Follow
Share

My father is 79 and walked into a dealership to purchase a truck on a Wed. Thursday was thanksgiving so Friday he goes back with a $20,000 check in hand and drives off with a brand new Ford f-150. My father has dementia, blind in one eye and almost bind in the other. He walks with a walker and is dialysised 3 days a week. He has recently separated from his wife of 54 years. He suffers from depression and insomnia. My father hasn't driven in 3 years and has not been insured in the same amount of time. He lives in a retirement/assisted living facility. The money he "had", was to cover his rent, dialysis treatment and basic needs however, since withdrawing this money he only has a few thousand $'s left. My father did not test drive the truck but instead they had him sign the paperwork, insure him AND get him insured before leaving the lot. My father got confused and lost and ended up crashing the truck 1.5 hours away from where he lives. It took the hospital where he was taken almost 3 hours to find contact me by using our local sheriffs office. Imagine my surprise when the sheriff comes to my door at 230 am in the morning stating my father his been in an accident with his truck. After my initial shock, reality sets in and I say wait you have the wrong guy my dad doesn't even have a truck!! Of course they confirmed for me that it was in fact my dad and that he had purchased the truck earlier in the day. My dad is okay but the issue is with the dealership. Upon returning the truck I agree to pay for any damages which they assess to be about $4,000. Once I agree to that easily they come back with you will have to pay the depreciation value of the truck. Now wait a minute...you guys should have never sold him the truck based of off his physical and mental state. They told me that they can't refuse to sell to "old people"! I explained to him his mental health issues, what this would do to him financially (homeless and unable to afford dialysis) and their response was you should have had his license suspended. Since he had a valid drivers license and a check we did nothing wrong. I am so out of my league and now they have the money and the truck!!! What do I do? What can I do? The paperwork has his wrong address on it and 2 of the documents look forged. I have spoken to the Sales Mgr, the finance mgr and the general mgr of said dealership....and each has lied on so many levels but the one thing they all said the same was...Kick rocks and pound sand lady. Oh and they had him sign a letter of Arbitration which I have never seen before when purchasing a vehicle. Help any and all advise is welcome.

The insurance should pay for most of the truck repairs. You would probably be better off to get the truck fixed and sell it yourself. See if the local TV consumer reporter would run a story on how you need to sell the truck quickly or post your story to a local facebook community sales page. You might want to tell the dealership you are planning to publish your story so you can recover as much of your father's money as possible but you want to give them one last chance to step up and do the right thing before this unfortunate incident becomes general knowledge.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to TNtechie
Report
gdaughter Dec 8, 2019
Not to mention that the $4K to fix is no doubt a retail price and the dealership has the parts, labor etc to do for a fraction of that.
(2)
Report
I can’t believe people are suggesting shaming the dealership. They did nothing wrong. My question is if your father is so bad off how did he have access to a checkbook and how did he manage to even get to the dealership?
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to lkdrymom
Report
Isthisrealyreal Dec 6, 2019
Exactly!
(4)
Report
See 1 more reply
Ask an attorney. If your dad showed up to a dealer, on foot and on a walker, the whole sale was sketchy. You might also contact an investigative news reporter on one of your local TV stations.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to my2cents
Report
elaineSC Dec 8, 2019
Good suggestion, my2cents.
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
I wonder what the responses would be if she was saying that her 79 year old dad took a check to pay cash for a truck and the dealership refused to sell it to him based on their opinion that he was to old to be driving.

They did nothing wrong and this is an expensive lesson, but publicly shaming the dealership would be a whole lot more expensive, they would sue for defamation, and they have deep pockets, think long and hard and consult an attorney before you go public saying they did something wrong.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report

I'm so sorry to read about these distressing events. In your information you do not say your father has dementia. How is the dealership supposed to know that your dad should not be purchasing a vehicle or even driving? They don't ask you any medical questions when you buy a vehicle or give you a test. I bought one last fall from a dealership and no one asked me about my mental state. They just showed me what I asked for and when I agreed on the price they wanted to see my driver's license. That's it. So why are they responsible? And everyone knows the minute you drive a vehicle off a lot it depreciates. Can you imagine if a car salesperson "suspected" someone "shouldn't" be buying a vehicle based on a hunch and they turned out to be wrong? Also, you will have to give proof of forgery...that's a serious charge. Do you have any way to prove it? Sorry, no one to blame here and truly sorry you are left holding the bag.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Geaton777
Report
gdaughter Dec 8, 2019
Spoken by a former car salesperson and /or the devil's advocate!
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
Call your local elected officials, the newspaper and TV consumer reporters.

The dealership did nothing wrong, but you may be able to get help from the sources mentioned.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

In our state you can't drive a car off a dealer lot without a valid driver's license and proof of insurance. Dealer probably didn't do anything illegal according to local law, but calling attention to the situation through the local media might change the lack of apparent ethics.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Bobby40
Report
AlanBingham Dec 8, 2019
You don't need a drivers license to buy a vehicle, only to drive it on the road. Dealerships sell vehicles that are never driven on the road (think farm, factory) and also sell to corporations that do not have licenses. However, what happened in this instance is morally wrong and unethical.
(5)
Report
All the answers have merit and excellent advice.
That said, many years ago a dealership refused to fix a poor quality issue on a new car I bought. I contacted the
the main car company. In your case it would be Ford. Explain the situation, every detail. They do not want bad PR. They might possibly pressure the dealership to do the right thing. In my case, I got a personal call and apology, along with a quick fix.
I wish you the best and hope all turns out in your favor.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Tinkerbell57
Report
NeedHelpWithMom Dec 8, 2019
You’re so smart! Reminds me of when I was a kid and I wanted a certain bike from a very old reputable bicycle store.

Their slogan was, “Your great grandfather bought his bicycle here.” It was a very expensive, brand name bike for my birthday. I was a very active teenager.

The gears were broken from day one! I wasn’t a casual cyclist. I rode miles and miles and miles on a daily basis. So I was very frustrated!

My mom politely asked that they either repair my bike or replace it. They said, “No problem. We will have our mechanic repair it.”

My mom wasn’t stupid. She asked me to go for a ride on my bike before we left the store. I didn’t even get a block from the store when the gears went wacky again. The bike was a lemon or they had a poor mechanic.

I went back in the store and my mom asked me if my bike was fixed. I said, “”No, I can’t ride this bike. It’s broken.” They told mom that they were sorry and would be sure to fix it. My mom gave them a second chance.

We went back to pick up my bicycle. She told me to go take it for a spin. I did. It was still broken! I got back and mom said, “Well, is it fixed?”

When I told her no, you should have seen mom go into action! She politely asked for a refund. They said they would not refund her money.

Mom said, “I gave you two chances. You don’t get a third! I want my money now! If I don’t get it I will use your phone to call the Better Business Bureau and make a complaint on your business.

Oh boy, did that get his attention. He tells my mother, “Lady, please keep your voice down. I have customers in the store and you will chase them off.”

Wrong thing to say to my mom! She said, if I don’t get my money back I will tell everyone about your bad customer service! She got her money back.

Then mom said to me. “Come on honey, let’s go buy you a bicycle that works!” We went to a lesser known store with the same brand bicycle and my bike was a dream! It worked perfectly.

I was so proud of my mom that day. She didn’t let them push her around. So yeah, sometimes in certain situations we have to speak up.

Sometimes they are nice about it. Sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes the customer is right. Sometimes the business is right.

It doesn’t hurt to ask for a refund. The OP can try. People in sales are going to sell. That is their bread and butter.

Legally they were entitled to sell him a car. Is it a shame what happened? Sure it is. Not sure if there will be a positive outcome for the OP or not. It all depends.
(4)
Report
See 1 more reply
I am so disappointed in some of the responses in this post. How can anyone cheer on the unethical treatment of an elderly man, legal or not? To quote Gandhi, “the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” By that standard, we failed this man horribly. And on a site that really is meant to champion the care of the aged and their caregivers, it becomes more disturbing.

With even minimal critical thinking skills, I have to consider that the dealership knew exactly what was going on: he is virtually blind, has difficulty walking even with the walker, not clear on his address, hadn’t driven in years. If they were completely unaware of his functional status then why didn’t they take him for a test drive? Why were 2 forms forged? And why did they decide to have him sign an arbitration agreement before he left? Sure all this can be explained away but it warrants further investigation. No one is suggesting that the dealership refuse to sell him a vehicle so that argument is simple minded BS. What they should have done is go a little bit above and beyond in ensuring this man’s safety instead of just covering their legal liabilities.

At what point in time did it become more admirable for a business to make profit than it does for them to do the right thing?
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to anonymous989752
Report
BarbBrooklyn Dec 8, 2019
I dont think anyone is saying that what the dealership did was admirable. But it was typical, respectable and legal. Auto dealerships are not known for their high moral standards.

This adult child's best bet is to get politicians and the media on board with shaming this dealership into eating the loss.
(4)
Report
See 3 more replies
something similar has come up before on this site, and seeing as how there are 33 answers I have yet to read, I will be brief. I'm not sure what state you're in (beyond a state of agitation as well you should be!) and laws may vary, but rather than wear yourself out, I'd be connecting with a certified elder law attorney, and if you are so inclined check out your state consumer laws (maybe Better Bsns Bureau). While it's true a dealership can't turn someone down away with the relevant credentials, it's clear you got one of the scum places with scum people who crawled out from under a rock to take advantage of the situation. Some consumer laws will elaborate on that part, i.e. a buyer must have the mental capacity to understand the implications of what they are doing--which is why it is called consumer protection. No doubt the dealership is banking on you not taking things further (along with the $20K). So don't succumb...in fact, I would think they just might additionally hold some liability for the accident and you should get the $4K back for the damages they charged you for. Lastly, it will not look very good when you call your local TV station to share the story of what slime they are:-) Tell them to wear their good ties the day the station shows up to interview them..maybe on a busy Saturday before Christmas:-) The slimy ones take advantage of ALL of us regardless of age. I learned all the lessons the hard way. And BTW, it's also unfortunate none of the efforts were done on a credit card...My dad (age 101 at the time) bought a new car a year ago, with my presence. He wanted a particular make/model/trim (so that the passenger seat was fully adjustable for mom) and I found a good deal in the color he was okay with at a distance. Because in that moment it was exactly what he wanted, I was fool enough to agree to putting down the requested $1K and didn't balk. We had not signed ANYthing. It was a weekend; we'd go down in the next few days. Well, a day later another dealership we'd visited calls and offers us the brand new model (i.e. a year younger) for the same price or less...and was far easier to trek to. So dad wants that one. Other dealer was VERY unhappy and sends an email claiming we had a deal and he "bets the other dealer won't give us back the $1K we put down." Stomach churns. Call dealer we're working with and he assures me, correctly, that it's a game and we signed nothing, so not to worry...but to play it safe, call credit card company and stop payment. They had already processed it, but we received a full credit. It's a nasty business. Much of it should be illegal...print in light gray in size 2 font with no space between lines...not letting you take paperwork home to review before signing...I hope you'll let us know how it all works out!
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to gdaughter
Report
worriedinCali Dec 8, 2019
The BBB better business bureau is not an official entity. It is a private business. They don’t enforce laws, they can’t take any action. And the delaership has done nothing wrong. The OP needs to go after the facility that let her father wander off.
(2)
Report
See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter