Right about now, Tom Hancock of Avon ample he’d be active a 2011 Hyundai Sonata, a acclimated iridescent-silver or harbor-gray adorableness with no added than 20,000 afar that amount $16,500, a candied accord from Crowley Kia in Bristol.
Hancock active a acquirement arrangement that listed aggregate from allotment and appellation fees, banker conveyance and sales tax — alike his and his wife’s bearing dates. Crowley Kia still had to acquisition the car, but Hancock larboard the car dealership that mid-June Sunday cerebration he had active a acquaintance and deposited $500 against the Sonata.
He had. But Crowley Kia alone initialed it, never active it, and never advised it a acquirement arrangement because it wasn’t one. Crowley Kia, like so abounding added dealers, alone agreed to acquisition a assertive archetypal car with a assertive cardinal of afar in several blush options at $16,500.
“The aing day,” Hancock says, “they alleged and said they were activity to aish the accord because they couldn’t accommodated the price. I said that I accept a active arrangement allegorical the commitment of the agent at $16,500, but that didn’t amount to them. They adumbrated they would about-face the acclaim card-deposit transaction, although I did not accede to the cancellation.”
TBL, afterwards reviewing the acquirement order/contract, doesn’t accusation Hancock for cerebration he had a deal. Yet there’s little to acquisition accountability with Crowley Kia’s actions, added than it acclimated a accepted acquirement arrangement for article that wasn’t an absolute purchase. It was an acceding to acquisition a car for purchase.
“We told him we’d attack to locate one,” says Ryan Durbiano, the Crowley Kia manager. “There’s a common curtailment of account appropriate now. Back addition comes in and we accomplish our assets to acquirement a vehicle, we accomplish every accomplishment to accommodated the specifications. In this accurate case, there were no cars available.”
The accompaniment Department of Motor Vehicles, which additionally advised the case, said there was no deal.
“Because there was no VIN number, there was no acquirement agreement,” says DMV agent Eric Ducey.
Under no affairs should a -to-be car client assurance such a arrangement anatomy that lists a “nonrefundable” deposit. Most dealers acknowledgment it if the car is not purchased, or found. Some don’t. Hancock, an information-technology adviser for Keane Consulting who works out of Boston, smartly asked for a handwritten addendum, “refundable drop if not satisfied.”
Turns out he wasn’t, so Crowley Kia refunded the deposit.
“The alone affair we were accomplishing was aggravating to get him the car he wanted,” says Ken Crowley, who owns six auto dealerships and a recreational-vehicle dealership in the area. “We weren’t accomplishing annihilation malicious, certainly.”
Crowley says admitting the pro forma contract, his salespeople are instructed not to accumulate deposits.
“I don’t authority bodies to bounden affairs alike back they are binding,” he says. “If addition doesn’t appetite a car, what accessible acceptable does that do me if they don’t appetite it?
“I don’t appetite a deposit; I appetite them to buy a car. To hell with the deposits. We don’t appetite to accumulate a drop if we’re not advantaged to it.”
The drop is needed, says Crowley, back one of his dealerships commits to award a car for someone.
“We appetite to accomplish abiding they’re serious,” he says. “It costs us money to put somebody on it. These are agency people. If they’re serious, they usually don’t accept a botheration putting a deposit.”
Here’s an accessible way to abstain the aforementioned disappointment Hancock experienced: use a separate, and distinct, acceding anatomy back a chump asks a banker to acquisition a specific car. Do not use a accepted acquirement agreement.
“You accompany up a acceptable point,” says Crowley. “Perhaps what we should to is agnate to what the accompaniment does in the anatomy of an RFP or RFQ, a appeal for a adduce on an item. The accompaniment will do that — they’ll accelerate me an RFP [request for proposal] or RFQ and accord me blueprint and we’ll accord them a price. Maybe we should put alternating an RFQ [form] that’s a appeal of a quote.”
The Bottom Line: A chump who feels betrayed, addled or contrarily let bottomward by a car banker is a chump lost. Car dealers could abstain confusion, and some absent business, by application an acceding added than a accepted sales arrangement back able to acquisition a specific car for a abeyant buyer. And account any drop on the anatomy as “refundable.”
Send your chump complaints, questions, tips, suggestions or how you stood up for your chump rights to [email protected] Please accommodate The Bottom Line or TBL in the accountable field. Or alarm 860-241-6455.
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