Friday, March 13, 2009

Bad Used Car Salesman

I.T. went to buy a car today at Jim Pattison Toyota and met the used car salesman from hell. They had originally gone to see what was supposed to be an older model of a brand new car. However, on arrival, the car turned out to be a demo car. The salesman said that only staff had driven the car around for their personal use. That already doesn't sound like a new car if it was driven around by someone on regular roads for an extended period of time.

I.T. noticed some suspicious scratches on the hood and the front light appeared to be slightly unaligned with the car body. He pointed it out to the salesman and asked if the car had been in an accident before, but the salesman denied everything, claiming that the owner's dog had made the scratches and that the light was fine. He agreed to have the scratches fixed, and promised to properly clean the car to remove any possible dog smells. I.T. then pointed out that the bumper seemed to be slightly off alignment as well. The salesman confessed that the bumper had been replaced before because there were some scratches on it. I.T. asked again whether the car had been in an accident, but the salesman insisted that the bumper had only been replaced to get rid of the "minor" scratches. He argued that it was likely the original owner had just scuffed it on some snow or something minor. I.T. had some reservations, but he was fairly happy with the car and felt okay with the cosmetic damage as long as it was repaired before he bought it. He sat down with the salesman to negotiate a price.

The salesman offered a discount on the listed price right away saying that it would be a steal for a "new" car. I.T. countered with a more realistic, but fair price and the salesman hurried off to "ask the manager". He returned with no counter offer, saying that the first offer he had made was the best one already. I.T. was disappointed that the salesman had not taken his counter offer seriously so he got up to leave.

The salesman panicked and agreed to ask his manager again. While the salesman was gone, I.T. called his friend to ask him about the suspicious misalignment in the light and bumper, and the claim of scratches by a dog. His friend told him that the car was likely in a front-end collision and that the salesman was either lying or didn't know.

The salesman came back in and told I.T. that his counter offer had been accepted. He sat down with the contract and told my brother to sign it. I.T. asked him again about a possible accident and the salesman denied it again. I.T. asked to see receipts for the replaced bumper or for paperwork written up on the extent of the original damage. The salesman said that none of this was available since it was repaired by Toyota in-house. Finally, after numerous different requests for more information were denied, I.T. got up to leave. He was tired of how shifty this was turning out to be.

The salesman begged him to stay and I.T. asked him one last time to tell him the truth about the damage on the car. The salesman finally admitted that the car had indeed been in a front-end collision. He argued that everything had been fixed and that it was as good as new. I.T. wasn't happy with how the salesman had purposely withheld the information about the accident. It was dishonest and probably illegal. The dealership definitely couldn't sell this car as a "new" car if there had been an accident before. He didn't feel that this dealership and salesman deserved his business so he walked away.

I would not recommend buying a used car from Jim Pattison Toyota. This was a very negative experience.

1 comment:

Sinclair said...

The term "Good [used] Car Salesman" would be an oxymoron!

I am glad that he chose to walk away. If dealing with a reputable dealer/salesperson, you will be able to take the VIN (vehicle i.d. number) and run a report on Carfax.com to see the history of the vehicle.

I would take the VIN and run it myself, rather than take a report supposedly run by the dealership. If they are REALLY motivated and reputable, they will allow the consumer to run it at the dealership on one of their computers, AND they will shoulder the cost if you buy a vehicle.

I hope he finds what he wants in a vehicle!