Unhappy Truck Buyer
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- Auto Industry – Business as Usual
I went to Jerry Ulm Dodge on Dale Mabry, next to Raymond James stadium, the first week in March to look at the 2009 Ram 1500 trucks. Once the sales consultant and I picked out a truck and I took it for a test drive, I asked him what kind of deal they could offer me. He introduced me to [snip] Sales Manager, and we sat down to go over numbers. After telling [snip] what kind of trade in I had, he told me that it was hardly worth anything and that they wouldn’t be able to offer me much. This was, however, prior to him even seeing the vehicle and the condition it was in. Once we proceeded outside to look at my vehicle, he was very impressed with the condition and told me that it was in really great shape. Jerry Ulm’s Used Car appraiser sent [snip] the figures of what they could offer. Of course, just as I expected, a low ball offer for my trade in. After [snip] presented me his best “deal” I decided to pass. I was told by the sales consultant and [snip] that it was a great deal and that I wouldn’t get a better deal than this one. I went to another dealership in town to compare their prices and went back to Jerry Ulm Dodge the following two evenings and again spoke with [snip] to see if he was able to offer me a better “deal”. We spoke for a couple of hours each night and talked about the economy and how Chrysler had sold 41% fewer cars in February than it did the previous year.
[snip] assured me, on this third evening, that they had plenty of customers buying vehicles and that he had a drawer full of credit applications. I then proceeded to ask him why all those credit applications were still in the drawer and not processed. He told me that he was fighting with the banks to get these “customers” approved and blamed the banking industry on the reason they weren’t able to sell vehicles. To this statement, I informed him that people with credit applications in a drawer technically aren’t customers until they actually purchase the vehicle and that I had been in his dealership three nights in a row, for a couple of hours each time, and have only seen 5-6 other people shopping. It didn’t help his case either that each night I came in there were 3 or 4 sales consultants watching TV in the lobby and their customer parking area was empty.
I left that third evening still unable to come to an agreement with [snip]. As I was leaving, I told him that I would be back next month because his sales consultant had previously told me that most of their trucks have been on the lot for 60 days and after 90 days the dealership had to start paying fees to Chrysler for any vehicle that sat on their lot after the first 90 days. [snip] obviously knew I had done my research and told me that he could make me a better deal next month.
Yesterday, a month from my initial visit to Jerry Ulm Dodge, I spoke with the sales consultant on the phone and he told me the same truck that I looked at last time was still on their lot and to come down because [snip] was there and he would make me a great deal. I went straight to the dealership after work and met with [snip] again. I told him that I had sold my vehicle and brought my pre-approval letter from my credit union. I was extremely shocked that [snip] presented me a “deal” that was higher than last month. I asked him how this could be the case and he informed me that Chrysler had changed their incentives this month. I slid the keys back to him and walked out. He scoffed at me, telling me (once again) that I wouldn’t find a better deal because all the dealerships were the same. He then went as far to turn to the sales consultant to tell him to have the truck washed because I would be back to buy it that night. I then informed him that the economy hasn’t changed, Chrysler was on the verge of bankruptcy and the government gave them 30 days to work a deal with Fiat.
[snip] then said that he wished Chrysler would go bankrupt so another company would buy them and they could go back to the way business used to be. I was obviously taken aback and then asked him why he lied to me last month and told me he would make me a better deal this month. At this point he became extremely irritated and stormed off but not before answering my question in regards to him directly lying to me and having me come down to the dealership. He said, “What do you f---ing expect?”
[snip] and Jerry Ulm Dodge, what I expect, and I’m sure all other Americans expect, is to not be bluntly lied to and for the auto industry to not have the same pompous and elitist attitude that has put them in the situation that they’re in now. [snip], if all the dealerships were the same, then I will take my business to a dealership that gives me better customer service and doesn’t use profanity towards me.