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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this in a Yahoo discussion group as well-

Here's our story,...

We decided not to deal with a particular dealership in NY (let's
call them 'A'), because they weren't returning phone calls and
were very short when we would finally get someone on the
phone. This was after giving a deposit. Besides, another dealer
(let's call them 'B') was later able to offer options that dealer 'A'
swore were unavailable, and offer a much better deal.

I had reluctantly put a deposit down with dealership 'A', because I
prematurely believed them with regards to what options were
supposedly available in our region of the country. After we
eventually ran across dealer 'B', who is actually able to give us
what we want, and in a much, much shorter time, I immediately
went to dealership 'A' to have my name taken off their list and
have my deposit returned to me.

Here we are, 23 days and many 'finger-pointing' phone calls
later... I am still waiting for my deposit to be returned to my credit
card. I am trying very hard to remain polite, but I believe this is
way too long to wait for a deposit to be returned, especially since
dealer 'A' made it clear that deposits are returned with no
questions asked, should someone change their mind about
ordering a vehicle. They told me it takes about 72 hours to return
my $$$, but next week will make an entire month.

Anyone run across this nonsense??????
 

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I haven't had that kind of experience. However, here are some things to look at:
1. Did the contract you signed when putting your deposit down specifically state that the refund was refundable with no questions asked?
2. If the contract is on your side, contact your credit card company. They may be able to help.
3. Contact your local Better Business Bureau and file a complaint against the dealer.

If, however, the contract didn't state that the deposit was refundable, and you only took the word of the sales person, you may be out your deposit. Look closely at your paperwork. And, good luck...
 

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Call Toyota Corporate. They don't like dealerships giving them black eyes.

I had a problem with my local dealer who wanted a 20% markup over MSRP on a Hybrid Highlander. $8,000 would have gone directly into his pocket, in addition to the profit they make from Toyota. But I was number ONE on their list (and ONLY their list) and waited 2 years until he told me about the level of screwing I was going to get from him. There were about 200 other schmucks on the list, so what did he care if I dropped off the face of the earth? Even if 50% of the rest of the people dropped off, he alread had sales to last 5 years!

So I complained to corporate who directed me to, of all people, the "Customer Relations" rep for my area. I recognized the phone number, so the 1st question I asked they guy was "Who signs your paycheck?" It was the very dealership I was complaining about!! So I saved time and hung up after politely asking him give my salesman a bear hug.

I called Toyota back, this time insisting that they escalate the matter. I now had TWO things to complain about, one of them being themselves for having directed me to the other fox in the henhouse. I got a call back from someone a bit higher up the chain who asked 1st if I was having any trouble getting my deposit refunded. I hadn't even tried yet because I wasn't sure what I was going to do. They're still calling me with the 1st right of refusal as Highlanders came in the lot. (If they drop their markup to about zero, I might decide to get one.)

If you're still with me, my advice is to call corporate. The person answering the call will assign you a case number. As SOON as they do, ask politely for the case to be escalated. If they suggest that you should 1st call the "Cust. Relations" guy who plays golf with the person holding on to your cash, tell them thanks but no thanks.

On my case, I spoke with Chad Convis, who was as professional as they come.
 

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Dealership slow to refund deposit

You live in New York, contact Elliot Spitzer's office--they have a form on their website. Copy it and send a copy to Toyota's main office too.
Good luck!
I ended up going with my second choice of dealers because my local dealer insisted on a $1000 deposit just to be put on a waiting list (this was in Feb of 04) and then told me that I wouldn't get one until November at the earliest. I said no thanks, went online and found a better dealer in New Jersey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
deposit situation

Thanks for the suggestions and sharing of experiences. After posting, I immediately went to the Better Business Bureau's website. I filled out a complaint online and submitted it. While there, I was able to see what other complaints have been filed against this dealership. There was one other complaint about the exact same refund issue, but against their car auction dept.

About my paperwork, it says that within 5 days after being notified that the vehicle is ready, I must either accept delivery, or forfeit my deposit to offset their damages. I was told in person, on numerous occasions that the deposit would be returned within 72 hours. In fact, every single dealer we visited has stated that the deposit is fully refundable, with no questions asked. These guys are just sitting on my money and giving the run-around.

In addition, they told me that it'd be a 4 month wait for the vehicle, while dealers further away were giving 4-6 week wait times, so I cancelled after only 2 weeks.
 

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Did they cash the check? Mine held the check, strangely enough, and when I asked for the deposit back, they gave me the original check. So, check your bank statement. If check never cashed, stop payment.
 

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chuxter_1 said:
Here we are, 23 days and many 'finger-pointing' phone calls later... I am still waiting for my deposit to be returned to my credit card.
Looks like the transaction was on a credit card, not a check.
 

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Be sure to send a written letter to your credit card company right away, contesting the charge. Explain the circumstances in the bill. Hopefully, you're still within the period for contesting. If so, that should temporarily remove the charge from your bill. I know it's been 23 days since you asked for the refund, but the CC company will count from when the deposit was first posted to your account. You might need to send monthly letters to the CC company reminding them that the charge is still contested, so that they'll continue to temporarily remove the charge from each month's bill.

Good luck.
 

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Re: deposit situation

chuxter_1 said:
About my paperwork, it says that within 5 days after being notified that the vehicle is ready, I must either accept delivery, or forfeit my deposit to offset their damages.
I can understand such a clause for a vehicle that was slow moving, but not a Prius. A Prius can be sold almost instantly. If they charge a premium for the Prius, they certainly don't need to, and should not keep anyone's deposit. After all, the one accepting such a premium charge already covered your deposit (wasn't it nice of them?).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Again, thanks for the suggestions. I'm sure that the Better Business Bureau won't do too much, but it does put the situation out on public record for others to reference, which I'm sure the 'only TOYOTA dealership in MANHATTAN' would prefer not to be communicated to others.

The dealer actually told me that it wouldn't be a problem if I didn't want the car, because it's in such high demand. They were confident that they would sell any Prius that would arrive. If this is true, it really makes no sense to drag their feet with returning money. I'm going to contact the cred. card company and find out what my options are. Hopefully this will be resolved quickly.
 

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What if you went to the dealership and stood in their lobby until you got the refund put back on your card?

Maybe if you got a little irate in front of their potential customers they might change their tune.

Something along the lines of "Gee, <insert rival dealer's name here> never screws their customers like this!!!" spoken loudly should get you some attention.

I think you've waited long enough and been as nice as anyone could expect.


DGStan
 

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dgstan said:
What if you went to the dealership and stood in their lobby until you got the refund put back on your card?

Maybe if you got a little irate in front of their potential customers they might change their tune.

Something along the lines of "Gee, <insert rival dealer's name here> never screws their customers like this!!!" spoken loudly should get you some attention.

I think you've waited long enough and been as nice as anyone could expect.


DGStan
You sound very much like me. I try to be tolerant, but have found that public humiliation is a great motivator.
 

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I, too put down a $1000 deposit on a Prius with a credit card (I'm not sure why a $500 deposit wouldn't have been sufficient!).

After waiting nearly 2 weeks, I found another dealer that had the exact options (#4) and color on the car that I wanted. To make sure I bought from them, they lowered the price by $600 (includes trade-in).

Then I went back to the original dealer and asked for my deposit returned. It wasn't a problem, except they made me wait nearly an hour for a transaction that should have taken 2 minutes. :roll:
 

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Call your Credit Card Company. When a merchant signs the agreement, they grant the CCC 'full recourse' to settle disputes.

What this means is that you tell your CC there's a problem, and then your CCC pulls the money from the merchant's account, and *then* calls them up to find out what the problem is.

I had to do this when it was taking three months and a whole bunch of excuses for Toy of M to refund cost of a service I wasn't satisfied with. After three months, American Express jumped in and had it resolved in an hour :)
 
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