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Old 08-02-2007, 05:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Car dealer-how to stop harassing phone calls

I purchased a "new" car in June 2007. I say "new" because the salesperson identified it verbally as a "demo" during the test drive, a "new" car (again, verbally) during the sales negotiations, and yet marked "used" on the sales contract. Long story short - I found this dealership very rude and unprofessional and do not want any further contact with them. Recently I completed & mailed in a "satisfaction survey" to the manufacturer and voiced my opinion regarding the dealership. For the past 1.5 wks various staff from the dealership have been calling my home phone and my cell phone - typically several times a day. Up until today they never gave a reason for the phone calls -- yesterday (8/1) the message on the answering machine was that they have an "issue" with my trade-in. The dealership now owns my trade-in as verified by GMAC in a letter I received in the beginning of July. So I don't know what issue they could be having with the trade-in that I don't even own any longer (it was in excellent condition when I traded it in). Based on their intimidating behavior while I was negotiating the purchase of my "new"/"used" car I would prefer not to talk to them and want them to stop calling. What is the best and quickest way to legally request them to stop what I consider harassment?
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dezirrae View Post
I purchased a "new" car in June 2007. I say "new" because the salesperson identified it verbally as a "demo" during the test drive, a "new" car (again, verbally) during the sales negotiations, and yet marked "used" on the sales contract. Long story short - I found this dealership very rude and unprofessional and do not want any further contact with them. Recently I completed & mailed in a "satisfaction survey" to the manufacturer and voiced my opinion regarding the dealership. For the past 1.5 wks various staff from the dealership have been calling my home phone and my cell phone - typically several times a day. Up until today they never gave a reason for the phone calls -- yesterday (8/1) the message on the answering machine was that they have an "issue" with my trade-in. The dealership now owns my trade-in as verified by GMAC in a letter I received in the beginning of July. So I don't know what issue they could be having with the trade-in that I don't even own any longer (it was in excellent condition when I traded it in). Based on their intimidating behavior while I was negotiating the purchase of my "new"/"used" car I would prefer not to talk to them and want them to stop calling. What is the best and quickest way to legally request them to stop what I consider harassment?

There is so much in your carefully constructed tale that has an air of untruth about it. First of all, you started your posting by objecting to the representation of the car ( used/vs/new). Yet, for some reason, you voluntarily went along with the sale any way. Caveat emptor--buyer beware. If you felt they were misleading you regarding the condition of the car, why did you proceed? Also, calling a car a demo means it HAS been used and does not meet the legal definition of a "new" vehicle. If they told you it was a demo, they conveyed to you the truth about the condition of the vehicle. You admit they told you "demo" (used) yet you merely say it was VERBALLY they said "new". It is your word against your word. (No misprint). In other words, you admit they told you it was used (demo). Yet, you have no PROOF they referred to it as "new". And, they even wrote in the contract "used" ( demo ). Unfortunately, you cannot prove otherwise.

Secondly, you state repeatedly how unprofessional and discourteous the dealership was. Yet, again, you continued with the sale. Letsee, allegedly misrepresenting the condition of the car ( fraud ) and discourtesy. Again the question is WHY DID YOU BUY THE CAR FROM THEM if either of these is true? What it appears to the casual reader is that there IS much more to the story than what you are relating--and you are grasping at straws in an attempt at assigning liability when clearly, per your own admission there is a problem with YOUR trade in. So, in return, you call them unprofessional. Hmmmm....

If you want to protect yourself from possible civil or criminal action, you need to find out what they are calling you about. Chances are, they found you as disagreeable and dishonest as YOU found THEM. There is a REASON they need to talk with you--and calling you for a legitimate reason ( title problem ) is NOT harassment. Just because you don't "like" them, doesn't mean they are harassing you.

If you "endured" their discourtesy for the hours upon end it takes to pick out, test drive, and purchase a new vehicle, I suspect you can endure their manner for the five minutes it takes to find out what is the problem with your vehicle. There are numerous other problems aside from the condition of the car. The title could be one. Perhaps they didn't give YOU enough money and want to make amends? You are assuming the worst--either that or you KNOW the "real deal" and just are neglecting to include the relevant details here.

Hiding his head in the sand did nothing for the ostrich. I'm going to state rather unequivocally that in the case, it will do nothing for you either. If they sue you and you go to court and say what you have said here, the judge will roll his eyes. "Ma'am, you didn't respond to repeated request to discuss this problem with your trade in because you felt they weren't NICE?? You didn't respond to their request that you contact them regarding this issue because you say they called it "new", yet in conversing about the vehicle they called it "demo" and wrote "USED" on the contract-- a car you voluntarily purchased anyway?" The result of this is that YOU will look as though YOU knew there was a problem with the trade in, but now that the deal is done, you are looking for excuses NOT to own up to the problem. In fact, your excuses given here even ADD to the impression that you aren't being truthful.

Contrast that to this: You go to the dealership, they are rude and unprofessional and yada yada, and lied about the car, yada yada. NOW they are calling you. THAT would be harassment. When I went to a dealership, I was treated rudely and I didn't like the car they were selling. I left and asked them not to call me, and I told them exactly WHY before I left. After nearly a dozen calls offering to BRING me the car I didn't want, I filed charges for harassment--we did NOT do business. I did NOT buy a car. Pressuring me to buy a car and even showing up at my HOUSE with it to "surprise" me by letting me "drive it free" for the weekend was way over the line. Clearly, this is very different from YOUR situation. YOU voluntarily chose to do business , do a deal with these people. They are attempting to tell you there is a problem with the deal. You are avoiding them by calling them rude. Hmmmm... see how it LOOKS? Do yourself a favor and rest assured car dealerships, especially large franchises can afford to hire the BEST attorneys in town.

I suggest you do the same, or start answering your phone.
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dezirrae View Post
I purchased a "new" car in June 2007. I say "new" because the salesperson identified it verbally as a "demo" during the test drive, a "new" car (again, verbally) during the sales negotiations, and yet marked "used" on the sales contract. Long story short - I found this dealership very rude and unprofessional and do not want any further contact with them. Recently I completed & mailed in a "satisfaction survey" to the manufacturer and voiced my opinion regarding the dealership. For the past 1.5 wks various staff from the dealership have been calling my home phone and my cell phone - typically several times a day. Up until today they never gave a reason for the phone calls -- yesterday (8/1) the message on the answering machine was that they have an "issue" with my trade-in. The dealership now owns my trade-in as verified by GMAC in a letter I received in the beginning of July. So I don't know what issue they could be having with the trade-in that I don't even own any longer (it was in excellent condition when I traded it in). Based on their intimidating behavior while I was negotiating the purchase of my "new"/"used" car I would prefer not to talk to them and want them to stop calling. What is the best and quickest way to legally request them to stop what I consider harassment?
First thing is to contact both the manufacturer and dealership in writing with detailed specifics of the amount and timing of the telephone calls. It's a given you no longer owe on the car and that title has been transferred to someone else. You can specifically request both entities contact you in writing or cease entirely.. and if you feel the need to, contact your telephone service carrier to ask what further steps you can take to stop the calls. You can also register your information with the national Do Not Call Registry, which was designed to prevent unwanted telephone solicitations. More information on that can be found on https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx. Your information must be on record at least 30 days before you can file a complaint through that agency as well. (It might help if you indicate to both the manufacturer and dealership of the steps you've taken as well.) Odds are the manufacturer has no idea of the tactics their dealership is using .. any "issues" really should've been put in writing, with a formal request you contact them immediately.

Good luck.
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Old 08-02-2007, 08:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The POINT of the "title" example is that there are myriads of things that they COULD be calling about---and it is not a given that the title IS clear. Unless the seller conveyed title at the time of sale, there very well COULD be a problem with the title that had heretofore been overlooked. To assume that there was no problem with the title when SHE bought the car doesn't mean that there isn't one now. Was the lien holder paid off? Maybe they are refusing to release the title for some reason. The possibilities are endless, and since the original poster carefully omitted these details, it is all speculation.

To assume they are calling for nefarious means is an interesting assumption which is obviously based on factors the poster knows, but has omitted here.

Bottom line: If you have done something wrong, whether intentionally or unintentionally, avoiding their phone calls will NOT make the PROBLEM go away. A dealership has the legal clout to really, at least, make life extremely inconvenient. The only given here is the reality that avoiding the issue ( i.e. refusing to at least find out what they want ) can only result in further turmoil and perhaps a costly legal battle. Find out what they want. If, at that point, the poster feels it isn't legitimate, THEN ask to be placed on a do not call list. But, to assume they want something illicit and to suggest she not, at least, be informed of what is happening on their end is misguided at best. To the best of my recollection, you always advise people to be informed---and be prepared ( remember the requisitioning of DISPATCH logs for TRAFFIC COURT??) I am, quite frankly, shocked you apparently do not see the wisdom in at least being aware of what the nature of the grievance is BEFORE attempting to have the calls stopped.
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Old 08-02-2007, 11:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses

Let me start by saying I appreciate such prompt and honest responses. There’s always something to be learned from a lively discussion and I respect everyone’s opinions (otherwise I would not have posted here in the first place). Of course there are more details – there always are to any issue. But in the interest of remaining brief Grace is correct, I did omit many details. The dealership was not “misrepresenting” the car as new – I just thought it was amusing, not illegal, that they couldn’t decide how to label the car verbally. I don’t react well to intimidation and the staff I dealt with that day were intimidating. I never said that was illegal – bothersome and upsetting to me, but certainly not illegal. It’s their job to get the best deal that they can for their dealership. I understand that – no problem. I pursued the deal for the car with this dealership because I LOVE the car and could not find another with the options I wanted in the color I wanted within 50 miles of my house. Just as an example – I know Corvette owners who have driven over 100 miles to get the model / color / options they desire (not that I bought a Corvette). I know for a fact that the trade-in was paid off and that the title was released to the dealership – I have proof of both. So, for the moment I have contacted (in writing) both the dealership and the manufacturer requesting that the dealership stop calling and to write to me if they need anything further. Does that make me sound a bit paranoid? Maybe – it goes back to the intimidation is all I can say and I see no reason to judge my personality in this forum. I am not thinking the problem will go away – I just want it in writing since I do not trust them (just a gut feeling). We are on the do not call list already – however, one of the exceptions to that list is that if you’re involved in a business transaction with the caller the “do not call list” protection does not apply. Thank you both for responding.
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dezirrae View Post
Let me start by saying I appreciate such prompt and honest responses. There’s always something to be learned from a lively discussion and I respect everyone’s opinions (otherwise I would not have posted here in the first place). Of course there are more details – there always are to any issue. But in the interest of remaining brief Grace is correct, I did omit many details. The dealership was not “misrepresenting” the car as new – I just thought it was amusing, not illegal, that they couldn’t decide how to label the car verbally. I don’t react well to intimidation and the staff I dealt with that day were intimidating. I never said that was illegal – bothersome and upsetting to me, but certainly not illegal. It’s their job to get the best deal that they can for their dealership. I understand that – no problem. I pursued the deal for the car with this dealership because I LOVE the car and could not find another with the options I wanted in the color I wanted within 50 miles of my house. Just as an example – I know Corvette owners who have driven over 100 miles to get the model / color / options they desire (not that I bought a Corvette). I know for a fact that the trade-in was paid off and that the title was released to the dealership – I have proof of both. So, for the moment I have contacted (in writing) both the dealership and the manufacturer requesting that the dealership stop calling and to write to me if they need anything further. Does that make me sound a bit paranoid? Maybe – it goes back to the intimidation is all I can say and I see no reason to judge my personality in this forum. I am not thinking the problem will go away – I just want it in writing since I do not trust them (just a gut feeling). We are on the do not call list already – however, one of the exceptions to that list is that if you’re involved in a business transaction with the caller the “do not call list” protection does not apply. Thank you both for responding.
Knowledge is power, and knowing what it is they are calling about is not synonymous with allowing them to harass you. They will, no doubt, since you have asked, notify you in writing of the "issue", if it is important enough. My suggesting you discover the reason is NOT to appease them. It is to protect YOU if, in fact, the "issue" is legitimate.

No doubt, once the "word" filters down through the proverbial rank and file, the calls will cease.

I know how it is to have your eye on *just* the car you want. I felt that way about my convertible, and a truck I recently purchased, a 1980's model Ford F-150 Lightening truck that has been lowered and sits on chunky tires. I never really wanted a truck, but when I saw it, I just knew I had to have it. It has a sweet 302 high performance engine, Edelbrock four barrel with headers, Flowmasters, four speed with positive traction. We have a weakness for classics--we have a 1974 Satellite Sebring that is being restored into a '74 Roadrunner. So, I do understand enduring less than desirable car dealerships in an attempt at getting what you really and truly want. Sometimes, unfortunately, you have to "put up" with such--an unfortunate side of doing business.

Happy--and safe-- riding.
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Old 08-03-2007, 05:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dezirrae View Post
Let me start by saying I appreciate such prompt and honest responses. There’s always something to be learned from a lively discussion and I respect everyone’s opinions (otherwise I would not have posted here in the first place). Of course there are more details – there always are to any issue. But in the interest of remaining brief Grace is correct, I did omit many details. The dealership was not “misrepresenting” the car as new – I just thought it was amusing, not illegal, that they couldn’t decide how to label the car verbally. I don’t react well to intimidation and the staff I dealt with that day were intimidating. I never said that was illegal – bothersome and upsetting to me, but certainly not illegal. It’s their job to get the best deal that they can for their dealership. I understand that – no problem. I pursued the deal for the car with this dealership because I LOVE the car and could not find another with the options I wanted in the color I wanted within 50 miles of my house. Just as an example – I know Corvette owners who have driven over 100 miles to get the model / color / options they desire (not that I bought a Corvette). I know for a fact that the trade-in was paid off and that the title was released to the dealership – I have proof of both. So, for the moment I have contacted (in writing) both the dealership and the manufacturer requesting that the dealership stop calling and to write to me if they need anything further. Does that make me sound a bit paranoid? Maybe – it goes back to the intimidation is all I can say and I see no reason to judge my personality in this forum. I am not thinking the problem will go away – I just want it in writing since I do not trust them (just a gut feeling). We are on the do not call list already – however, one of the exceptions to that list is that if you’re involved in a business transaction with the caller the “do not call list” protection does not apply. Thank you both for responding.
You're welcome. And no, I don't think you're paranoid. You have a right not to be harrassed by a company you choose not to do business with.(Apologies in advance for any double negatives, bad syntax, etc. I'm tired.) As far as I can tell by your post, I don't see you currently in a business relationship with the dealership; that ended the minute they received clear title and any further persistent telephone calls from them should be reported, especially if you've notified them in writing to cease further contact. (Just my opinion, you may be much more patient that I'd be in such a situation.)

Hope the letters you've sent work for you. Good luck.
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