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Discussion Starter #1
Last week, on August 4, 2010, I made a specific deal with Martin Cadillac to purchase a specific 2010 Cadillac DTS at a specific price and terms. They printed out a "deal sheet" for me that listed all of the transaction details including price, rebates, down payment and finance terms and specified the vehicle stock number and VIN number. They understood at that time that I could not complete the entire transaction at that time because I was leaving town immediately, but they asked me for a $1,000 deposit and we agreed to finish the transaction on August 12, 2010 at 1:00 PM.

I phoned them on August 11, 2010 to verify my appointment to complete the transaction. When I showed up at the dealership, I was told by the salesperson, that they would not honor the deal they had made and wanted me to pay about $3,000 more for the vehicle. I turned that down, said that it amounted a bait and switch type of fraud and demanded my deposit back. They said that the best they could do was to "mail" me back the deposit. I demanded to speak to their manager who first told me that there was no one there to sign a check, and then told me that she "would hold my deposit as long as she possibly could before returning it." She didn't care what deal they had already made and said they had no obligation to honor any deal until the final contract was signed and said she had no legal obligation to immediately refund the deposit they had demanded to hold that deal either.

This is just flat out fraud! They thought that I had to turn in my leased 2007 Cadillac and would have to accept the higher price, but fortunately, I have time to just buy a different vehicle somewhere else. However, they still have my $1,000 which they refused to refund and it is still an illegal and fraudulent method of conducting business. I have bought or leased about 7 or 8 new cars in the last 10 years and have never had a new car dealer act in such a fraudulent manner before.
 

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1968 Eldorado
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785 Posts
Contact your local Consumer protection agency. Some states even have a Dealers complaint dept at the Motor Vehicle registery. Plus you can also contact your local TV station and speak to their favorite reporter who loves to chase these stories. No dealer wants a TV crew on site with a consumer advocate reporter.
 

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DTS
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I would go to the dealership and call the police. They voided the agreement, and now owe you your deposit back NOW.
 

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I made a "deal" with a Cadillac dealer for the purchase of a 2009 CTS-V. They wanted a deposit even though they did not have the car. I declined to give them any money. A week later I found the car that I wanted at a different dealer. So, I purchased the car from them. I told the salesman about my "deal" with the other dealer and his question was had I given them any money. When I indicated that I had not, his response was forget it. I immediately sent an e-mail to the salesman and his boss, indicating that I had already purchased a car, and they could forget about me.

About a week later, I received an e-mail indicating that the dealer was about to order my car and I could expect to receive it in, maybe, six or seven weeks. I sent another e-mail indicating that I had already pruchased a car, and that I had sent both the salesman and his boss an e-mail (I attached a copy with the date it was sent) indicating that they need not order the car for me. I received an e-mail back from the boss taking me to task for "welching on the deal" including warnings about attempting to get service at his dealership (as if I would). Since I had given them no money I decided to take the second salesman's advice and I forgot about it. That was almost two years ago. I have heard nothing since then.

Bottom line - don't give anyone any money until you get something in return. Like a car.
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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It's not "welch" on the deal but rather "Welsh" on the deal. In some parts of the world people from Wales are considered to be oath breakers.
 

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2007 DTS II
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You should ALWAYS pay the deposit with a major credit card. That way if things go sour, you can cancel the transaction and not be responsible for the charge. Let the credit card company deal with them.
 

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"Welch" is an accepted variation of the term "welsh (if you don't believe me, look it up)." I won't go into the affront to the Welsh people you might have caused.
 

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'02 ETC CE, '04 CTS-V, '04 XLR, '13 XTS Platinum
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You say they have your check? If they haven't cashed it, call the bank and void it. Simple. Done. Move on.

CCC
 

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2006 DTS Performance
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269 Posts
You should ALWAYS pay the deposit with a major credit card. That way if things go sour, you can cancel the transaction and not be responsible for the charge. Let the credit card company deal with them.
Even if you use a credit card you MAY have problems getting the charge removed. By not paying the item and informing the card company that the charge is not valid only opens up an investigation. It does not guarantee that you do not have to pay.
IMO the only way is to NOT PAY ANY DEPOSIT AT ALL. Several times when the dealer asked for a deposit, I declined and told them to forget it. Guess what – they still made the deal without a deposit.
 

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2009 DTS Premium Platinum
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I agree with ffrog and I'll also add that price quotes that are "only good for today" are also good tomorrow, the next day and so on.

Gentlemen, always be on your toes when you walk into a dealership. Their salary depends on how much of a sucker you are.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm replying to my own post with an update that turned out positive.

The original post was 100% accurate. However, the following day the General Manager of Martin called me to find out what had occured. I assume that Zone had talked with him by that point, but his follow up was outstanding, so I owe them this follow up. First, he immediately offered the refund. Everyone knew that they should not have held the deposit like that. Then he asked me for my version of everything that had occured and I told him pretty much exactly what I posted. He appologized for the treatment but said he would have to talk with his people and see what they felt had occured. Fair enough. He called me back a couple more times that day for additional details. The bottom line turned out to be that I had inquired about a rebate or incentive, that did not exist at that time. Their salesman took that to his Finance Manager (the nasty women) and she said that it was valid, but failed to check properly, and then she was the one that actually wrote up the deal he offered me. In fact, after we had the deal on the price and rebates and all that, we did 2 further negotiations on the interest rate and I had 3 different deal sheets at the same prices and terms, with only different interest rates, by the time I gave them the deposit against the final deal sheet. However, it turns out (honestly) that the rebate I had asked about simply did not exist at that time in the first place. She screwed up and offered a deal that she couldn't offer, through the salesman of course. By the time I showed up to pick up the car, they knew they could not do that deal, but instead of simply admit the mistake and offer my deposit back, which would have been bad, but legal and upfront at least, they tried to sell me the lie about changes i the last few days, etc, and then she got mad and refused to return the deposit either. Once the GM had all this sorted out, the final outcome was that they took a pretty solid loss on the car, and sold me the car at the deal they had originally agreed to. I was able to indendantly confirm that they really did have to take a pretty good hit to complete that deal. So they did a pretty good job of screwing things up in the first place, but the real boss stood up and took the hit and made it right when he found out about it. I owe them this update.
 
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