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Report: #309698

Complaint Review: Landmark Chevrolet - Houston Texas

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  • Reported By: Stafford Texas
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  • Landmark Chevrolet 9111 NW Fwy Houston, Texas U.S.A.

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CONSUMER ISSUES QUESTIONABLE AUTO DEALERSHIP PRACTICES--MAJOR HOUSTON AREA CAR DEALER

12/29-Took delivery of vehicle with signed contract. Provided ALL requested documentation at that time, i.e. proof of residence, original paystubs, utility bill, house payment voucher, etc. Contract states that the first payment is due on the 12th of February. Gave downpayment of $1500. Was told that vehicle was financed and everything was done and that I needed to add the vehicle to my car insurance right away.

Not so. A couple of days later received call stating that they had a better deal with a lower payment and that I needed to come back and sign new papers for the lower payment, so I did.

The payment was lower but it was lower because the finance company would not do an extended warranty. I figured that was okay because the vehicle was a 2007 and still under factory warranty. So I went with it and was told all was done. Two weeks go by and I hear nothing from the dealership or the finance company. I finally looked up the finance company on the internet and called them. They said they do not know who I am and have no record of me. I call the dealer and ask them what is going on and inform them of what the finance company told me. Come to find out my paperwork was still at the dealership and had not been sent to them. It supposedly is sent to the finance company a day or two later.

I receive a call from the finance company around February 1st wanting to verify my information and they tell me everything is fine and it is a done deal. I remind them that the first payment on the car is due on the 12th of February and am told no problem I can send it overnight or make it at the dealership.

On February 4th I call the finance company back to get the phone number for the accounts department to set-up a direct deduction for the payments and am told that my deal got sent back to the dealer and to call them. I call the dealership and the dealership tells me that the finance company had an issue with verifying part of my past employment which made no sense because they had all of the phone numbers. I even called my prior payroll office and they tell me that no one EVER called, so to make sure everything is legit I get a letter on letterhead from my old job (major employer) and fax it over to the finance company and the dealership so they can call the payroll office directly to confirm what the employment verification letter states. I talk to the finance company again on February 8th and they tell me everything is fine and give me my account number for the loan.

On that same day I ask what do I do about the first payment and they tell me to make it at the dealership on or before the 12th of February. On Monday, February 11th, I went to the dealership and wrote a check for the first car payment. I wrote directly on the check that it was the first payment for the car and the dealership gave me a receipt stating the same thing. The dealership told me we were done.

I then called the finance company and told them I made the payment, they said it was done and told me that I would receive my statement for the next payment due in March.

On February 16th, I received a call from the dealership telling me that they wanted more information from me. Now mind youI have had the car since 12/29, made a downpayment of $1500 and that check has long cleared and subsequently made the first car note payment as well.

NOW I am being ask for more information by the dealership. The check for the first car payment has already cleared as well. Every time I speak with the dealership the story changes. The finance company says one thing and then the dealership calls me to say something else.

Why would a car dealership company take a car payment if there is no financing in place? No possibility of misunderstanding it was NOT additional downpayment moneythe check is clearly annotated first car payment and their receipt says the same thing.

I have had the car for fifty-nine days under the impression, from what the finance company stated, from what the dealership started, by the dealership's action and the finance company directing me to give them the first months payment that the deal was done.

Now I find that it most probably is not. I called the finance manager after speaking to the salesman on Saturday, February 16th and asked him what was going onhes the finance manager, he should know. Not surprisedtold me their computers were down and that he could not bring up my records. I asked about just bringing the car back and he tells me they will not charge me any usage fees. I called the salesman back and told him that I was bringing the car back and he goes from being so nice to telling me that if I bring the car back they will charge me $25 a day use feethe car would be a rental/loaner.

BIG QUESTION: If the car is now a rental/loaner, why did the dealership accept and deposit a check from me that was marked CLEARLY marked on the FRONT OF IT first car payment on deal and give me a receipt that states the same thing?

Talk about some questionable business practices, misrepresentation, and total nonsense.

I strongly suggest that if you are thinking about getting a vehicle from these people DO NOT DO IT!! Also, they belong to the same family as BILL HEARD CHEVROLET. Same practices.

If anyone else has had this same or a similar experience, please contact me. If there is a class action lawsuit going on regarding these people, please let me know.

Sarah
Stafford, Texas
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/17/2008 08:12 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/landmark-chevrolet/houston-texas/landmark-chevrolet-questionable-deceptive-and-mispresentation-in-auto-financing-houston-309698. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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#2 Author of original report

2nd UPDATE: Landmark Chevrolet Questionable, Deceptive, and Mispresentation in Auto Financing Houston Texas

AUTHOR: Sarah - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, February 28, 2008

2/25/08-After going back and forth about my refund I finally bypassed the salespeople and the "finance" management and called the accounting department.

The young woman in the finance department that I spoke to said that she did not know what I was talking about at first and I got transferred to another person. The second person told me that they were processing a refund for me but it was only for the downpayment and that I would have to go back to the finance company to get my "phantom" car payment back. I asked why did have to go to them when the check was made payable to Landmark and they (Landmark) deposited and cashed my check, not the finance company. The woman in accounting then said she did not know anything else and that I needed to talk to another person. I was transferred to "Chris", who proceeded to say the same thing. I explained to "Chris" that I had already spoken to the finance company and they were the one who had directed me back to the dealership as they claimed they had not received any money from the dealership for the car payment.

"Chris" put me on hold and then told me that she checked the dealership's accounts. She claimed that the dealership had deposited my check and then sent THEIR check to the finance company for the first payment, which directly contradicted the earlier stories that I had received from the salespeople, i.e. that the deal was being financed one payment short from the finance company which was why I had to make the payment at the dealership.

In any case, "Chris" went ahead and told me that she was placing a stop payment on the supposed check that the dealership had sent out and that they had to cut another check to give me back my money on the car payment.

I finally got my money back. I decided to cash the checks at the dealership's bank. When I went to cash the checks at their bank, the bank manager looked at the checks and asked if it was a refund from a car deal--I said "yes". She asked what happened and after I told her she said that her brother had started to buy a truck from Landmark and had a similar thing happen to him. He ended up taking the truck back and it took him a while to get this money back too.

In the end, I am satisfied that some people within Landmark did the right thing and gave me my money back. The only thing is that I had to go through such a troublesome process to get the right resolution. When I gave them the money, they had no problem with clearing the checks but they do not easily offer the same type of reciprocation to consumers.

I dealt with three salesmen and two of them appeared to be somewhat genuine about the process. The other one tried to bully me into thinking that if I returned the car I would be paying a daily use fee and the car would be a loaner.

If after reading all of this you still are buying a car from Landmark, I suggest the following:

1. DO NOT TAKE THE CAR FROM THE LOT.

This is referred to as the "COURTESY DELIVERY"--the dealership tells you the deal is approved, you sign what you think are the final papers which the dealership gives you in an envelope, puts you in the car, waves bye-bye, and then you end up hearing from them a week or two later telling you got a better rate and come and back to sign "new" papers. The truth is they are having issues getting the funding for your deal and the entire time you have the car you are racking up possible fees--they might try to charge you a "loaner fee" if the deal never gets done for each day you had the car.

2. DO NOT LEAVE THE LOT WITHOUT YOUR COPIES OF YOUR CONTRACT!!

A purchaser order or buyer order is NOT a contract. When your deal is done you should have your copy of an installment contract. The finance company is NOT responsible for giving this to you--the dealership is. IF you do not have this--you have no done deal until you get it.

3. DO NOT GIVE CASH DOWNPAYMENTS!

Pay by check, money order, certified check. Make sure you write on the check/money order/certified check what the payment is for, i.e. VIN number of the vehicle, and make a copy of it. This is for your protection should you need to seek a refund and need proof of payment.

4. GET A RECEIPT FROM THEM FOR ALL PAYMENTS MADE!

Make sure the receipt states on it what the payment was for.

5. Let me state again--DO NOT, DO NOT, HOWEVER TEMPTING, TAKE THE CAR FROM THE LOT--UNTIL THE DEAL IS DONE!!

How do you know a deal is done? YOU need to speak directly to the bank or finance company yourself and get your account number. DO NOT take salesperson's word for it.

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#1 Author of original report

Update to Landmark Chevrolet Questionable, Deceptive, and Mispresentation in Auto Financing Houston Texas

AUTHOR: Sarah - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, February 21, 2008

Update:

Took the vehicle back to the dealership. The salespeople told me the deal was done. I explained that the finance company told me that it was still not done as of 2/14, which meant that on the day that I was told to write the check (2/11) for the first car payment the deal was NEVER finalized as I had been told by the salespeople and the finance company.

I reiterated to them that I did not understand how they could have accepted and deposited a check for what was a first car payment if the deal was never done? I was told that I must be talking to the wrong people at the finance company. I reminded them that the only people I was in contact at the finance company were those individuals that THEY (the dealership) had told me to contact. After they kept looking in their computers in my "file" I was told that they did not understand what was going on. I explained that since no one knew "what was going on" that I could not keep a vehicle in my garage that was not mine and that I could not continue to pay insurance premiums on a vehicle that was not mine. Since we had no finalized deal I asked for the return of my downpayment and the check they had cashed for the first car payment.

They asked me to provide them with a copy of my bank statement showing the checks had cleared and I gave them a bank image of the front and back of both checks showing where they (the dealership) had deposited them and how they had cleared my account.

I was then asked if I would be willing to speak to their director because they thought it was important for the director to know what the finance company was doing. I was also told that they would give me my money back and would call me back the next day.

I never heard from them the next day--I had to call them. When I called I was told that it would take a day for the checks to be ready and that they would call me when I could pick them up. That day came and went and I had to them the following day and was told that the check requests had gone over to their accounting department but that double signatures were needed from their management on the checks and that they would call me when they were ready.

It is now the next day after the last phone call I made to them and I still have heard nothing about the so-called checks.

Funny, how they wasted no time in cashing my checks but when it comes to returning a customer's money that is a whole different story. When I was supposedly buying the vehicle I heard from these people two or three times a day, but now?? Hah!

Any confidence I had in these people is totally diminished in that the follow-up is non-existent. Their business practices are extremely disorganized and it gives one little to no belief that any deal will be honored.

I was told my money would be refunded in about a day and it is now going into the fifth day and I have yet to see anything.

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