I wrote about how terrible my experience was just shopping for a new car and test driving it. Everyone says that is the fun part... it really wasn't for me. Not at all. Once I decided on what car I wanted and at the right price.... I thought the frustration would be over. I just had to make car payments... that is the only thing I would have left to think about. WRONG!
I decided I wanted the Mazda CX-5. I fell in love with that car when I test drove it. Thank you Mazda for making an awesome car. I had gone to a small car dealership who was run by a friend of my co-worker. I really didn't want to get taken advantage of because I am a young girl and a first time car buyer. So he was nice enough to lay out the price for me. He found a KSL add for the car I wanted, used, by Young Chevrolet in Layton, Utah. The price was $25,900. He showed me what they bought that car for on the site car dealerships use... which was around $23,000. Obviously the dealership needs to make a profit off of it, so they sell it for a few thousand more. I get that. Then he told me that with the taxes and doc fees that I shouldn't pay a penny more than $27,900 and they told me that was a fair asking price. I believed him. He even called the dealership for me to confirm the price. They agreed. Now, they also had the same car, same year, same color that I wanted with at least 10,000 less miles on it at the Mazda dealership in Orem which is also a lot closer to me and for the same price. After my experience there test driving and what I heard about that car dealership from the guy I was talking to... I told myself it would be worth it to drive over an hour to buy the car from Young Chevrolet instead. I wish I could go back in time and make a different choice.
On November 29th, my mom drove me to Layton to buy the car I fell in love with. I was so nervous the night before that I couldn't sleep. I don't know if it was because it is the biggest purchase I have ever made and I was nervous about making the right decision or if was a gut feeling inside that I was making a mistake and I didn't want to get screwed over. I'm going to go ahead and say it was the second one. As soon as we sat down in Chris's office to finalize buying the car he then started saying that they "forgot" about this $300 extra cost on the car. I said, no way. I'm not budging. This is what was promised to me for a fair price for the car, that is what I'm paying or else we will go to the other dealership that had the same car for the same price with less miles on it. He played the stupid car dealership waiting game... where they make you wait for no reason while they "talk to their manager to see what they can do". I thought that only happened when you were test driving. I don't know what they try to accomplish by doing it, but it only makes me more mad, because I know they are doing it on purpose. I went through it at every dealership that I went to. I thought this time would be different because I already had the price for the car. He came back giving some speech about how they were losing money on the car (which I already know is completely false because I had another dealership lay it all out for me on how the pricing works). but that he could do the price I was asking. I thought that it was over... I was wrong. He started talking to me about my loan and that it was a 7 year loan and if I only made the minimum payments every month for the 7 years, with the interest the price I would be paying for the car would be $32,000. I asked.... ok, I know how interest works and that makes sense, but if I paid it off in 3 years, it would be the price we talked about right? $27,900? He said yes... of course. So I thought we were good and I agreed.
I'm not sure if it is because I am a young girl, or if it is because I am buying a car for my first time or if it happens to everyone... that they feel like they can lie or twist their words and throw in other costs and don't tell you about them or they tell you about them but make you feel like it is included or it's not costing extra.... but that is what they did. They told me a warranty was included... but then I ended up paying extra for an extended warranty that I wasn't aware of. They added on extra costs like something for windshield protection and some other thing that I thought was included and if I knew it wasn't, I wouldn't have agreed to it. Conclusion... I was promised an out the door price of $27,900 that I fought for and went out the door tricked into paying $32,000 and not even aware of it until looking through my paperwork again for another reason.
If that wasn't enough, they also made a mess of my loan. I thought about getting a loan on my own before going to the dealership, but then thought to myself... well, what if they can give me a better rate? Another big mistake. When they were first figuring out the loan for my car they came and told me my best rate was with Wells Fargo. I said out loud "Awesome! I bank with them anyway and they are super great". Towards the end of December, I had not received any welcome letter or statement about my car payment. I actually went into Wells Fargo for another reason in January and when they had my account pulled up they said "It looks like you have an Autoloan with us." I told them I did, but I hadn't received anything about it yet and was starting to get worried. He told me that it hadn't gone all the way though... like the dealership hadn't finished processing it or something. I thought that was weird and figured I would receive something soon. Then a week after that I got something in the mail from Capitol One asking me who my car insurance was with. I had no idea why Capitol One would care since my loan was through Wells Fargo. A couple of weeks after that, I got a phone call from Capitol One asking me why I had not made a payment on my car yet. I was now VERY confused. I hadn't heard ANYTHING from Young Chevrolet. I hadn't received anything in the mail from Wells Fargo OR Capital One. What was I supposed to do?
So I called Young Chevrolet. I called several times. Each time, I would talk to the secretary who would then transfer me to the finance department who would never answer the phone and I would leave a message and nobody would call me back. I called several times... sometimes several times in one day and NOBODY would call me back. Each time I called I would get more frustrated and my messages would get more and more mean. I don't like being mean by the way. I just wanted someone... ANYONE to care about me. Chris, the guy I bought the car from did call me back one of the two times that I called him and left a message. He said, yep, you are with Capitol One. Then I told him what had happened and he said... oh yeah, that is weird, let me talk to finance and see what happened... in which of course he would never call back. The longer this went on, the more angry I got and the more angry Capitol One got with me for not paying... in which I would get mad right back because they had never sent me anything in the mail. EVERYTHING was so sketchy. I FINALLY got a statement in the mail from Capitol One on January 30th. They wanted January's payment, February's payment and a late fee... even though I had not received a statement before that. Does this seem sketchy to anyone else? Meanwhile... I'm still waiting to hear back from Young Chevrolet of why my loan changed in the first place.
It could have been so simple. All Young Chevrolet had to do was call me back and say... Hey Tracy, I'm really sorry about that. We changed your loan because there was a better rate with Capitol One (or whatever the reason is) we totally should have let you know about the change and sent it to you in writing. We are so sorry about that. We will send you those documents ASAP and let us know if there is anything else we can do for you.
That would have been awesome if that would have happened. However, that is NOT what happened. I never out of ALL the times I called them for several weeks... NEVER got a call back from them. Wow... I'm really valued as a customer there. You know what happened? My Dad had to call them for me and the Manager called him back and pretty much said, she is with Capitol One. Call them and figure it out. Thanks a lot Manager! I was really looking for a reason for the change. Why the mix up? Why no paperwork? Not just... go talk to someone else about it because I don't care.
So I think... well, if Young Chevrolet doesn't care about me, maybe Chevrolet Corporate will. So I wrote them an email complaining about Young Chevrolet. They wrote me an email back saying to call them. So I called them... and they said because I bought a Mazda and not a Chevrolet... they can't help me and I need to call Mazda. I said it had nothing to do with my car. I actually LOVE my car... it has to do with crappy service at Young Chevrolet.... however they told me they couldn't help me and to call Mazda. So I call Mazda... and they told me they couldn't help me because it's a Chevrolet dealership... which is what I thought... but even though she couldn't help me, that was probably the best customer service I had received so far in this entire process. I wish I remembered her name so I could give her a personal shout out of how thankful I am for her. I almost started crying to her on the phone and she showed me so much empathy and felt so bad wishing she could help me and called Young Chevrolet and connected me to the Manager's phone to leave a message (which I did).
I got a call back from the Manager who said all of the polite things on the phone because that is what he was supposed to say, but you could tell he was annoyed talking to me especially since he had already talked to my dad. He gave me the same speech as Chris did when selling me the car that they lost $500 on the car (which I know is B.S.) and that there was nothing that he could do... and you could tell he didn't care.
Next step? Drive over an hour to go back into the dealership WITH my dad to try and get some of the money back that I was cheated and maybe even an explanation about what happened with my loan. I'm not getting my hopes up too high though since I know they don't care about me. I will try to make one more complaint to Chevrolet Corporate to see if anything can be done, but beyond that, I don't know what else I can do.
What has this entire experience taught me? Well, although I'm a 32 year old woman that has been independent for years and has excellent credit and capable of buying a car on her own... I will never try and do it on my own again. When buying a car, a young woman like me isn't taken seriously and will be taken advantage of and they don't even care. Even though I did my research first and educated myself more than I ever had before on cars and the process of buying a car, it doesn't matter. Would this of happened with my dad there? I can almost guarantee you it wouldn't. This is why I am taking him back with me.
Not only do I have a bad taste in my mouth for Young Chevrolet and will speak ill of them for the rest of my life and tell everyone I know never to buy a car there, but this entire process from beginning (3 months of looking and test driving) to right now (almost 3 months after I bought the car) have been such a miserable experience, I never want to buy a car ever again. Hopefully it will be 10 years before I need to, but I will dread the day that I have to because this experience was so terrible.