This is an email that I sent to the "Owner" of Bloomington Lincoln Mercury. It pretty much outlines everything:
I went into Bloomington Lincoln Mercury in Bloomington Minnesota in December. I ended up purchasing a 2006 ford explorer.
I have been looking to upgrade to a bigger vehicle and went back into Bloomington Lincoln Mercury for the trade.
I sat down with a sales gentleman by the name of Larry. I started off by telling him how I feel like I had been taken for a ride with my last dealing and I really just needed to trade in my vehicle for something with a third row.
Larry was very kind and asked if I wanted to go look for some vehicles. We went out and he got an idea of what I was looking for. He showed me a few vehicles that fit my criteria and then we went back indoors.
I asked him to see what I could get trade in value for my 2006 Ford Explorer.
He left, came back and right away said that they remembered the vehicle and would give me $13,000 for it. Kelly Blue book is valuing at 10k do I was happily surprised that they were going to do that for me. As Larry had stated, because of my previous dealings they were going to over inflate and give me $2500 more than what they should. GREAT!
So we start talking vehicles and I tell him that I am interested in a Ford Expedition that we saw, Larry said that there were only a couple of cars that would work given the negative equity that they have to bury and the 2004 expedition would be great because it was worth 24k and with the sales price of $20,980 /- they could get a lender to go at least 130-140% LTV.
So here we are:
They are purchasing my vehicle for $13,000
I owe $19,080
They sell me the expedition for $20,980 /-
I am putting $1000.00 down
So the $20980 /-
Plus the negative equity of $6,080 that they need to rebuild into the loan
Equals my new loan of $27060 /-
I accept, and he starts looking for lenders.
It is late in the evening and he says that a couple of them replied for a 60mth term but he wants to get a 72 mth so he will call me the following day when the other lenders are open.
I say ok, leave and go home. I am curious as to why just this vehicle available so I go onto their website, www.bloomingtonlm.com and do a search.
I am shocked at what I find. The 2004 Ford Expedition that I am about to purchase listed for $14,980. Same VIN number, same mileage only 6k less than what Larry is trying to sell it to me for.
Right away I am upset, I can not believe that after everything I had just said to Larry about getting taken for by Willis Burks, the former Finance manager, and here he is working it up with his Manager Noah Hannenan to do the same thing.
I immediately make a call to Larry asking him what is going on. Why I am seeing this vehicle here for $14,980 and he is trying to give it to me for $20,980. His response, well your vehicle is really only worth $10,500 so it is safe to assuming that he is really NOT being a great employee and giving me more for my current trade, the $13,000 that he was giving me. He is instead, making me feel like I am getting a great deal and getting more for my vehicle when all he wants to do is inflate the actual price of the vehicle to recoup that.
Correct me if I am wrong, if my car is worth $10,500 and I owe $19,080 I have a negative Equity of $8580.00.
With the real sales price of $14980.00 I should have a loan of $23,560.
Almost $4000 less than the great deal I was getting???
What kind of business practice is this and how many consumers have been screwed by this tactic.
Larry says that his manager is not in and he is not sure what numbers he was looking at but he will get back to me tomorrow.
Oh, Larry knew exactly what numbers he was dealing with and what he was trying to pull over on me.
I contact Bloomington Lincoln Mercury this morning and ask to speak with a Finance Manager. A gentleman by the name of Scott gets on the phone and I explain the whole above scenario.
Scott says that he was not the manager working with Larry and that he would have him call me back. I ask Scott if I am off for thinking something is wrong with this and would a real manager truly try and pass this deal off? He said he did not think a manager would but he would have him give me a call back.
An hour or so later, I get a call from Larry that his manager Nate is trying to get a hold of me.
I contact Nate, explain the situation once more and Nates response I can give you the true cash value of your vehicle 8k Are you kidding me!!!
My vehicle is either worth an amount of it isnt. How did we get from the generous offer of $13,000 to now $8000?
I do not want true cash value; I want the trade in value that you told me you were going to give me. $13,000. Why am I now being penalized because I found out what you were doing?
My car does not depreciate depending on the type of vehicle you get me into. Your commission does. What great customer service that is.
So I finished my conversation with Nate after I obtained your information.
I then call Larry to ask if he has heard back from any of the other lenders and could you believe it. No lenders all of a sudden want to work the deal (I am sure the 3 or 4 that did yesterday called him personally to back out of there original approval.)
If this is not resolved, I will not stop here.
I want my trade at 13k and the vehicle I want for the true $14980.00
I have the below list of Ford executives that I will forward this email to, probably include the local media and see how they feel about the tactics Bloomington Lincoln Mercury uses, if I do not get what I was told yesterday for my vehicle, $13,000 and the Ford expedition that I want to purchase for the $14,980 advertised price.