Am I being ripped off by my car dealership or are they just idiots?
May 22, 2012 10:40 AM   Subscribe

Dealer says they sold me a stolen car and I have to return it tonight. WTF?

IKYANML but I need some advice. Yesterday I got a phone call from a police officer saying the dealership from which I bought my car had reported my car as stolen, telling him that someone took the car for a test drive and never brought it back. I was so freaked out by this that it never occurred to me to ask how the police office found me or my phone number but both the bank I have my loan with and my insurance company have the car's VIN so I would assume there is some sort of database? At any rate, I assured him that I did, in fact, have the car and told him I would fax him the bill of sale today. The detective told me that they reported cars stolen all the time and that he would tell them to just go away!

Before I had a chance to do that, I got a phone call from the dealership telling me that they had just found out that when the previous owner bought the car I have now, the dealership from which he bought it accidentally sent the title to him instead of to the lienholder. When the previous owner received the title, instead of returning it to the dealership, he took the title and car to my dealership and traded the car in for a better car, presenting the car as being completely paid off. Then, the dealership sold the car to me. Therefore, the car is stolen and I need to return it.

The man at the dealership said that since this is in no way my fault, he will give me a nicer car at the same price but I must bring it back tonight and I will need to redo my loan to show the new car. I actually kinda don't want a nicer car because it will make my insurance go up and the whole thing seems fishy particularly in light of my phone call yesterday.

I bought the car two weeks ago yesterday. What are my rights? What should my next steps be? I have a phone call in to the detective I spoke with but he doesn't come in until 2.
posted by katyjack to Shopping (72 answers total) 126 users marked this as a favorite
 
The dealer isn't going to come crawling through your window with a club if you wait until 2. Sight tight and talk to the detective when he comes in.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:47 AM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


This sort of thing is not done via telephone. It is done via certified mail. You are being scammed.
posted by ellF at 10:47 AM on May 22, 2012 [22 favorites]


Who holds the current title to the vehicle? If it is titled in your name, it is your car. If it is titled to the bank who loaned you money, you should probably talk to them. If the dealership still holds the title, you should probably get a lawyer.
posted by doomtop at 10:49 AM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


You are being scammed. Hire an attorney.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:51 AM on May 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


The story the dealership told the police ("someone took the car for a test drive and never brought it back") does not even come close to matching what the dealership told you. That sets off all sorts of alarm bells for me.

Talk to the detective first. If the dealership calls you back before you talk to the detective, tell them you're on the other line with the detective trying to work out exactly what you should do.
posted by erst at 10:51 AM on May 22, 2012 [28 favorites]


Absolutely don't return the car for another, "better" car. Return it only for the full cash value you paid for it, and buy a car elsewhere.

Don't return it until you've talked to the police. You don't say where you are, but it's entirely possible that you took good title to the car, irrespective of any defects.

Certainly, I think that the idea that the car is "stolen" because of a screw-up in title is suspicious. In any event, stolen cars are recovered by making a complaint with the police, not by calling you up on the phone. Again, don't do anything without getting clarification from the police first.
posted by Dasein at 10:52 AM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Could you post your location? There are different rules depending on what country you are in.
posted by valoius at 10:52 AM on May 22, 2012


Sounds like a VERY shifty small dealership, I have no legal advice other than DON'T LET THEM RUSH YOU INTO ANYTHING, they'll make it seem like a big rush to fix a mistake and before you know it you'll find yourself screwed. Just take it slow, talk with the detective, and if the dealership is being fraudulent then the detective should avert his attention to them, not you. There is no rush on your part though, as you are the innocent party.
posted by el_yucateco at 10:52 AM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


This sort of thing is not done via telephone. It is done via certified mail. You are being scammed.


Yeah, you need to initiate the phone calls. Can you call the local police department number listed in your phone book / local government website and connect with the detective that way?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:52 AM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


This is not your problem. This is between the dealer and the original owner, and they're trying to get you to make their problem your problem. Don't take the bait. Next time they call, tell them you intend to honor the terms of your purchase contract, and hang up. If they call you again, call the detective you spoke to earlier and get his advice. If it goes beyond that, get an attorney of your own.
posted by deadmessenger at 10:52 AM on May 22, 2012


"Yeah, you need to initiate the phone calls"....in order to verify that the detective is who he says he is.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:53 AM on May 22, 2012 [48 favorites]


the dealership from which he bought it accidentally sent the title to him instead of to the lienholder.

This part sounds like the least plausible part. Your dealership should not have purchased a car that had an unpaid lien on it! It doesn't matter if the former owner had the title; it still wouldn't have been in his name.
posted by clockzero at 10:54 AM on May 22, 2012


"former owner"
posted by clockzero at 10:55 AM on May 22, 2012


That sounds ALL KINDS of sketchy. Do nothing until you've figured out what's going on. Definitely check if the detective is actually a cop and not someone claiming they're a detective[1]. Also, I would immeidately talk to the attorney general's office in your state, if you're in the US. If you're not in the US, some other governmental consumer protection or legal protection office seems like the way to go. I would also talk to the bank holding the loan and see if they have suggestions on who to talk to.

[1] I used to get through a protective phone screening at a friend's office by claiming I was calling from the FBI.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:56 AM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would be talking to your bank, too. They're the leinholder. I'm sure they'd be very interested in this.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:57 AM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Something is really, really off about this story. You need to verify that this detective is actually a detective, and you need to get absolutely everything in writing.

I would look for a new dealership, should you need to return the car (for the full cash amount you have given them so far), but if for some reason you want to stay with them (don't), then they should be covering car rental until you get a new car.
posted by jeather at 10:58 AM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Don't trust that the "detective" who called you is real. Contact the police yourself, and tell them everything that just happened to you. Express that you think you're being scammed somehow, and make sure that the person who called you is really a police officer.
posted by Citrus at 10:58 AM on May 22, 2012 [17 favorites]


Call your bank, call the police.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:59 AM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Call your local police department and ask to talk to whoever deals with stolen cars. Full stop.
posted by SMPA at 10:59 AM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whatever you do, don't drive to the dealership in this car or they might box you in or do something else to take the car back or prevent you from leaving.
posted by jeather at 11:00 AM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


So... you sure this guy is actually a police detective?

The absolute worst thing that happens here is that the car gets repossessed. But most states have something akin to a "bona fide buyer" rule for cars saying that if you buy it from a dealer, you have good title even if the car had been stolen. So the cops running this down through a dealer to a new purchaser strikes me as highly implausible.

I'd start by calling the police yourself and asking what's up. Don't call a number they gave you, call the station directly. Don't ask for the "detective" you talked to, ask to talk to the officer who handles grand theft auto. I'd be willing to bet money that no one there has any idea what you're talking about, suggesting that this is a scam.
posted by valkyryn at 11:01 AM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Look up the non-emergency number for the police and call them. I'll be that "detective" you talked to is someone they have never heard of.
posted by ambrosia at 11:02 AM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


All the above advice is good. This sounds scammy as hell. I just want to add that you probably want to park your car in a locked garage for a little while. If you don't have one, see if a friend can hook you up. If neither of those, park it a couple of blocks away from your house.
posted by Etrigan at 11:08 AM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


This sounds like a scam that may have affected other car buyers. Can you please keep us posted, katyjack?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:12 AM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Based on the information you've given it's also possible that the person claiming to be calling from your dealership is not actually associated with the dealership. For example, the first scammer calls you up and pretends to be a detective, says something vague about your car being reported stolen. You tell them that you did in fact pay for it, from such and such dealership, and the scammer says oh it's probably a false alarm then and hangs up. Then scammer number two calls you up pretending to be from such and such dealership using the information obtained by scammer number one, and tells you to give him the car back right away. And conveniently when you try to call back the detective he's suddenly busy and can't talk to you now.

Don't assume anything someone who calls you on the phone tells you about this kind of stuff unless you can verify that what they say is true from a third party who you know for sure is not part of the scam (such as by calling your local police and asking to talk to someone as many have suggested).
posted by burnmp3s at 11:16 AM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Call the police right now and report everything that happened. Don't call the 'detective' that called you first. Do not do anything with the car in the meantime. In fact, I'd think about parking it somewhere not near your house for now.
posted by empath at 11:20 AM on May 22, 2012 [13 favorites]


Do not do anything with the car in the meantime. In fact, I'd think about parking it somewhere not near your house for now.

This. Got a friend with a garage and a way to borrow a car for a few days?
posted by tilde at 11:24 AM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


1. Call the police department fraud/bunko division. Look it up on line, don't use the number you were given by the "detective".

2. Call your bank, and tell them what you were told.

3. No matter what, if this IS legit (and it so doesn't sound right to me) return the car for a full cash refund, make copies of all of the paperwork you received and get a written statement from them regarding the incident.

Did you buy this from a real dealership, or a "tote the note" place?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:27 AM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is totally a scam. The person who called you is not a real detective. Here is (basically) how this will go down.

1) You return the car, and they write you a check for the money you paid.

2) Then, you will write them a check for the new car at a lower price.

3) Your check will clear almost right away. However, three days later, you will find out from the bank that their check did not.

If I were in your shoes, I would play along but tell them you can't return the car right away - you need to attend a wedding. (Basically some plausible excuse that makes them think you believe them, but that the timetable doesn't work for you.) Meanwhile, go to the police (the real police, not the fake detective who called you) and give them all this information (including the phone number of the detective). Let them know you are playing along for the time being with the con artists and that they have a couple of days to look into it. This way, the police can use you in a minor sting operation, which could help the charges stick.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 11:35 AM on May 22, 2012 [38 favorites]


FYI, this sounds like basically just a minor variation of the traditional "renter" scam that was going around a few years ago. The only difference is that instead of being "refunded" and being given a better deal on a rental, it's happening on a piece of property.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 11:41 AM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is shit is bananas.

I'd operate on the assumption that this is a scam and proceed accordingly.
1. Call the police, not the detective you talked to, ASAP.
2. Call your bank.
3. Call a lawyer.

Don’t buy another car from these people if you have to relinquish this car.

A friend got phone-scammed by a guy claiming to be a cop. Now he refuses to talk on the phone with anyone who says they are a cop. He says he’d be more than willing to talk to them at the station and asks for their badge number
posted by OsoMeaty at 11:44 AM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


You will know this is a scam if you can't verify a Detective X exists. I can't wait for the update!

I would want to go in and talk to the / a detective in the police station in person.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:48 AM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your check will clear almost right away. However, three days later, you will find out from the bank that their check did not.

Check scams are pretty common but I don't think it's particularly likely that this would involve one. The scammers would presumably have to deal with the hassle of showing the OP a fake new car that they would supposedly be buying, then somehow convince the OP to pay for it without letting the OP take physical ownership of the new car. I would think if this is a scam it probably just involves taking the car and disappearing rather than trying to run another scam on top of that.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:59 AM on May 22, 2012


I would agree that this is probably a scam. BUT it could be a case of complete ineptitude. My parents were buying a new car at a reputable dealership, gradin in their old car. They were in the process of signing papers when a few hidden costs came up and they decided to wait on he purchase a few days and talk to a fee regional dealerships. The car they drove in with had already been sold, without their consent. Crazy shit can happen at car dealerships; it's a strange, sketch corner of commerce, but it could just be ineptitude. But yes, probably a scam.
posted by furnace.heart at 12:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yesterday I got a phone call from a police officer saying the dealership from which I bought my car had reported my car as stolen, telling him that someone took the car for a test drive and never brought it back.

I'm not a police officer, but I don't think this is what they do. I don't think that if they believe you stole a car, they call you up and say, "Hey, did you steal this car?" That would seem to me like poor police work, as a matter of fact, since it's pretty unlikely that you'll say, "You know, I did, and I'll bring it back."

The detective told me that they reported cars stolen all the time and that he would tell them to just go away!

So he called you to ask whether you stole it, and when you said you didn't, he said that was the end of it and he would tell the complainant on the stolen car to "go away"? Again: Real weird. And for crying out loud, don't fax the bill of sale to someone if you don't know for sure who it is. It probably has all manner of personal information on it.

Therefore, the car is stolen and I need to return it.

Again, not an expert on used cars, but does this really make the car stolen, even if this wackadoodle story is true? Not totally following: did the dealership not just send the title to the guy instead of the lienholder, but put the title in the guy's name instead of the lienholder's? Did the lienholder not notice never receiving the title? This all sounds so, so much like weird doublespeak to me.

What I'm saying is what everybody else said, basically. I can't speak to whether it's a scam or not, but it's so super-weird that I would start with some phone calls you initiate yourself based on publicly available law enforcement phone numbers. You don't know yet, but it's VERY worth making absolutely certain you know what the heck is going on.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 12:27 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Scammy.

When they "detective" or dealer calls you again, tell them that the state attorney general's office is very interested in your case, and has asked you to hold off until they can get one of their staff to go to the dealership with you.

Then call the state attorney generals office and tell them what's going on. Then call your state legislators office and ask for advice. If you have the money, lawyer up.

Do not go to the dealership in that car--have a friend drive you (if you even go). Do not hand anybody the keys--at the dealership, they'll say they need to move it. Don't.

Park the car out of sight, if possible.

My dad owned a small town dealership----this is VERY FAR OUTSIDE THE NORM.

Then call your local news crew, see if they have a consumer advocate, and ask them for help.
posted by vitabellosi at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2012


Nthing "call your bank" as part of all of this. If they are doing business with fraudsters this is something they need to be aware of ASAP so they can take action.
posted by bunderful at 12:40 PM on May 22, 2012


At the moment, your bank owns your car, not you, so if there's confusion about who the rightful owner is, then they would want to know. Same as everyone else: call them.
posted by tippiedog at 12:46 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Assuming this is a scam, how does it play out, given that the car dealership is, presumably, an actual place of business? Typically the last step in the con is for the scammer to disappear. This seems like a really stupid thing to do for a business that intends to continue operating.
posted by mkultra at 12:56 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


It could be that the car dealership is not involved at all. If they get the victim calling them at the numbers they give instead of calling the dealership, they may end up coming out to the house to close the deal "as a convenience". They get a check, or the car, or both and skip town. The victim shows up to get his better new car or calls to see why it hasn't been delivered as promised and the real dealership has no idea what they are talking about.

Interested to see how this plays out.
posted by mikepop at 1:05 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Assuming this is a scam, how does it play out, given that the car dealership is, presumably, an actual place of business? Typically the last step in the con is for the scammer to disappear. This seems like a really stupid thing to do for a business that intends to continue operating.

Actually, this IS the key -- get the buyer physically back into the dealership. There, they will give you a hard sell for any number of things.

"Well, we could give you this nicer car, but you see, this model has this extra fee. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until XYZ. And you know, there's this buyer protection plan you could get to ensure that this kind of thing doesn't happen again. Seeing as how you're getting a nicer car, you really should get these floormats for it."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:08 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good point CPB, it depends if this is just a typical up-sell scam, or something more complicated.
posted by mikepop at 1:12 PM on May 22, 2012


Did you finance through the dealership? If so this is probably a Yo-Yo Scam.

Anyway, please call the police. Someone has called you claiming to be the police. Someone else has called you claiming to have sold you stolen property. I don't know if it's a good idea to get in the car again until a person with a badge says it's all clear.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:13 PM on May 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell: "Actually, this IS the key -- get the buyer physically back into the dealership. There, they will give you a hard sell for any number of things."

Going so far as to invent a story about the car being stolen, as well as impersonating a police officer (which is typically a crime not taken lightly) is a pretty bad way to go about this.

I'm dying to see how this unfolds...
posted by mkultra at 1:27 PM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Going so far as to invent a story about the car being stolen, as well as impersonating a police officer (which is typically a crime not taken lightly) is a pretty bad way to go about this.

It wouldn't be the worst.

The scandal originated in July 2006, when a 59-year-old customer who had a history of mental illness came into Huling Brothers wearing feces-stained pants and seeking to buy a truck. The man paid $30,000 for a vehicle, and told a salesman he had far more money back at his apartment, according to police reports. The next day, Dillard and five underlings practically tripped over each other to be the first to steal the remaining cash; Dillard and another salesman, Ted Coxwell, succeeded, according to a Washington State Patrol report.

After being beaten to the cash by co-workers, another salesman, Paul Rimbey, managed to steal the man's new $30,000 truck by getting him to sign over ownership while the man was in Harborview Medical Center's psychiatric ward, according to charging papers.

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


IANYL -- but If I had a suspicion about this it's probably not so much that this is an on-purpose scam but actually someone at the dealer and/or the other guy's lender trying desperately to patch a big screw up the facts of which are similar to what you've been told.

They are telling the cops, and you, whatever they can think of, to deal with the fact that the original guy scammed them and his prior bank, and someone might end up out a LOT of money (dealer having to pay your bank, or the original guy's bank, or the original guy's bank having to pay your bank, etc.)

You know to be careful about the guys at the dealer. Also be careful about relying on your bank. They are going to get very on edge if they believe that there is a cloud on the title securing the money they lent you, and their interest will NOT be in protecting you or helping you recover your down payment or other out of pocket costs if the transaction is undone, to say the least if the dealer or the police strong arms you. Morever, it is VERY hard for a consumer borrower to get escalated high enough in the customer service regime to find someone with the intelligence and authority to deal with you constructively and sympathetically.
posted by MattD at 3:14 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Seconding the "do not fax the "detective" the bill of sale." If you already have, alert your bank and credit card companies to the possibility of identity theft.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


i can't wait to read the update. be sure to come back and let us know!
posted by thilmony at 4:24 PM on May 22, 2012


Nthing the idea that this is either a scam (98%)or an absolutely colossal fuckup on the dealership's part(2%). Either way, it's not your problem. Call the police via their actual number, verify that there's no detective there by that name, give them the details, and be on your way.

(and yes, if you have a garage, park the car in it for a while.)
posted by KathrynT at 4:30 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Update?

Did you

- Move your car to a safe location?

- Call your bank?

- Call the real police, your state's attorney general's office and/or a lawyer?

- If you faxed the bill of sale, have you alerted the credit bureaus about possible credit fraud?

Like everyone else, I'm keen to know what this was all about. Hope it turned out OK!
posted by jbenben at 6:10 PM on May 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


You are being scammed. Hire an attorney.

You are being scammed. Do nothing. What can they do? They are relying on tricking you, and you're in the know, so you should be fine. But definitely call the police and report it.
posted by zardoz at 7:47 PM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would hide the car. Presumably they have your address on the paperwork, and they may have an extra key. There were WalMarts in AR stealing cars after someone would bring them in for an oil change. They would copy the key, get the address from paperwork in the glove compartment, and drive off in the night with it a few days later.

And yeah...this doesn't add up at all.
posted by MultiFaceted at 9:51 PM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you don't already have enough to think about, find a way to record all your conversations for a while. Your testimony is your word against theirs. Think about how you will have to prove all this later. Record them and get them to repeat details from previous conversations if possible. Your attorney will wish you had done this. The more evidence you have the better your position is in bringing these jokers to justice. So far your evidence seems to be two weird phone calls. Good luck.
posted by Kale Slayer at 12:41 AM on May 23, 2012


Don't forget to call the local TV news station. Their "investigations" team would probably LOVE to handle a story like this.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:26 AM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


For those who are suggesting the police, because the OP is a potential suspect (wrongly, crazily) in this morass, I would suggest contacting a lawyer and talking to the police with the lawyer present. I would never actually talk to police about *anything* without a lawyer present.

Don't talk to anyone but your attorney and, only at his or her advice, the police. If there is any possibility of incriminating yourself (and there always in in talking with the police) or you are suspected of a crime (you are), only talk to them with legal counsel. The situation is now FUBAR and you don't want to be collateral damage. Your bank may well be able to help you with the legal side of things, but protect yourself first. Otherwise, say nothing to anybody involved in the situation. Screen calls. Don't threaten or escalate. And nthing hiding the car for now.

I dealt with a very shady dealership before -- it took getting the police involved to get them to cough up my title five months later (I had to drive without plates!). I really cannot believe the human scum they were. They sold me a car that was titled three states away, that they did not even own, and let my money sit in their drawer for almost half a year before buying it. Weirdly, humiliation via Yelp (once I knew I was in the right and that I could get the title from the other dealership) was the thing that made them hop-to. So, just hold on now. You can write them a TERRIBLE Yelp review some day.
posted by sweltering at 7:10 AM on May 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Report this one to BBB.
posted by talldean at 12:29 PM on May 23, 2012


The BBB is useless, talldean. They're a private nonprofit organization that "encourages" companies to sign up as members, with a membership fee, with veiled threats of "not taking care of these complaints we have on your PERMANENT FILE!" if a business doesn't pony up. They have zero power over businesses other than the ratings they assign.
posted by mrbill at 1:03 PM on May 23, 2012


Please update when you find out what the deal is!
posted by latkes at 2:00 PM on May 23, 2012


The BBB is useless

I recently looking into getting a new roof, had a company in mind, checked them out on BBB, saw bad things, did not use said company.

Seems useful to me.
posted by Cosine at 2:03 PM on May 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some good advice upthread, especially about lawyering up. However, I wouldn't involve your bank - they don't care about you, only that they might be out $$$. If it comes to the crunch, they will do whatever it takes to get those $$$, whether you or the dealer or whoever pays.

IOW banks are *never* on your side. Lawyer up, and then follow their advice.

Best of luck
posted by humpy at 12:34 AM on May 24, 2012


Response by poster: Thought people might be interested in a follow-up or that the end of the story would be helpful to the poor soul who finds this question because they're in a similar situation (I'm so sorry).

First - turns out the car was, in fact, actually stolen, but the story the dealership gave me about the owner getting the title by mistake was totally bogus. Actual story: some guy goes into one Kia dealership, takes the car for a test drive by himself, doesn't bring it back, takes it home, makes a fake title for it, takes it to a second Kia dealership just a few miles away and trades it in. This car is then sold to me. I find it very hard to believe that the dealership that bought the car didn't at least suspect that the title they received was not valid.

The car I purchased was a sporty one-owner black 2010 Kia Forte with 18,000 miles in pristine condition. I got the VIN on the replacement vehicle they were offering me and ran a carfax and the "same or better" car they were offering me to replace it was a former rental vehicle with 48,000 miles that had been in a wreck. When I went back to the dealership, it just didn't have the same look as the first car and I refused to take it unless they came down at least $2,000 in price. They wouldn't do that, I walked away, got my money back, and paid off the loan.

That night, the dealership called me back and offered me a loaded 2012 Forte for the same price. However, that's what they should have done in the first place and I am not a professional car buyer. I cannot be taking time off from work to buy a car every week and they lost my trust and my business. FYI, this was Kia AtlantaSouth which is also called Kia of Morrow for those of you in the Atlanta area.

However, hearing the various horror stories here and from the woman at the bank, if this is truly the end of the story, I got off lucky. Knock on wood. Thanks for all the advice. It helped me keep my wits about me in a very trying situation.
posted by katyjack at 8:42 AM on May 24, 2012 [40 favorites]


thanks for the update. i was imagining a small mom and pop dealer, not a real Kia of Morrow type dealer.
posted by thilmony at 11:05 AM on May 24, 2012


Sheesh! That's harrowing.

It sounds like you did the exact right thing.

Thanks for coming back to re-post.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:18 PM on May 24, 2012


Please give them a terrible review on Yelp to warn other potential victims of their malfeasance and/or incompetence.
posted by twblalock at 12:39 PM on May 24, 2012


Ask MetaFilter: You can write them a TERRIBLE Yelp review some day.

katyjack: Today is your day!
posted by tilde at 1:01 PM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, terrible-review them into the ground on every website that you possibly can. And still consider the possibility of going to the media or a consumer watchdog group (I think the BBB ought to know about them). This is appallingly careless, unprofessional conduct on the part of Kia Atlanta South/Kia Morrow. If I were a prospective Kia buyer I'd want to avoid a place like this - you would be doing buyers a service by warning them.

And, btw, I'm definitely someone who uses Yelp reviews to find servicepeople, restaurants and other things. So a Yelp review can be influential.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:51 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow...I can't believe that the other Kia dealership took the car as a trade in without checking the VIN or something. Or that the dealerships somehow don't warn each other when one of their cars doesn't come back from a test drive.

I also can't believe the crap they offered you as a "same or better" replacement car. If the car you bought was stolen from a different Kia dealership seems like they could have sold you that car through the original dealership (because all it's going to do now is be returned to the original dealership that owns it, no?). Craptastic problem solving, decision making, and customer service all the way around.
posted by MultiFaceted at 9:41 AM on May 30, 2012


katyjack: "That night, the dealership called me back and offered me a loaded 2012 Forte for the same price. However, that's what they should have done in the first place and I am not a professional car buyer. I cannot be taking time off from work to buy a car every week and they lost my trust and my business."

I hear ya, and I don't even own a car. Somewhere in the annals of MeFi is an amazing comment (someone here surely knows what I'm talking about, or ask on MeTa) from a user who laid out, at length, his process for purchasing a (new) car. It required nerves of steel, and took place over several days. It saved him a bunch of dough and got him exactly what he wanted, but man, talk about swimming with sharks.
posted by mkultra at 10:08 AM on May 30, 2012


One of these? I remember it, too, but not which one.
posted by tilde at 11:49 AM on May 30, 2012


Somewhere in the annals of MeFi is an amazing comment (someone here surely knows what I'm talking about, or ask on MeTa) from a user who laid out, at length, his process for purchasing a (new) car.

I think it's this one.
posted by lalex at 12:02 PM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yup, lalex, that's the one!
posted by mkultra at 12:26 PM on May 30, 2012


Did you get actual confirmation from an objective, outside source that the dealership wasn't in on it?
Because, when I read your initial post, it sounds more like they pull this on you in order to get you to settle for a car, any car (because you are now obviously in *desperate* need of a car), that is worse, at the same price.
Which is, indeed, what they tried.

Tell everyone, far and wide, not to trust this dealership, because that is pretty hinky.
posted by Elysum at 12:16 AM on June 15, 2012


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