Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Car Dealership Horror Story

Another Car Dealership Horror Story....
as told by the unfortunate victim it happened to.

One of my worst mistakes occurred when I was 22 years old. 

I had just moved to Florida to start my journey exploring the world. When I moved it was the first time I had ever visited Florida....with $100 in my huge suitcase and a mind full of questions such as: What are you doing here? Are you insane? Do you know anybody here?

I decided that I needed a car after I got a second job in a shoe store. I worked overnight in the warehouse of a bookstore and during the day in the shoe store. I saved some money got my drivers license and started looking for a car.

I called every dealer and everybody turned me down, because of my $600 down payment and no credit history. They wanted $3,000.00 down payments, co-signers, references, even the name of my unborn great-grandchildren! I was so desperate I would take anything. So I called this place I heard about on the radio.... They pre-approved me over the phone, so I went there with my savings and my hopes.

They treated me like a queen. Offering drinks, complementing me, I felt like a superstar in a luxurious spa in Los Angeles. They accepted my down payment and I was thrilled. They started showing me cars, the first one the most beautiful and spacious, then they showed me the not so nice ones, that's how they get us! Of coarse I went for the first one, it had a sticker with the words low mileage on it. Huh? I know about low mileage, about the same that I know about open heart surgery, absolutely nothing.

They sold me a 1992 Pontiac Grand AM with 80,000 miles on it for $8,000 (And yes, I mean U.S. dollars), and that's not all, with the low interest rate of 29% everything added up to more than $12,000!

I was so dumb, that I didn't even bother to check the value of the car in the blue book. I was trapped in the dealership for 6 endless hours, my hand was hurting from all the papers I had to sign: checks, insurance, an agreement of not to sue, papers that I didn't even understand and the contract. 

Two days after the deal of a lifetime, the engine started having problems, they took the car and made repairs. A month later I started having problems with the brakes, so they took the car again and made repairs. I didn't care, as long as I had the car it was fine. They gave me the car back and everything went fine for the next couple of days.  

One beautiful day at 7:45 AM I was driving towards work, when a 70 year old looking man hit my car with his 1970 truck. The poor man got out of the car nervous and apologizing.  I didn't know it was the beginning of the end for me.  I contacted the guy's insurance company, within a couple of days after placing the claim I received the outrageous news that the car was totaled. She replied: When the repairs of a car exceed its value the car is considered totaled. The nice lady proceeded to tell me the value of the car. $2,936! I sat down with my mouth open and after a half hour of hallucinations and criminal thoughts, I called back the nice lady of the insurance company and told her what I owed on the car.

She got in contact with the dealership where I purchased the car and explained the situation. The dealership took the money from the insurance and wanted to charge me the difference, which was more that $5500. I knew that it was not right. What was I supposed to do?  I consulted with an attorney who charged me $112, he asked me about gap insurance.  He then proceeded to explain how gap insurance is essential when buying a car in one of these places. Then he told me it was my fault for signing the contract and that I have to learn from this experience, he wasn't surprised, according to him he has cases like that every week.

Advice for car buyers:
If you are going to buy a used car, save enough and buy it from the owner, preferably a first time owner, and have the car checked by a mechanic before buying it.  My only satisfaction is that someone will read this story and will learn from my experience. 

Are you getting ready to buy a new or used car??  To help avoid a story like this from happening to you, order your copy of CAR DEALER HELL now by clicking here.

*article found on

No comments:

Post a Comment