A Reddit user shared a unique story about how he helped his friend to get a newer car and get out of an oppressive deal with a dealership.
OP’s friend bought a new car in 2020 but could not afford it. The insurance was $400, and car payments were $795 monthly. The friend made about $10.25/hr working as a shift supervisor in a McDonald’s. He could not afford to pay these amounts.
His Friend Was Being Ripped Off
The OP used to sell cars and hence knew more about this industry. After the friend approached him for help, the OP offered to look at his signed deal. After reviewing the paperwork, he realized the dealership had ripped his friend off. They had overcharged him for a full warranty, gave him higher APRs, and had many add-ons. None of this was illegal.
The financial application form listed his friend’s true income, which was a red flag. No bank would approve a $795 monthly payment for someone making slightly more than $1200. He checked the finance app the dealer submitted to the bank and found a discrepancy. The dealer had told the bank that OP’s friend was a McDonald’s GM earning $70,000. The OP’s friend had good credit, and it seemed that the bank never bothered to ask for proof of income.
Unwind the Deal
The OP and his friend went to the dealership and demanded to see the GM. He told the GM to unwind the deal they had made and showed them where they had committed fraud. He was willing to visit a consumer protection attorney if they did not comply. After several arguments, the GM agreed to cancel the deal, but he told the OP the trade-in car the friend had brought in was already sold. The OP told the GM to look for a car that was as good as or better than that trade-in.
They finally settled on a Honda Civic with 5k miles on it. The GM did not want to involve lawyers as he risked tarnishing the reputation and losing the franchise altogether. The OP and his friend did not want to involve lawyers because they felt the process would be too long, and the friend needed a car to go to work the next day. The loan was canceled, and they drove off in the Honda Civic.
The Masses Weigh In
Reddit users offered their opinions on this story, with most siding with the OP and others offering advice on how best to handle such rip-offs in the future.
Take a Financial Literacy Course
Get your friend to attend a financial literacy course, said one user, “Good pro revenge, but do your friend a favor and get them into a financial literacy class. The dealer is a criminal, but your friend was an idiot for getting into this situation.”
Another agreed that people take advantage of illiterate ones, “I make 27.65 an hour right now and had so many people advised me to not make that move, glad I listened and glad you got your friend out. So many shady people willing and happy to take over financially illiterate young people.”
Turn the Dealer in for Fraud
Some users advised the OP to report the matter even after settling it, “I’m sorry that happened to your friend. Truly shady HOWEVER, I would still report it after everything. I’m willing to bet this isn’t the first nor last time that dealership is willing to commit fraud to make a deal and screw someone else over.”
Another said, “I hope you turned the dealer in for felony fraud anyway. You know they’ve pulled that stunt on more people than just your friend and will continue to do so in the future.”
Others shared similar stories. One said, “But yes. I have experienced the same with the dealer changing my income when they reported to get the loan. Large dealers, too, that do large volume sales in the region.
They will also decrease your expenses to make it seem like you keep more of the money. I.e. you pay $1400 per month in rent let’s put that at $500 kind of fudging numbers.”
Another said, “I ran into a similar situation. I was only making around 20k a year at the time, and I filled out the information to send to the bank for a loan, they went back to make a copy and realized I did not sign it. They came back and I looked it over once more, and they changed my 20000 to 80000. I was livid and left. I ended up getting a cheap beater car that lasted me 200k miles until I got a new job. Car dealerships do some pretty sketchy stuff to ensure a sale. I hate commission salespeople.”
“That is an interesting scenario. I was working to help my brother get a new car a few years back. He was local to the dealer and I was not I gave them my income information and he gave his (since I was co-signing). They overnighted the documents to me for my signature. As I was reviewing the loan information I saw the same thing. They tried to increase my income amount on the document. Granted it was still lower than my household income but it was only supposed to be my income amount. I canceled the deal at that point and told them absolutely no because I don’t trust you now that you have tried to commit fraud. I didn’t like that they tried to get him to buy a car he didn’t want (a Mustang), which was a higher dollar amount anyway. So much shady crap. Future tip all contracts are read line by line. Do not let anyone rush you during that review process. Don’t allow them to talk to you while reviewing, either. This helps to avoid them distracting you,” advised another user.
Settling Out of Court Is the Way To Go
According to one user, settling out of court was the best way to go, “I think this is a better result than if he had gone to a lawyer. Your friend would have been stuck with the high payments during the legal process, and the court only would have made him whole.”
Another agreed with this thought, “If you’re screaming about a lawyer in these comments, read the last three lines. Believe me when I say this is absolutely true. Not gonna lie; a good lawyer would have tried what OP tried first. It’s called a settlement.”
Handled the Situation Perfectly
One user said the OP handled the situation perfectly, “You deserve utmost praise for how you handled that situation. You took his attitude and gave it right back by threatening him to do what you say or else, and believe it or not, that’s admirable because you could’ve done way worse.”
Have you ever been ripped off by a dealership? What did you do? Did you get compensated? Do you think the OP used a good approach to get his friend off the hook?
This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.