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I bought a car, but…

Returned it the next day.

The car dealership ran a hard credit check on me, even though I had paid the full amount in cash. The lies that occurred during the negotiation process and the next day (when I inquired about the credit check) led me to no longer want their business.

Future car owners: here are the lies for your educational and entertainment purposes.

Note: the dialogue was over the span of two days.

1. Dealership: a credit check is necessary to confirm that you are not terrorist. We are required to run this in compliance with the US Patriot Act.

Me: I read through the Patriot Act. It says no such action is necessary for car purchases.

2. Dealership: the credit check is a soft inquiry only, not a hard inquiry.

Me: I received an email immediately after I left the dealership that a hard credit check had been run.

3. Dealership: You’re right. The Patriot Act isn’t necessary. This is actually a company policy. We’ve been burned too many times where people have stolen our cars without paying.

Me: Do you have this on paper, that it is company policy?

Dealership: Yes.

Me: I’d like to see it.

*Ten minutes later.*

Dealership: Here’s the company policy.

*Three sentences on company letterhead, describing company policy that credit checks are necessary when paying with personal checks.*

Me: You obviously typed and printed this out just now. This was never on paper.

Dealership: You’re right, we did. We just need to protect ourselves, sorry.

4. Dealership: Credit checks are required for car purchases surpassing $10,000.

Me: That is only true when financing is required, or if payment is conducted with a personal check in the full amount.

5. Dealership: We thought you were going to pay with a personal check and had to run a credit check.

Me: One of the first things I said when discussing numbers was, “I will pay in cash in full. I do not have any checks on me, my checkbook is in Southern California.”

Dealership: Sorry, there was some sort of miscommunication.

6. Dealership: You had given us authorization to run a credit check on you.

Me: You’re right. I was reassured by the salesperson that this was a soft inquiry, because I was paying with cash, yet obliged with a soft credit check under the impression that this was in compliance of the US Patriot Act.

7. Dealership: We didn’t mean to run a hard check. It was supposed to be a soft check, but we were so busy and handed the task to the sales manager who accidentally ran two reports, making it a hard check.

Me: You will have this reversed.

Dealership: We can’t. You have to write the credit unions to file a complaint against us. If we do not reply to those complaints, which we won’t, then the credit checks will be removed.

Me: You will provide me with the unions’ contact information, and draft the full email complaint for me.

8. Dealership: If you’re so concerned about your credit score, why not just finance the car to build credit? Your credit score is excellent, so I’ve gotten the manager to approve a financing rate of 1.99%. You can pay it off in full the next month.

Me: You’re trying to offer me financing options when I’ve already paid the vehicle in its full amount?

Dealership: It’s only $20.

It’s not so much the credit check that bothered me, but all the lies that surrounded the inquiry.

The dealership is called Oak Tree Mazda, part of the Del Grande Dealer Group (DGDG).


1 Comment so far

  1. Pingback: 8 things I learned from buying a used car. | Andy Cheng

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