sales weasel (Richard Jacobs) started extolling the virtues of “Toyota Certified” cars.
He was saying how with the 160-point inspection AND the 7-year warranty, you couldn’t lose.
The car he started pushing was $16k. $4,000 above her high number!
But he went on and on about how the Certified program made it such a fantastic value.

Mom felt the car was ok and was already starting to tire.
So, we went into the office to see what could be worked out for this car.
Again, we hadn’t done any checking ahead of time (PLEASE DON’T EVER MAKE THAT MISTAKE).
So, we didn’t have book value for the car or anything.
But I knew it had to be less than what they were asking. We negotiated it down to $14k (and turned out that when we did check, that’s about all the car was worth. But of course they acted like we were robbing them blind at that price. Oh how I wish they refused to sell it to us!).

Mom wanted to get an idea of what the total would be with tax, DMV fees, etc.
She asked him to add it up. He came up with a number nearly $2K more than what it should have been. In the mix were $795 destination charge and $895 for the Certified program.

He’d spent over an hour explaining that it was worth getting this more expensive car (rather than Mom’s $10k - $12k budget) because it came with Toyota Certification.
Huh? So, “It’s worth paying more for this car because it’s certified” AND “pay extra for the certification”?? No way!
He then goes (for the 8th time) to “ask his manager”.
He comes back and says that they are willing to take $500 off the destination fee and $600 of the certified fee and charge *just* $295 for each.

My patience ran out, I got up, got Mom’s walker, handed it to her and told her we needed to leave. If only she’d done so before this weasel could say that he’d remove the fees!

We’re 5 hours into the ordeal and I say that we’ve gotta go eat dinner and I’ve got to take Mom home as she’s exhausted.

After all that, we weren’t going to start over somewhere else.
We would have come back the next day and done the financing. But as desperate as we were to leave, he was more desperate to conclude the deal that evening. He said it would take less than an hour. I asked who he was kidding.
Financing, DMV, insurance..... I said minimum of 3 hours.
I was right about that. I was WRONG for not just dragging Mom out of there!

I won’t play out the 3 hours in real time. But have to cover the time with the finance manager (Nicole Meyers, Queen of Liars).
She printed out all the documents and had Mom sign and initial all over the place.
Mom wasn’t prepared to read everything (we’re already into the 8th hour at this point) and I am unable as I have limited vision.
Mom did ask what each document was before signing.
Nicole told her things like “that you are taking possession of the car”, “that you agree to make the monthly payments” and “that you are required by the bank to have gap insurance since you are retired”. Mom doesn’t hear very well and Nicole had her hip hop music turned up.
So, I had to repeat everything for Mom. I likewise had to explain things like gap insurance.
And it is because I repeated and explained everything that I know for a fact what Nicole represented.

The contract arrived via UPS a few days later and Mom called me on the phone, hysterical that it showed a total of $20,421. $14k + tax + interest +DMV brought it to under $17k. So, the total was nearly $4,000 more than it ought to have been.

They added in things like “optional breakdown protection” for $2500, a “Total Loss Protection” policy for $800, etc.
NONE of this was discussed or agreed to.
When we contacted them, all they (Nicole Myers) had to say was “your mother signed for it. So....”

Fortunately, when I contacted Toyota Financial, I was able to get them to cancel and credit back the breakdown policy for $2500. Still working on the rest.
We went back to the dealership because a manager said “I can’t help you if you don’t come in”. Well, he didn’t help us when we did come in!
They said: “you’d be wasting your time in court. We have her signature on everything.”

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/25/2013 03:00 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/plaza-auto-mall/brooklyn-new-york-11210/plaza-auto-mall-aka-plaza-toyota-toyota-auto-mall-illegalunethical-business-practices-1062049. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Response From Plaza Auto Mall

AUTHOR: Tony Saunders - ()

Hi Ron,

As I had mentioned to Jim previously, I completely understand the skepticism. If I were in your shoes and had been through the same situation that you’re describing, I would be just as skeptical. I’m not posting on here to portray either Lauren or myself in any kind of light – I’m just trying to keep it informative. With that in mind, there need be no commendation for anything either Lauren or I are doing – as we are simply doing our jobs. As we are not in the sales department, it’s rare that cases such as this land on our desks, but now that it has, we will be doing everything we possibly can to resolve this case as best as possible.

In regards to the legality of what Plaza Auto Mall is obliged to do, I could not possibly comment on that. On the one hand, there is signed paperwork that explains everything that is in your mother’s agreement. On the other, if you were misled like you’re describing, then clearly that is extremely bad and something needs to be done about it. Unfortunately, I am coming in to this case at a relatively late stage and can therefore only really have your testimony and the paperwork to go on. What I am trying to do is to get this resolved in a way that best suits you.

Not to sound like a broken record but, again, I do apologize on behalf of Plaza Auto Mall for any negative experience you have had with us. I regret that you find this apology to be hollow, but I assure you it is sincere. My job is to ensure customer satisfaction – and I am unhappy whenever we have fallen short of achieving it.

I will be calling the company that we purchase TLP through today to see if there is any update, although they told me that cancellations often take between 7 and 10 business days to process. As soon as I hear anything, I will let you know.

Tony Saunders

Customer Serivce Manager

Plaza Auto Mall

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#2 Author of original report

No commendation for just doing what the law requires

AUTHOR: Shadow63 - ()


It’s very nice to finally be offered some help (still have to see if there are results).

But I have to agree with Jim’s assertions that this only comes after I’ve taken the matter public.

Antonio (a finance manager) said that nothing could be done and basically scoffed when I mentioned court, saying "you’d be wasting your time. Your mother signed for everything."

As I’ve mentioned in correspondence, I believe that any Judge in NY would only need 2 minutes to assess Nicole and my Mother and see what happened.

The Judge on The People’s Court TV show often says "I wouldn’t believe you if your tongue came notarized." I believe that’s what would happen if Nicole appeared before a judge.

She has said (and I have the e-mails) "Too bad, she signed everything".

Everyone was very smug about the position they believed they had us in.

Now that it’s out in public, we’re being told how much Plaza wants to help and for us to be happy.

Maybe you and Lauren are genuinely nice people who do care about customer satisfaction.

But I too must be skeptical about the whole thing.

Oscar seemed like a pleasant person. But all he did was waste another 6 hours of my time by having me come in and not doing anything to help us.

Even if Mom is refunded for the TLP (and it’s a pretty big *if*) then she’ll be where she should

have been all along, price-wise. But that still leaves 2 months (and counting) of fighting for it.

The hours spent on phone calls, e-mails, letters (she doesn’t use a computer) visits to the dealership, etc. What’s going to be done to make up for that?

Refunding things that were never requested is the OBLIGATION of a business.

It’s not a favor, good deed or concession.

It seems to be Plaza’s position that "under extreme pressure, we’ll abide by the law".

Jim chastised me for not walking out.

I was prepared to. I got up to leave. But couldn’t get mother to move.

I asked her afterward why she stayed when I advised against it.

She said "they wore me out".

That part, I’m sure is "used car sales, 101: badger the customer until the thought of having to go through it again is too much and they just give up and take what you offer"

But as hellish as that day was, it was only the tip of the iceberg.

2 more months of aggravation, stress and abuse since then.

My wife and I have bought 2 used cars in the last 6 years and neither experience was ANYTHING like this one. Sure, there’s some negotiating to be done.

But we’ve never seen a dealership try to frighten old ladies into completing everything the same day. There’s no reason we couldn’t have come back the next day to do the financing.

When Richard said doing the contract, financing, etc would take 45 minutes, I knew he was either insane, a huge liar or both.

I said it would take 3 hours and it actually took more.

There is a reason that BBB received 68 complaints about Plaza in a 12-month period.

Same reason that the Internet is filled with bad reviews about the dealership.

It’s an extremely sleazy operation – and I mean even by the standards of used car sales.

Is Plaza going to do anything for my mother to make up for at least a small part of what she’s been through? She didn’t sleep for 2 nights after getting the invoice showing a price that was $4,000 higher than what it should have been.

Can you imagine how stressful that is for an 87 year old woman?

She’s concerned enough about limited finances. Getting another car is a huge drain on her finances. To get thousands of dollars just snatched out of her pocket on top of that is reprehensible.

I really feel that Plaza’s position is not "we’re sorry we did this" but rather "we’re sorry we got caught".


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#3 UPDATE Employee

Re: Jim

AUTHOR: Tony Saunders - ()


As the Customer Service Manager at Plaza Auto Mall, I am sorry that Ron feels that he and his mother were defrauded. I am aware of his complaint in its entirety and I am also aware of what Plaza has already done to try to remedy this situation. What I am looking to achieve is the resolution that Ron is seeking. There are to be no added fees or charges – because we are not selling him anything! If I felt that I was going to be deceiving a customer, I would not be comfortable with putting my name and title out in the public domain. However, as I am doing everything I can to reach a resolution that satisfies all parties involved in good faith, I have absolutely no problem with providing any and necessary information about myself to relevant parties.

I understand your skepticism but my personal aim is to always proceed with the best interest of our customers in mind.

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#4 Consumer Comment

DON'T Give Them Their Reward!

AUTHOR: Jim - ()

Now they come forward and claim they are so-o-o-o sorry they were caught trying to defraud a custmer!  Don't now reward them by giving them the business in view of what they tried to pull on your mother.  Move on, let the slimeballs climb back into their septic tank.  They may try to hit you up with some phone, bogus add-on fee like "Administration Fee" or "Dealer Fee".  No matter what they tell you, that fee is nothing more than a method to defraud you by giving their BOGUS FEE an official sounding name!  Watch out for a $300-$1000 bogus fee for registration.  Also watch for the "bank fee con-game".  However, in the final analysis, they got caught running their game.  Now they claim to want to "help" you.  Don't be a chump.  Go somewhere else.  Otherwise YOU will be rewarding this pond scum for trying to DEFRAUD and DECEIVE you!

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#5 UPDATE Employee ..inside information

Response From Plaza Auto Mall

AUTHOR: Tony Saunders - ()

Hi Ron,

My name is Tony Saunders and I am the Customer Service Manager at Plaza Auto Mall. I understand that you have been conversing with Lauren Webster on our Facebook page about this complaint. Both her and I will be doing all that we can to assist you and your mother from here.

First off, I would like to sincerely apologize for any negative experience that you have had with our dealership. As much as I love hearing about satisfied customers, I also value feedback such as yours because it allows me to identify potential problems and act accordingly to rectify them. So, although this situation has caused distress to you and your mother, I do appreciate you bringing it to my attention.

As Lauren mentioned to you before, I am currently waiting to hear back from the company that we purchase TLP from. I was reluctant to get in touch before this was completely finalized, but I do want you to know that both Lauren and I are working on getting this resolved. I personally faxed over your mother's paperwork yesterday and I am currently waiting to hear back about the cancellation. I will be in touch just as soon as I get a definitive response.

If there is anything else I can assist you with at this time, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Again, I apologize for any distress caused to both you and your mother.


Tony Saunders

Customer Service Manager

Plaza Auto Mall


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#6 Author of original report

Not entirely wrong

AUTHOR: Shadow63 - ()

 Generally, you have valid points.

Of course there are 8 hours of details missing from my narative.

One important piece is that my wife came with us and normally reads things for me.  But she had gone to get the old license plates and was away during the time we were with the finance person.

We did just fine shopping for our own cars.  I AM ALWAYS ready to walk away from a deal if I don't like it.

I got up to walk away from this deal.  But couldn't drag a 200lb 87 y/o without hurting her.

Even though it would be in her best interest to leave, she couldn't understand it at the time.

Also, I will NOT accept responsability for being lied to.

If someone out negotiatiates me, brovo for them.  But if someone tells a blind person that a document says one thing when it really says something else, that is beyond imoral and illegal.  I can't bring an entire staff with me wherever I go.  If I go to the doctor and a staff person helps me fill out the forms, I kina have to trust that the forms are what they say they are.  Either that or you come with me everywhere I go.

The people at Plaza are lawless bast*ards.  Not my fault that they are.  Nor is it my responsability to assume that everyone on Earth is lying about what they represent.

But having had the experience that I did, it is my responsability to share with others in the hopes that they can avoid something similar.

Thus I have made this report.

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#7 Consumer Comment

YOU Played Right Into Their Hands!

AUTHOR: Jim - ()

Next time, take somebody with you who knows what in the h**l they are doing because you certainly don't!  Go ahead, get mad!!! 

It doesn't take EIGHT HOURS to buy a car!  You agreed to play doormat, they saw your willingness to do that and they took advantage of your willingness to be screwed over.  Why are you buying insurance at a car dealer?  You then claim all the paperwork was signed WITHOUT you or your mother readiing it!  You're excuse is you have eyesight problems which shows very obviously YOU had NO INTENTION of reading it in the first place otherwise you would have brought somebody with you.  Smart...real, real smart! Did this dealership take advantage of you and your mother?  Absolutely, positively!  However, YOU totally and completely allowed and enabled it to happen.  All this could have been avoided by YOU getting up and walking out after a reasonable amount of time had elapsed...like an hour.  Instead, you acted like a spineless chump and simply stayed there while they saw your willingness to volunteer to be a doormat.  They knew exactly what they were doing and you simply volunteered to play perfectly into their hands!





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