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Shepard Chevrolet - Lake Bluff, IL Complaint - Used Car Purchase

Review by madchevydriver on 2008-03-16
LAKE BLUFF, ILLINOIS -- My daughter recently purchased a used car from Shepard chevrolet. She called me up to review the signing of the contract. The dealer had mentioned he would throw in a warranty when she purchased the car, (the way he said it, it seemed like it was free) he didn't say it would cost an extra $2,000. I'm glad I looked ovr the contract as there were several mistakes. Also the dealer charges for electronic transfer of plates, which costs them nothing, they charge an extra $25.00. You think this would be covered by the $150.00 dock fee. My daughter financed the car and bought the extra warranty, the total for this used 2004 car was over $14,000. The car was supposed to have a 100 point check, The wipers had no rubber on them, the tires were low on air, the car was dirty inside and out and when she drove away the car had a half tank of gas. The salesman said the car was washed last week. It's depressing to see her spend all that money and the first thing she has to do is wash the car and fill the tank, while the salesman eats his steak lunch.

The service manager said maybe I was used to buying new cars and the service provided with that, well most people start out with used, then buy new and if the first service is not a pleasant one, they don't go back again.

And GM wonders why they are not selling as many cars as they used to. This is why, poor customer service.
Comments:12 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-04-02
Posted by lucyball on 2008-03-16:
I just picked up a 2007 pt cruiser and they only provide 1/2 tank of gas.
Posted by Aerocave on 2008-03-17:
How do you know that online registration costs the dealer "nothing"? The whole reason there is a charge is because it is optional--and it costs the dealer to participate. Documentary fees are charged by almost every dealer, and goes to help with the many "behind the scenes" expenses in titling vehicles--expenses which are not typically passed on to the customer. While I agree that $150 is a little steep...the "admin fee" or "service fee" or whatever it is called on a mortgage, for example, is a lot higher--and most people just pay this and move on--so whats the difference? If a warranty is included in the price, most dealers will adjust the price accordingly and "on paper" still show a cost for the warranty, to satisfy the bank, the state, requirements for the warranty company, and basically to remain consistent with other deals. In other words, even though a dealer is "throwing a warranty in" there is still a cost involved. Many times what we will do is reduce the price of the vehicle by the charge of the warranty and then charge the warranty...the bottom line remains the same--I'm not saying that is the case here, but before making accusations I would check that out...or, did the salesperson say "This price includes the warranty"--which it did--this is different than saying "no charge." There is no requirement to fill up a gas tank on a used car as well...this is at the discretion of the dealer. Our policy at our store is to make sure it is at a half tank (or more).
I agree the vehicle should have been prepared better, and I would recommend she take it back and have the dealer look at these issues, which I am sure they will. Please look at the whole picture here before you make "steak dinner" comments. And by the way, GM does not own automotive dealrships; Don't blame them for issues like this.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-03-17:
Since when does the DMV not charge a fee for transfer of plates, electronic or otherwise? Of course it costs the dealership nothing, except time to collect the information, time to enter the information, time and materials to print out the documentation I would assume at the very least some type of confirmation). Yup, sures sounds like it cost them nothing.

Also inform your daughter to keep careful records and all receipts for any maintanence or repair work done on the car or the extra warrenty is pretty much a waste of money.

If the car was in such deplorable shape, why did she drive it away? Should have left it there until the work was finished.
Posted by Ponie on 2008-03-17:
Dog gone it! M3C's rating system allows only one 'Best Answer' per posting. Aerocave & Robf: I gave one of you 'BA' and one 'Helpful.' Won't divulge who got what--don't want either of you coming after me with 'Inappropriate Comment,' of whatever it's called. :)
Posted by FoggyOne on 2008-03-17:
If your daughter financed at the dealer you better tell her to see how much she is really paying - very simple Amount of Payment times Number of Payments. She'll end up paying 2 or 3 times as much as the price of $14,000 for the car that probably isn't currently worth anywhere near what the loan amount is. Meaning she is upside-down already unless she had a large downpayment.(For rough value of the vehicles look on Kelly bluebook www.kbb.com, it is free).

There are, albeit small, cars NEW for under $15,000 with the 3-year warranty and all the service that comes with a new car. I looked on cars.com and found 29 cars whose *base* price was under $15,000 and 13 whose maximum price was under $15,000.

If the dealer has so many costs they have to 'eat' why don't they put them in the price of the car instead of trying to sneak them in at closing? When I go to the grocery store and buy a large bag of chips the cashier doesn't suddenly say "Oh, we have to pay for the advertising of this in the paper so that will be $1 more."

Overall, I think this will be a buying experience that hopefully helps shape how she buys her next car. Good luck.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-03-17:
Foggy One, when you go to the grocery store to by a bag of chips you don't negotiate with the cashier either. It's called FULL DISCLOSURE, which happens to be required by federal law. Your entire analogy is irrelevant in this case.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-03-17:
I love third party testimonials, they are about as accurate as an O.J. Simpson jury
Posted by Ponie on 2008-03-17:
Thanks, Robf. I got email notification.
Posted by Aerocave on 2008-03-17:
Foggy: To compare purchases at a grocery store and at a car dealership is an apples to oranges comparison. As dealer stated, it really is irrelevant.
Posted by madchevydriver on 2008-03-24:
The Illinois DMV says they don't charge any extra for the electronic transfer. My point is the dealer makes enough on the car, financing and warranty, why do they have to get extra on top of that,i guess you people have lots of extra money or are suckers or feel sorry for them as they take your money and laugh at you.
Posted by Aerocave on 2008-03-26:
madchevydriver: You don't understand the expense structure of a car dealership...and, although I don't expect you to, as you obviously do not work for one, I think it is a bit unfair to make comments that are simply inaccurate.
Posted by Shinzahn on 2008-04-02:
You need to read the entire post; trust me on this! As a former sales executive for a luxury automotive dealer I can say for a fact that there are expenses involved with any transaction. What the general consumer does not know is that most of them profits made are retained by the owners; the sales staff does not make much on any deal. It helps you to get a new salesperson. Now, you may ask why does that make a difference? The newly hired cars salesperson needs to make a deal to prove to his SM that he can get the deal closed. His SM will in some cases make a mini deal to boost the reps morale. A mini deal is one where the rep makes about $100.00 dollars on the deal; it gets better. Since you made a good deal on the car he will insist that you meet his finance manager who will assist you to get your loan secured. Once you've been set up with this person the game is afoot. Now I know that some of the posts are very defensive and you should know that dealers do not like to be questioned about their business practices! It is a sacred place the inner sanctum closley guarded by BLACKWATER SECURITY. THEY HAVE AN IMPECCABLE CREDENTIALS. THEY'VE NEVER LOST A DEALER WHO'S UNDER THEIR PROTECTION.
I had to add some levity to this post. Back to the facts. For the record, when you go in to buy a car you are walking into what I like call the casino.
There many players in the process. The first and only rule you need to know is that the Dealers make the rules. Please note that failing to remember rule one will cost you dearly.
Do not be mislead; the salesperson works for the dealer. I MUST MAKE A POINT AT THIS JUNCTURE. THERE ARE MANY GOOD SALES PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY. YES, I KNOW THAT TO BE TRUE BECAUSE I'VE WORKED WITH SOME OF THEM AND MET OTHERS AS WELL. ALSO, IN DEFENSE OF THE SALES REPS I'D LIKE TO POINT OUT THEY WORK UNDER VERY DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES. THEY HAVE THE OWNER ON THEIR BACKS, THE GM IS WATCHING THEM, THE SALES MANAGER IS WORKING THEM OVER ABOUT WHY THEY DID NOT CLOSE THE DEAL AS WELL. SO, JUST BE AWARE THE THE SUITS ARE WATCHING THESE GUYS ALL THE TIME.

Once again I must interject some humor. One very large dealership had such a high rate of turn over that they nameless business cards printed up and the reps would write their name in on a line printed on the card. Needless to say the staff felt so valued and appreciated too. What a caring company.

Okay, for the facts. Rule number two. YOU NEVER EVER AND I MEAN EVER FALL IN LOVE WITH A CAR AND BY NO MEANS SHOULD YOU ACCEPT THERI OFFER TO DRIVE THE CAR HOME FOR THE NIGHT. WHY/, BECAUSE ONCE YOUR IN IT AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS SEE YOU IN IT YOUR PRIDE AND EMOTION WILL TAKE OVER. STOP RIGHT HERE AND REMEMBER THIS IS A BUSINESS DEAL AND MONEY IS NOT EMOTIONAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP, GO NO FURTHER IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO MAKE A BUSINESS DECISION!

The next time you purchase a car ask the representative what the Pack is on each car. I doubt that he or she will be very upfront with you. They will be surprised that you know to ask such a question. When they ask you to decide right then and there to buy say no! Your about to spend a lot of money and you'd better know you numbers before you walk in the door or YOU'LL GET THE ROYAL TREATMENT AND THAT DOESN'T MEAN A DEAL.

Here's what you need to know. ACV, that means you need to know what your cars worth; wholesale and retail. Unless you are a car fanatic you car will only be rated average or below average. A dealer will not rate your car clean book. What book am I referring to you may ask? THE ALL KNOWING BLACKBOOK each dealer has a subscription and they use it to value your cars worth. Write this down! When they say to you books don't buy cars and you say to them they why do you subscribe to it if it's of no use to determine the my cars value.
THE BLUEBOOK IS FILLED WITH GREAT STUFF FOR CONSUMERS WHO WANT TO FEEL EMPOWERED TO NEGOTIATE.
THE ONLY BOOK THAT MATTERS IS BLACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now, when you get into the negotiation process the fun begins. In most situations there will be at least three or more attempts to get you the best deal. This is a business deal and you're on one side of the deal and the dealership is on the other side including the salesperson too. ONCE AGAIN I MUST NOTE THAT SALESPEOPLE DO WORK LONG HARD HOURS SOME WORK AS MUCH AS 12 HOURS A DAY 6-7 DAYS A WEEK. YOU TOO MUST BE WILLING TO GIVE A LITTLE TO MAKE THE DEAL WORK. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE A LAYDOWN DEAL. IT DOES MEAN THAT THE SALESPERSON HAS TO MAKE A LIVING AS WELL. Most dealers use the DREADED WHOLESALERS who will bid on you car over the phone with the sales manager.
In some cases they are on site to bid on your car.
We now come to one of the most highly guarded secrets you may laugh but, it is no laughing matter. You are about to learn another dirty little secret. When a salesperson comes back to the table with your deal and shows you that magic number here's what they will say. Wow, I really had to work my manger over to get you so much money for your trade; that's the first LIE. I want you to know that I'm on your side; THE SECOND LIE.
Here's what we can give you for the car; THE THIRD LIE. STOP RIGHT NOW AND WRITE THIS DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!
The wholesalers bid on your car and that price is never ever disclosed for any reason to the consumer and here's why. THE AMOUNT QUOTED TO YOU BY THE SALESPERSON WAS LOWER; WHY? THE TRUTH IS THAT THE WHOLESALERS USUALLY OFFER MORE FOR YOUR CAR BUT, THE SALES MANAGER WHO WORKS THE DEAL HOLDS BACK SOME OF THE MONEY TO INCREASE THE DEALERS PROFITS ON THE DEAL. Now, you may be wondering why that doesn't seem honest and you know what, it's not how about that. This happens every day across America and there's no accountability for this fraudulent practice. For you legal types out there this could fall under the UCC regarding consumer fraud.

Now I want you to pay close attention and see who responds to my post. You will see the same people who have made other comments will reply with fury of scathing comments. It's as if they have been violated in some way. Mark my words, they will respond with eloquent and fluent rhetoric in an attempt to discredit my post about their guarded secrets. And by all means, when they do make their case they will position themselves as the wrongly accused victim in this matter. I of course can back up my claims but, you need not look any further than you local civil court cases and you will find a plethora of suits filed against automobile dealers. One in particular everyone should be aware of is a Bill Heard. It seems that this chaps actions have landed him in very dire legal consequences from which he may not escape.

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