Follow
Share

This past Friday; I took my father and mom (87 & 86) to purchase a new vehicle. I tried to convince my dad to buy used, as that is what I always do - but he wouldn't have it. He had to have a new car! "This is probably my last car before I die." He is the type of person who hounds you to death, until you give in. A real grown baby! So; I finally broke down, and drove him to the dealership. To cut to the chase, the finance guy loaded up the sales contact with extras, that he claimed came factory from Chrysler (the vehicle is a Dodge Grand Caravan). For example: remote start, car wrap... totaling over $3,000 in options he doesn't need. They also tabed on $1,000 over the agreed upon sales price of the van. I was in the finance guys office with them, but had to sit behind my parents, as we all couldn't fit in the small office. I wish I would have kept mom at home, as I could have then sat next to dad in the office, and seen all the fluff charges on the sales contract.
I was at a motorcycle safety course (motorcycling is my respite as a caregiver) on Saturday for 10 hours, so I didn't go over his contract until today. That's when I realized all these "factory included options," where not factory included. When we came home from the dealer on Friday, we had a severe rainstorm (or I would have read the contract then - all the paperwork was in the glove box of the new van).
So; I put a stop order on the $8,000 down payment check with our bank, today. The new mini van is here at our home, with a total of 20 miles on it. I took a picture of the odometer with a date stamped digital camera, in case I have the dealership pick up the van. I emailed the finance guy today, stating the above issues (can't get him on the phone) - with a threat to go to our personal Lawyer, as well as the IL States At tourney office. My Dad is a WW II and Korean war vet - so the American Legion might be an option for fraud help? Anyone else have any helpful input, for a situation such as this. I informed the finance guy in my email that I would like the sales contract re-written (without all the extras, which haven't been installed by the dealership yet), or they can come and pick up the damn van. I am going to try and call Chrysler Corp direct as well, as complain about the dealership. Found out today, they have a C rating, with the Better Business Bureau. I am the POA and caregiver for my parents. My Dad is the only one who signed the sales contract. After this incident; I may have to have him declared incompetent - so this doesn't happen again. He's not too good with figures etc. anymore. He always wants to take charge when he buys anything. Any helpful input regarding what I can do with this situation, is greatly appreciated! I live in Cook County IL if that makes any difference.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Told I was buying a new car but 2 weeks later found out that I signed for a lease and for much more money.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

HEY THERE - everybody please read post number 19...

Bill has HAPPILY RESOLVED this matter as of 9.04.13
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

First of all everything you have done is great the only other thing you could do would be to explain to Dad what has happened and tell him you are NOT going to allow them to be taken advantage of and explain that you are going to fight them even if it means returning the car to the lot. Once Dad understands and is on your side I would load him into the vehicle and drive back to the lot and have a face to face with the finance man and basically leave them the car if they are not willing to make the required changes IMMEDIATELY to the contract!!

I remember years ago a dealership that my parents bought a car from did about the same thing to them and they even traded in their car for x number of dollars but instead of subtracting that from the price they ADDED ON the trade in amount to the cost of the car. It turned out to fairly easy to correct once my father chewed the guy out real good.

My mother hired a contractor who was the husband of a woman my sister worked with to put in new flooring in her/our house. We helped pick out the carpet and tile but this guy wound up doing horrible work and the carpet must have been "seconds" with flaws because it looked like the carpet was woven tighter in areas and it changed the color of the carpet. The tile he put down was not what we ordered, he charged her for double the amount he used, then we found out there was a crack in the concrete floor in the family room so he could not lay tile there but he could not take it back because he said he had removed it ALL FROM THE ORIGINAL BOXES. You name it and it went wrong. I was taking pictures every single day and documenting what was happening. I tried to call our Contractors State License Board and they told me there was nothing they could do!!!???? REALLY? WHAT THE--- ARE YOU THERE FOR THEN???

I went to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office and told my story and asked if they could help me, since the Contractor's State License Board would not. I got back a resounding YES, and YES THE CONTRACTORS STATE LICENSE BOARD WILL BE HELPING YOU, I WILL SEE TO IT!

I did a lot of work to document everything and it paid off, with the Attorney's help we got back every cent and 30% more.

Now I know this is not a car but you can make a difference if you get in there and fight! You have already begun in magnificent style, keep it up!! Pay an attorney $150 of whatever it costs to have them shoot these thieves a letter of intent. We have consumer advocates on TV here and I have used them as well to help me get matter like this resolved, they do not want negative publicity and especially when you threaten to tell everyone they are ripping off seniors!!!!!

You do not say if your father has dementia but if he is not making wise choices, you may have to tell Dad that from now on you will be doing all negotiating and purchasing for him. My Mom did not like it when I finally had to tell her I was taking over, but a person with dementia believes they are fine and able to make decisions that their actions prove they are NOT. It may be time for you to take over.

Good Luck, you are doing great!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Since you have POA for your father, I am assuming it states you have control of the finances as well as any major purchases. Go back to the dealership, talk with the General Manager (or owner), explain this in a calm manner, and simply state you did not authorize this purchase the way it was written. There is between 3 to 10 day right of return on products, so check with your state car dealership licensing agency and find out what your options on. I think if you explain yourself to the General Mgr. or owner, you can get it resolved without attacking with loaded barrels. You can get more with honey than you can with vinegar. Their sole purpose is to sell the car(van). Having owned the first automobile title document service to car dealers in AZ in 1975, I found my 13 dealers to be reasonable and willing to compromise. Try that before you seek an attorney. What about having a television station work on your behalf (most have investigation reporters who will work out a compromise)? You are not the first to have been bamboozeled (spelling?) by a car dealer. My 2012, was not my smartest deal, but I love my Sonata Hybrid. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Can Mom and Dad move to an area where reliable public transportation and vanpool is available? Eventually, your parent's doctors are going to stop them from driving, anyway. The earlier you plan, the easier it will be to transfer the parents' responsibilities to the hired transportation.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank goodness you found the one person with common sense and a shred of compassion, whether real or feigned...who wasn't counting commission dollars. She saved the dealership AND you a lot of grief.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Bill - thx for giving us an update. I do have a wee bit of a concern I'd like to express however.

I'm really glad but the financial and if things work out for your folks and you. It goes without saying that no one should be ripped off and that certainly was the case here.

My concerns are more that you are very alert now to watch your dads behavior and abilities as far as driving is concerned. If he was not capable of making sound financial decisions and understanding what was being done to him, his reaction time when behind the wheel and ability to make good driving judgments is probably also heading in the direction of some kind of impairment.

If they are unable to recognize their mental disability - and this is more often than not the case - then "taking away" the driving privileges is one of the hardest things we have to do to our elders and something that causes deep anger and aggravation because it decreases independence.

My dad use to repair and race midget race cars. He drilled into me how getting behind the wheel is driving a weapon. Yet, even with his experience, when the time came that he should no longer be driving, he was unaware of it. My mom and I had to disappear the keys. Your dad is already quite senior, so just watch closely and be prepared. You wouldn't want him to hurt or kill anyone or themselves.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Glad it worked out, and may I add, what the heck is wrong with people?!!! Hate slimy people...
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks for the replies all! Sorry for the late response. After Labor Day; I was able to get a hold of a half way decent manager at the dealership. I explained how the salesman misrepresented - what came factory on the vehicle, and what was a dealer option, to my elderly father. I also explained to the manger how the finance guy, was also evasive on the factory vs. option topic. So; the manager agreed with my request to re-write the contract. We were lucky enough to get a finance woman who was really nice. Dad wore his Navy hat with his campaign ribbons on it (WW II, Korea) - so; she asked about, and thanked him for his service time. All the unnecessary options (almost $4,000 worth), were taken off by the finance lady - as well as the $2000 extended warranty. So; now Dad is happy, as well as I - to a point. If he would have agreed to let me get him a good used vehicle - I would have been a lot happier! I think if I didn't have put a stop order on the original 8K down payment - the ordeal probably would have been more difficult? Thanks again for all the helpful input! I appreciate it!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

i wont even visit cook county illinois much less buy a car there. i know all my posts are irrelevant, everyone needs a hobby..
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I swear people just wait to take advantage. My parents toilet "broke" a year ago. The plumber sold them an $800 toliet..no lie. I almost died when I found this out..my husband could have replaced it for less than $200. I know it's not the same, but the principle is.. Good luck with this.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It sounds as if you are doing everything that needs to be done. I agree with contacting all of the people you mentioned. My concern here is the potential of removing your father's sense of autonomy and power. He knows he is old and ill but still wants to feel useful and in control. I would allow that belief to continue. If he wants to make another large purchase I would recommend taking him to the company and when possible quietly take the salesman aside and inform him that dad has some medical issues, you are the POA, and all financial decisions are yours. Tell the salesman he should respect your father's sense of autonomy and allow him to negotiate a deal. This way your father can feel that he did all the work and be proud of the deal he got. You, however, will arrange the actual deal. Having him declared incompetent is a big step and should be taken carefully.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

With leased cars, you have to look at the contract. They try very, very hard not to let you out of the lease, even with medical affdavits at times. But get the paperwork in hand and go to the attorney general office and/or BBB if the dealership can't show proof of appropriate refund. JD, you were blessed with a decent dealer, your own assertivness, or both!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

We live in VA and my parent's got ripped off on a lease on a VW. We had told them to please have someone go with them to look at cars and they went behind our back and came home with a leased car. This was almost a year ago and my Dad's health had been our focus most of this year up to his passing last month so we weren't able to pursue this issue. the dealership supposedly gave them $11k for a car they turned in but NO WHERE on the lease does I reflect this transaction, nor does their bank account, so they pretty much got ripped off not only on the lease deal but gave the car to the dealership. Any advice???
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother did this exact same thing, but with a lease. We did not know at the time that she had AD. 2 months later, she forgot to pay and the car was repossessed. We approached the dealer at that point and they said that although they noticed my mom's confusion, there are laws against age discrimination and there is a very sensitive, fine line. She kept the car another couple of months until she got lost, and AD progessed to the point that she could not drive anymore. At this point with a letter from the doctor in hand, the dealership agreed to take the car back with no penalty.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Your father seems perfectly alert and intact and he can do what HE wants with the vehicle. His signature is valid. I doubt that the dealership will cooperate with a third party who is having second thoughts. I don't blame them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Iive in IL too. Call the I'll State's Attorneys Office and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and explain the situation, the age of your parents and your concerns. They have Elder Fraud departments and DO NOT like to hear about the elderly being taken advantage of by businesses in the State of IL. A letter from both offices may change any auto dealerships reluctance to re-do your parents sales contract since too many complaints about them and their business "practices" and they may not get their county or state business license renewed! Good luck the contract may be valid and enforceable and your parents may have purchased an over-priced vehicle. You have to look over everything in a contract BEFORE you sign your name (s) to it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Return the vehicle to the dealership.....if it was purchased within the three-day window. Purchase another ( if you wish) from the same dealership only this time with caution.....no gimmicks, no add-ons, no "features".
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It sounds like you have done quite well - BBB, Attorney General, and personal lawyer involved should do the trick and get them to cancel the "extras," if not the enitre contract. Document objectively and carefully that this was presented to your dad as "factory options" and he did NOT understand there would be extra charges and was unable to read the fine print he signed to, was just told to initial and sign and he complied. You may need a letter to them by an attorney as well, sometimes that's all it takes. I hope you can nail these guys and but good.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If you want to threaten, tell them you will call the T.V. Stations. They love to report this stuff. It would surely hurt business.
My parents in their 80's bought a home in 2009 with a 30 year loan. Is that insane? Stepdad died Feb. this year and mom couldn't make payments, much less live alone. Got the bank, with help, to take less than she owed for a quick sale. I must have made 100's of calls and sent off dozens of papers. ( I had POA, which made me able to take care of it.).
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

"I was in the finance guys office with them, but had to sit behind my parents, as we all couldn't fit in the small office." Yeesss... That's by design!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Footnote - Depending on your Dad's doctor and what might be in the doctor's records, your Dad's signature might already be worthless! (also depending on state laws) This can also give you leverage.

Unfortunately, our laws are only as good as those in authority are willing to enforce them.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I know that stopping payment on a check here in Texas like that is a FELONY! A dealership can OWN YOU in such a case.

That said, I would not threaten with a lawyer - I'd GET ONE! Right NOW!

I hate it when these sob's prey on the elderly. Often there's no justice and no satisfaction, but do your best and try anyway.

Make sure you have full coverage on that van in case you're stuck with it for awhile.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You can return a new vehicle back to the dealer ship within 72 hours for a refund. Seeing that it was a weekend and a holiday one at that he may still be within the 72 hour window...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

And get that car back to the dealer today!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I would first contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state, today! In my state by law a dealer must take a car back for any reason within three days of the contract.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I would FIRST consult with an attorney, depending on response from the car dealership.
The dealership is in business to sell cars, and there could be a fine line between aggressive sales tactics and a customer's poor judgement and understanding of the terms.
You could take the issue to social media and online consumer review sites, such as yelp, but be careful that all the facts are correct.
Good luck with this.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.