By on May 19, 2016

2014 Kia Soul

On May 4th, my friend “Jenny” (whose name is changed for the sake of her privacy) could not contain her excitement. She posted the photo seen above to Facebook, sharing with her friends that she had just bought what she believed to be a brand-new 2014 Kia Soul from Orlando Kia West. She got what she also believed to be a rip-roaring deal, too, paying $4,000 under sticker.

Although the car was a 2014 model with 530 miles on the clock, Jenny said the dealer claimed it had never been sold to a private customer, but Orlando Kia West had to list it as a used car because it had purchased it from another dealer.

The minute I saw that, I immediately knew something was up. I contacted Jenny and asked her some questions about her experience. Fifteen minutes later, we were both furious.

Although I had no desire to rain on Jenny’s parade, everything about the deal smelled fishy to me. This was Jenny’s first time ever buying a car from a dealership, and it took advantage of her in several ways, most of which were completely unethical.

First of all, if the vehicle had simply been acquired as a dealer trade, it would still be sold as a new car, not as a used car, and there’s no way the dealership would have made that mistake.

I asked TTAC contributor Bozi Tatarevic to search the VIN on Autocheck. Sure enough, he discovered the vehicle was previously sold to a private owner in Florida on August 29th, 2015. That’s lie number one, and it’s a pretty big one. Furthermore, it’s a stupid lie. Why not just say the car was sold to somebody who couldn’t afford it and sold it back to the dealer?

I asked Jenny a bit more about the transaction, and uncovered some more issues. The purchase price on the car was $14,000 (plus the dealer’s outrageous $199 document fee and $699 “dealer fee,” whatever that is), and she had $5,000 to put down. After the dealer ran her credit application, it told her that she would need a cosigner as she had never had any credit in her name. She asked her stepfather to co-sign on the loan for her, which he was reluctant to do. Jenny’s stepfather asked for 24 hours to go home and think about it.

At this point, the sales manager at the dealership pressured him into signing that day, claiming Jenny would never get approved on her own anywhere else and that she’d never find another deal this good on a Kia Soul. Jenny’s stepfather agreed, and the best the F&I manager claimed he could do on the loan was 6.9% over 72 months even with his 700+ beacon score.

But, the F&I manager said, if Jenny and her stepfather were willing to buy a gap insurance policy, he’d be able to get the loan down to 5.13% over that same 72 months.

Jenny said that the F&I manager made it sound as though she desperately needed gap insurance, despite the fact that she was only doing a $9,000 loan on a car that they were selling her for $14,000. He said that her regular insurance wouldn’t cover the value of the loan if she were to get in an accident. The gap insurance was “only” $15 a month — or a whopping $1,080 over the course of the loan. For those of you playing along at home, that’s over ten percent of the loan value.

Since Jenny had never taken out a car loan before, she trusted the advice of the F&I manager and signed up for gap insurance and the 5.13% loan rate over 72 months. Yet, somehow, her payment ended up being $232/month. I did the math. Based on a reverse loan calculation, that’s a loan for $14,351.73, which is nowhere near the $9,000 Jenny thought she was paying for her car.

After I advised Jenny that her car was not actually new, and that she’d been completely swindled on the gap insurance and loan, she was rightly furious — so much so that she couldn’t even bring herself to call the dealership for two weeks. When she finally called back yesterday, the sales manager wouldn’t admit to lying to her about the history of her car, but he wouldn’t say that it was really a “new” car again. The finance manager refused to take any blame for selling her gap insurance, only saying “I didn’t pressure you into it.” Well, how else did she end up with it, then? Furthermore, the sales manager couldn’t explain how her payment got up to $232/month, nor tell her the actual purchase price.

Jenny asked for an incredibly realistic resolution to her issue: she wanted a set of floormats, because her Soul didn’t come with any, and she wanted an apology. That’s it. Neither the sales manager nor the finance manager would even offer her that resolution, which would cost the dealer less than a hundred dollars — approximately one-tenth of the pure-profit gap insurance that they sold her. She hung up even more frustrated than she was to start.

So after talking with Jenny yesterday, I started looking into Orlando Kia West a bit more. The dealer’s Google Reviews are good, with an average score of 4.4. In fact, they’re a little too good.

Every single positive review is written in pure Search Engine Optimization style, with the salesperson’s full name mentioned at least once, and often multiple times. Even more curious is that the salesperson most often mentioned appears to occasionally switch genders depending on the review. It’s obvious that the dealer is paying an agency to “manage” its online reviews.

orlando kia google reviews

Now, let’s look at its Yelp reviews, which most dealers forget to, ahem, manage as effectively.

orlando kia yelp reviews

Ooooh, not as good. In fact, it’s got a two-star rating on Yelp, with most ratings scoring a single star. High-pressure tactics, misinformation, and downright shady business practices are the most common complaints.

I called and emailed the dealership yesterday, asking for its side of the story. The dealer didn’t reply to requests for comment. Jenny and her stepfather are now looking to refinance their purchase through a local bank.

It’s a shame, because even after all of this, Jenny still loves her little Soul, which she has nicknamed “Vader.” Business practices like this are what have given the Kia brand a black eye since Day One. It’s easy to say that she should have been more knowledgeable and cautious about her purchase — but this is what these dealers do. They prey upon the uninformed, the under-banked.

While the Optima and Soul are wonderful cars that I’ve personally enjoyed driving, you’ll never see me recommend one of its cars to anybody until Kia dealers can stop acting like Kia dealers.

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223 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: Orlando Kia West Is a Stunning Example of Why People Still Hate Car Dealers...”


  • avatar

    I beat BTSR!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Killed In Action.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      This is why America prospering. Business knows how to suck money out people and organizations… or wait…. organizations are people

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        That’s right, and since corporations are people, and the ability of people to donate to political campaigns is unlimited – now the ability of corporations to donate to political campaigns is unlimited.

        Fortunately, this will definitely have no negative ramifications.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Im convinced that Florida has the worst car dealers in the entire country.

    Michigan and Texas were vehicle-purchasing nirvanas compared to the crazy crap you have to deal with down here.

    And I wouldn’t buy a $5 bill from an F&I person at the dealer even if they were willing to sell it for $4.

    • 0 avatar
      Fonzy

      I saw at least 20 salespeople sitting outside a KIA dealership in Wesley Chapel waiting for people to come. I couldn’t believe thats how that store was setup. They were all wearing red Kia polo shirts sitting on fold up chairs. Is that only in Florida?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Lot lizards.

        They’re actually in a subspecies that falls under lice & ticks.

        They don’t call auto dealerships “steakerships” for nothing, as they are run by the lowest life forms (one & two cell organisms) known to science

        And this friend of Bark can rescind her purchase of the vehicle and get a refund as she was defrauded, or at the very least, a victim of misrepresentation of (a substantial, material condition, i.e., “new” vs “used”) the nature of the vehicle she was sold.

        If they refuse her demand for a full refund of the purchase price and all other monies paid upon return of the vehicle, she should retain an attorney specializing in consumer law to file legal action.

        • 0 avatar
          Matt Foley

          “Steakership”? That conjures an image of a Longhorn or an Outback where your dinner is $14.95, plus a $5 bovine processing fee, a $6.99 “restaurant fee,” and silverware is a $3 option.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        No, happens around here in the Midwest too. Lot lizards here dont have the lawn chairs, but they do wait outside – chain-smoking – until some unfortunate soul steps a foot past the dealer’s property line.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      …And I wouldn’t buy a $5 bill from an F&I person at the dealer even if they were willing to sell it for $4…

      Exactly. On my recent purchase at a local Seattle dealer the F&I manager pushed me to go with a local credit union versus my preapproved USAA loan to save .09% interest. “You need a relationship with a local bank,” he said. “I have a joint account with my wife at Bank of America.”

      Then he pushed the 3/36 extended warranty at the bargain basement price of $2,400. “It’s the same price as Costco, are you a member?”

      “Yes I am, and Costco hasn’t sold their own branded extended service plans in years.”

      Then there was GAP insurance. Hmmm, valued at around $34K, and I’m financing $24K – you do the math, do I need GAP insurance?

      It…was…AWFUL after I thought about it.

      My previous two vehicles that I bought new I was in and out of F&I in less than an hour, and most of that time was waiting for the paperwork to be typed up. My actually signing and buy this and buy that time was maybe 15 minutes.

      Still got a screaming deal, which was the only reason why I would have put up with the BS.

      25 years ago, these guys would have owned my soul.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        gap insurance only makes sense if you have no trade (or an upside down trade in) or are only able to put a small amount down.

        but the better solution in that case is not buy the gap insurance, but buy a car you can actually afford instead.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Gap insurance is also obtained more cheaply through sources other than the dealer.

          It can make sense for a financially secure buyer if the buyer is getting a loan with a rate so low (0%) that financing more than necessary is attractive.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            This. Most auto insurance companies now offer GAP insurance for a fraction of what the stealership will charge.

            I agree 100% with JimZ that if you need GAP insurance you’re either:

            1) Buying a vehicle that depreciates like a rock

            2) Buying more vehicle than you can afford

            3) Were upside down on your trade and a combination of 1 or 2

            On the other hand, as Jack wrote in one of the most popular articles in TTAC history, there is a certain privilege required to own “what you can afford.” There is an intrinsic value to owning a vehicle with a new warranty, new fluids, new tires, new everything that goes beyond GAP.

            Some people need a car to get to work and live, but they also don’t make the money, have the time, flexibility, tools, and location to wrench their own. In this case new is their only option. A lot of people live that way.

            I once lived that way (full disclosure). I’m incredibly blessed, and I know it, and I can enjoy the “privilege” that Jack eluded to so well in his story of owning used vehicles and being able to take a risk, that others just can’t.

            If my car breaks down, I have the location, tools, and/or monetary resources outside of my realm to fix. If I’m late for work or miss a day I won’t get fired. I have 2 other cars I can drive, and the resources to rent.

            Not everyone has this — but they still need a car.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I had replacement cost supplemental insurance on both my pickup and my wife’s Sienna. It wasn’t mandated by loans or by the dealerships. I liked the idea that if my truck or van was totalled it would be replaced at full retail. The insurance also ensured new parts if there was a collision. My wife’s van had 1 trip to the body shop and it was nice to know that they weren’t using jobber parts. It also covered wind-shield replacement. My wife had 3 replaced on her van in the past 5 years.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I think there is at least one good one in Tampa.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGrieves

      I think they’re all particularly bad in the Southeast, especially the Japanese import franchises (Honda and Toyota, I’m looking in your direction.)

      A Toyota dealer in Tennessee tried to rip my 70 year old mother off by packing the daylights out of her deal, and a Honda dealer in Alabama tried to rip me off by a bait-and-switch maneuver. “What, you didn’t want the Civic with flame decals, factory installed paint sealant and nitrogen filled tires? Well, I’m sorry sir, but that that’s the car we agreed on over the phone.”

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      it’s variable in Michigan. The dealer I’ve bought my recent cars from is independent, owned by the same family for decades (and they only have the one dealership,) and the owners and employees are all part of the community. Dealing with them is nearly painless. you don’t have to dig and cajole to see the total price, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a four square from them.

      meanwhile, if it’s a dealership owned as part of a conglomerate (like one in my area which has a dealership for every brand save one or two) then they seem to have more of a “if you’re not buying right now, get out of my way because someone else is” attitude.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      As a long time Floridian, I can say that Florida car dealers are no better or worse than those elsewhere. Florida does have this law that allows dealers to charge a “dealer fee” which is pure B.S. I have had dumba$$, uninformed salesmen tell me that the charge is required by law. The last one that told me that I called a bull$hit bird right on the spot. They can charge it but they are not obligated to and it is negotiable.

      As for the car being acquired from another dealer, the classification is simple, if it has been titled in Florida or elsewhere, it’s used; if not, it isn’t. This sounds like a “demonstrator” owing to its mileage, not a used car and therefore one that should be subject to a better than average discount. If the dealer isn’t willing to do so, it’s time to find another dealer; especially in Orlando which is on overload with car dealers.

      Unfortunately, this slimebag steelership took advantage of Jenny because they figured they could.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        My general rule of thumb is to never touch whatever BS the F+I guys are shoveling unless it’s 0-1% APR financing. If your credit score is too bad for that, it’s better to go through a credit union.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        The law in Maine is that if a dealer is going to have a doc fee, it has to be the same to every single customer, no exceptions. So you can’t make it go away, but you can always make them discount more to make up for it. Seems to be typically $200-400 here, with the more expensive makes being lower than the cheaper makes.

    • 0 avatar
      Blackcloud_9

      It used to the the cars salesmen that had the “lower-than-pond-scum” reputation. Now I find it’s the F & I people you really have to look out for. You think you’ve worked out a sweetheart of a deal and there is the F & I gauntlet you have to surpass.
      And heaven help you if you’re a girl and you’re young – Shouldn’t be true, but it is. My daughter was trying to finance her Hyundai that was coming off a lease. Luckily she called me before signing on the dotted line. Just because the finance manager was talking to a man (who happened to be her father) suddenly the interest rate came down by two points – from 5.9 to 3.9.

      This was in CA BTW

      I think a lot of dealerships have figured out how much amount of money on the back-end of deal nowadays and stuck their shiftiest people in those positions.

      • 0 avatar
        22_RE_Speedwagon

        The Effin’-I guy is THE WORST. When I bought my wife’s mazda5 in 2014 in the bay area, I was back and forth between two dealers over about $200 of the purchase price. When I finally settled on a deal I had to sit through a solid hour with the Effin-I guy whose opening pitch was $7500 in prepaid maintenance and wheel protection. This to someone who negotiated an OTD price down to the last penny and showed up with a bank check.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @22_RE_Speedwagon

          Why would you not just get up and leave? After about 2 minutes of BS, and a polite warning on my part, I would be out of there so fast their heads would spin. I have never spent more than 5 minutes signing the papers on any of my five new car purchases, or the multiple other new car purchases with my folks. I believe this stuff happens, but why do you stand for it? Just say no. If they don’t understand no, walk. For me it would be “see this check – if you don’t STFU and show me where to sign, I am out of here and taking it with me”. I’m generally about the nicest and most polite guy you would ever want to deal with, but I have less than no tolerance for bullsh!t.

          My only “bad” experience with an F&I guy was when I bought my Saab 9-3 down in Boston. I had my own financing arranged locally, and the F&I guy could not wrap his head around the fact that all I needed was the number for the CU to write the check for, and no, I had no intentions of coming down twice, I would bring a temp plate with me (MA doesn’t do temp plates). This was on the phone – I had to get my sales guy on the line and tell him that if he did not have that number faxed to me in 5 minutes the deal was off. I had the number in about 2. The actual signing of the papers that evening was 5 minutes in and out.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Naw, SE VA has its share as well. I can think of two right off the bat. A local Cadillac/Buick stealer and two Chevrolet stealerships. The local Ford stealership isn’t much better as they will gladly take advantage of your naivety.

      A buddy of mine bought supposedly a CPO GMC truck from the Cadi/Buick stealership, ended up having trouble with the engine and took it in. They finally told him they were going to replace the engine with a used one (since the warranty wouldn’t cover a new engine) and he asked the mileage wanting an engine equal to or less than the mileage on the ODO. They said it was and he asked for the VIN of the vehicle it came out of and it turned out the engine had 100,000 more miles than they claimed. He went nuclear and called GM and found out the truck wasn’t a CPO vehicle even though they had provided documentation to that effect and eventually got a new engine plus GM offered him an extended service contract. A few weeks later the truck started having an issue with the electrical system that would completely shut the truck down (as in all power would die in operation) while going down the road. He is still dealing with that.

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      Around the time that I was finalizing the deal with the salesman, I tell him that I have to be at a meeting in (current time plus 45 minutes).

      The F&I guy was not pleased that she was in a rush. I told her to just print out the quotes for all the 3M film and Scotchgard stuff and I’ll think about it overnight. I really was out within 45 minutes. It probably helped that it was an Acura dealer and not a Kia dealer.

  • avatar
    EMedPA

    Nice article. And since your unfortunate friend is in Florida, I doubt she has any recourse. New York shut down a local Nissan dealership not too long ago for similar nonsense.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The dealer acted responsibly to close a deal using practical and efficient sales methods to move units off the lot. If this woman was too daft to realize she was getting screwed, maybe she shouldn’t even be driving a car.

    -Ruggles

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      We are so fortunate we have laws to protect innocent consumers against OEMs opening their own dealerships, an effort that is doomed to money-losing failure from the start and harms consumers Because Reasons.

      – Ruggles

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Does Ruggles still post here? I haven’t seen him post in awhile? Then again it always seemed to be on the finance articles. The one that sticks in my mind is his defense of the sub-prime market and absurdly high interest rates.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      Ruggles never defended the way dealers acted against customers. He just kept trying to inform people here why you have dealerships, and why you still let them use you the way they do.
      He was very correct in saying that if people stopped going to dealers to get screwed, dealers would stop screwing them over and over again.
      But people still go there voluntary, and even worse , they expect to get a car the same day, so they sign away their chance to check facts and numbers before sealing the deal, and maybe even worse (for the few car guys at least), they have stopped bothering to special order and configure a car for themselves, in a colour they actually like, or with gadgets they really need, because they just have to make what is usually the second most expensive decision (after buying a house) in the matter of minutes, or hours at ‘best’…

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        When I buy a car, I don’t expect to drive it off the lot for a minimum of three months. Why? Because it is very highly unlikely and in my last two new-car purchases impossible to find a car set up the way I want it. Used? I’ll take what I can get, but even there I go in with open eyes. New? Forget it. I’ll order it instead. I don’t want a car that’s, ‘almost exactly what you’re looking for,’, it better BE exactly what I’m looking for. If I want a pop-top, then don’t send it to some crappy third-party shop that doesn’t even know how to install it right! If it’s a factory option, then I want it installed at the factory, not down the street.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Very well said.

        When I am buying a car, I know exactly what I want before I set foot in the dealership. Not sure why this is so difficult for people when they are spending $10’s of thousands of dollars.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I’m so glad we have dealer franchise laws to protect us from OEM’s opening up their own dealers, because obviously they could not possibly do a better job than these guys.

    *sarcasm*

    Re-financing is definitely the way to go. If she qualifies, I know Pentagon FCU offers both excellent rates, and explicitly sells new-car refinancing. (Anybody can join Pentagon FCU; if you don’t meet any of the traditional qualifications, you make a one-time donation to a military-affiliated organization and you are in.)

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    F-cking crooks. She should call one of the local TV stations and get one of their investigative or consumer reporters on the case, hungry for some red meat. My guess is that the reporter will be able to find even more victims of this shady outfit. Who knows, if there are enough willing to go on camera, maybe even Kia Motors will get involved, and pressure the dealer to make restitution on these scams, or yank their franchise.

    There’s not a better disinfectant than some sunlight.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Not likely. Orlando Kia does tons of ads on local media here and those people won’t be interested in rocking their revenue boats for anything less than a dealership story about assault or blatant discrimination.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Up here in Ohio, this story would absolutely make it onto the “9 On Your Side” I-Team investigation thing.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Yeah, at least around here, nobody buys enough ads to beat the viewership boost of “sticking up for the little guy against corrupt business”.

          Especially car dealers, since everyone hates them if they’re at all crooked.

          (Also, might try the State Attorney General’s office or even a lawsuit, especially if the contract/paperwork says “new” on this provably used car, or the numbers on the loan don’t add up right for the payments.

          That and … a *credible, researched* threat of the above might well get the loan “fixed” by the dealer to avoid them.

          They’ll lie and call it a “regrettable mistake” and “faulty information” on their end, but it might still get remedied.)

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      This KIA dealer is part of a group of KIA dealers in central Florida. KIA West, East, and West is a scum bag predator dealerships network. I’ve known a few people that had to drive 50 miles out of town to purchase a KIA due to these dealerships. I personally walked out because the sales manager was high on what ever drug he was getting confrontational and freaking out. Good place to test drive and just walk out and purchase the car at another dealership.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    Yelp is useless and often skews bad reviews. I don’t support this dealer at all but know from experience that Yelp is pure crap and should never be believed. Disgruntled customers are one thing – prima donnas dissing a company are another over nothing.

    I don’t feel sorry in the least for this customer.

    Women claim they are equal to men – so let them earn their equality by not doing their homework. I feel nothing here. Someone should have trained her or gone with her.

    The dealer is unethical and should be sued for misrepresenting the car as new but previously sold.

    As for the fees – if you are an idiot, you pay them. As soon as she saw these fees, she should have run away as fast as she can.

    Yes, dirty dealer.

    Yes, stupid buyer who has no grounds to whine about overpaying; she has grounds to sue for misrepresentation of the condition of the vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Wow, that’s pretty harsh, but no words for the stepfather? He smelled something, and should have told her to walk away, but caved to probably high pressure like she did. There are probably free or low cost consumer services that could have clued them both in to the dealer’s tricks.

      Anyone buying a new car for the first time should first learn how the process works, and above all, secure financing before shopping. With a bank or credit union looking after their money alongside you, the exorbitant fees and other tricks are minimized.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        Don’t underestimate the leverage a seller has on a father and a daughter who is extremely desperate for a car.

        I sold my first car (using a newspaper ad!) to a teenage girl and her father. It was an immaculate 87 Accord that would serve her very well for a good number of years. Right before we started talking money, she yells out to her dad – “Dad! I love this car so much and you promise you will pay anything to get anything I want, right?”

        Then Dad says to me “Can you do any better on the price?” Really?

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      laserwizard, I don’t have to say much about the level of basic humanity you’re exhibiting here — your post says it better than I can — but you might want to see somebody about your level of repressed aggression toward women. Nothing good can come of that.

    • 0 avatar
      Jason

      Sure, because dudes can’t possibly be terrible at buying cars. It is absolutely related to her possession of ovaries.

    • 0 avatar

      Alright just calling this as I see it. We have Trolls on TTAC, but most are lovable in there own little way. Laser wizard seems to be on here solely to annoy rather then annoy and entertain. Just my thoughts.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      laserwizard,
      harsh but true and the step dad is at fault as well but if she ( or he the gender does not matter) is a adult and see does not read up on how to buy a car and take someone with her she is at fault as much as the dealer.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @CoryDL – I found Ruggles. Lazerwizard sounds so much more friendly

    • 0 avatar
      MWolf

      I’ve seen men just as stupid. Testicles don’t give you magic powers, they aren’t beans of unlimited knowledge and wisdom (mine have only ever gotten me into trouble). It was her first time, and I do feel sorry that she had no idea what she was getting into. Hopefully, she took a lesson from it, but shame on a shady dealer. I would hate to see what they do to their elderly customers. The scare tactics they could use on them regarding warranties and repairs is cringeworthy.

      Just because you can take advantage of someone’s weaknesses doesn’t mean it should be your preferred method of doing business.

      • 0 avatar
        Blackcloud_9

        Exactly, I had to learn the hard way on how to buy a car. First new car I bought, got totally ripped off. However, each successive deal I got better and better. Now, I feel I can confidently buy a car and feel like I don’t have to give up my left kidney to do it.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I was fortunate that enough people(my dad included) “schooled” me in the way vehicle purchasing tends to be like.
          I have walked out of dealerships because the sales pressure was too excessive or I cornered a salesman or manager in a lie.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        I had a tall and rather lovely young woman ask me what she should do about the instrument panel in her Prius burning out. Then she said that sometimes it lit up, but other times it went black for no reason. It was raining outside, so she had her headlights turned on. I turned them off, and the instrument panel was restored. Seeing this, I figured it was dimmer switch related. I also noticed the dimmer switch was a thumb wheel, ideally situated so your knee could make contact with it when entering the car. I showed her how adjusting the dimmer switch would let her control the instrument brightness when the headlights were in use. She seemed embarrassed by her ignorance, and asked, “was not figuring this out a stupid girl thing?” I reassured her that a stupid person of either sex was equally capable of finding themself in her predicament.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I say blow up their Yelp page.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Just a shame that this has to exist in this day and age (well, *any* day and age, really). My last vehicle purchase for our 2014 Escape a few weeks ago was about as painless of a deal as I’ve ever experienced. They tossed us the keys and let my wife and I drive it for as long as we wanted (we even took it home for the night before closing the deal the next day). Negotiations for the price were blessedly short and effective. And when we went to the dreaded finance officer’s desk, he not only did not push any extras, he realized how much down we had put on the Escape and clearly steered us away from gap robbery, er, insurance. We financed through our credit union and everything went smoothly. Just don’t understand why dealers (some, not all, obviously) still revert to tactics like the ones described in the article. I guess it still works for them, so why change practices and procedures…

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    (Someone is going accuse me of victim-shaming. I’m not, nor do I care)

    In whatever situation, people need to have the sense/backbone to just walk away or self-impose a circuit breaker and not rush into things.

    (politely of course—unless you want to burn the bridge, which sometimes can be understandable)

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    See, this precisely why my mad passion/hobby is assisting 1-2 folks a month is purchasing a car. I was ripped off royally 35 years ago and I swore it would never happen again.

    This dealership reminds me greatly of the Joe Meyers franchise(s) in Houston (Ford-Kia-Mazda-Toyota). Just driving on their lots makes you feel dirty. Although they are closest to my house and easiest for me to meet shoppers there, I go out of my way to avoid them.

    I bought my Outback at a small town dealer 80 miles away…excellent all the way around except the finance office (although the majority of their business was Cadillac/GMC). The guy was point blank in asking “Can you tell me why you don’t want the extended warranty?”. Can you tell me why you don’t have confidence in your product?

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      I keep a small knife in my pants pocket for various tasks including, but not limited to, cutting off the balls of F&I morons who spout jibberish in their quest for ill gotten money. When I purchased my Honda Accord in June 2014, the salesman wanted me to close the deal late on a Saturday afternoon. I had no intention of doing that, but it seemed important to him so I agreed, Everything went well until I had to met with the R&I guy who was hell bent on selling me a third party warranty for around $2K. I told him I don’t buy extended warranties, and slipped my hand in my pants pocket to retrieve the knife. One must be prepared to take the opportunity to remove those pesky testicles if need be.
      Fortunately for him, he stopped his spiel when he noticed that I had opened the knife and started to clean my finger nails with it. Everything went well after that.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    Not sure if y’all have been living an extremely sheltered life for the past “umpteen” years, but if this infuriates you, I would avoid the car buying process altogether.

    Pffft. This sh*t happens all the time.

    *Pounds desk* These… these… SNEAKY BASTARDS!! An outrage, I tell ya!!

    Lol

    Because car salesman have an extremely high standard of ethics, only being seconded by their acute sense of social responsibility, donchaknow.

    If you think this is bad, just wait until you go to your local… Buy Here, Pay Here!! BLAAHAHAHAHAA!!! #scaryvoice #thunder

    Are all the B&B from “Pleasantville”, too? Or is it just the writers? It’s a scary world out there, kids…

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “This sh*t happens all the time.”

      Who cares if it happens all the time? It is still frustrating and nice to vent.

      Do you only complain about rare occurrences? Or are you such a smooth OG that you don’t complain about anything in general?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “This sh*t happens all the time.”

      Ironic.

      We blame the victim.

      That used to be a common defence in rape. Somehow the bitch lead the guy on.

      This is one point I used to argue Ruggles about. If almost everyone has a bad story about buying a vehicle then there is something wrong with the system.

      • 0 avatar
        06V66speed

        You’re onto something, I’ll give you that.

        I grew up in the business of car sales, ‘cept my family ran BHPH’s. You would not believe the crap that the salesmen would pull, lol.

        That being said, I’ve seen these so-called “victims” fight back. I’m not just talking legally.

        I’ve seen these “victims” destroy the other cars on the lot after they feel as if they’ve been wronged. I’ve seen the office windows smashed out.

        I’ve also seen the death threats made to my family members for none other than taking their monthly payment at the office convenience window. And for what, exactly?

        Because you bought a car that looked purty instead of choosing one which would be reliable? Because you absolutely had, had *had* to bring home that piece of sh*t?

        So, there’s that. Two sides of the coin.

        Yeah, it sucks when customers get cheated. It does.

        Then again, maybe she should have done her homework. You know, read the fine print…?

        I mean… didn’t she need a car? She signed the documents. She wanted the car, she GOT the car. No one forced her to sign, did they? Was there a pistol to her head?

        Maybe take the paperwork home. Maybe have someone else come in with her to analyze them. Maybe she could have went home to- oh, I don’t know- *think* about it before signing the dotted line and handing over a down payment?

        You know, I would make a comfortable wager that if you’d take a close look at the fine print of your mortgage, or your student loan, you might, just maybe find some rather unfavorable terms in there somewhere. Just sayin’. This misleading behavior isn’t only linked to automotive sales.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          You bring some very valid points, especially if you are running an honest business that best tries to serve the customer. I did auto-related retail for 16 years, and I know there are always going to be unhappy people. If you’re a straight-up dealership, I WANT you to make a profit so you can be there to service my car and cover my warranty. In my advising role, there are dealerships where I’ve made connections and have sent specific sales folks 25-30 customers.

          Today’s dialogue is geared towards dishonest car sales people. It’s a game many dealerships play every single day; car shoppers buy cars maybe every 2-8 years.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          06V66speed – when I bought my house I hired a lawyer to review the contract. I’ve never had an issue with bank loans.
          Never needed a student loan. I didn’t like some of the fine print.

          Perhaps Canada happens to regulate mortgages and loans better than the USA.

          The problem isn’t so much hidden clauses in a contract but up front lying and manipulation. I’ve had some really stupid stuff attempted when negotiating a new vehicle purchase especially with trade ins.

          I’m not in the mood to list every stupid tactic used by sales staff. That would be an entire Bark story all on its own.

          • 0 avatar
            MrKiwi

            When I buy a car, when I bought my house, and when I’ve refinanced, I read ALL the paperwork. I got into the habit of doing this when I immigrated to the US, because rightly or wrongly I had an impression of a lawyer-driven society, and I didn’t want to get into trouble. I’ve occasionally run into someone who gets annoyed by this, because they’re used to people signing everything by default.

            Coming in to settle on my house when I first bought it, I noticed a couple of errors in the final contract, including one where they’d gotten my citizenship status wrong. In the U.S., playing around with large sums of money, that’ll get you noticed. Five minute correction, but they were very relieved I found their mistake.

            I’ve gone through refinancing where I read the contract, didn’t understand it, and asked the bank to explain a particular paragraph. They couldn’t. I (very politely) refused to sign until they could get someone to explain to me exactly what their contract language meant. Three different people in the office – all mortgage specialists – looked at the wording and shook their heads. They had no clue. I had to go back the next day after they’d gotten someone on the phone, but at least I knew what I was signing.

            How frightening is it that an office full of people who only did mortgages couldn’t explain their own contract? This wasn’t a case of “we’re not sure we can put it into layman’s terms”, but several different people in the office who ALL told me “umm, yeah, we don’t actually know what that means ourselves”.

            The last car I bought was a totally pleasant experience (new 2011 Ford Fusion from a dealer in the suburbs of PA). They let me test drive it multiple times, taking it on the highway for 40 or 50 minute drives, didn’t bat an eye when I said “can I try that Focus just for fun?”, and never gave me a high pressure sales talk. The financing guy realized very quickly I wasn’t interested in add-ons, and flat out said “look, I have to go through everything, I’ll keep it quick, no pressure, if you want me to tell you more details just say so”. He showed me each form, gave me the 30 second description, looked at me “yes or no?”, and kept going.

            It was good.

          • 0 avatar
            onyxtape

            @MrKiwi – often, there’s corporate policies in place that disallows employees (such as the ones you were encountering) from explaining these things too much – it could be interpreted as giving legal advice to you. And that’s a big no-no.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            @Lou: Yes. It’s helpful to have a lawyer to help you at the closing table in the US. (Not for refis, though; those are cut-and-dried enough, as long as you read the paperwork thoroughly. By law, the lender is required to send you a “good-faith estimate” which lists the costs, what you need to bring to the closing, etc., a few days prior to the closing itself.)

            As to car stuff, my family and I have used an auto broker for perhaps 19 vehicle transactions over the past 20 or so years, and before that, my Mom, Dad and I bought four Hondas from a Toledo dealer which also facilitated transactions with our broker, until the transaction for my 2006 Accord caused a falling-out for several years.

            For whatever reason, they insisted on having me take delivery at the dealership, after dealing with their F&I puke. (Many times, the broker could do the transaction at the dining-room table, if you wish; he takes your trade and leaves you with the new car, or has his wife come pick him up.). He told me what to expect, and what to say. I did well!

            First thing to soften me up: we got your note through a local bank one-quarter-point under American Honda Finance! Cool!

            And then: “we have this wonderful paint-protecti..,” at which point, I stated that I didn’t want their 6-month “lifetime” polish, nor their worthless alarm, just let me sign that stack o’papers and let me go home to study that bookshelf-sized OM!

            But she persisted. I again stated that I wanted NONE of the overpriced junk!

            Well, she wouldn’t stop! Knowing my broker was standing outside her office, I went Vesuvius! “You WILL SHUT THE [email protected]& UP with the sales pitch, IMMEDIATELY, or I walk!” I glanced over my shoulder, and my broker was flashing her a look that could have turned her into a pillar of salt! Ashen-faced, she fanned the paperwork in front of me, and I spent the next fifteen minutes studying each as if it were the Magna Carta!

            My broker and I got quite a few stares in our direction when we walked through that showroom! Once outside, he high-fived me, and stated that he was going to have a rather curt discussion with the dealer principal the following Monday!

            My current car was obtained through a very proud family dealer in Bowling Green, a college town 15 miles south of Toledo; they have Nissan, Ford, Chevy, and Honda; active in the community, and the easiest folks to deal with of the forty with whom my broker deals; my broker has even mentioned to me that the wall of customer kudos is for-real. (I will even shop around for average cost, then ask that their wheel-maintenance package be included in my next purchase, since I’ve picked up some “curb rash” despite my best efforts. $300 lifetime coverage is pretty good considering that the going rate around me is ~$80/wheel for touch-ups.)

            Yes, I’ll even take one of the F&I tchotchkes if I can find value in it, and negotiate a fair price!

            As for the HyundKia dealers, if I wanted one, my broker would have to go to Cleveland for it, since all the stores from south of Detroit to Findlay, OH are owned by a sleazeball who makes some BHPHs look like saints; I did have the displeasure of roaming around his local Hyundai showroom once, and needed a shower afterwards! I refuse to go near one of his stores again! (I believe even my broker will try to facilitate a deal elsewhere, though he will deal with them if they give the best price at a given time.)

    • 0 avatar
      Jason

      You’re so hardcore.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    I’m pleased to see that such a shady and unethical business is forward thinking enough to employ at least one transgendered person.

  • avatar
    Chan

    This is why people have to resort to asking friends and family for car-buying advice.

    Thoroughly awful.

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    Yikes. That is insane.

    I like my dealer that I got my car from. I’d have to, considering I chose them over the crooked local dealer. But, a dealer is a dealer. I did get asked about some type of “paint protection” package which I stupidly accepted and then thankfully later changed my mind about. To the dealer’s credit, they simply took the price of the package and did a principal payment on the loan for me. That simplicity and the lack of trying to persuade me to keep the protection package made me have more faith in the dealer. They have to make money and they offer add-ons that will make them money, but at least they let me get out of it.

    We have two local dealer franchises here. One sells GM, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Hyundai. The other sells Ford, Lincoln, and Mazda. I tell everyone I can to go to the nearest bigger city (40 miles away) if they want to buy a new car. These local dealers, I don’t even trust them for service, much less a purchase.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Typically, there’s a grace period of 14 – 30 days after the purchase price wherein you can cancel any extended warranties for a full refund. After that, it’s a pro-rated refund based on the car’s age and mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Yup! As stated in my TL;DR above, I’ll take a package for wheel refinishing, oil changes, or whatever, if it adds value, and is fairly priced (or if they can be wheeled-and-dealed).

      Case-in-point was the Honda mudguards which I had installed at the dealer, since the rears required a small cut into the wheelwell molding, which I wasn’t comfortable doing myself. After shopping around, I had my broker offer $x-amount, parts and labor, to install them; around $10 off what they quoted me when I anonymously called their service department to inquire.

      They knocked $20 off the quoted price, and even allowed me to delay delivery until I had the Paint-Protection Film installed, indoors, out of the weather.

      (Unlike many dealers, these folks actually pay a decent wage, and through their upstanding practices, can move metal without having to resort to ADM, four-square, and other film-flammery. In fact, the longest-selling Honda salesman in the Toledo area came to work for them because, after 25+ years at another store, he was tired of the BS! Their service department is within a few bucks of indies and quickie-lubes for other routine services, and give free loaners, no questions. Even pulled in just before close to pick up my car once without stopping to gas the loaner up to where I picked it up; they said not to worry about it, even after stating I’d be willing to drop the keys off after gassing it up, and to get me cashed-out so they could close.)

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    And some few wonder why the majority of car buyers HATE car dealerships. Regretfully, those car dealerships are a necessary evil, for now; but with Tesla coming into the market a different way, those dealerships are going to either straighten up or go obsolete.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      They’re not necessary. They’re a bastion of crony capitalism. There are so many carve outs for dealers – they don’t have to obey as many financial disclosure / fair lending laws. Trade ins value isn’t taxed, but if you go private party it’s taxed, and you have to argue with them to get a fair deal.

      My car’s retail price is around $8,500. It’s wholesale price is maybe $7,300. And when I tried to trade it in, the dealer offered me $3,000. For a toyota with a clean title, good paint, and less than 100k miles that’s robbery.

      If I flip more than 4 vehicles a year, I need a dealership licence. Perhaps that’s sensible for cars, but for motorcycles it’s ludicrous. I can take almost any 1980s UJM and get it running well in about 10 hours of my time. But if I want to monetize that skill and make cheap, affordable, fun transportation available to more than 4 people per year, I need a dealer license or I might get arrested and sentenced to jail or fined for selling more than 4 vehicles per year.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Then go get a dealers license. It really is not that hard to do, even if you want to do it as a side business.

        Just like if you want to do a daycare out of your house, you need a license to do that as well.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          How hard it is to do is highly dependent on what state you are in. In Maine the requirements are actually fairly onerous, even for a used car dealer. For one, you can’t do it out of your residence, you need a commercial property, which must have service bays. Then the annual fees are quite steep as well. They don’t want casual competition.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        In BC you can’t sell more than 5 vehicles a year without a licence. I know guys who used to “curb side”. There are ways around that sales limit but none are legal or ethical.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Vulpine – “necessary evil”????
      Misleading, deceptive, dishonest,and manipulative sales practices are never necessary.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I don’t think the automakers themselves are big fans either. The problem is that the dealers are pretty much the “face” of the automaker to the customer, and a bad/shady dealer can harm the brand’s reputation significantly. I’m pretty sure every automaker would love to be able to sell cars direct, but years of palm greasing in state politics have made that impossible.

      Tesla’s trying to side-step that by acting like your typical tech-bro company, claiming that the laws “don’t apply to them” because they’re a “startup” or “disruptive” or something. The other automakers have said “bulls**t, we’re legally stuck with this, and you are too.” Tesla isn’t going to change anything until they actually drive change in law. And I mean as in getting those laws repealed, not carving out a little exception for themselves like some of their internet fanboys want.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        The “change in law” already exists in one state, JimZ. Tesla could safely build four factory-owned dealerships in Maryland right now if they chose. And I don’t doubt that they will choose so within the next four years.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          NO, like I said they got a little exception carved out for them. They didn’t “change the law” since existing automakers are still beholden to franchised dealers.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            It’s a start, Jim. It’s a start. Specifically, it means no BEV maker who makes exclusively BEVs has to go franchised to have a dealership in Maryland.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Does Maryland follow CARB emissions rules? I forget which New England states do and don’t.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    It is a shame to see someone taken for a ride in this manner. However, I often read of such stories and cant help but feel that there were multiple opportunities for a well informed purchaser to see the red flags, especially since her step father (whom I would assume has bought a few cars) was signing off on the transaction.

    I agree that these practices are unethical, but she should be happy that it was on a $14K Kia vs some other more expensive item with a much longer term commitment. In the meantime, she at least has a newish car, presumably under warranty at a fairly manageable monthly payment. It could have been worse and I hope lessons were learned.

    Our schools are doing absolutely nothing to educate kids financially. Parents need to do this and depending on the family you grew up in, that may never happen. Sad state of affairs when the most vulnerable are preyed on.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      My parents taught me the value of a dollar. They may have done TOO good a job, as I probably make the “old” Ebeneezer Scrooge look like a drunken sailor at times. But that’s helped me get above an 800 credit rating, so it helps!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Even more curious is that the salesperson most often mentioned appears to occasionally switch genders depending on the review.”

    A shapeshifter!

    Seriously though, reviews by Dex Zinj and Cigdem Castro for Asli Beyazit? Dex might be short for Dexter but all three of those names sound completely fictional.

    Hello my name is Dex and I am from THE LOST CITY OF ZING :D

  • avatar
    VW16v

    I’m from that area of Orlando FL. Orlando Kia West and East are both scum dealerships. I’ve walked out before because of the games being played. Those two dealerships pray on minorities and low education and low income buyer’s. Local central Florida Toyota and Honda dealers also use the same play book.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    It’s a shame that in this era we still have to put up with these tactics.

    Particularly what looks like an old fashioned case of taking advantage of a younger, female purchaser.

    Glad to see that she at least has Bark on her side to bring social media retribution down on this dealership.

    My one experience purchasing a new vehicle from a small but long established Kia dealership in the Northwest part of Toronto was one of the best dealership experiences I have had in 40+ years.

    However the experience of negotiating directly with the ‘dealer’ of a Hyundai dealership just north-east of Toronto was horrific. Since he is no longer the dealer, I will not mention the dealership by name.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    My recent purchasing experience at a Seattle Ford dealer was smooth…

    …but only AFTER I established that I was a knowledgeable customer. The second I started putting up a fight, they lowered their initial lease quote by over $100 per month (!) without any pushing, and didn’t try to sell me a single extra.

    But if I had come in uninformed, they would have taken me to the cleaners and back again.

    On the one hand, all customers owe it to themselves to do a lot of research about the process before setting foot in, or sending a single email to, a dealership. On the other hand, there really ought to be at least basic protections for consumers in the process.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Knowledge is power, and a transactional history with the people one’s dealing with helps.

      I can literally send people to approximately a dozen dealerships, when they tell me what vehicle they’re considering, and contact the key person in advance before they get there, to ensure they will get a great price, great service, and absolutely no standard-fare stealership Bullish!t, but it’s only b/c they know me personally.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    Hide yo’ kidz, hide yo wife! Cause these car salesman takin’ advantage of err-one out here!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    If there’s any documentation saying that the dealership represented the car as new (especially if they made out the paperwork as such), Jenny should have been able to reverse the deal. In fact, I would have done just that if I were her. Souls are not hard to come by, so it’s not like she couldn’t get a good deal on another one.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    $4,000 under MSRP on a 2014? She would have been better finding a CPO 2015 as the original warranty has been ticking on this car since it was originally sold. Powertrain warranty is now only 5 years or 60K. I do not believe that she has roadside assistance now either, which would have been a CPO item for 10 years.

    “you’ll never see me recommend one of its cars to anybody until Kia dealers can stop acting like Kia dealers.”

    I’d say the same for Ford and Chrysler dealers; a Ford dealer wanted to sell my sister a demo Fusion for “sticker” because he would “eat” the cost of the paint sealer and whatever crap they put on there—the car had 4,000 miles on it.

    Unfortunately it’s not practical for some, but I forced my Mom to buy her Soul 65 miles from her house. The local ones stunk and would barely let you drive it without wanting to talk about numbers and “the trade”. They let me take it out for a spin by myself and had it washed so I could review the paint. They attempted to low ball the trade, but gave me what I wanted after I showed the CarMax offer that I had gotten the day before. Unfortunately the owner passed on and his wife sold the dealership to another chain.

    Your results may vary and above all else, read the documents before you SIGN! Any extended warranties can be purchased online; selling dealer wanted $1400 for a 10/120 for my Tucson—found another dealer online who would sell it for $500.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    It’s been less than 30 days. She can cancel GAP insurance. Refinance the loan at a credit union for 60 months or less and be amazed at how the payment probably won’t change much.

    I know I’ve allowed myself to be screwed by salesmen and F&I guys on multiple occasions. It’s an emotional thing, and one gets so caught up on the car that you don’t feel the reaming from behind. If a person is unable to walk away from a car they’ve fallen in love with, they will likely get screwed.

    Jenny sounds pretty young, and this was likely a big show of independence for her. I’m sure she was totally proud of “doing it herself” until she learned the true cost of “doing it yourself.” Wisdom is learning from experience, so let’s hope she does. Just tell her next time to talk to you BEFORE she signs any papers. Or listen to her stepdad’s hunch. Sometimes if it walks like a skunk and smells like a skunk…

    Oh yeah, mandatory #thesystemisworkingasintended

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Unless Florida is completely different than every state in which I’ve ever bought cars, shouldn’t the sales agreement and loan documents state precisely what she paid?

    If she thought she was paying $9k, even adding 10% for TT&L (on the $14k purchase price), she would be below $10,500… add the “dealer fee” and she’s just over $11k. Did they throw in an extended warranty, gold-plated floormats (which they apparently forgot to give her) and pre-paid maintenance for the next 25 years? The question of how much she paid and financed shouldn’t be hard to answer.

    The poor girl is going to be upside down on this car forever and will likely be on a bad rollercoaster ride for many years to come.

    $699 “dealer fee,” wow. At least when I lived in Tennessee they gave you a spray-on wax job and armor all treatment for that added profit. They called it their “environmental impact” package and was “added” to every car on the lot and had to be negotiated off.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Florida has the highest dealer fees in the country. $700 is about normal and $1000 isn’t rare.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I thought most states capped both the “Dealer fee” and the “Document fee,” but maybe that’s only the document fee bit.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Florida has no caps on dealer fees. That’s why we are so high.

          In fact, the *law* here is that additional dealer fees can’t be individually waived. So the only way to get out of paying the $1000 in extra fees is to get an equal amount knocked off the purchase price of the vehicle. This gets hilarious when you’re shopping for something under $7000 or so.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That is some crap. Why can’t FL get it together with regard to legislation? Other thoughts about Florida, you can label them true/false if you desire.

            -FL is bad for consumers with regard to dealer regs.
            -FL is bad for business with regard to insurance regs.
            -FL is very slow to approve changes or catch up to modern standards with regard to law.
            -FL is full of people who are stupid and get eaten by gators.
            -FL is also full of old people who have crooked doctors and take advantage of disability insurance.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Florida has an unlimited supply of Florida Men just waiting to be caught self-pleasuring in an open pickup bed, shooting at bottles full of gasoline, or even getting elected governor.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            LOL

  • avatar
    mcarr

    Dealers will be dealers. Unfortunately this story isn’t new or rare. In fact, she probably would’ve still been happy had you not asked the questions. In my younger years I had similar bad experiences with dealers, including one that told me my car I was trading in was already “gone” when I tried to walk out of the deal. Luckily, I’ve had enough sense not to get taken to the cleaners too badly ever. Hopefully this will be a learning experience for next time for her.

    • 0 avatar
      06V66speed

      Who cares how cliche this story is (“Young female first time car buyer gets taken advantage of by a bunch of meanie car salesmen”).

      Bark gets bonus points from his lady friend for putting this out there. So, good times.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    Referring someone to Carmax who knows nothing about the buying process or finance makes a lot of sense in these kinds of situations.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Why? To make sure they get ripped off?

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @JohnTaurus

        So much this. Much as I enjoyed selling a car to Carmax, I was singularly unimpressed by both the quality of their inventory, and the price of their inventory. Nor was their financing particularly cheap. it’s a NICE experience, but it surely is a very expensive one.

        Ruggles is right on this one – a fixed price means EVERYONE pays too much.

        • 0 avatar
          tekdemon

          It depends quite a bit, on some car models I’ve seen Carmax price everything very aggressively but for other cars they may be quite a bit higher than market. But I’ve actually noticed that most of Carmax’s NEW car dealerships offer pretty competitive pricing since they tend to be high volume dealers. If you wanted to buy a new Camry or something I’d have no qualms about sending someone right to the Carmax Toyota dealership since their pricing is very competitive even against cross shopping multiple dealerships.
          And I really do like how painless and legitimate their buying process for cars is, my father had a Camry with a bad transmission and they gave a very fair price and did all the requisite paperwork on the spot-he was skeeved out by the local buyers who all wanted to buy the car from him but clearly didn’t want to transfer the title into their names (they were probably going to resell it without transferring to their own names first). Carmax beat their offers anyway and it was totally painless save for driving to Carmax (which was located a state away)

          • 0 avatar
            Nick 2012

            Carmax isn’t bad, particularly when the car you want is reasonably priced. I’ve both sold a car and bought one from Carmax.

            I can guarantee you Jenny would have been better off buying her Kia there, starting with the lack of fraudulent misrepresentation. I did a quick look, and the lowest-mile ’14 Soul Carmax has nationwide is $13,995 (6k miles), about the same as Jenny’s price when considering the $700 ‘dealer principal lost big at the track’ fee.

            On high-volume models, Carmax is generally in-line with local dealers. Sometimes they can be off, other times, they’re well below market.

            A few friends (including single females who know very little about cars or financing) have bought and sold to a Carmax, and I’ve never seen anything remotely like this. At worst, they may have paid slightly more or gotten slightly less on a trade in vs a BEST case scenario at a dealer.

            It is worth real money to me and a lot of other people to know you’ll get a fair deal instead of risking getting taken to the cleaners in pursuit of a ‘great’ deal.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    And yet…here we are in 2016, and Jenny still isn’t legally allowed to just go and purchase a Kia right from Kia, and skip over all this BS.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      She could buy a Tesla…

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Only for the price of 6 Kia Souls.

        Model 3 probably wouldn’t hit her driveway for a year.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          I recognize that the pricing is in a different league. What I meant was that when automakers sell direct – like Tesla — this doesn’t happen.

          We should keep in mind that the entrenched automakers have actually been lobbying in favor of the dealer model, so they don’t have to get their hands dirty with actual human customers.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            Selling new cars in only a small component of the dealership. All it does is keep the lights on. Parts/Service/Used vehicles are where the cash is at. That’s a lot to pickup for an automaker.

            Not to mention there are very few standalone dealerships. Most have different brands from different makes under one roof. I’m not quite sure how something like that would work under Tesla’s model.

  • avatar
    brettc

    My wife and I went to a Kia dealer in late March because Kia was offering a $25 Visa gift card for test driving a Kia. As soon as we got out of the car, some young guy (he was probably about 20 at the most) started talking to us. Showed him the paperwork I had printed for the GC which he had no knowledge of. I told him I was there to get the GC and that I was interested in the Niro but it wasn’t supposed to be out until the end of the year. He didn’t know anything about the Niro.

    We went inside and he talked to his boss and another older woman that gave my wife and I dirty looks. Sales guy came back and told me that the Niro probably wouldn’t be available for another year and tried to get me to test drive something. I told him the Kias were too thirsty for me and I couldn’t do anything anyway until I knew what VW was doing with the TDIs.

    In the end he put that I test drove a Soul on the paperwork and we left. Based on that brief experience I likely wouldn’t be buying a car from Bill Dodge Kia. Greasiness seems to be abundant at Kia dealers.

  • avatar

    The beauty of the internet is being able to post reviews. I like to post reviews. I liked posting reviews for Stealerships like this one.

    • 0 avatar
      Crancast

      No negative review on Google Reviews concerning this shady deal. Bark, your friend may be embarrassed, but she should really put reviews up even if it is to simply link to your well done ‘Bite’.

      If anyone thinks this is just a Kia operation in Orlando, think again. I’d bet all 32 dealerships are trained to run the same shady business practices.

      http://www.greenway.com

      http://www.greenway.com/greenway-dealers.htm

      Be wary of and better yet stay away from any Greenway Automotive Group dealerships.

      Thank you for the story Bark.

  • avatar
    mix-124

    Asli Beyazit is definitely a Turkish woman’s name and as a young Turkish man I’m just ashamed.

    The name of one of the reviewers “Cigdem” is also a Turkish woman’s name. She should have at least come up with a more unsuspecting name for a “satisfied customer’s review”.

    Hope she loses that job.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    A woman walking in alone into a dealership might as well carry a sign saying: “Rape me” I met this lady a few yrs ago who had paid over $20k for an Aveo. An Aveo?? I felt so bad for her. But she was all happy cause it was her 1st new car and it did include oil changes for 3 yrs. (of course they charged for that)

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      My mother-in-law paid $40,000 out the door for a new Jeep Grand Cherokee in 1994. She was (1) alone, (2) first time buying a car, (3) has limited English skills, and (4) is extremely naive to the ways of the world.

      She was very happy with her purchase and loves the salesman. Go figure.

      Less than 10 years later, the car’s electronic gremlins erupted like wildfire along with it unloading half of the car’s fluids onto the garage floor every couple months. I sold it for her with 40,000 miles on the clock for $7,000.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    I feel bad for her. She didn’t need a cosigner. She can cancel that dumb ass gap policy as long as it hasn’t been more than 30 days and even then they will prorate it. A 700+ credit score should have been 0% at a Kia dealership all day everyday. 700 + is better than probably 80% of Kia buyers.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    We have many dealers like this in my area of NYC. Most of the dealers are owned by 2 or 3 large groups. As in most areas the worst are the Toyota & Honda dealers. Honda dealers i never go to. My wife’s girl friend was screwed silly on a used Honda. Dealer said it had 50,000 miles when it had 150,000 miles and she got stuck in the middle of winter. The Nassau County police Dept was watching this dealer for about 6 months turning back the clocks and finally closed in. Young lady did get her money back and never looked back. Funny thing is this dealer is still in business 20 years later and Honda never did a thing. The day of the family dealer is fast ending being replaced by the Mega dealer. I had dealing with a VW dealer in my town with a 3 car showroom for 30 years and life was good. As all people do the owner wanted to retire and sold the dealership. New owner reopened 18 miles away part of a Mega group with a nice big showroom and expected every buyer that entered was a target. Not the way to do business but sometimes i think many people walk into a dealership blind as to what is going on and after the purchase will not admit their mistake.

    • 0 avatar
      06V66speed

      Oh yeah. Rolling back the odometers used to be quite the racket.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      lol, one of the biggest (actually probably the biggest) Honda dealerships in the NYC area tried to pass off a used Civic the same way to me. They had it in the showroom, etc. But then my dad asked them why the car had no window sticker included. We had already put a deposit and everything. Either way, after we called them out they never admitted doing anything wrong but they did give us a pretty aggressive deal on an actually new Civic.

      We recently bought another Honda from the same place again, but I basically did the big e-mail every dealership strategy and they came up with a competitive price and they had the color my parents wanted so we went in, but the color turned out to be slightly different for the 2015’s they had left. So we were going to walk and they offered a 2016 model for about $1500 cheaper than the next lowest price I could get, and there were no hidden fees or anything, I had them do all the paperwork right there in front of me.

      You really do have to be an educated consumer, but the big dealerships in town can give you really great deals if you’re willing to play along a little bit. I will admit that they actually offered the best possible price they could give right off the bat to lock down the sale though, but keep in mind I had started this all through the internet so I wasn’t dealing with the regular salespeople. The person who wrote up our sale was also nice and easy to deal with and didn’t try to tack on any garbage fees.

      So do your homework, and I do strongly recommend emailing for their best price with all fees included before heading to the dealerships, but when you come in with the quote from your e-mail in your hand most of the dealerships don’t screw around too much. And going through the Costco Auto purchase program doesn’t give you the best price but it does also prevent most from trying to tack on too many fees (though I have seen one shady ass NYC dealership try anyways-needless to say they didn’t get our money).

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Same with my broker. $300 over invoice, and his deals are rotated among different salespeople at any one dealer, so everybody gets a cut. I like the “no hassle, hands-off” approach.

        He’ll do used cars, too!

        You have to be careful, and know what you want buying used, and which dealer is getting his business, as he cannot get you a car from Dealer “X” if you’ve already tested a car there; you have to go to a different dealer, and emphatically state that I have no intention of buying; just want to take a car for a drive around the block. Never have had a problem.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    I believe OEM’s need to monitor dealers much better and revoke the license of any dealer that continues to screw the customers, it put a bad image to the manufacturer, not the guy who owns it.

    • 0 avatar
      mmreeses

      I assume that state law protections for auto dealer francishees makes what you suggest difficult….cuz your ordinary voter isn’t voting for the state Rep based on consumer protection issues.

      And to make it worse—many states have de facto one party rule. So your local Dem or Rep state legislator has no fear of suckling the teat of the state car dealers’ association.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I went new car shopping in Orlando 30 years ago. I ended up buying my first new car in VA 7 years later. The Orlando dealers haven’t changed much. At least I knew enough to walk.

  • avatar
    tsoden

    Up here where I live, the Hyundai dealership is generally pleasant to work with. The sales person typically makes things pretty effortless, however when you have signed on the deal and need to finish up with the business manager, that is when things can go south pretty quickly.

    I am pretty sure it is written in their job description to up sell the customer on:

    Rust proofing (electronic or non electronic)
    Longer warranties
    Loan Protection
    and GAP insurance

    So wheen I bought my 2015 Santa Fe my wife and I had to go in with full assault gear when we had to meet this douchbag. We had already agreed to our monthly commitment and loan terms with the sales manager and sales person, but the business manager tried to encourage us to take out the 84 month option (at 0% financing) so that he could tack on an extra 3 years of warranty. When we saw the monthly amount jump like $100 more a month we were confused. So when we asked him, he tried to confuse us in stating that we are paying for an 8 year warranty to which I said, no, the first 5 years are INCLUDED…. and realized what he was doing. The funny thing is my wife asked how much in dollars the extra warranty cost… to which he did not want to tell us at first. She eventually got him to admit to the cost… to which we said “no, stick to our original commitment terms”

    After failing at this, he then tried to sneak in the loan protection plan which would have added $50 more a month. He had the papers all printed out and expected us to sign without realizing he had done this. Both my wife and I asked how the rate increased again, and when we found out, we demanded it be stripped from the contract since we DID NOT agree to it, nor did we need it.

    Finally realizing we had him beat, he threw the papers at us for signature (sans add ons), and once done, told us to “You’re done. please leave.”. No smile, not congrats, nothing…. asshole.

    • 0 avatar
      benchslap

      It is absolutely in their job description. At most dealerships, if an F&I mgr doesn’t offer/push those addons, they will make no money and/or be fired.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Yeah, and that is unfortunate. You can tell either their employment status or commission is hinging on selling these add ons, because they tend to get grouchy and sullen when you turn them down, even politely.

        It’s got to be one of the most miserable jobs. But considering the low moral levels some of them will stoop to, it is misery they deserve.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      The F&I people at a high end Mercedes / Porsche / BMW dealership nearby almost NEVER push add-ons to loan terms, and dont try to pull a fast one on a buyer, even if they are not knowledgeable.

      The F&I people at a nearby Toyota dealership always try to push all of the above on every buyer. If they did that to me, I would walk. No reason to sign the line and support the dealerships F&I chicanery…

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m not sure how much posting a negative internet review will help, but one thing she can do is give all “0” scores on the satisfaction survey.

    Giving the sales or service departments bad scores seems to always get some results.

    Although if she actually bought a previously-titled used Soul, I’m not sure she’ll get a survey from an OEM.

  • avatar
    benchslap

    Google fraudulent misrepresentation. This is a cut and dried lawsuit (settlement).

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Dealerships like this one probably live with dozens of on going lawsuits. Not unlike are soon to President “Trump”. Many Florida dealers just close up after so many lawsuits. There was a Chevrolet dealer in Lake Mary, FL and a Ford dealer in Tampa that just shut down after hundreds of lawsuits. Hundreds of car keys were found on the roof tops of both dealerships.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        I thought one tactic is to make sure you have a spare key or fob on your person so you can drive away in your trade if they try anything stoopid.

        (Even better if your state doesn’t tie the license plates to the vehicle. Just don’t sign anything resembling an odometer statement until you’re sure what the paperwork says!)

  • avatar
    thegamper

    My last dealership experience was probably the best I have ever had. I bought 2014 Mazda 6. Had already shopped around at several dealerships. Knew exactly what I wanted. I ended up buying from a dealership a good hour drive away but was quoted a great price. “Here is the car, you want any of this other stuff? No thank you….here is my check, ok sign here and grab the keys”. In and out in less than 30 minutes probably. Delivered exactly as promised over the phone/emails. Ralph Thayer Mazda in Livonia, MI. Just thought I would give a shout out. My sales lady was awesome.

    When I find someone who doesn’t play games, will always recommend and go back if I am in the market.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I feel bad for her, this kills what should be a happy little event in her life.

    Unfortunately, between financing terms, F&I Guy tactics, and uninterpretable fees, a dealership has a LOT of tools to squeeze revenue out of an unknowledgeable customer. This dealer chose to use them.

    It helps to educate yourself on these matters ahead of time and be very willing to walk away. Heck, just bringing a laptop with a basic loan calculator in Excel would have revealed the funny math going on here.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      The problem is that consumers aren’t used to building a defensive wall of protection before purchasing a commodity. You come in thinking it will be a smooth process, pretty much like buying anything else, only to get taken advantage of. It shouldn’t be this way.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      There is just no excuse for being unknowledgeable today. The information is right out there for you. There should be no mysteries when buying a car.

      I posted a long missive on my most recent experience, but be sure I knew exactly what the deal was going in, what the payments should be at various mileage options, and I was checking their math on my phone every step of the way.

      • 0 avatar
        Cactuar

        You’re a car guy. On TTAC. It’s like that one guy (can’t remember who now) saying everyone should be able to change their transmission under the rain at 2 AM. The average consumer is naive and is not really that interested to arm themselves with every tip and trick for what they consider an appliance anyway.

        They didn’t need to do it for the fridge they bought, so why the need for a Camry?

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @Cactuar

          Seems like one would want to put some tiny bit of effort into a transaction that represents 1/3-1/2 of your annual income. It’s not even hard. 30 minutes on the Internet to find out what to expect for pricing, and checking the dealer’s math. Maybe the tiny extra effort of going to your bank or credit union to get pre-approved for financing so you have a floor.

          If you can’t put in some minimal effort you deserve to get screwed.

          I put THAT much effort into buying actual appliances that only cost a couple DAYS salary!

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    The F&I manager pulled the same GAP insurance trick on me when I bought a vehicle at Lévis Subaru in Québec. I was new to the whole car buying process so I fell for it. The manager claimed that I would be refused the loan if I didn’t take GAP.

    After I got home from signing the deal I called the bank that issued the loan and they denied requiring GAP insurance. I furiously called the GAP provider and canceled the policy and got back my 2000$ they had charged me. The lady in this story should do the same thing.

    Never again am I buying a vehicle from a dealership.

  • avatar
    mcs

    When my son went in to buy his first new car, they tried to stick him with an $800 paint and interior protection package. It wasn’t on the sticker, but buried in the contract. It was liquid wax and some scotchguard. We were going to walk and head to another dealer, but they agreed to lower the price to compensate for it – after I reminded them it was the end of the month and the odds of them finding another buyer for a manual transmission car before the end of the calendar year weren’t good.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Simply appalling! It is stories like this one that make me realize why so many hate car dealers.

    Here is how it is supposed to work. I just helped my Gal-Friday lease a new car. Looked around for the best deal on a 3yr lease – she unfortunately needed to be a payment buyer. Thanks to Dieselgate, NOBODY was coming close to VW. Advertised offer was $139/mo for 12K on a Jetta S slushbox with $2800 down upfront. She wants a 5spd ($1100 cheaper) but with Teck Pkg (+$995), and I advise no money up front makes more sense at 0% interest (which this was) on a lease. Go to local VW dealer #1. They immediately offer $2400 off and write us up quite decent quotes for 10K, 12K, and 15K leases. Their doc fee was on the high side at $399, plus the $625 to VW for the lease, plus taxes. They did not have the color she wanted, and were a bit reluctant to get one. Also could not appraise her trade that day, too late in the day. So an OK experience, but not fantastic.

    On Friday, we go to local dealer #2. Initially they were a few dollars higher than Dealer #1, but when we pushed they came back $1000 lower on the price of the car – $3500+ discount. Only $299 doc fee. And they gave her 2X what I pessimistically thought they would for her ragged old Grand Cherokee with bad brakes, a slipping tranny, and the CEL on ($800). They don’t have the color either (silk blue), but call a dealer in MA that does and promise the car will be ready to go on Monday. And it was. We picked it up at 5:30 Monday night. 5 minutes with the F&I guy who did exactly the same thing my BMW dealer does, gave a menu of options, asked if we had any questions, and went right on to signing the paperwork. Total time in both dealerships over 3 visits, maybe an hour and a half, including a test drive at dealer #1.

    And here is the best part. Yesterday they call her and tell her that if she would swing back to the dealership, they can give her the $1000 rebate that VW just announced for Memorial Day. When all the dust settled, $210/mo with no money down (other than the Jeep) for a 15K/yr lease on a $21K MSRP Jetta with a non-fantasy land residual of $9400. And Maine is one of those states where you pay the sales tax upfront on a lease. This will get her by until she finishes school (she is in a nurse practitioner program AND working full time). And the real best part – *I* will never have to turn a wrench on it. I had to put brake pads on that stupid Jeep to get it to the dealership to trade it in! She let it go so long one of the pads fell out and jammed a wheel. Eeek.

    In round numbers this was $22500 on the road for the car with all taxes and fees. Less the $9400 residual and $800 trade-in. Call it $12300 to finance at MSRP. Sum of payments is $7560, so effectively a $4740 discount on a car that was cheap to start with.

    As for the car – the 1.4T with 5spd is a nice package. It’s no rocket but far better than the old 2.Sl0. Quiet and rides nicely, not at all sporting. Tech package gets you a backup camera and Apple CarPlay/Android auto. Both of which I have no use for, but she loves. CarPlay seems to work well with her iPhone, haven’t tried it with my Android phone yet.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      One additional thing. I thought what the F&I guy offered for add-ons were actually not terrible deals. The most expensive option was a plan that covered all maintenance and servicing other than tires, forgave any wear and tear other than accident damage to the car at turn-in, and extended the bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage with no deductible to the full 45K from 36K. For ~$2K. Which considering what the dealers charge for services over 45K is not such a terrible deal, IMHO. Especially at 0% interest. But I will do the services for her, nice guy that I am, and she will risk the rest.

      They had a couple cheaper options that were less comprehensive that seemed to have appropriate value as well.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      It’s good to read about a positive VW dealership experience since horrible VW dealers seem to be a common stereotype around here. When I purchased my Sportwagen I had a similarly clean and professional experience with no high pressure or diversionary tactics, no petulant F&I guy, no funny math. Very straightforward and they delivered on what they said they would.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I suppose one thing will hopefully come of this, for Jenny.

    That is this little financial loss, and when you look at the numbers it isn’t much, will assist her in the future, even when she’s buying a home or another vehicle. She will learn from this …… I hope.

    The world is full of specks of sh!t like car sales people, in all industries and business.

    I think she just has to pay the vehicle off and learn from this experience as this experience has probably saved her 10s of thousands of dollars in her future.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I got taken for a ride a couple times buying cars. Most notably when I bought my first car. But since then any time I buy from a dealer I always feel like I got screwed. $499 processing? For a $7000 car? That’s not insubstantial.

    But the thing that can make my temperature rise in an instant is when I think about letting my wife pay asking price for a used car at a dealer. I screwed the pooch by admitting that she loved it during the test drive and I’ve never gotten over allowing her to sit there and let the guy steal a couple grand from her.
    When it’s my deal that goes bad, it’s one thing. When I’m supposed to be helping someone else, that keeps me up at night.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    Dealership sales are terrible and should not be the only method of purchasing a car. Period.

    I’ve purchased a total of four cars in my life. In each case, the trip level I wanted was not available anywhere and I had to wait for it to arrive from the factory. In most cases, this was six to eight weeks. The sales experience did not help me, did not alter my opinion on extras/packages/etc to take. I could have ordered this from the manufacturer and saved several hours of my time. But I can’t (Tesla’sexcluded).

    Now, that being said, I love my dealers service department. I know the techs well (because I went back to inspect work and get to know them, not because my cars were in a lot!), I use their detailing service regularly, and my service manager is awesome: he proactively called me about recalls, etc.

    In addition, if I were buying used cars, I’m sure the situation would be different. But not new.

    New car sales, at minimum, should not be exclusively a dealer option. The dealer made very little money off of me, and they knew that was fine, because I used their detailing services and brought my car for regular service. There was no need to hard sell me on the car because I chose to be their customer for other things, THAT is what a dealer should be about. Service.

  • avatar
    hifi

    And this is why franchised dealers need to go away. If Kia had any control over their dealership network, this behavior would truly reflect the integrity of the brand. So they would never tolerate this.

  • avatar
    NickS

    So, anyone willing to write a comprehensive guide to first time car buyers?

    Obviously it’s a huge topic, and a lot differs from one state/province to the next, but there should be some commonality on what are obvious red flags.

    Post up some one-liner DOs a d DON’Ts.
    – any verbal claim of substance must appear in writing

    P.S. I helped two friends recently, but I admit I hate going. Both are educated and otherwise astute yet tbey were easily persuaded to agree to extras. They basically stand no chance against professional “talkers”.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I think I have a few bits of advice:

      1. Always have financing in hand from YOUR bank or credit union. It will make sure you don’t have eyes bigger than your budget, and sets a ceiling on what you will pay for financing. Make the dealer compete for that bit of profit.

      2. Know what your trade is really worth. I like to use the average of the various valuation websites. If there is a Carmax near you, get an appraisal from them. That sets a floor on trade/private sale price. Obviously, the more valuable the car the more incentive to trade rather than sell it, due to the tax implications in most states, but it may be worth selling it yourself. It’s not that hard to do. I figure it is at least worth a try.

      3. Disregard the monthly payment. All that matters are the bottom line price, the term, and the interest rate. The monthly payment is the result of those three things. Though obviously, know what you can afford to pay per month! Term-wise, I won’t finance a car I can’t afford to pay off in the term of its warranty.

      4. Channel Nancy Reagan and Just Say No to any crap the F&I guy is pedaling. With few exceptions, you can get anything they offer cheaper somewhere else. The only thing I have seen that I thought was maybe a decent deal was VW’s very comprehensive extended maintenance/warranty on a lease. But even then, I’m not pre-paying for maintenance.

      5. Check their math. At every single step of the way. Have a loan calculator on your phone. Don’t sign a darned thing until you understand exactly what you are paying for. Do the math yourself to decide between a cheap rate or a rebate. Often it is better to take the rebate, then refinance with your own bank after the minimum period.

      6. Do a little research to see what a good price is for the new car. From the various BMW forums, I knew that 10-12% off US MSRP should be my target for my M235i ED order, for example, and I got a bit over 12%. For the VW that my friend just leased, ~$3K off seemed to be the typical price, though she got almost $5K off!

      7. Don’t be ridiculous. Dealers do have to eat too. If they can get close to your ideal price, call it a day and enjoy the car. Your time has value too.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        “3. Disregard the monthly payment. All that matters are the bottom line price, the term, and the interest rate. The monthly payment is the result of those three things. Though obviously, know what you can afford to pay per month! Term-wise, I won’t finance a car I can’t afford to pay off in the term of its warranty.”

        This can’t be stressed enough. The ONLY two numbers that matter are the amount of the loan and the sum total of all the loan payments.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Good list. Especially number 3. When testing potential vehicles last purchase, the first thing the sales kid asked was “what do you need your monthly payment to be?”, directly interpreted as “dear god, please tell me you are that kind of customer so I can have my way with you on the interest rate and loan term”.

          Red flag, I no workee with that salesman.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    Thank you for the story about the shady practices of Orlando Kia West.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    I’ll bet there’s a check the box somewhere on the contract showing it’s a used car.

    Slimeball dealers are for test drives only. Might as well go to the ‘quality buying experience’ dealer for the purchase, all things being equal, and they are. Honestly, it’s worth a few bucks for a broker.

    Not to blame the victim, or anything,but stepdad has no excuse for falling for most of that stuff.

  • avatar

    As someone who has professionally gone over car deals, I can say that your ability to do well in this is directly proportional to your ability to negotiate and your resistance to suggestion. If you have a professional life where you negotiate significant sums, car dealers are fun. The salesman who called my mom to say “there was an error with the deal” and she needed to “come back” got a call from me to say “where should she drop the keys, cause if she goes back, it is only to return the car”. I didn’t get a call back. Mom’s sums are bigger than mine, she does commercial real estate leasing in Manhattan….

    Negotiation is not part of lots of people’s jobs…doctors and teachers are good examples.

    I’ve seen stuff that would make you cry, but basically “legal”, if unwise.

  • avatar

    Too bad Jenny didn’t have enough privilege to understand she had a $5k car budget.She could have had something relatively nice, with much cheaper insurance, and avoided 72 months of debt slavery.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Frank Mansfield,
      Are you available to give unsolicited financial advice to everyone, or just those who lack privilege and understanding?

      • 0 avatar

        Are you going to argue a young woman should’ve taken a 72 month loan rather than bought a decent used car for cash?

        I recall the most talented paid contributor here saying some such thing.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          I don’t know her situation, and she didn’t ask my advice. The more I have gotten to know young people, the more I have seen that they would rather learn things the hard way than take advice from an elder. I was equally obstinate at that age.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @Frank Mansfield

          There comes a point where peace of mind is worth the added cost. My Gal-Friday had reached that point with her Jeep. *I* could have nursed that thing along for many more years, but she needs a car that just works, with minimal surprises. Yes, she is spending $7500 to rent a car for three years, but in this case that is $7500 well spent. Ultimately, the issue is she has ZERO mechanical sympathy, as evidenced by her running the thing with the brakes grinding to the point that a pad FELL OUT. She is just not the right person to be driving a $5K car, and there are a LOT more people like her than those like you and me. There are VERY few decent $5K cars out there anymore.

          And this meme about insurance being much cheaper on old used cars needs to end. Full coverage on the new Jetta was only $50 more per year than just liability and comprehensive on the 15yo Grand Cherokee. My new M235i costs the same to insure as my 15yo Range Rover. YMMV, of course, depending on who you are and where you live.

          • 0 avatar

            Cheaper insurance when you’re only carrying liability and PIP isn’t a “meme”. It can mean saving upwards of a couple of hundred a month for someone in their 20s.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Not everyone is in their 20s.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            My most expensive car to insure is my 21-year-old Acura Legend. And that’s without comprehensive and collision, both of which I do have on the two newer cars. (Thanks, VTEK YO kids…) In my experience the cheapest cars to insure are a few years old, but only a few — somewhere around year 5, that turns around.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            My car insurance has not varied more than like $8/mo no matter what car I have. My nicer car whether that be an Audi, Lexus, Infiniti is about $45/mo, and an old car like an Impreza wagon or a Cadillac is $20/mo.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Each of my three is right around $50/month, but that’s with no comprehensive or collision on the Acura. It’s $56 for the Acura, $54 for the C-Max, and $48 for the Lexus.

  • avatar
    A09

    So, anyone willing to write a comprehensive guide to first time car buyers?

    I bought six new vehicles since 2002, and on all but most recent two I either felt disgusted or violated from being taken. Leading up to our purchases at the end of 2015, my wife and I did six months’ worth of preparation. I read three books, and the one that stood out was “Car Dealer Secrets Revealed”. I also used a lot of tips from the B&B, specifically using http://www.iseecars.com to understand days in inventory.

    The primary tactic I used was to not mention price; let the dealers fall over themselves to produce the best drive-out price. On my Pilot I saved about 5% off MSRP. My wife’s CR-V over 10% off MSRP. By simply emailing 15+ dealers over a three week period (for each vehicle), I compiled a list and gave each dealer an opportunity to beat lowest bid from a competing dealer. Once I settled on two dealers that I was going to visit for the test drive, I requested their Buyer’s Order that itemized each line-item of the transaction.

    The secondary tactic is to keep saying “no”. When Honda’s F&I tried offering an interest rate a full percent above my credit union’s rate, I said “I guess we are not buying the CR-V today” and showed my salesman my credit union’s website. When we went to F&I to close the transaction, the Honda Financial forms were pre-printed with the rate that matched my credit union.

    As much as I dislike the car buying process, I felt in control on our two recent purchases only because of the obsessive preparation.

    https://goo.gl/aS9f34

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Obsessive preparation and a willingness to create an unpleasant confrontation when your obsessive preparation tells you it’s necessary are the two key qualities of the successful car buyer.

      One of those comes naturally to me; the other is very foreign and I still don’t always succeed at it.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Best case scenario, it’s a colossal waste of time and what economists would say is a hugely inefficient transaction expense. I think people underestimate these guys. It’s psychological warfare and these guys are highly trained, not just experienced.

    There is always the risk of a successful scam no matter what. Human fatigue is human fatigue and there is an irreducible risk of human error on the part of the buyer.

    I don’t buy the idea that it’s “fun” for experienced negotiators. That works both way you know. I’m one of those people and the dealer figured I’d be good practice for the weekend. (I made the mistake of showing up mid day mid week). What did he have to lose? A very low margin deal? Knowing when to pull in their horns at the last possible moment is one of their skill sets, you know.

    • 0 avatar

      OK, fun was probably the wrong word. I also realize that my job makes me less of a target for the really shady stuff.

      I still view car buying as root canal, in that you need it, it is unpleasant for a bit, and at the end, you are better off. At the very end of my last deal, the F/I guy ended up putting me in a loan with an interest rate higher than my credit warranted. I signed and took the car. My car insurance company was only too happy to re-fi me at a more appropriate rate-if your credit is good there are lots of folks who’d be happy to re-fi you.

      You are NOT married to the bank/agency the dealer put you with….I wonder if the dealer still got the commission/point on the loan which was immediately re financed.

      My one bit of advice is to realize that time is part of the process. When you go, don’t expect to get out in ten minutes. They are there all day….you should expect to be there too. It is a stupid system but you can at least negate that part by going in knowing it is a time hole and just accept it. You won’t “sign to get out” which removes a powerful tactic from the other side.

      Always be nice, walk out if need be-you aren’t buying the one numbers matching Shelby. Know the prices…you can spend time on a few websites and get a good idea of the arc of prices on a used car or new…

      I’ve always found it funny that cars themselves are fun on many levels, but the acquisition process is just a large pallet of suck.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    When “Jenny” found out her loan amount ignored her $5k down payment all she wanted to make up for it was floormats and an apology? It is getting late as I read this; did I miss something?

  • avatar
    thelastdriver

    Dealers are dealers — be it drugs, Kias, or Fords. Some are shady and some will legitimately work with you.

    Have a friend who was laid off from a Honda dealer for being “too honest”. He now works for the largest Kia dealer in Cleveland.

  • avatar
    dwford

    A doc fee of $199 is very low. Here in Connecticut it is at least $399, most places are more. The lower interest rate off in exchange for GAP is a shady swindle, but very common. The interest rate is as high as it is because the car is used. it would’ve been way lower if the car was really new. Now that she has the lower interest rate, she can cancel that GAP and get it somewhere else if she thinks she needs it.

    I really don’t get the selling the used car as new angle. Makes me think there is something wrong with that car. As a salesman I would have pushed the angle of getting a car that is basically still new for cheaper than a new car. Present it as a positive instead of hiding its used status.

  • avatar
    slance66

    I hate car dealers. I hate everything about the experience. Isn’t there someone who can improve on it? When I see a 4-square I basically tell them to put it away or I walk. I am not interested in payments. I want to know what the price of the car is, period. Nothing else. I don’t need a financial adviser. I may finance the car, but if I can’t write a check for it, I wouldn’t buy it.

    I do find I get better treatment at Lexus and Acura dealers. It’s the volume Toyota, Honda and domestic brand dealers that are the worst.

    • 0 avatar

      And they *hate* you for not playing their games and falling for their bull, as if they’re entitled to propagate these attacks on customers’ financial well being. But they hate the customers they can foist it all on, too.

      Then someone like Tesla comes along, and they lobby against them.

      I know good car salesmen. They’re out there. But it seems like for every good one there’s ten crooks.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        You can have the exact same experience as Tesla buying pretty much any car that isn’t a super hot in demand latest thing. Simply walk into the dealership and offer to pay full retail + fees. You will have your @ss kissed like royalty, I guarantee it.

        Ruggles is absolutely right on this one – fixed pricing means everyone pays too much. I can also guarantee that in a traditional dealership *I* will not be on the losing end of the game, so why should I not play the game and pay more?

        Based on my buddy’s experience actually buying a Tesla, it may not be the car buying nirvana you think it is anyway. See, when everyone at the place is a salaried employee there is no particular incentive to get things done and moved along. No motivation to speak of.

  • avatar
    orlandokia

    We at Orlando Kia West value the privilege to serve our community with the very best automotive services. We welcome feedback from our guest, and strive to improve thru a better understanding of our shortfalls. Through reading your review we realize that we have made progress, but have considerable room for improvement. We would like to hear more about your experience and take the steps needed

    to ensure your satisfaction and resole your concerns. Please contact us at 407- 532-2217 at your convenience. Our General manager awaits an opportunity to personally assist you.

    • 0 avatar

      “Through reading your review we realize that we have made progress … ”

      Really? It was _worse_ than this before?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Probably preferable to alter your form letter apology to the content to which it’s being applied. This isn’t quite a review.

        Don’t resole their concerns, they may not appreciate you taking their shoes.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’m miffed I didn’t think to create a fake Orlando Kia account and troll everyone.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Aww maybe next time.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Yo yo yo this is Or-lan-do from Orlando KIA, comes dauwn wez got the hamp-ster ride forz ya’ll, just $29999.99. That ho Jenny be trippin’ and shiznitz. We gives allz ya’ll floormats wit purchase. Hit us up dawg, axe for Or-lan-do.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Das’ off tha chain ova thurr! I seed it wen I buyed a Optima GD-It. You can axe em yo question an’ they answer fo sho yo kno. My creptit sco is lo fo sho they pro no pro-blem.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            No creditz? No probem! We get ya bankin’ fo sho.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Potential car buyer,
            I just recently purchased a new or used vehicle from Orlando Kia West. My salesperson’s name was Asli Beyaziti and he was helpful and also a very sexy man.

            I got very good car, plus free car mats – for free! They very friendly help me to get good gap insurance and financing at 99% rate – best in the business.

            Sincerely,
            A real buyer (not Asli Beyaziti – for really)

  • avatar

    Think about how better-armed consumers would be if we had broad personal finance courses taught in our public schools. Think about how this young woman had no idea about GAPP insurance, extended warranties, securing her own financing, or anything of the like, and it’s 2016. Foolish? Yes, as are many consumers. But does that excuse this dealer’s practices? Hell no.

    We don’t get broad financial training and education, because our government and their corporate owners want good little worker bees that don’t question the way the cards are stacked against them, and the way the finance sector works against them. Ultimately, uninformed consumers who aren’t aware or motivated to learn pump tons of money into the economy, they all figure, so why would they want a massive cohort of suddenly-educated, savvy consumers running around?

    /rant

    • 0 avatar
      DweezilSFV

      Even the step-dad with a 700+ credit score didn’t get it. And co-signing ? For anyone ? Big mistake, even if it’s family.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      You would love Senator Elizabeth Warren.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      This notion of a corporate conspiracy to keep their customers stupid and indebted would be more credible if the government schools weren’t doing an equally poor job at imparting basic literacy and arithmetic.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        I meant politically. Are you really creepin’ on 66 year old women, Dan? And she’s hardly shrill – that ‘s just a word (like bossy or bitchy) that threatened men use to put down women.

        People who seek to be financially literate have the tools available to them. Others just want to sit back and whine about the government. As you say, different strokes for different folks.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Nah, shes not a shrill. Shes a lying shrill.

          I give Senator Pocohontas props though for seeing the obvious student loan bubble and pretending to do something about it. Even if she were genuine on the issue, I highly doubt Fedgov is going to give up the interest profit she herself first pointed out, no matter what the real figures happen to be. Really if she or anyone else wanted to address the problem, the bubble has to stop growing which means cutting off the money supply and letting some of the schools go tits up until they re-adjust their revenues to be more in line with reality.

          Your move, Senator.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/elizabeth-warrens-claim-that-the-us-earns-51-billion-in-profits-on-student-loans/2013/07/10/7769a3c2-e9b8-11e2-aa9f-c03a72e2d342_blog.html

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Senator Fauxcohontas is more like it. She’s as native as I am, just another little thing she lied about.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    We had an OK experience. We wanted the car at X price and they said they could sell it at that if we financed through them and we said our credit union had a better interest rate. They said to get the car at that price it had to be financed through them but we could refinance with the credit union 6 months later. Overall the financing was a little higher than purchase price but that included a lifetime powertrain warranty and 5 years of oil change/tire rotation service which worked out to just under $15 per service assuming 15K miles per year.

  • avatar
    ericb91

    I really hate stories like these. I’ve been selling cars for almost three years and I love my job because I get to play with cars all day and help people find what they’re looking for. I get to build excitement and keep people happy. And I get to make a decent living, too!

    I’m not in this business to screw people. I have to lay my head down at night and know that I gave my customers a fair deal. I have a conscience that weighs heavily on me. I’m here to earn a fair profit for my dealership. Reading about dishonesty and shadiness by other dealers just makes me so angry. I hope your friend gets things resolved.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I went into car sales myself for a while and ended up quitting entirely. Two of the three dealerships I worked for pretty much told me, “The first thing you ask any customer is what kind of payment they’re looking for. Then point them towards (x) model depending on that amount.”

      The third dealership was actually pretty good, but the other salespeople there were simply too snobbish and refused to even look at a walk-in. I moved more cars than any one of them, but they made higher commissions on every one they sold.

  • avatar
    maserchist

    Mother bought her brand new 1972 Honda AZ600 coupe, I went with her. Salesman asked what her trade in was. She motioned to the forlorn & well worn 61 Falcon we rolled up in. He didn’t miss a beat as he wrote “NONE” on the sales contract. Both of those cars were fun ! Drove the Honda home…

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Bark should’ve been involved in the sale, before/during, instead of *after*. But I know how these things happen.

    Car shoppers that know nothing about the auto *trade* and its “practices”, 1st would have to know SOMETHING, to realize how little they know.

    It’s only AFTER the sale, they seek out the most knowledgeable person they know (on the subject), for the ‘pat on the back’, and Thumbs Up approval.

  • avatar
    cmc540

    Sorry if someone already said this, but I couldn’t end the day without commenting. She should look at the paperwork submitted to the lender. If the lender is insured by the FDIC and the paperwork indicates the vehicle is “new”, the dealership is guilty of fraud under Title 18 of the United States Code Section 1014 which reads in part:

    “Whoever knowingly makes any false statement or report…for the purpose of influencing in any way the action of…any institution the accounts of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation…upon any application…or loan…shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 or imprisoned not more than two years or both.”

    I hope this is the case and she can get her money back or contact the lender and cry “fraud”. She can then go get a car she won’t have bad memories associated with for the rest of her life.

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    “Jenny” should stand in front of the dealership every Saturday holding a sign that reads, “KIA Financially Raped Me”. I guarantee that missing $5k down payment shows up in the form of a refund before the day is out.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      Jenny should have gone over the finance agreement with a calculator and made sure that the numbers added up. Then when she can’t figure out where the $5000 down payment went, hand the form back and make Mr. F&I explain every number from the top down.

  • avatar
    pdq

    Maybe I’m misinterpreting, but the first few positive reviewer profiles I clicked on showed that the person had only done one review. So not only are they writing their own reviews, they’re creating new Google profiles and then writing the reviews.

    Douch*baggery knows no bounds!

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    I recommend that TTAC run a few articles on the best way to go about buying a car. I’ve done it many times, but in the internet age, I’m sure there’s a lot I don’t know. I see some good deals on Auto Trader.com, but say I buy a year-old used car. Do I get the remaining manufacturer warranty? I would think so, but I’m not sure. What I always did was find a car I wanted at dealer, make an offer. If they declined, I would leave. The next day I would offer $100 more, and so on. The online sellers have changed the game. I could use some guidance.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    We shouldn’t be too hard on the poor F&I guy who was just doing his job – Always Be Closing. After all, he didn’t get any good leads in his previous job selling lots at Glenn Gary Glenn Ross.

    Signed.
    Alec Baldwin

  • avatar
    Leon Hall

    I know this is a bit old, but one of the reasons you’ll find that they’re rating is was as high as it was back when you wrote this is that they were using their own employees to post positive reviews. City Kia used to be a “better” alternative, but they’ve reached their own level of shady themselves. In fact, I noticed they replaced their embedded XTime service system with one from CDK Global, and it’s even worse than before. The prices are significantly higher for the same service that you would find through the Kia corporate XTime portal. What’s worse, even with the VIN entered, they can’t even tell any specific information about your vehicle, whether it’s 2wd or awd, or whether it even came with an engine or just a hamster wheel. Plus they have the same $2100 markup stickers on everything, which on some vehicles lists things the vehicle does not even have or comes standard with in the first place. For instance, the list includes pin striping, but not all the cars have it. Other things include door pockets, something that comes standard rather than something they added.

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