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And you thought boat dealers were bad!!

Old 03-12-2002, 03:15 PM
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Exclamation And you thought boat dealers were bad!!


Dealer's Edge
March 4, 2002 Vol. 8, No. 8
469 Words Page 7


Chevy dealer fined heavily for employee behavior

Employees at a Florida Chevy dealership stepped way over the line in trying to close sales. The dealer got whacked in the wallet.
Bill Heard Chevrolet was fined $325,000 over allegations that employees at the Florida dealership held a customer against her will for several hours, falsified driversí licenses and used a variety of deceptive trade practices. According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, this was one of the largest fines ever imposed on an auto dealer by the state attorney generalís office.

After a yearlong investigation, the dealership admitted no wrongdoing but in addition to the fine, agreed to halt all deceptive trade practices and to hire an outside auditor.

Some of the most dramatic allegations came from a woman customer who said that on March 11, 2001, she drove her 1992 Chevy Blazer to the dealership ďjust to look around.Ē After test-driving a 1999 Chevy Cavalier and trying to negotiate a deal, she announced she simply couldnít afford it and started to leave. But a salesman picked up her keys from his desk, put them in his pocket, and refused to return them for six hours, she said under oath.

According to testimony in the case, the customer asked for her keys politely. She raised her voice. She cursed. ďEach time I said it, it was, ĎWhatís the problem?íĒ About midnight she finally broke down and agreed to buy the Cavalier for $17,700.

The Cavalier has since been repossessed ó that was the customerís plan ó because she never made any car payments. She also successfully stopped payment on the $2,500 check she left as a down payment.

The experience left her with a ruined credit rating. The woman was one of more than a dozen customers who took their complaints to the Florida attorney generalís office, according to the Sentinel report.

One of the most startling allegations is that dealership employees counterfeited two Florida driverís licenses. In one case, an employee cut and pasted an identification card to make it appear to be a Florida driverís license, even though the customer had lost his license to a suspension more than 13 times.

The Florida attorney generalís office has turned the information about the falsified licenses over to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, which regulates them.

The dealership also was accused of using high-pressure sales tactics, getting buyers to sign agreements that didnít match the negotiated price, misstating interest rates and misrepresenting monthly payments.

The attorney generalís office was reportedly on the verge of filing suit against the dealership when the two sides negotiated the settlement.

After all that, however, the assistant attorney general who negotiated the settlement had some good words for the dealership, saying that it had worked with about half of the complaining customers to resolve their problems. Some of the employees accused of the wrongdoing left the company months ago.

A portion of the fine, $75,000, was set aside to repay victims.
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Old 03-12-2002, 03:21 PM
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Yeah. Sounds like some boat dealers. Anything for a buck!!!
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Old 03-12-2002, 04:54 PM
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Sounds like a member of this board I had dealings with! He wasn't a car dealer though and we haven't given up on the legal battle either. We have several judgements against him, now we are in the process of collecting. Unfortunately, he has been hiding assets by putting them inhis grandfathers name. But I'll get the bastard!
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Old 03-12-2002, 05:20 PM
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That's not the first dealership they have whacked in the past few years. There was one in clearwater they got for making an old man sign leases for cars that made him pay about 3 times what they were worth, and he didn't want to lease in the first place.

We have MANY retired (read "old") in this area, and they are prime targets for unscrupulous dealers.

My father, who is 75, took his motor home to the ford dealer to have them change the brake pads on it. They came back with a $900 estimate!! My father, who has been a mechanic or taught mechanics all his life, told them to get it down from the rack now! They ended up charging him $180 to repack the wheel cylinders. It is the same dealer I bought my last two trucks from. I was out of town when this happened, when my mom told me, I was furious!! I went down and told them what I thought about their practices, and to not look for any more business from me, or anyone that I can tell. They told him it needed new brake lines and all kind of crap. Makes you wonder how many people they get away scamming them like that. The motor home was only 4 years old.
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Old 03-12-2002, 05:41 PM
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I use to be in the car business, was the business mgr (finance and Ins.) for 7 years. The dealer I worked in WI was a good dealer, none of this stuff Im reading, its unfortunate like in other business, one or two bad apples give the good dealers a bad name, (like a greasy used car salesman). They always seem to take advantage of our elderly folks, they did it to my dad when he bought his car in LA., I straitened them out, i opened the two doors the next day and drove it back on the showroom myself, I could not make it down with my dad when he was looking, he was told he could bring the car over knight to MS to show it to me and the paper work he signed was to be a release of the vehicle off the premises, (REAL SMOOTH WORDING)showed that he bought for 1500 above sticker and was a balloon pmt in 1 month, total b.s., I told them to stick it and would not leave until I got his 1000. cash deposit back, they tried to have me arrested, but once I explained to the cops what happened they fixed everything, along with the bodily harm that I was going to inflict as well. So take care of your moms and dads, we owe it to them for taking care of us.
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Old 03-12-2002, 07:30 PM
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and whats wrong with that? just kidding, you really have to keep an eye open for stuff like that, I have been lucky so far!
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Old 03-12-2002, 07:31 PM
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I have been to many of the Heard dealerships throughout the country and all I can say is that find will be written off as the price of doing business. Heard has a very LARGE dealership network.
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Old 03-12-2002, 07:33 PM
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OOOOPPPPSSS!!! Fine not Find
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Old 03-12-2002, 08:02 PM
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Drag, Any of those dealerships in our area? I'm in West Bloomfield...
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Old 03-12-2002, 08:14 PM
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That little dealership is right down on I-4.......hasn't been there but a couple years.....Oh and's the biggest damn SOB that you have ever seen.........OH my gawd....that place is bigger than some of the counties down here.....
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