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      12-28-2007, 11:01 AM   #1
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Prestige BMW in Ramsey NJ - Poor experience at signing

Yesterday my wife and I went in to sign the paperwork for our new BMW lease. We're doing the pickup in January at the Performance Delivery Center, so today was just about the deal. I've been happy with my CA, and I was happy with the deal I made with him. A couple of weeks ago my wife took our 11 year old Honda in to have it appraised for trade in, and the sales manager looked it over, checked his sources, and then said $2000. Fine with us.

So today, my CA did some preliminaries with insurance and meanwhile had one of the managers do a last check of the trade in (presumably to make sure it was in the same condition it was when they saw it last). Then he took us in to see the finance guy.

This started badly.

First, he asked me if I had checked with my bank to see if the $500 check I had given when I placed the order in November had been cashed (I hadn't). The finance guy said they had no record of depositing it. (This is my problem how?) So, fine, I said I can can check, but I don't want to have to pay a stop payment fee if nobody can track it down. Finance guy says "If there is a charge I will reimburse it." OK, fair enough.

Next, he said..."Uh...with this trade in. The used-car manager just ran it through CarFax and sees it has been in an accident. So we can only give you $1500." My wife, whose car it is and who brought it in for the eval, says "Hey, I told them that when I brought it in." Finance guy: "Well, it was the sales manager who did the eval. But our used car manager makes the decision." Me: "Well, they both represent the dealership. And so $2,000 is the number." Finance guy: "Well, we didn't really know about the accident until we ran it through CarFax."

At this point, my wife was so upset she left the room...before she popped him!

I said "How long does that check take?" "A few minutes." "Then you should have done it when you evaluated the car but before you gave her a number!"

We went back and forth a little longer. I said $1500 for the trade was fine if they wanted to take another $500 off the price of the Bimmer. He ended up saying OK to the $2K for the trade. But we were NOT happy.

Now, I understand that we are talking about a pretty small amount in the context of $40K+ for the BMW. But it's really the principle of the thing.

The rest of it went OK. When we left his office our CA was waiting. I said we got off to a rocky start and he asked why. I explained, and he said "Oh, I heard something about that this morning, but they were just going to adjust the price so that you monthly payment stays the same..." Then he went away to copy a document.

When he came back I said "Just to be clear, and so you know what happened, the deal that he presented me with did not make any adjustments to the payment and my total downpayment was still the same. He was expecting another $500 in cash."

So of course I don't REALLY know what my CA was told or what he knew. And all's well that ends well...

But still...c'mon!
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      12-28-2007, 01:30 PM   #2
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I also had issues with thier "finance manager" when I purchased my car from Prestige. But Prestige is definitely not unique in this regard; it seems most dealers have very unethical finance managers. The best defense you have as the buyer is knowledge and the willingness to "walk away" if necessary.
2008 BMW 535i Space Gray, Black Leather, Dark Bamboo Trim| Sport Automatic with Paddles | Sport Package
2008 BMW M5 (gone, but not forgotten) Space Gray, Silverstone Merino Leather, Madeira Walnut Wood Trim | 7speed SMG | All options
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