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On 12/22/2008, I went to Central KIA of Irving to look into purchasing a new 2007 KIA Rondo, Stock # 77027286 VIN that was advertised for sale at $11, 838. One of the reasons I wanted to go to Central KIA Irving was because they promised on their internet website “Value your trade” page that they “Also give $3000 for your trade regardless of it’s condition “ PUSH, PULL or TOW “ ! I own a 2001 KIA Sportage and I drove it onto the lot, it was not pushed, pulled or towed.
The salesman I talked to was Chris, not Chris DeLeon, “the other Chris.” I first asked him to appraise my trade in. Chris went out, checked the mileage, looked at the car, then went back to his cubicle to fill out an appraisal form. He told me my trade-in was only worth $500, at which time I pulled out a print out of the web page which said the trade in would be worth $3000 regardless of condition. Chris said he could not honor that because the price of the vehicle in question was so low. I told him there was no fine print or qualification on the web page ad, it said $3000, period. Chris suggested that I buy the car in question and sell my car on my own.
We turned next to the question of financing. I asked Chris to work up the numbers, he went to the finance officer and came back in a few minutes with a proposal to finance the deal at a 9.9% interest rate. I told him this was ridiculous. The website of Central KIA Irving also makes the claim “0% for sixty mths on almost all models.” I asked Chris why he wasn’t giving me 0% and again he said it was because of the type of car being sold and its price.
I told Chris I was not interested in the deal, and left the dealership without even seeing the vehicle I had come to purchase.
It is important to say that during the entire time I was there, Chris acted in a courteous and professional manner. At no time was he rude or pushy, as is the case with many Central KIA employees, at least if what you see on the internet is correct. The other Central KIA Irving employees I talked to, Chris DeLeon and Carla, were courteous as well. I have no complaints about the way they talked to me.
I was contacted by Carla from the dealership the next day who asked why I had not purchased the vehicle, and I told her it was because the dealership did not honor their advertisement on the web site to pay $3000 for my trade in, and because the interest rate offered was insulting. Carla talked with the general manager and the website ad was later modified. I still have a copy of the original web page and can forward it if an e-mail address is provided. Carla later called me again and said that the GM of the dealership had said that if that was what was said on their website ($3000 trade in) they had to honor it. I told Carla that was fine, but I needed an e-mail to that effect before I would make the drive out there again. Carla said that she understood, as she knew where Little Elm was and how far it was from Irving. I did not hold my breath waiting for such an e-mail, and in fact no such e-mail was ever received. The GM no doubt decided it was better to take a hit from KIA consumer affairs rather than to sell his 2007 KIA Rondo at such a huge loss.
Central KIA of Irving’s deceptive advertising cost me a couple of hours of my time and a few tanks of gas, but such deceptive tactics may be costing KIA Motors America much more, as potential customers may be angered by such misleading advertising and choose to go with a different make of car entirely.