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      12-31-2010, 01:15 AM   #1
ShadyShifty
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Drives: 2007 328i
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Huntington, WV

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Thumbs down BMW of Gainesville horror story

Hey guys, I purchased my first BMW a little over a month ago, and I'm absolutely thrilled with the car, but disgruntled, to say the least, about the transaction.

This is a long thread, so I've done you the liberty of providing Cliff's notes.
  • We found the car we were looing for, and agreed on a price. We were offered 0.9% financing, or 3 waived payments, which we refused since we were paying cash. We saw no reason to pay unnecessary interest at this point.
  • We were assured that our taxes paid to Florida would reciprocate to our home state.
  • We later came to find out that we could have got the maintanence plan for free if we would have financed, which we would have been more than happy to do, after all, finance charges (especially when the loan paid off after 6 months) are negligible compared to a $2,000 maintenance plan.
  • After much complaining, we were sent a new bill of sale, which was $1,800 more than the original. If I'm not mistaken, isn't this the cost of the maintenance plan? How convenient. Also, the finance forms had more disparities with the bill of sale than I could count. I think the only thing they had in common was the VIN number.
  • The finance manager refuses to listen to logic, and simply fabricates more lies every time we ask him about said wrongdoings and numerical disparities.
  • It turns out that regarding taxes, Florida does not, in fact, reciprocate with my state. Though this is out of BMW of Gainesville's hands, according to the Florida Department of Revenue, it is their burden to make the consumer aware that they will pay taxes twice. This most certainly could have altered our decision to buy the car, because it ended up costing us over a thousand dollars more than we had planned on.
  • I'm heavily considering hiring an attorney, after one last letter to the dealership's president, and a letter to the BBB.

Now for those of you with 20 minutes to blow, read on...

While vacationing in Florida over Thanksgiving, my parents and I decided to go car shopping, because my previous car was on its last leg. I did a good amount of research, and found a CPO 2007 328i that fit my price range and my style. The icing on the cake was the winter promotion, which at the time, I understood to be 0.9% financing, the first three payments waived, or an extended 6 year warranty. Unbeknownst to me at the time, all CPOs came with 6 year warranties, and the promotion was, in fact, for the 6 year extended maintenance plan.

Anyways, we get to the dealership and have a pretty good experience with the salesman. We agree on a price, and were then passed off to the finance manager. This is where things start to go downhill. I make it clear from the beginning that I'd like to choose the 6 year warranty as my incentive, for which I'm never corrected. In fact, I was assured by Matt, the finance manager, that I could get both the 0.9% financing and the 6 year warranty. Thinking that he pulled some strings, I was pretty thrilled. Though I was offered a waiver for my first three payments, or 0.9% financing, never at any point was the maintenance plan offered as an incentive. Matt played on my confusion of the maintenance plan and the warranty.

In the end, we decided not to finance, and just pay cash. After all, why pay financing charges if it's not necessary? Being from a different state, Matt assured us that paying taxes to the state of FL would reciprocate, and the taxes would be waived when we titled the car at home. We signed all the paperwork, and Matt even tried to sell us the tire protection plan and the extended maintenance plan.

On the final bill of sale, the cost was ~$1100 more than we agreed. When we asked why, Matt said that he thought I opted for the tire protection plan. Keep in mind, though the car is mine, it's in my parents name. Not only did I never agree to add the protection package, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm not a legal party in the matter, and had no decision making capabilities. Matt corrected his error, and we signed the deal, leaving that evening with my new (to me) 328i.

When we got home a week later, I reviewed the paperwork some more, and realized the $2000 error that was made; the maintenance plan could have thrown in for free. I talked to my parents, and they weren't happy. I called Matt the next day, but he was extremely reluctant to talk to me about it, since it was my parents who had made the sale. Apparently my word is good enough to add an $1,100 tire protection plan at the time of sale, but now he won't give me the time of day. I thank him for his time, and assure him my father will be calling back soon.

With a condescending demeanor, Matt tells my father that he tried to get him to finance on the date of sale, but "we wouldn't listen". My dad rebuttals that we would have if we would have known the maintenance package would have been included at no charge. Matt tells us that they could offer the financing offer and the payment waiver, but were unable to offer the maintenance plan upgrade when we purchased our car (only a week prior), and that BMWNA had just approved it for their store, and when on to talk about applying codes in their corporate computer.

Because the promotion was plastered all over BMW's website, I was highly skeptical that a dealer could offer only 2/3 of the promotion. I called BMWNA, and a representative informed me that dealers have the option of offering the promotion or not, but it's all or none, there isn't a middle ground where they can offer half of the promotion.

My dad calls back the next day and speaks with the dealership's corporate office. After a week of assured call backs, my dad calls again, and finally gets the GM, who spoke with Matt, and said he is getting this fixed. Next thing we know, new papers are in the mail. This just adds insult to injury after looking them over.

The new papers are trying to sell the car for $1,800 more than the original (how convenient). We are now being charged 9% tax (instead of 5%) and are being charged a $600 document fee, instead of the $40 document fee on the original bill of sale. Mind you, this is before any finance charges are applied. That's a whole other form which is equally incorrect, right down to the purchase price. Even better yet is the slew of blank affidavits and other forms they expect my parents to sign and send back, allowing them to fill in whatever values they please.

My parents are fuming at this point. My dad called Matt again, (somehow managing to maintain his composure) asking why the purchase price prior to financing has went up by $1800. Matt explains that he made an error when doing the calculations, and that a 3% municipality tax was added on top of the 6% (which should be 5% according to their tax laws to match our state rate) sales tax Florida charges. As far as document fees, apparently they didn't collect enough at the time of sale, and they need to now collect $600, a bulk of which Matt assures us will be refunded in a couple of weeks. Unable to listen to reason, he passes us back to the salesman, who's like a deer in the headlights, he's not heard about any of this until now. Clearly Matt is just trying to get rid of us, because he doesn't want to make things right.

My dad thinks it's more trouble than it's worth to keep pursuing this cause, since Matt clearly has no clue what he's doing. My mother on the other hand, wants to get an attorney, knowing good and well that the associated costs will likely meet or exceed the maintenance plan cost, for the sheer satisfaction of making them pay what's owed.

The cherry on top comes when I titled the car today at my local DMV. Apparently Florida does not reciprocate with my state, and according to the Florida department of Revenue - "Residents of these states should be made aware that they are required to pay sales tax to Florida at the rate imposed by their home state when they purchase a vehicle in Florida and will also be required to pay tax to their home state when the vehicle is licensed in their home state."

So today I got a nice surprise today when I had to pay over a grand in taxes (for the second time) to register my car.

Heed this warning if shopping at BMW of Gainesville, you very well may get screwed if you're not careful. I know car dealers are generally out to get you, but this incident blows my mind.

I'd really appreciate some input from a third party, because clearly my opinion is biased.

Once again, sorry about the small novel.