Herzog Meier / Scam and cheating
Let me start off by offering my condolences to the gentlemen who wrote this before me. Had I have known this site existed previously I would have written sooner and could have saved him the trouble.
My Story with Herzog began very similarly to the one you may have just read. I saw a posting for a used vehicle on Autotrader.com and was immediately intrigued. The listing was for a 2004 Nissan Maxima 6speed Manual transmission black exterior and black leather interior. The most important thing was the listing price, $15, 488.
I was completely interested in the vehicle after having no success at being able to find one in my resident state of California. So I contacted Barry a Sales Rep there and he assured me that they would hold the vehicle for me until I could take a flight out. I figured I'd be visiting family there anyway so why not go there and take a look. I arrived there first thing Saturday morning Memorial Day weekend and there was the car. Exactly how it was listed on the internet and in amazing condition. After learning that Barry wouldn't be in until the afternoon a very nice gentleman by the name of Nassir assisted me with the purchase of the car.
After the test drive I was sold. So then started the paperwork process. I figured that it wouldn't be too painful. I had relatively good credit, a well paying job, and a heftly down-payment. My plan was fail proof. After dealing with Nassir who was more than pleasant to work with, the Sales Manager stepped in. He came out from behind a booth and murdered the original deal. He started off first by questioning the price that was clearly advertised on Autotrader for $15, 488; then by suggesting a group of financing options that simply didn't fit my budget. The first of which had the car's monthly payment at well over five hundred dollars. I figured 12K in financing shouldn't cost $500 a month. After a brief session with the manager we were able to reach an agreement both about the price of the vehicle as well as a payment I was comfortable with. Though that relief didn't last long...
I was then moved into an office with a woman who's name I can't remember. She was convinced that she could get me approved for the loan and with the payments I wanted. After about a half an hour in her office and signing a boat-load of documents I was done. The car had finished being detailed and the loan information had been processed with the correct price and with reasonable payments.
I hopped in the car drove off and that was it. While driving I did notice that the CD changer wasn't working, by that's an entirely different $546 story I'll tell you later... So after a few hours with my family in Portland I received a call from the woman at Herzog stating that I needed to come back to sign some 'additional paperwork' because she had gotten the loan approved. So I went back and the first document she had me sign was an agreement stating the terms of the loan had changed... Of course stupid me I signed without questioning what was going on.
Needless to say I continued to sign away without fully reading over the 'new terms.' The car that they had successfully ran an ad for in Autotrader.com for $15, 488 was now $18, 400 and since I opted for the extended warranty (which by the way has come in extremely handy thanks to the cars defects) a car which should have cost me around $16, 000 to finance after my $3, 000 down-payment, jumped to well over $21, 000. I had fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book. The old bait and switch.
So please do yourself a favor before signing anything with these people. Make sure when signing the original paperwork as well as any 'alternate paperwork' that you've completely read over what you're signing. This could save you thousands of dollars and a lot of heart ache. Let me just say for the record, it's deals and dealerships like this that give the profession a bad name...