On June 19, 2007 I went to Glenbrook Dodge Chrysler Jeep in search of a new car. I was directed to the office of Chris Cook. After sitting in Mr. Cook's office for an hour, he asked if I was interested in a Toyota Corolla. I told him I would consider it. He handed me the keys and told me to take it for a test drive.
After test driving the car, I asked what else he had on the lot as I was really looking for a Civic or a Jetta. Mr. Cook began praising the Corolla's features, safety ratings, etc. I asked Mr. Cook if the car had ABS. He said yes. Side curtain airbags, yes. He answered yes to all my questions.
My mother was with me as she was co-signing the loan. She asked what the price was on the Corolla. Mr. Cook asked us to wait. And wait we did. 30-45 minutes later Mr. Cook approached us with a paper that had 2 numbers on it. The top number we were told was the list price of the car ($20,988). The bottom number ($18,988) we were told was our price after a $2000 rebate. I asked if this price included tax, title, fees, etc. Mr. Cook told us he would be right back, and that he was checking with the sales manager, Ajesh (sp?)
Mr. Cook returned to the office 3 times without having the answer and each time I asked him to go get an answer. Finally Ajesh came into the office. He told us the numbers on the paper included all tax, titles, and fees. He said that was the total loan amount after my trade-in and the payoff for that trade-in had been applied. At this time it was close to 9p.m. We had been there since 5p.m and had only been permitted to drive or even look at one car despite our repeated requests. Under duress, we agreed to the Corolla.
We were then taken into the finance office to Mr. Greg Schafer. Mr. Schafer drew up the loan papers and was going over them with us. On the truth in lending statement, the base price of the car was listed as $19,350. I told Mr. Schafer this was wrong. He reviewed the initial papers quoting the $18,988 and said he would correct it on the final documents that would be submitted to the lender, that these were only for their records. After all the totals were done, the car was now $20,380.
I again protested to Mr. Schafer and was again told they would be corrected before being sent to the lender. To show his honesty, Mr. Schafer didn't sign the Retail Installment and Security Contract or the truth in lending disclosure. Mr. Schaffer assured us that we would receive copies of the corrected forms.
At 9:43p.m, we finally drove off the lot.
The next day I took the car for a general inspection. Upon inspecting the car, the technician informed me the car did NOT have ABS or side air-bags as I was told. In addition to that, I was having a hard time comfortably driving the vehicle. The steering wheel was a significant distance from the back of the seat, and for me to be able to drive without my knees curled under the dash, I had to lean forward in the seat. After driving maybe 50 miles, I was having back spasms and significant back pain.
With these 2 issues, I called the dealership. Mr. Cook transferred me to Yursi, the first salesman I had talked to on the phone. Yursi wasn't in and I was directed to his voicemail. When Yursi hadn't called back by the next business day, I called again and asked to speak to Ajesh. Ajesh said he would speak to his manager and see what could be done.
That Friday, both Yursi and Ajesh called and spoke to me. Yursi stated the financing had already gone through and that we would essentially be trading the Corolla back in for another car. He said there was an auction the next Thursday and to hold on until they had something that would be suitable for me.
When Ajesh called that day, he asked if I was interested in a van. When my mom and I had been in there on the 19th, we had expressed that as a last option. I expressed this again to Ajesh. He too told me to wait until the auction the following Thursday. That Monday I called Mr. Schafer regarding the payoff on my trade-in. Mr. Schafer was on vacation. On Tuesday I called Yursi as I had mistakenly thought the auction was that day. He again assured me they were doing everything they could.
On Wednesday I contacted the dealership because my trade had not yet been paid off. The pay-off quote I had been given by the bank had only been good until Friday the 22nd. I was put into the voicemail of the manager. Left a message stating my problem. Pam Anderson returned my call on Friday stating she had sent a check on the 27th via overnight mail.
By the following Tuesday, my bank still had not received the check. After an extensive amount of research, I found the check had been mailed to the wrong Wells Fargo. This situation was finally rectified on 7/6/07.
On Friday the 29th, I was contacted by CitiFinancial stating they were processing my loan. I told them to stop all financing as I was in the process of getting a different vehicle through this dealership.
The CitiFinancial rep, Andrea, asked why I was trading the car back. I informed her of the safety features the car was lacking. Andrea told me those missing features made the car worth far less and that they could not finance it for that price without those features. Andrea stated they would hold the financing until I had the correct vehicle. I contacted Mr. Schafer regarding this matter the following Monday and his response to me was, Oh well. I don't care if CitiFinancial doesn't pay us.
At that point I called Paul Webb, another sales manager, and asked about getting my trade-in back. Mr. Webb informed me that the trade had already been auctioned even though the Corolla still was NOT financed.
As for the car issues, I continued to contact Yursi. I told him I was coming in on 7/6/07 to see what we could do because I was in an immense amount of pain in driving the car. Yursi told me not to come in, that they didn't have anything on the lot that would be suiting to my needs. He then proceeded to tell me, Sweetheart, you are driving a free car. All financing attempts have been stopped, you don't have a payment due, and this car is free so enjoy it! I will call you when something comes in but until then you are driving a free car!
I was not happy still having to wait; regardless of if the car is free. I called and asked to speak to a manager. I was called back by a manager in a different department stating I was accidentally sent to his voicemail but that he would like to help. After explaining the whole situation once again, he said he would call me back Monday at the latest.
Monday I received a call from Mr. Cook, the initial salesman who we had dealt with. He asked if I would be interested in a Hyundai Sonata. I researched the car and told him I was. He asked me to come in and drive it and see how I like it. I went in at 4:30p.m. on 7/9/07. Mr. Cook put a plate on the car and my husband and I test drove the car for about 30-40 minutes.
Upon returning to the dealership, Mr. Cook asked how I liked it. I told him I loved the room, the ride, everything except the gas mileage. I asked if they had a 4-cyl model (I knew they did, I had looked it up earlier that day). Mr. Cook danced around saying well, that will only get 2mpg more than the V6, etc. He proceeded to tell me that they just wanted to do a property swap. The Sonata for the Corolla. No changes to anything. I told him absolutely not. I told him I wanted the paperwork corrected with the correct loan totals that I had been given, especially if they were going to only give me the choice of one alternate vehicle that had more miles, etc.
As I got up to leave Mr. Cook asked me to hold on while he went to talk to his manager. He came back with the same reasoning as before. I asked to speak with the owner. Mr. Cook said he was out so I asked Mr. Cook to have him call me. At that time a gentleman by the name of Mick asked me to come into Mr. Cook's office.
Mick proceeded to tell me that the totals on the paperwork were correct and that they were hiding the negative equity on my trade-in. I asked why I was quoted one total for tax, title, trade payoff, etc ($18,988) but was charged another ($20,380). Mick told me that was between me and finance but that according to the owner, the paperwork would stay as it was if I took the Sonata. I asked about a 2006 Sonata sitting on the lot with lower miles. Mick responded that I had to have a 2007 or come up with $4000 cash down. I then asked about the auction Yursi had asked me to wait on that they were attending today (7/10/07). Mick told me he didn't know why I was told that and that my choice was the Sonata or the Corolla, take it or leave it. I told them I needed some time to think and left.
I have been attempting to secure my own financing yet nobody will loan $20K on a car that only books at $16K. The only lenders willing to lend on it are ones with HUGE interest rates or payments higher than my income can permit.
I have also done significant research on Glenbrook Dodge and have come to find that this situation is not uncommon for them. They also have several complaints stemming from cars not having features that they were assured it had. This company has a 5 star rating but why?
They have sold me a car that is unsafe for me to transport my children in, they have made me wait and wait and wait while they attended auctions (or so Yursi claimed) trying to find me a car, they gave me ONE option to trade into, and when I requested to talk with the owner, I was again given the treatment of being talked down to, being told I have no other options, being ganged up on by management, and, like before, being stressed into purchasing a car that either isn't the car I want or does not have financing agreeable to me.
After 3 weeks of dealing with Glenbrook Dodge Chrysler Jeep and suffering extreme emotional distress and physical pain from having to continue driving a car not suitable for my height, I am turning this over to the Indiana Attorney General.