Against my better judgment, I went to Curry Chevrolet on Sunday with my wife. We’re in the market for a new car and despite my discomfort with buying an American car, we did have relatively good luck with our eight year old Chevrolet Malibu. We figured we would go in, look around, and see what the new one was like.
A representative took us inside, showed us the car, and we fell in love with it. It was a beautiful color, had a leather interior, and had every option we wanted all in one car. There was nothing we could ask for that wasn’t in the car. He grabbed the keys from a similar car in inventory and took us up to take a test drive. “How willing are you to sign the papers today?” he asked me. “Very willing if the numbers work out.” My wife nodded at me. We hadn’t intended on buying right away, but why wait if the numbers looked good?
We took the test drive and I was in love. The car handled smoothly, had great acceleration, and just felt like a dream. Now that I work in Nanuet, I put about 60-70 miles a day on my car so I felt comfortable spending that much time in this car. We returned to the dealership, sat down to do the paperwork, and that beautiful blue Malibu on the showroom floor was going to be ours.
As we were sitting there, our sales rep asked around if that car had been sold. Everyone chimed in that it was not, and there was no tag on the vehicle (like there was on the other sold ones) saying it was sold. While we were signing the paperwork, our rep got a phone call and when he hung up, he informed us that it was a person looking to put a deposit down on the car so we had to hurry up and sign the papers (yeah, looking back on it, I don’t believe it either). We didn’t care; we were signing them anyway. We were going to trade in our car and add whatever we needed to to make the deal.
Paperwork done, car signed for, I called GEICO and added it to my insurance and added our sales rep as an authorized contact so he could finalize the insurance. The car was now ours. We had to go back on Monday to sign the paperwork, talk to the finance guy to finalize the deal, and get our tradein appraised. Even though there was a blizzard in NYC yesterday, we made it up on time for our appointment. Our sales rep wasn’t there, so we worked with another one. They started the appraisal and we started chatting. As we were talking to him, the Sales Manager came over to us and put a piece of paper down on the table we were sitting at. “I have good news and bad news,” she told us. “The good news is that we’re going to give you the $1500 for your tradein even though we don’t think the car is worth that much. We think the car is worth $1000, but we’re going to eat the difference.”
I was fine with that. “The problem is that the car you wanted isn’t available. The rep sold it to you but he didn’t know someone else had already bought it the night before.”
My wife and I were stunned. After signing the paperwork under the pressure of “sign it now sign it now sign it now,” there was no car. How the hell did that happen? “I do have another one for you to look at, though.” She showed us a similar car in “gold mist.” Now, I’m not a pimp and I’m not 50. A gold car? Really? “It’s the same color as your car.” Oh really? My car is galaxy silver, and obviously so.
I balked at the idea. My wife and I went back to her and asked her if they had any other colors available. The Sales Manager proceeded to come up with model after model of cars that weren’t similarly equipped to the one we thought we bought, or were 2-3000 more than what we were paying for the one we wanted.
One car didn’t have a sunroof. Another didn’t have the six cylinder engine. Another had a horrid two-tone leather interior. She sensed our skepticism and told us we should sign the paperwork and let her get the car detailed for us so we could look at it tonight. I was okay with giving it a shot, but I could see my wife’s displeasure with the whole process starting to shine through. We sat down to fill out the paperwork and I realized that I was about to spend $2000 more for a car I didn’t really want from people who had just screwed me over. I told the rep to stop writing and we were just going to go somewhere else.
Yes it was an upgraded model, and according to them we were getting a great deal (I’ll admit the deal wasn’t really that bad), but it still wasn’t what we wanted. No matter how many times my wife tried to explain that we’d be “settling,” we were informed no less than twenty times how “nice” it was and how “classy” the car was and so on. I was getting EXTREMELY annoyed. I told her I’d be back today to get my refund of my deposit because, I was informed, the cashier only works until 5:30. Isn’t that great for a dealership that’s open until 8?
We finally, after ten minutes of nagging, got her to just let us go. I was told that she was having the car we didn’t want detailed anyway and I could take a look at it and I’d fall in love with it and that would be the end of it. I resigned myself to the fact that I’d have to put up with one more trip to these people so I could get my $2000 back and move on with my life. I sucked it up, and left. On the car ride home, Beth and I lost our minds. We were so aggravated at the placating gladhanding treatment we got, and the fact that they sold the car out from under us. Not only that, but in trying to make it right, they weren’t even giving us the same car and were charging us, at minimum, $2000 more for it! Then, on the way home, it hit me. I had added that new car to our insurance policy. As far as GEICO was concerned, that car was insured by me! Someone drove the car off the lot with insurance coverage I was paying for!
I lost my mind. I came home and immediately called GEICO to have the car removed. This was at 8:50pm. I checked my e-mails and saw that we had gotten a voicemail at 8:40. It was from GEICO congratulating us on the purchase of our new car and wanting to confirm the details with us. I lost my mind. I ran into the bedroom to tell Beth. “Those sons of bitches called GEICO and had the car added to our policy!” Beth’s eyes widenened. “When?” “Ten minutes ago!” Essentially, half an hour after the deal was already dead, the dealership called GEICO to add a car we said we didn’t want to our policy.
I couldn’t believe it. Now I was furious. Then we got a voicemail from the Sales Manager. She had located a blue Malibu, exactly the same as the one we thought we bought and wanted us to come in and see it when she had it transferred over from another dealer. “I don’t want it, and I’m furious that you called my insurance company to add a car after you knew the deal was dead.” After some firm and angry scolding, I informed her that I would not be returning today to get my deposit and told her at 9:30, when her cashier gets in, I want my deposit back on my card. No questions asked. She was annoyed with me! As if I had wronged her by calling her out for effing with my insurance! Here she was doing me a favor, and here I was being ungrateful.
No joke. She actually hung up on me because I was “stressing her out.” Today, that refund better be on my card or I’m raising holy hell with those bastards.
This is what I had to put up with. Despite knowing better, and despite the relatively crappy experience I had the last time I bought a Chevrolet in 2001 (and again in 2004), I went to a Chevrolet dealer again. If Chevrolet wants to know why no one wants to buy American cars any more, maybe they should look at their dealers. The high pressure crap, the sneakiness, and the outright lies (you’re not marking the car up at all? Really? Then why are you so desperate to sell it to me?) convinced me to never deal with Chevrolet or any other car company (with one exception; my dad’s dealer who he got his Pontiac G6 from was awesome and I would give him a shot if the opportunity arose) under the GM umbrella again.
Curry Chevrolet is a disgrace, plain and simple. Chevrolet should be embarrassed that their name is on that awning.