Ferrero Dodge Complaint - Fraudulent Advertising And Rude Sales Manager

Review by StillNoNewCar on 2008-08-14
LOVELAND, COLORADO -- Ferrero Dodge in Loveland, CO had a sales tag hanging in the window of a Dodge Durango that had all the features we were looking for. The sales tag listed the price of the vehicle minus a $9,000 discount and then the new sale price of the vehicle.

Took it for a test drive, after the battery was jump started and the wasps nest was removed from inside the passenger side door. Loved the way it drove and all the fancy features in the interior so my husband and I sat down to talk business with the sales person. Turns out the advertised "discount" on the sales tag is actually several rebates, one of which we have to own another Dodge vehicle to qualify for and finance through Chrysler. Someone educate me, since when is "discount" synonymous with "rebate"? Because I didn't know they meant the same thing or at least they do to Mr. Ferrero and his sales team. We were already pre-approved at a good rate by our bank so we had no plans on financing through Chrysler especially after seeing the ridiculously high rates they offered us (we have good credit, college educations, stable jobs, and never declared bankruptcy so what's up with the lousy rate Chrysler?).

We refused to finance through Chrysler and asked, again, for the sale price listed on the vehicle. Then the sleazy looking sales manager came out and everything went to pot. He refused to give us the advertised price unless we financed through Chrysler at the higher interest rate. "This is fraud" my husband said and immediately the sales manager became defensive and denied fraudulent behavior (gee, you think he knew he was guilty?). Things only got worse from there and we walked out without a new vehicle.

Upon returning home we immediately got online to search for Colorado laws and state statutes on fraudulent advertising. Sure enough there are two state statutes and two auto dealer rules that should protect us from what we experienced at Ferrero Dodge. So who enforces these laws and rules and why are these dealers still doing this and getting away with it? It's no wonder all the American auto manufacturers are struggling so much. When you look at the economy and then add sleazy sales practices and dishonest sales managers it no wonder their sales are down.

We've filed a complaint with the Colorado BBB and contacted Chrysler (but they couldn't help us because the dealers are independently owned). So now I'm telling everyone I possibly can not to do business with Ferrero Dodge and watch out for their sleazy sales manager.
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-08-15
Posted by Slimjim on 2008-08-14:
I'm sure he became defensive simply because you called his dealership out on fraudulent practices. Not too many people are going to take that lightly, true or not. The thing is, the car wasn't advertised at all but just had a tag stating discount. Is it a bit unclear to call a rebate group using the term discount, maybe. Were the terms of the discount/rebates disclosed, yes. Should the tag have listed the rebate parameters, probably. Did they break any laws, probably not.
Posted by StillNoNewCar on 2008-08-14:
Slimjim - I appreciate your feedback, but I have taken several law classes and despite what you may think I do know what I'm talking about. Yes, if you accuse someone of fraudulent behavior they're going to get defensive... especially if they know they're wrong. People will also try to prove themselves inocent, if they are, instead of yelling at you, calling you names, and running to hide in their office when they realize they've crossed the line. Also, according to Colorado state statute on deceptive trade practices and Colorado state auto dealer regulations they are in violation.

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-14:
Best answer, stillnonewcar.
Posted by BobJohn on 2008-08-15:
Some rebates are for 'loyalty' to a brand so you don't get it unless you already own that brand. And other rebates are only available if you finance through the inhouse finance company. These are stated in the dealer's ads, sometimes in very fine print, but they are usually there. If someone came up to me and accused me of fraud I'd get pretty upset too and I would simply end any discussions right there and ask you to leave.

I'm glad you weren't bullied into paying a higher price and there are other dealers.
Posted by StillNoNewCar on 2008-08-15:
BobJohn - This is what was so frustrating about this experience. There was no fine print anywhere. Not on the sales tag, not a sign in the dealership, or even on the paperwork they brought out. It was as if they hadn't done their research and had no clue what the "discount" or rebate entailed until someone actually wanted the advertised "discount". The longer we sat there waiting for the sales person to return the more we knew something was up. I feel like we were punished because the sales team didn't do their job and research the offer Dodge was advertising at the time.

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