I have similar bait and switch stories at auto dealers. My response is to write scathing Yelp reviews, and tell all my friends and family why they should never do business with them under any circumstances.Well, I almost became a Clarity owner not once, but three times. Unfortunately, it seems that most East Coast Honda dealers make Kia dealers look like the pinnacle of integrity and service.
We already own a Pacifica Hybrid which is awesome. I am a big fan of PHEVs.
I started out by completing an online purchase of a Grey Touring from Honda of Babylon, NY. They took my credit app, everything was approved, they scheduled delivery. I had a question about out of state registration. 1st yellow flag was when it was nearly impossible to talk live to a sales rep or manager, calls never returned. By now, I had bought an Amtrak ticket and ordered a set of Tuxmats for my new ride. The evening before I finally got hold of a human who says, "oh, sorry that car was sold". I continue getting confirmation texts and emails for delivery. I call the guy back and he says, "sorry, it's sold, I guess you should go complain to Bill Gates". Similar, but not quite as bad with another NY dealer. Third dealer in NJ advertises a "new" 2018. I call and they confirm that it is indeed a new vehicle. Price is discounted as one might expect of a leftover. I said I will be there in the morning. They take a deposit to hold it and send me sales order which shows vehicle as "new", but with 30k miles. Huh? I call back as this mKesno sense. "oh yes, it is an exec demo that we are selling g as a CPO". They have also already claimed the tax credits. I tell them that this is not a new vehicle and to please refund my deposit. They say they will do so tomorrow after it "clears". Days later, "the woman who handles refunds was out and will take care of it today". A few more days pass, I file dispute with credit card company.
I am now looking at used ones. Those make no sense even with low miles. Take away the tax credit and a 3 year old model still costs more than a new one.
I finally find some white base models at more reputable dealers. Lots of white bases. I consider these, I could live with the base although I really wanted the Touring package. More importantly, I generally do not like white cars or tan interiors. One dealer had a black base but was adding $2k in junk fees. I realized I will not be satisfied with the compromises so, after another week of searching, my visions of Clarity ownership came to an end. Anybody want to buy a set of Tuxmats, still in unopened box?
This story does have a happy ending, albeit without a Honda. Today I picked up a very different, low mileage PHEV with CPO warranty. Cost about the same as a new Clarity Touring although I lose the tax credits and have less EV range. Still, I am thrilled with it so perhaps it was meant to be. Here is a Pic of my new ride!
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I bought my two Chevy Bolts from a dealer that's 20 miles away, even though there are several that are closer. The closer dealers lied to me, directly, on the phone, when asked specifically if the vehicle in question was on the lot. They were not, and the salespeople didn't even try to come up with an excuse, they simply shrugged their shoulders and tried to direct me to a completely different vehicle that they did have in stock. Not acceptable, and I let them know (and anybody else in the vicinity with ears) what I thought of their slimy and dishonest business practices, as my wife and I stormed out.
Not all auto dealers are lying slimeballs, but because of those that are (a majority, in my opinion), that general reputation is deserved.