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Gwinnett Place
Gwinnett Place Ford Gwinnett Place Ford Used Vehicles scam or unfortunate error? Duluth, Georgia
6th of Sep, 2011 by User282371
For a month, we had been searching for a particular used car for our 18 year old son who car shares with the family. My husband found an advertised vehicle in the color, make and model that was exactly what he had been looking for on Gwinnett Place Ford’s used car website. We knew how much we could put down, had pre-approved financing and everything was in order on our end. He called and explained this was a car he wanted to see…THE ONLY car he cared to look at or test drive. That is important to note. He left work early and arrived at the dealership on a Friday afternoon, expressed to the nice sales guy if he liked the condition of this car and he could deal with him on what we knew we could spend, he would buy the car that day. He was impressed with the vehicle and worked the numbers with the salesperson who said he could come off the price a bit to work in our budget. They started writing up the paperwork for this car…THE ONLY car he looked at and test drove. After 5 hours on the lot, most of which was spent awaiting the sales manager to get through to our finance company, my husband drove off the lot with the car he had been searching for, spending $1200 more than intended after tax, tag and title, but he accepted that. He came home to a VERY excited son. My husband receives a call at work four days later, from the salesperson who says he actually “bought a different vehicle” and that the car he has in his possession “still belongs to the dealership”. Apparently, the contract he signed had the VIN# of another car on it. A car he had never seen, didn’t drive and wasn’t even advertised. If he wanted to keep the car he drove off the lot with, it would be $4000 more he would have to pay. He reminded the sales person he never had ANY interest in another car, never saw this vehicle he signed a contract for and however this happened, he wanted the VIN# changed to the correct number and they needed to make it right.Take a loss if need be or he would assume he was being scammed and this was blatant bait and switch in the largest possible way. He made plans to go to the dealership in person the next day. Looking back at the 5 hour camp out at Gwinnett Place Ford with the used car sales manager, some little errors my husband caught before signing the paperwork that evening now make ”sense”. They got the mileage wrong on the papers, which my husband corrected and was thanked "for catching that".... The sales manager sent someone out to the vehicle to check the number and confirm. No concern or directive to check the VIN # by the sales manager. Now a clue, he pretty much knew what was gogin down.
The color was read out loud from the contract, as “charcoal” by the sales manager, and my husband asked, if that is considered black by the manufacturer… ( it is a black metallic color) The sales manager responded, ..” Black charcoal, they call them same thing…” Another suspicious comment that now seems pretty suspect.
The real red flag, is the most telling in hindsight. The sales manager claimed he had spoken to our finance company, and we were approved for $4000 less than my husband had thought. In order to make THIS deal, he would have to pay another $4000. ( This was three or four hours into being at this dealership waiting to sign paperwork.) My husband corrected him, and while irritated, thought a rep with the finance company got it wrong. Called them back himself, had them fax over more copies of the approval paperwork , and speak to the sales manager in front of him via the phone, confirming the finance amount. Again, a hearty thanks from the sales manager for getting that straightened out, as though it was a mistake on the finance companies part. By the end of hour five at Gwinnett Place Ford Used Cars , unknown to him, he left the lot with a car whose temporary tag, had the VIN # of another car, and a three page contract in the glove compartment with another other car’s VIN # (a lesser vehicle) he NEVER saw or wanted. Today, he went to the dealership personally. They apologized and said it was a horrible mistake and to “make it right”, they would only ask for $2000 more and take a loss on this vehicle. They contend it was a huge error. Incompetence that extreme might be believable if the sales manager was new. Apparently, he’s been with them a while. Guess they figured my husband and son wanted THAT car so bad, he’d find a way to pay for their “mistake”? We have called the governor’s office for information on the legalities and our rights. Since this is a licensed new car dealer, they don’t HAVE to have any special license to sell used vehicles. BUT they do have to answer to the Federal Trade Commission and consumer groups. Be assurred thats the LEAST we will do. As long as they give our down payment back, they can’t be held legally responsible for a “mistake”. We are making it a mission, and a lesson to our son, whether it be via media or court, to see this through. They will get not one dime from us and we will urge anyone to not go to this dealership. Mistakes happen. We fully believe this was not only NOT a mistake , but a huge "bait and switch" and "yo-yo" scheme that an apology does not rectify. People should NEVER be treated this way. To add to the disgust, a parent taking the car back from his son who was so proud ? Not a happy day. This dealership refuses to make it right, take a loss or have some integrity. We believe hindsight makes it clear, with the obvious evidence of the behavior of the sales manager and the blatant mistakes my husband corrected, Gwinnett Place Ford’s used car sales manager KNOWINGLY SOLD another vehicle on purpose to get the sale and assumed my husband might be angry, but would cough up the difference later after an apology since he wanted that car so badly. Think again. . Do we consider proving that in court or in front of a judge in some way? That sales manager would be a sacrificial lamb before that could happen. I don’t know how far we want to take this, but I do know, the public needs to know this happens. My husband reviews documentation and fraud for a LIVING…and it happened to him. CROSS CHECK THE VIN # on the contract with the car you think you are buying before you sign….even if it’s the ONLY ONE you looked at. The longer they wear you down keeping you on the lot, the more you probably need to be aware they are attempting to pull something over on you. And what a sad shame it has to be like that.

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