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Here's an overview of the letter I will be sending my dealer via fax sometime tomorrow - any suggested changes or comments will be appreciated. Others might want to firm up their deals before the dealers get their cars - hind sight 20/20!! :brentil:


August 13, 2005

Re: First 1000 – 2006 Pontiac Solstice
Vin # 1G2 MB33 B1 6Y000307

Dear Dealer:

First, I would like to say that I am very disappointed to be writing this letter and it is genuinely my desire to have an expeditious and pleasant resolution to this matter.

For months, my wife and I have been filled with excitement in anticipation of receiving our new 2006 Pontiac Solstice. As you are aware, I have stopped by your dealership numerous times to discuss the status and progress of this program. I will give credit to both you and your staff for always being extremely kind and helpful, and I have enjoyed getting to know you through this process.

That being said, I am seriously disturbed by your representations to me during our telephone conversation yesterday afternoon. More specifically, I am appalled that you would attempt to blackmail us into purchasing over $2,000.00 (+) in unwanted aftermarket products and services in order for us to keep our Solstice purchase price at the previously agreed upon GM sticker price, whatever that may be.

From my perspective, this is not only unethical, illegal, against GM and Pontiac’s wishes and policies, but it is also a clear and unambiguous attempt of consumer fraud. Rest assured, if you continue in this path, I will not stop until Governor Swartzeneger and all other parties associated with Assembly Bill 68 are advised about you and your dealerships tactics as well as GM, Pontiac, and all others in our community.

For now, I will hope this is all a big misunderstanding which can be resolved on Monday.

At this time, I would like to be clear as to where we stand from our perspective. To date, we have provided you with a $2,000.00 deposit toward the purchase of our Solstice and we intent to complete the transaction by paying the full GM sticker price as previously agreed. I say, our Solstice, as this car was specifically built for us, not your dealership.

I am furthermore instructing you and all other parties associated with your dealership NOT to alter our car in any way! Do not add any aftermarket products! Do not add any protections, coatings, locks, disabling devises, alarms, transmitters, or anything else! If you or your dealership alter our car in any way, we will file charges for vandalism and we will prosecute this matter.

I need your written agreement to complete this transaction at the previously agreed GM sticker price no later than Monday, August 15, 2006 at 4:00PM. Otherwise, I will start my public campaign. Please fax your response to 123-456-7899.

Sincerely,

USA
 

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Sounds good, not sure how the vandalism will fly since the car is in their care until the papers are signed
 

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Take the comma out after "I say," and put "our Solstice" in single quotes:

I say 'our Solstice,' as this car was specifically built for us, not your dealership.
Good luck with your endeavor. But remember, since this car is of such high demand I wouldn't second guess the thought that they could just tell you to F-off and then sell your car to somebody else for 2 grand over sticker. Actually since you're first 1000 I don't know how that goes. However, I plan on laying down a few rules as well, but I myself am always aware of the fact that there are plenty of others in town that would love my car just as much as me. I also know that they know that and could easily take advantage of it if they felt I was being too much of a prick.

And Grad; whether his law suits would hold water or not, any mention of sueing can work as a good scare tactic (on the right dealer/dealership).
 

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USA Millionaire said:
Rest assured, if you continue in this path, I will not stop until Governor Swartzeneger and all other parties associated with Assembly Bill 68 are advised about you and your dealerships tactics as well as GM, Pontiac, and all others in our community.
I would probably pull the governor's name and state that you will pursue the matter with the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Attorney General's office, since those would both be valid approaches. Realistically, even if you could get the governor's ear, I doubt anybody in his office would be the ones to actually take any action. You definitely want it to sound that you know what you're talking about and not just dropping big names.

USA Millionaire said:
If you or your dealership alter our car in any way, we will file charges for vandalism and we will prosecute this matter.
I think I would get rid of that sentence also. Regardless of whether it was done with your permission, there is no way you could get any kind of vandalism charges filed for something you do not own yet. Police would laugh and refer you to civil court. Again, you don't want to appear to be just blowing smoke.
 

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Make sure you copy all the parties mentioned in the Letter. This lets the dealership know you are very serious. They will cooperate immediately after knowing you copied the world. Don't forget to copy your local city officials. They hate shady car dealerships.
 

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ntouched said:
Make sure you copy all the parties mentioned in the Letter. This lets the dealership know you are very serious. They will cooperate immediately after knowing you copied the world. Don't forget to copy your local city officials. They hate shady car dealerships.

Millioniare, I agree with several comments above about being less specific about "vandalism". Your attorney will know the best approach. Either consult him/her or be less specific (I will persue legal means blah blah). Be sure to document the transmittal process by sending the letter registered, certified or whatever establishes a legal paper trail (this is the main point of this post). I don't suggest that you do anything other than you plan but another course of action could be to take delivery and get the Sol in your posession ( I agree the car was made for you and not them and you have a very good point there) then put them on notice that you are taking action regarding their questionable practices. At least you get "your" car and then are gambling a couple of grand. Just a thought.
 

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USA Millionaire said:

I need your written agreement to complete this transaction at the previously agreed GM sticker price no later than Monday, August 15, 2006 at 4:00PM. Otherwise, I will start my public campaign. Please fax your response to 123-456-7899.

Sincerely,

USA


Better change this to August 15, 2005 before you send it.
 

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My sympathy.

Having dealt with dealers over the years and having been burned by "dealer add-ons" (some even at the last minute - such as "$200 dealer document fee surcharge" - which I negotiated down to $0 by literally walking out the door) - I have learned that it is best to remove any emotion from the transaction by asking up front exactly what the dealer costs are, including add-ons and fees.

The most effective method of securing such business transactions is to approach it as a negotiation - by getting all the facts up front and then either accept what the dealers conditions are, negotiate to a mutually acceptable point, or to simply walk away with a clear understanding of what it will take to return you to the table.

Also, it often pays to deal directly with the most senior level official at the dealership. And actually, one of the best purchases I have made from a car dealer has been on-line - with no in-person contact until the vehicle was ready to be picked up. Since everything was in writing (e-mail) from the start, there was never any misunderstanding or any "secret" charges. I even used a credit card for the initial down payment.

Good luck.
 

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USA,
Here's my edit for your letter. I hope you find the changes beneficial, as you really don't want to make assumptions or be overtly threatening. Just factual.



First, I would like to say that I am very disappointed to be writing this letter and it is genuinely my desire to have an expeditious and pleasant resolution to this matter.

For months, my wife and I have been filled with excitement in anticipation of receiving our new 2006 Pontiac Solstice. As you are aware, I have stopped by your dealership numerous times to discuss the status and progress of this program. I will give credit to both you and your staff for always being extremely kind and helpful, and I have enjoyed getting to know you through this process.

That being said, I am extremely dismayed by your representations to me during our telephone conversation yesterday afternoon. Specifically, I find it appalling that you would attempt to load over $2,000.00 worth of unwanted aftermarket products and services onto the agreed upon purchase order.

From my perspective, this is not only unethical, illegal, and against GM’s wishes and policies, but it is also a clear attempt of consumer fraud. Please know that I will take action and inform all parties associated with Assembly Bill 68, if you persist in this direction.

Therefore, I am instructing you and all other parties associated with your dealership not to alter the car in any way. Do not add any aftermarket products, protections, coatings, locks, disabling devises, alarms, or transmitters.

Again, I would like to be clear as to where my wife and I stand. To date, we have provided you with a $2,000.00 deposit toward the purchase of our Solstice and we intend to complete the transaction by paying the full GM sticker price as previously agreed.

I do hope this is a misunderstanding which can be resolved.

I will need your written agreement to complete this transaction at the previously agreed GM sticker price by 4:00pm today, August 15, 2005.
Please fax your response to 123-456-7899.

Sincerely,

USA
 

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dealer fraud

Way to go millionaire, having lived in the Golden State and dealing with several dealers trying to add on extras I can commiserate with you. I walked away from a deal that I truely wanted for that very reason..I guess the dealer thinks because of the uniqueness and scarcity of the Solstice he has you by the short hairs. I say stick to your guns. California does have some very consumer friendly laws. Here it is "buyer be ware"!
 

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the laws in each state differ. but I went through a similar thing once with a "hot" car I had ordered. I contacted a lawyer - bottom line, if your contract for the car has a specific VIN number - you are in good shape, its a contract for a specific car, and when that specific car comes in, you have to get it. if the dealer sells it to someone else, you've got them. however, if you have a contract and a price for just any car - not a specific one with a VIN - the dealer does not have to sell you an identically equipped car that they receive. it may be unethical, but you don't have a leg to stand on.

based on what I see in your "letter" - you have a VIN, I assume its on some official piece of paper associated with the contract. if so, then you simply need to tell them you have a contract at price X for specific car Y. if they don't honor it, it goes to civil court. contact a lawyer.
 

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solli4me said:
First, I would like to say that I am very disappointed to be writing this letter and it is genuinely my desire to have an expeditious and pleasant resolution to this matter.

For months, my wife and I have been filled with excitement in anticipation of receiving our new 2006 Pontiac Solstice. As you are aware, I have stopped by your dealership numerous times to discuss the status and progress of this program. I will give credit to both you and your staff for always being extremely kind and helpful, and I have enjoyed getting to know you through this process.

That being said, I am extremely dismayed by your representations to me during our telephone conversation yesterday afternoon. Specifically, I find it appalling that you would attempt to load over $2,000.00 worth of unwanted aftermarket products and services onto the agreed upon purchase order.

From my perspective, this is not only unethical, illegal, and against GM’s wishes and policies, but it is also a clear attempt of consumer fraud. Please know that I will take action and inform all parties associated with Assembly Bill 68, if you persist in this direction.

Therefore, I am instructing you and all other parties associated with your dealership not to alter the car in any way. Do not add any aftermarket products, protections, coatings, locks, disabling devises, alarms, or transmitters.

Again, I would like to be clear as to where my wife and I stand. To date, we have provided you with a $2,000.00 deposit toward the purchase of our Solstice and we intend to complete the transaction by paying the full GM sticker price as previously agreed.

I do hope this is a misunderstanding which can be resolved.

I will need your written agreement to complete this transaction at the previously agreed GM sticker price by 4:00pm today, August 15, 2005.
Please fax your response to 123-456-7899.

USA
:agree: I think that's a better approach. If you get too aggressive and confrontational from the start, human nature will take over and he is more likely to become defensive instead of trying to soothe a customer who is starting to get irate.

I do think that I would still mention (in paragraph 4) that you will "pursue the matter with the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Attorney General" if your dispute is not resolved. Those agencies can impose a lot of control over their industry and if they realize you know who to contact, it may provide some extra incentive to work things out with you.

Also, in the last paragraph, I would probably add that "I hope to receive confirmation of your agreement so that I do not have to resort to do anything which might damage your dealersip's good name." It shows your intent to take action, but also gives the impression that you are not looking to drag their name through the mud needlessly. You also don't want to end too softly so that they assume you will walk away from the car if they don't come through.

And again, keep in mind that if what they are doing is illegal, the government agencies set up to police the industry is going to be the best way to get action. For instance, I once had an engine replaced by a mechanic who told me that it would be $1000 (used engine) after all was said and done. Then, he proceeded to drag it out for a month and said that the first engine he got did not work so he needed to replace it with another. I was already fuming because of the time it took, but then he tried to charge $1500 and refused to give me my car for our original (verbal) agreement. Some people probably would have just agreed and then tried to sue the dealer or something at their own expense. But I knew my rights, so I left and went down to the Clerk of Courts and after I paid them $1500 (total amount of the bill) into a form of escrow, they issued an order to release the car into my possession and if the mechanic wanted his money, he would have to sue me for it and the funds would be paid from the money I gave to the courthouse. So I went back with an order for him to give me my car and if he did not comply, a sheriff's deputy would be dispatched to enforce the order. He handed me my keys and I fully expected that he would sue and get his $1000 and that I would get my extra $500 back. But it turns out he never bothered to sue (I have no idea why) at all, so my entire $1500 was returned to me after 60 days (maybe 90). So I even ended up getting a free engine replacement, which was not at all my intent. I considered going back and giving the guy the $1000 after the fact, but he was such a jerk and screwed me around in so many ways (much more to the story than you see here), that I decided not to. At any rate, my point is to use the facilities the government has in place for such things and don't waste your time with lawsuits if there is already a better solution in place. Take the time to call the Consumer Affairs office and find out. And let us know what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks to everyone for your impute. I am still trying to decide exactly how to proceed. I'm certain that I can take actions to prevent the dealer from acting in this manner, but I have a problem with NOT taking action to prevent the dealership from using these tactics on others. Its kind of my thing to be concerned about consumer issues even if it sacrifices my time & resources.

I'll definitely let you know how things get resolved. I don't plan to pay for any additional charges & I will make that clear to the dealer. I guess where I take it from there depends upon the dealers actions. I am going to try and stay out of a battle because once I start fighting, it becomes an all out war -Time with my family is more important than the war - been there too many times before. At the end of the day, sometimes even when you win, you loose. (Its just a car!!)

Thanks again - live is too good to let others ruin your days - smile, be happy, & give thanks daily that we live in such a great county!!

USA
 

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You don't have to put in the letter, but can use in verbal if they do anything is that certainly the result of your successful suit against them will be that they have to remoave anything they added, at their cost.



GMlinedog, linedog, you two should meet.
 

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Personally, I would hope that "IF" Pontiac truely monitors this forum and are
interested in how their dealers are representing Pontiac that they would be
interested in fixing this problem with the dealership network. Or have some avenue of reporting things like this. Rather than ignoring it take some action.

This is the MAJOR reason why I'm waiting. I would love to have the Solstice but if this is what I need to deal with then the Sky and new Mazda become options.

Allanon
 

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USA, you could always take VaprTrl's offer up of MSRP in NC on #74?, was it?(as he retreated from all he could get)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've talked with VaprTrl's several times - So far, he has not been willing to sell the car to me at MSRP - his latest offer was $27K, which I turned down. He did agree to look into some things & we agreed to talk again on Monday.

It'll cost me between $1,200 to $1,500 to ship it from NC to California which gets me close to what my car will cost in CA, even if I had to pay the extra's. If you know of a cheaper way to get it to CA, let me know - Maybe someone from the Forum would be willing to go to NC, pick it up & drive to CA. Of course, I have approved that theory with the wife - just thinking out loud.

I plan to visit with my CA dealer tomorrow & talk to NC tomorrow. I'll update as things progress.

USA
 
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