Broadway Volkswagen Complaint - I got screwed at Broadway Volkswagen
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- I was a first-time car buyer this year (single, 34-year-old female). In April of 2006, I bought a 2002 turbo VW Beetle from Oakland's Broadway Volkswagen for $19,000 after failed good-natured attempts to negotiate down the price. Yes, I was a naïve, foolish buyer who trusted the car salesman and bought a car without doing independent research. I found out a month later, after doing the research through Kelly Blue Book and calling other dealerships, that I probably paid about $4,000-$5,000 too much for this car (Blue Book noted the starting negotiating price of this car to be $14,000 between a dealership and a customer; other dealerships admitted to me that they would have sold the car for about $15,000-$16,000). I called the salesman who sold me the car--Art Gonzales--and the general manager of the dealership--Brady Gibson--to inquire about their sale price of the car and for an explanation of the discrepancy I'd come across. Mr. Gonzales never returned my call, and it took multiple calls, emails, and handwritten letters to get Mr. Gibson to send me a confusing Kelly Blue Book printout with handwritten numbers added onto it to explain their selling price (this printout did not reflect the actual car I purchased, and his notes simply stated that an extra three to four thousand was tacked on for auto transmission--my car is a manual). I called Mr. Gibson and asked if we could meet briefly in person to discuss this. He refused to speak with me, despite multiple calls to him, a call to the dealership president--Mike Murphy, multiple calls to VW Customer Service, and an in-person visit I made to the dealership itself. VW Customer Service told me that they had notified both Mr. Gibson and Mr. Murphy on several occasions and asked them to contact me about my original question. Their calls were unreturned, and I still have never heard from the dealership.
Furthermore, when I bought the Beetle, I had sold my old Tercel to Mr. Gonzales for $100--it needed work, and he said he wanted to buy it for his niece. I gave all the paperwork to Mr. Gonzales, who said he'd register the car in his his name. He never did--weeks later, I got a parking ticket (which Mr. Gonzales did pay, and months later, I got a renewal notice for the Tercel. I called Mr. Gonzales, and he promised to register the car and contact me when it was finalized. I never heard from him again. When I went to the dealership to ask Mr. Gonzales in person about this (he was on vacation), another salesperson scoffed and said that the car had been "curbed" (meaning: sold to a mechanic for parts). I finally went to the DMV myself to notify them that I was no longer the owner.
Yes, I should have known better. However, there is no justification for taking advantage of fools. I am appalled that this dealership openly condones and practices deceit and dismissal of their customers. I would not be nearly so upset if they had had the decency to communicate with me with respect, regardless of their answer to my original question. To date, they have given me no indication that I wasn't ripped off. The only information I have been able to obtain says that I paid at least $4,000 too much for this car. So that is what I am left with.
I am purchasing a license plate frame that states "I got screwed at Broadway Volkswagen." What an expensive and disappointing lesson. Cliches have substance. Naive and trusting people will get used, and car dealers are known to be greedy liars for a reason.