This Week's Get Out of Town - Don't Buy a Car From These Clowns!!!

Over the last few weeks, I really haven’t addressed local issues. I have ranted against awards shows, sports, lip-synch divas, telemarketers, and other wretched cretins that ruin my days and nights.
Today will be a little different. I’m bringing the fight to one of the city’s big guns, and their history of screwing over the little guy. Or in this case the little woman.
Under the advice of my powerful team of lawyers, I won’t name these bastards. I think you’ll be able to figure out who I’m talking about, though. They’re a local used car dealer who spends a ton of cash on half hour infomercials bragging about how they can improve anybody’s credit. If that doesn’t tell you who they are, well, they’re also the name of a wrestling move.
This story involves a beautiful young single mother that I adore who has had some credit problems over the years. She’s a great person who has always struggled to make ends meet for her and her two children.
In late January, she visited this certain car dealer and traded in her existing vehicle for a new one that was better suited for carrying her children. The deal was quickly made, and she took possession of her car that same day.
Three weeks later, she contacted her bank to check her balance and discovered that her old car had not yet been paid off. The payment for that old loan had been deducted from her account. Thinking that it was a simple mix-up, she contacted her sales rep, who told her he would call the corporate office and make sure that a check would be sent for her buyout.
For the next few days, she kept contacting her bank, who had agreed to delay that loan payment until the end of her ten day grace period. When that time period had lapsed, she again called her sales rep, who claimed he would personally take a check down to the bank to pay off that loan.
They failed to do as promised. She called again the next day, and they again promised to personally deliver the payment. Day after day she called – suddenly the people she needed to talk to were never around. Or her messages would be given to the wrong people. As she became more irate with each call, their patience would also lessen. They threatened to hang up on her at one point, but didn’t after she promised to show up with a lawyer if they did. At one point they also claimed that her new loan wasn’t even approved until almost a full month after she was allowed to drive off with the new vehicle.
In the meantime, she found her original car on another lot. She eventually visited this lot, and was told that they had bought it from her dealer, but the title had not yet been transferred. He was also upset, as he claimed there were multiple times he could have resold it.
Finally, she had had enough. Six weeks after the deal was made, the bank had still not received the payoff. The bank supplied her with the phone number to the Department of Motor Vehicles, but before she contacted them the bank called back to inform her that the payout had finally been made. Unfortunately, it was for the wrong amount. Another call to the car dealer led to another promise, which at last report had not been made.
I’m the first to admit that mistakes can be made. It’s possible that somebody simply dropped the ball, or a lazy sales person or financial clerk didn’t do their job. But I have heard similar stories from a number of people. In fact, it’s my understanding that it’s these kinds of practices that have led to criminal investigations in other states.
The obvious question is why would these guys screw over a potential good customer? It’s because they can. The people who purchase cars at this lot don’t have many choices, and if they do repair their credit they will move on to bigger and better car lots with more reasonable interest rates.
It’s a simple matter of making money from money. Every day the held onto their cash resulted in a little bit more interest income. It may not amount to much from each individual sale, but if you repeat these kinds of practices tens or hundreds of times per week will result in some sweet cash flow improvements. Meanwhile, the already poor credit of their customers will possibly just get worse. My friend says that her credit rating would decrease by 200 points if there had been further delays in her payoff. I guess it’s an ingenious plan to force customers to return to their lot – not by customer service or great deals but by ruining what little credit remains so they can charge an even higher interest rate on their next overpriced lemon.


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