Got Tricked By BMW Dealer in SoCal

ca-socal
ca

#1

Just venting here and hopefully my bad experience and lessons learned can help you guys when you’re out there lease hunting.

I was working out a deal for a new Bimmer, got the car and numbers all figured out over the span of a week; lots of back and forth and what not. Finally we arrive at a number that we can both agree on. I agree to show up at dealer, they send over a credit application to fill out online and get processed. I show up to dealer, they’re absolutely surprised to see me. I knew something was wrong right there. Lo and behold, their internet sales manager comes out and says, “Oh, sorry did you not get my email. We sold the car earlier in the day” (earlier in the day as in before I even agreed to show up and before I had filled out the credit application). BTW, internet sales manager never sent the email.

AND that is when I knew I got screwed. I was like OH F*CK, I can’t believe a seasoned veteran like me got screwed so hard. They got me to fill out a credit application and everything and tricked me into their dealership.

NEXT STEPS: I’m not even sure what to do. I’m still shocked that they did this to a returning customer who leased a Bimmer with them a year or so ago.

Happy lease hunting guys, don’t get fooled like I did.


#2

Shoot me a text I’ll try to help!

818-434-8063
Best,
Paul


#3

Did you set up an appointment with the internet sales manager or did you show up unannounced?

Is the vehicle no longer on their online inventory? And more importantly, are they willing to honor the same discount on a similar vehicle? Were they apologetic about the situation?

I agree the dealer should have contacted you to inform you the vehicle was sold. But sometimes mistakes happen and vehicles are genuinely sold by other salespeople. The key thing is they remedy the situation appropriately.


#4

Did you set up an appointment with the internet sales manager or did you show up unannounced?
Yes, I agreed to show up which is why they told me they were going to get the car ready and have me fill out this online credit application to expedite the process.

Is the vehicle no longer on their online inventory? And more importantly, are they willing to honor the same discount on a similar vehicle? Were they apologetic about the situation?
Vehicle is still on their online inventory. I didn’t bother to ask about any discounts on similar car because they did not have any cars left with the premium package that I wanted. They were fake sorry, I could read it immediately when they fed me some BS about me not getting an email saying it was sold. I checked, inbox, spam, trash. The last email I received was the credit application.

I agree the dealer should have contacted you to inform you the vehicle was sold. But sometimes mistakes happen and vehicles are genuinely sold by other salespeople. The key thing is they remedy the situation appropriately.
I agree with you. However, in this case, it was a filthy move on a returning customer that was unwarranted. I was never impolite or hostile in our negotiations, I feel like they lost a customer for life and possibly more as I won’t be referring any more friends and family over to them. The part which I think they’re going to miss out on and I think will come to hurt them in the long run is burning bridges with existing customers. Especially existing customers who are part of the younger millennial generation who can afford to spend some dough on cars and will continually do so in the coming years. By screwing me over and anyone else (I am assuming this is their overall strategy as it felt like I was not the first) they’re going to hurt their future and bottom line.


#5

This is why you don’t fill out a credit application until you’re there in person and you see the car in front of you. Sucks to receive a credit inquiry.


#6

How did you get “screwed so hard?” I get the annoyance, and would be angry over a credit pull, but this seems to be a bit of an overreaction. You didn’t lose anything but time.

Move on and not dwell on this?


#7

I usually put a deposit down on the car after we have concluded negotiations, even if I will go down to the dealer to sign shortly there after. I doubt it was malicious but you don’t truly have dibs on a car until there is cash of some kind in hand.


#8

I disagree. Being misled like this is ridiculous. And losing nothing more than time? Isn’t time one of the most important things not to lose? But he also lost gas money. It is extremely unprofessional to do what they did and I agree with the OP’s feelings but hey if you enjoy showing up to dealers only to be turned away be my guest.
OP you should post dealership name.


#9

In CA you can’t legally put a deposit to reserve a car. Some dealers will allow you to do it as a psychological motivator to ensure you get in the door, but that’s about it.

But otherwise I agree, doesn’t seem like anything malicious by the dealer, especially if they were surprised to see the OP come in.


#10

If you are a returning customer that also refers friends and family to the dealer, i’m sure if you take this up with the GM he’ll be able to make things right, i’d also try talking to corporate as they probably don’t want dealers doing hard credit pulls to trick clients into the dealership. If nothing helps, scratch this dealer and move on to the next.


#11

OP filled out a credit app – possibly got dinged on the credit report – I think you should go back and cause a ruckus in front of any other customers there.

In lending a hard inquiry is the final step before a deal is funded. Personally I would be livid if they pulled a stunt like this AFTER a hard inquiry.


#12

While it was a messed up move for them to do, if OP is in the market for a car and will expect to do more credit pulls, then this incident won’t nearly affect his credit as hard.

The hard pull happens when the contract is funded. Now, if he never does another inquiry and just lets it sit there, then yes, there will be a negative impact.

He should be financially fine if he finds something in the next few months.


#13

Why cant dealers do soft pulls?


#14

Find another dealer asap. The hard inquiry will only count as 1 within a 14 day period for fico and 30 days to 2 months for vantage so your score will remain the same during those period. This is my experience when i bought a car 14 days apart from different dealer/brand.

I always follow up and talk to the manager after filling up an online credit application. I wanted to make sure that a) they receive my application and i am ready to lease and b) so they wont f*ing sell my car to someone else. Probably i am too paranoid but i dont trust dealer.


#15

Soft pull will not show everything and hard inq will be required to do a loan approval (mf, sec deposit, etc).
A credit application online on dealer usually means you already agreed on price and ready to lease.


#16

FICO will still show that an inquiry was made on that date, regardless. I doubt it’ll have any significant impact if any on the score since there was no actual contract was funded. Someone is car shopping, banks recognize that they will most likely do more than one pull in search of the best product/rates.


#17

I think your reaction is slightly unproportional. Remember they spent as much time as you did just to have someone else sell the car, they don’t get paid on running credit apps, in fact it costs them money. Finally, getting screwed would be a bait and switch. Find a car or two nearby, ask them to honor the deal by doing a dealer trade. If not, just get it from the other dealers. You will likely shop for a car so the 2 point ding on your fico won’t get worse. Lastly, if the deal is done on paper give them a deposit over the phone even if it’s $500. Good luck in your search.


#18

Not sure if it was the same dealer, but BMW of Santa Monica pulled a similar scenario on me. I sent in a certified check for about $8k in MSDs and other fees and found out the day after they received the check they had sold the car to someone else (I was buying from the East Coast).


#19

Thanks for understanding, I think getting “screwed so hard” is relative here. Here is why I made that statement and if you don’t agree it is perfectly fine, but I still stand by the fact that I got screwed. Timeline is important here.

On day of agreement. It went something like this:

Sales Manager: This is the final and best offer I can provide you. I would love to earn your business, but I can’t find X amount off anymore.
Me: Ok cool, I was just trying to get a bigger discount. This works, can I come pick the car up and sign and drive.
Sales Manager: Sure, we will have to get it ready for you.
Me: Ok not a problem.
Sales Manager: I’m going to email you a credit application to fill out. Please let me know once you have finished.
Me: Filled out and done. Heading in.

The rest you all know, I get to dealer and they tell me the car was sold earlier in the day. Earlier in the day as in before the Sales Manager told me this is the final and best offer. The car was GONE before I even filled out the credit application. This is the fact that doesn’t sit well by me and why I got screwed. If you didn’t have the car, don’t have me fill out a credit application and then pretend that you sent me an email telling me the car was sold (no email was ever sent).


#20

To me, that shows that the SM really didn’t know the car was already sold when he sent you the offer and credit app.