Given the recent headlines, you may think that this is going to be a post on the economic crisis that our country is facing. Well, you’re wrong. However, what I say in this post can be related to the problems that our economic and housing sectors are going through because the root problems are the same: greed and corruption.
I actually want to tell you about a recent experience with a more corrupt than typical auto dealership. If you ever check out my personal blog, you may know that I had a Dodge Colt with almost 200,000 miles that finally died. Because of it’s very predictable death, I had to buy a new car. If you weren’t aware of those facts, now you are.
Buying a new car is pure hell for me. I found a dealership called Auction Direct in Clearfield that made a very valiant effort to screw me over. I agreed to purchase a car, found out that the dealership was run by corrupt scum bags, and returned the vehicle, which, by the way, I was told that I could do. At the time, it looked as though that was the end of the story but it actually wasn’t.
A few days after I returned the vehicle, which again, I was told that I could do, I received a call from the owner of Auction Direct. He insisted that I follow through on my agreement to purchase the car. I informed him that I was lied to by both his sales guy and his paperwork guy and that, because the written contract was founded on verbal contracts that they had breached, the contract should be void and that I wanted nothing to do with their dealership ever again. He then threatened to sue me which I welcomed. I’m not an attorney but I know a few things about contracts.
It’s probably not very obvious by me writing this but I was mad. The guy was a complete jerk and insisted on shouting me down every time that I attempted to explain my point of view. It was as though he was trying to intimidate me into buying the car. I refused to be bullied by this liar so I called him out and brought up the fact that his dealership committed acts of fraud against my wife and I. This sent him into a complete rage. I’ve never seen somebody get so angry over something that they didn’t do.
About a week after the oh so pleasant phone conversation, I received a notice of litigation from Auction Direct’s attorney. It basically said that our putting 30 miles on the car in a day and a half warranted almost $3,000 in damages which we had 15 days to pay or they would take us to court. At this point, my wife and I were both pretty angry; we had been lied to and now we were being sued because we called the liars out. We both wanted to fight this in court so I met with an attorney to see what my options were.
As I sat in my attorney’s office, he told me of numerous cases like mine where the dealerships had blatantly lied to their customers and then turned around to sue them when they were caught in their lies. After reading the letter from Auction Direct’s attorney and hearing my side of the story, he agreed that I had been screwed over and that I had a strong case if I chose to fight it in court. He did say though that he would have to charge a $1,500 retainer and that there was no guarantee that I would be able to recover those costs. His suggestion was to basically offer to pay a $1,500 settlement to get the liars to go away.
Even though I didn’t like my legal counsel’s advice, after discussing the matter with my wife, we both decided that it would be best to just settle even though it went against everything that we know to be true. Given the fact though that my wife is in the middle of nursing school’s “hell month” and doesn’t have the time or energy to deal with a court case, we decided to pay them off.
Once we decided to make the settlement, there was still a lot that happened but the most notable was that the attorney refused the UPS delivery of our check. I wrote a nasty letter to him and it was eventually all worked out but it was just further evidence that this is an auto dealership that is not to be dealt with. It makes me really question whether or not we did the right thing in offering to settle the situation. We were going to have to pay money either way and I’m thinking that I would have rather paid my attorney than the dealership. I feel like I rewarded them for using dishonesty and bully tactics.
This whole experience really opened my eyes as to the greed and corruption that is prevalent in society today. Businesses will do anything they can in order to make a buck, even if it means suing potential customers. Needless to say, I no longer consider myself to be a potential customer of Auction Direct and I will do what I can to make everyone I know aware of their complete and total lack of ethics. They are a stereotypical auto dealership that will screw over anybody that sets foot on their lot. You have been warned.