Hi Joe,I'd like to like to bring to light some shady car sales practices going on at Frederick Ford in Seaford, DE. My wife and I (who live in MD) attempted to purchase a used car from them on 3/2/13. We were a little leery on getting the vehicle that we were looking at because it was being sold for a few thousand below its retail value (I know that we may have simply been getting lucky, but there's also a chance something was wrong or had happened to it). Anyhow, we established a deal contingent upon the vehicle passing MD inspection (since it was being sold in DE, it obviously didn't have MD inspection). First off, we were surprised that there weren't offering right off the bat to have it inspected. They were originally going to make us get it inspected on our own after the sale, but I explained that I didn't want to do that if there was a chance that we'd run into problems and need to get something fixed. The sales manager then informed the that he guaranteed that there wasn't a problem with the vehicle and that it'd pass with no problems. He said that they would pick up the vehicle from us on Monday (3/4) for the inspection. So after that, my wife filled out the typical paperwork, we were sent on our way, and they let us take the new vehicle home. However, the sales manager did not want to give us any copies of the paperwork until after everything was situated. We thought that was strange, but since we never dealt with a dealership in Delaware. we thought that it might just be how they do things. So almost a week later (3/8) and after a big run around, they finally came to pick the vehicle up for the inspection. That evening, I received a voicemail advising that the new vehicle failed the inspection and was going to need a new windshield. They said that they would try to make arrangements to have it replaced this past Monday (3/11) and they would call back with details and to confirm...but they never called back. Late Monday afternoon, they called advising that if we brought the vehicle to them soon, they could have the work done. At this point, my wife and I were already at work, so that was not going to happen. Another message was then left stating that it could be brought in on Tuesday. I chose to take Tuesday (3/12) off from work, but at this point, I had decided to just scrap the entire deal (which I would be entitled to do since the vehicle didn't pass the inspection).
Prior to leaving my house, I had called Frederick Ford and left a message for the sales manager that I was coming up there with the new vehicle and asked to have our old vehicle ready so that we could exchange them back. Once I got there, the sales manager greeted me and asked if I got his voicemail advising that the windshield would have to be taken care of on Wednesday. I hadn't received this message, and at this point we getting really annoyed with all of this running around and dragging things out. I had asked him if he received my message that I was coming and intended to swap vehicles back and he told me that he did not. He tried informing me that the deal was done, and that there was nothing that we could do. I inquired as to how the deal was done, since the inspection hadn't passed & they did not have the title. Additionally, I informed him that the old vehicle was registered to both my wife & I. In order for a vehicle in registered in MD to be sold if it is registered in two names, is if both parties sign off on it. I never signed off on the "permission to trade" form, and neither of us have signed the title (please note, as I had mentioned earlier, they do not have the title, we still have it in out possession). At this point, I asked where the old vehicle was, since I hadn't seen it when I drove around the lot prior to going inside the store. He informed me that they had already gotten rid of it. So now at this point, not only was the deal not actually done, since all of the required paperwork had not yet been taken care of, but they had gotten rid of a vehicle that they do not own.
I know that a lot of people are going to read this and leave comments about "buyer's remorse" and things like that, or call us stupid and everything else. But I just wanted to bring it to everyone's attention about the shady practices used by this dealership. As of the writing of this message, the issue has not yet been resolved, and I tentatively still have the new vehicle. I'll be sure to keep you posted on what happens if you're interested.