Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tom Smith Ford - Shady Business

A envelope came from Ford Motor Company yesterday asking about my experience with Tom Smith Ford. I thought the whole thing was past me but all of those distasteful memories were forced back up.

Let me start with the story. I bought a 2004 Ford Mustang back in 04. I bought it from Don Jenkins Ford in FV. When I considered trading my car in for an 08, I started to go there again. I had a pretty good deal worked out with Capital Ford and was going to use that as a starting point at Don Jenkins. Well, I was reminded by several people of Tom Smith's commercials about Jesus being the reason for the Christmas season. He has also on occasion spoken at my grandparent’s church so I figured I would go there. I value a man who has integrity and stands up for what he believes. I went there and despite the pushy atmosphere and badgering they gave me, I decided to work out a deal with them. The total price after tax tags and fees for the car was to be $14,373 (includes trade in and deposit). I agreed and asked them how much a month that would be. The told me and so at that point I shook his hand and said "you've got a deal."

Everything was good until I was switching my loan to my bank. I began to look for the total loan amount and did not find $14,373 anywhere. What they had done was extended the loan to 75 months so the monthly payments would remain the same but increased the total amount of the loan by OVER $2500 more then we agreed upon.

I could not believe a man who preaches Christianity and integrity would allow his company to do something like that. I called them back and they basically said I signed the paperwork therefore there wasn't much that could be done. At that point they said I was trying to pull something over on them and called me a dishonest person. Can you believe that? Even if they were right, one should never talk to the customer that way. Anyways, anyone who knows me that I enjoy a good deal but telling a lie to get something is not my character. Through out the entire experience I was insulted, belittled, called things and they refused to admit fault on their own. They ended taking off a small amount in the end with out admitting any "wrong" on their part but because they knew I was going to take them to court to have this settled.

What I've learned from the experience.
1) Tom Smith may be a nice guy but his business is as shady as a car dealership can get
2) Always work with old guys as they are less likely to bully and more likely to give you a better deal. Its called referral business and they know word of mouth travels far.
3) Always ask for something itemized and go over it carefully... even if you believe them to be an upstanding Christian. If you work something out while haggling, get it down on paper for leverage if they try to cheat you.

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