February 26, 2011|By The Bottom Line: Kevin Hunt
The added you know, Genni Poulton of Northford now realizes, the bigger the accord you’ll get on a car.
Poulton, unfortunately, didn’t apperceive abundant — not alike the auto archetypal she capital — aback she absolved into Barberino Nissan of Wallingford aftermost December. All she capital was a vehicle, either four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, that could accomplish it up her 150-foot driveway in this monster winter.
“I accurately told the salesman that I bare an all-wheel-drive or 4-by-4 vehicle,” she says. “He said he had alone three cartage for me to attending at and took me appropriate to the Rogue.”
Poulton, impressed, bought the 2008 Rouge S, a base-model bunched crossover SUV with 35,000 miles. The final price, including tax, was about $19,000. Her grandson, while active her to the airport the aing week, asked if the Rogue was all-wheel drive.
“Yes,” said Poulton.
Maybe not, he said. Without an “AWD” adumbration on the back, like added Rogues he had apparent online, did his grandmother accidentally acquirement a average two-wheel-drive agent that would be no bout for a slippery, albino driveway that slopes upward, ominously, against active Route 22?
“I had abounding anxiety apropos this deal,” she says, “with the coercion to aing the accord that day. The numbers were alteration … and now to acquisition that I do not accept the affectionate of agent that I anticipation I purchased has fabricated me feel that I was taken advantage of.”
Poulton, agitated and conceivably a bit embarrassed, didn’t alarm Barberino, as she should have. She contacted The Bottom Line, which again alleged John Mocaldo, Barberino Nissan’s accepted manager.
“It was never brought to my attention,” he said, “and every car bought actuality goes through me. If I had known, I would accept bought the agent aback and accustomed her addition one.”
Clearly, advice amid chump and banker was way off. Mocaldo arrive Poulton to acknowledgment the Rogue, no questions asked, for an all-wheel-drive model. That should accept concluded it, alone it didn’t.
Poulton, whose acclaim appraisement alone afterwards a contempo divorce, said she was told she ability not authorize for a accommodation on the added big-ticket AWD Rogue. If she alternate the two-wheel-drive Rogue, again didn’t authorize for the new loan, she feared the achievability of not accepting a car.
So Poulton, who works in the accounting administration of a women’s accouterment manufacturer, kept the two-wheel-drive Rogue.
“It’s important for everybody to be absolute acute aback affairs a car,” says the AAA’s Jim MacPherson, columnist of “AAA Auto Guide: Affairs or Leasing a Car.” “People accomplish mistakes. Sometimes they’re not awful or intentional. But sometimes one party’s interests are served added than the other’s.”
Be prepared. Apperceive what agent you appetite and the appearance you need. If it’s a acclimated car, ysis its history with a Carfax address (www.carfax.com) and its amount at Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com). Here’s the catchy allotment if you’re affairs a new car: Finding out the dealer’s amount and, based on that information, authoritative an offer.
Start by accepting the balance amount and accessible rebates from chargeless online sources like Edmunds.com, CarsDirect.com or Yahooautos.com. You’ll again accept quotes with an balance amount and sticker price, or MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price).
Each of these prices includes a congenital banker profit, or “hold back,” of up to 3 percent from the manufacturer. The article is to actuate the dealer’s absolute cost, which would be the balance amount additional destination accuse bare the authority back.
Make your best deal, again apprehend (and re-read) the contract.
In one case, says MacPherson, a woman agreed to a arrangement handwritten by a salesman.
“When she came aback in,” he says, “they said they capital a neater contract. It angry out the car was in stock, but it [and the new contract] didn’t accept one allotment she wanted, antilock brakes. But you’re apprenticed by the best contempo contract.”
In Poulton’s case, says Bill Seymour of the accompaniment Administration of Motor Agent Department, “If the retail acquirement adjustment identifies the agent as AWD, we would be able to abetment as a Connecticut Unfair Trades Practice violation. If it is not articular as, or there is no specific acknowledgment of, AWD, the customer purchased the agent identified.”
Poulton after arrested the contract, and the agent identification number, to affirm her Rogue was not all-wheel drive.
“A huge assignment learned,” she says. “I abiding should accept acclimated a guide, shouldn’t I? No breeze decisions aback affairs a car you apperceive annihilation about. The big snowstorm was a daydream — the car got ashore in the average of the driveway. Added than that, I do like the car. I aloof achievement we don’t get any added snow!”
Send your customer complaints, questions, tips and suggestions to [email protected] Please accommodate The Bottom Line or TBL in the accountable field. Or alarm 860-241-6455.
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