I was not planning to buy a car when I walked into the Steven’s Creek Subaru dealership. However, I wanted to take a look at Subaru Outbacks and perhaps take the plunge in six months. Big. Mistake. The salesman’s name was Don, and he was perfectly nice. He showed me the 2012 model. Not my cup of tea. I prefer the older, smaller body type, and that I wanted a manual transmission. Oh!, he said. We might have one out the back. Jackpot. A 2008 Outback 2.5XT Limited. Of course, it was love at first drive. He told me how incredibly rare it was to find this particular configuration. Manual. Turbo. Perforated leather seats. I thanked Don for his time, and reiterated that I was not ready to buy. Why?, he asked. I have no money right now. He glanced at my car, a 2003 Jetta 1.8T wagon. If you own that car, he told me, you can buy this car today. Wow. We’ll have to run the numbers of course, Don said. What the hell, I thought. Might as well see. The process took hours, but I was approved. Or so they said. I was told there was one caveat to my financing being approved- I must produce proof of income. Fair enough. I have a great job and income. I was excited. I was ushered into the office of one of their finance team, Erik. I reviewed the paperwork. I asked him to clarify the point about the dealer having the right to cancel the sale if they can’t deliver on the financing they offered. I asked him if this could still fall through. No way, he said. That’s why we need your proof of income. GREAT! I left the dealership, six hours after I arrived, in the car of my dreams. This was Saturday. On Monday evening, Don called.They were having trouble getting my financing approved. He said they were still working on it. The next day, I received a call from a guy named Mohammed, the financial manager. Yes, we’re going to need an additional $5000. You can find that, can’t you? Um, no. By this point I was pretty furious. I drove to the dealership. Don opened with some line about how lovely I looked. I think I actually said ‘Spare me the pleasantries. That time has passed.’ I let him know he has 15 minutes to explain to me why the financing I was approved for was suddenly unapproved. He fetched Mohammed, a rude, defensive, chauvinist of a man. Between all the ‘honeys’ and ‘sweeties’ the guy failed to answer a single question. Hey, I haven’t done anything wrong here, he said. I’m not the one who told you your financing was approved. Well then, I said, let me speak to the manager of this dealership. That’s me, he said. (a lie I found later) I said, in that case, you are responsible for your staff, and what they tell your customers. He laughed in my face. TELL ME WHY I WAS TOLD MY FINANCING WAS APPROVED. He told me to get out of his office. I was distressed. The next day I spoke to Don. We arranged that I would return the car on Friday. That Friday Don was cordial. I gave my Jetta a quick once over, and notice that they removed my license plate frame and replaced it with a ‘Steven’s Creek Subrau’ one. Hell no. I ask Don to have someone remove it. While this was being done, I dealt with the paperwork. As I was leaving I was stopped by another salesman. He explained that he had been at this dealership for ten days, sent by the head office to deal with known issues. He wanted to know what went wrong. I told him the full story. He let me know that what happened is common. They gambled that the banks would see my high income and not see the lack of established credit. This is completely legal but utterly abhorrent and not in any way told to me until after the fact. He then reminded me that I do in fact have approved credit with them, just not for the car I wanted. They could still work with me on something cheaper. You have got to be kidding me. Had they been honest from the start, I told him, perhaps I might have walked out with a car you knew I was actually approved for. Way too late. He then nervously rambled on about how he hates to see people leave angry, the people ‘sometimes post mean and unfair things on Yelp’. Ahem. It’s dark outside when I drive away, relieved that the ordeal was over. The next morning, I discover two big giant fresh scratches on my otherwise dirty car. Keyed in two places, across the hood and the front passenger door. Key marks that had not been there when I inspected the car and asked for the license plate frame to be removed. Of course, as it was dark when I finally got away from them and drove off the lot, I am aware that this is something I will not be able to prove. But I think it’s pretty clear what happened. This was my first experience with a car dealership. Such a shame. I still want a Subaru Outback. But one thing’s for damn sure. I won’t be buying it there. And neither should you.
Post a Comment or Update This Review
You must be signed in to post a comment or update this review.Sign In