Crappy Car Dealers

One thing that hasn't completely changed in 12 years is the existance of crappy dealers. You would think with all the problems Toyota is having that all the dealers would be on their best behavior.

Here's my saga. Stay away from this dishonest dealer. I found out that many of the internet sales departments are setup to suck you in to the dealer so they can work you. I learned my lesson and here's the whole story.

I sold my truck and it went out the door Sunday April 11th. I decided I wanted a Toyota 4runner Trail edition. I searched the internet and found a few trucks in stock at dealers in the area. I emailed the dealerships and one in Oaklawn got right back with a good price. The only problem was that the one on their website was a dealer demo with 3000 miles. Then I received an email from Arlington Toyota at 2095 N. Rand Road in Palatine, IL with no price. Just a cut and paste job of the options. The 3rd place got back to me with a price so high it wasn’t worth the time. I emailed Arlington back:

I checked out the specs on your website where I found it in the first place. Ideally the truck I want doesn’t have the navigation system with the fancy radio and I like grey not black. From what I can tell most of the trail editions are loaded up with everything. I contacted you because you aren’t far from where I live although the last 2 cars I’ve bought from dealers out of state. I sold my Car to a buyer in CT last weekend and am ready to buy a new one. I’m buying on price. That’s why I’m contacting you through the internet. From what I see the invoice on this truck is around 36600. If you can get me a grey version of this one at a good price I’ll buy it from you.
Let me know.

On Tuesday 4/13 at 11:30 they write back:
I will be happy to locate a 4Runner Trail Edition in magnetic gray for you without navigation. Your special internet price for that vehicle is $35,832. Would you like to place a deposit so that I can get the vehicle for you?


The price was right so I called Justin around 11:40 and was told that Bob is his partner and he would work with me. Bob was on the phone so he called me back 15 minutes later. I told him I liked the price and wanted a set of shop manuals. I made it clear that the truck was to be configured exactly the same as the black one including floor mats except for the gps option. He said no problem on the truck but he had to check with the parts dept on the manuals. He said he’d get back to me in 5 minutes.

I didn’t hear from him so at 12:30 I called and got Jason who said it was fine to come in any time. I was in a great mood and thought I’d get this whole thing taken care of today.

I walk into the dealership around 1:30 and ask for Bob Jacob. He comes out and shakes my hand. He said he checked parts and they said that the shop manuals cost 1000.00. I said I’d take a pass. He calls over Igor one of their salesman and says Igor is going to take care of all the paperwork for him and take you on a test ride if you want. Bob leaves.

Igor went to get the keys to the truck and Justin Salvadalena came out and introduced himself. Bob Jacob walked by again and I reminded him that the truck I wanted was to be exactly the same as the Black one on the lot including the floor mats.

Igor a nice Russian guy was a little difficult to understand but I made out ok. He takes me out to the black truck and shows me how the seats fold down etc. We went for a ride and the truck rode great. This truck had the gps package so I asked Igor if he could show me one that had the regular radio. Igor suggests that since I’m going to really take it off road that I get the paint protection and undercoating.

I asked Igor how long it would take to get the truck I want. He said it was at a dealership 200 miles away and he was going to be the one to drive and pick it up. He said because of that my truck would have 200 miles on it. I told him I understood. I asked him if the other dealer was going to take another car in trade. He said that they don’t tell him the details.

We go inside and Igor takes my information and gets a copy of my driver’s license. He gives me a form regarding privacy of information. I’m sitting at his desk for about 10 minutes. I got tired of sitting so I wondered around the showroom. I found a 4runner on the floor with the stock radio and spent time poking around.

I started wondering what’s taking so long. This guy has disappeared for at least a half hour. My guess is that they were checking my credit even though I said I was paying cash. He finally comes back with a sheet and hands it to me in the middle of the showroom. The sheet has a fee of 157.00 for dealer documentation; the sales tax was 7.25%. I had looked up the rate at the Ill dept of revenue and it’s 7%. I saw red and started telling him that the 157 was BS and the floor mats were nowhere to be found.

We go and sit down and Bob comes out to start working me. He tells me that he won’t let 157 kill the deal. He says he is one of the managers. He says “do I think they could stay in business if they added fees that other dealers don’t”. Did I think they could over charge for sales tax and stay in business? He said he knows that car salesmen have bad reputations so he isn’t surprised that I’m suspicious. I told him I wanted to call the secretary of state. He said fine. He tells me that it’s important that they get a good dealer rating and told me to rate the dealership high when they call after I buy the car.

Things cool down a little and he tells me about his 3 daughters.
He suggests that he give me the invoice for the black truck so I can compare it to the one for the truck I’m getting while he redoes the paperwork. I asked him how long it was going to take to get the truck and he was evasive.

He leaves and I start going through the invoices. I look at the 2 trucks and they are exactly the same except for the color. Bob returns with the new paperwork and now the truck is over 40k. I said that the truck you are trying to sell me has the 2100.00 gps package on it and is not the truck I want. He claims it’s an honest mistake. I’m thinking BS and I start to see red. It was already 4:20 and I was getting hungry and pissed and I tell him. He offers to get some burgers, I said no thanks. Now I’m really pissed and I accused him of trying to change out the trucks. He of course denies it.

When he goes to redo the paperwork now for the 3rd time I told him he has 5 minutes or I’m walking out. He tries to calm me down. He comes back pretty fast this time with the invoice for the truck I really wanted. We checked through it and the only difference was the GPS and the floor mats. I once again told him that the floor mats had to be in the price and the 157.00 doc fee was out.

Then he shows me the new numbers. I looked at the top number to verify the price. I pulled my note sheet out of my pocket with the price they quoted me in the email of 35,832.00. The price on the sheet was now 36k and change. The doc charge was still there too and the mats weren't in the package. I really got mad and asked him what’s with the price change. He says that they have to go 300 miles to pick up the truck and they have to get a little more. I told him bull shit. You added the price of the floor mats in and didn’t give me the mats. I was really pissed off now and said I was leaving. I stood up and he says "just wait and I’ll be back". I taunted him and said "I’ll bet you have to go talk to the manager!" He said he had to talk to the owner. I started walking out. He followed me and told me to wait 5 minutes and I’ll be back. I waited in the parking lot outside the door 10 more minutes and then I drove off. I was really pissed off. I wasted my whole afternoon and now I didn’t care if I got any kind of car, especially a Toyota.

I ended up home at 5:00. My wife takes a call from Bob. He’s apologizing. She told him to call back in 15 minutes. He said the last thing he wanted to do was to be a pest.