Open Road Acura of East Brunswick — Unethical Salesmanship
I am registering a complaint regarding the unethical salesmanship of Open Road Acura of East Brunswick, New Jersey. In August, I relocated from a small southern town to New Jersey. I was thinking about turning in my leased Acura and purchasing another because I knew that driving in this area would exceed the mileage limitations of my current lease. I began communicating on-line with an internet specialist, Stewart, about my thoughts of turning in the leased car and purchasing another. He invited me in to view and test drive the new cars.
My leased car is top of the line, i.e., a 2005 Acura RL---one owner, low mileage, excellent condition. Thinking that my lease was going to expire soon, my husband and I went in to view the cars. We were met by a salesperson, Greg, who told us about the cars. When we saw a smaller car that we liked, a 2008 Acura TL, we told Greg that we were invited in by Stewart. From there, Stewart began the "sales pitch". I told them both that I had just relocated to the area and everything was still in boxes, including my 2005 Acura RL lease. I told both Greg and Stewart that the "sales pitch" sounded fine, but I would be more comfortable talking about a sale with my lease in hand as I was unsure when the lease would expire. My husband and I told him we would keep his "sales pitch" in mind. Undaunted, Stewart continued, and after going back and forth with figures, he asked what would it take for us to buy the car today. I again told him of my uncertainty of the lease expiration and would feel more comfortable with it in hand. He told us if we would pay three or four lease payments, put down $700, the dealership would pick up the rest of the lease payments. I was still a bit uncomfortable with it, but he insisted this way I couldn't lose---it would work to my advantage whatever the lease payments. When we finally said we would by the car, Stewart asked us to turn in the 2005 Acura RL . While Greg looked over my 2005 RL and secured the keys, Stewart began the paperwork on the new purchase.
For the first few months (August, September, October), my husband and I paid for both the leased car and the new car. We then received a bill for the November leased car payment. I called the leased car bank and told them the dealership would be picking it up. To my surprise, the leased car bank stated the dealership had not requested a payoff amount, nor had they inquired. I then called Open Road Acura to find out when they were going to followup with the leased car bank. I was told that the leased car bank needed to come pick up the car. This went on for another month or so, and by this time, I'm constantly calling both, Open Road Acura and the leased car bank, with no resolution. Open Road Acura told me that the card was in the leased car banks hands and the leased car bank told me that they had neither received a payment nor even an inquiry from Open Road Acura. In the meantime, the payments on both vehicles did not stop. We paid November and December payments on both vehicles ----- a vehicle we did not have! At no time did Open Road Acura tell us that they were not going to pick up the leased payments. In fact, my husband spoke with Greg on Saturday, December 13, and was told our car was still on the lot and had not been picked up. When my husband inquired what was going on, Greg told him, as he had told me, that he would have to call us back. My husband told Greg we would be in on Monday and would like to speak with the General Manager. Incidently, I called several times for the General Manager, but he was never in and did not return any of my phone calls.
My husband and I went to Open Road Acura in hopes of having a conversation with the General Manager. He, again, was unavailable. We spoke with both financial managers, but neither of them was the financial manager that worked with Stewart the day of the sale. The financial managers were very informative. For the first time, my husband and I found out exactly what was going on. We also found out that the 2005 Acura RL had been picked up almost two weeks ago (contrary to what Greg had told us). After telling the financial managers the details of the TL's sale, we left the dealership knowing that we had been duped! Even more horrifying, we later found out that with the 2005 RL's pickup from Open Road Acura was termed a "voluntary repossession" and would appear on our credit report.
Being totally distraught from this situation, my husband and I are trying to move forward. We know that we cannot allow the unscrupulous dealings of salespeople damage our credit (especially in these harsh economic times). We will work to resolve this situation. We will work to have an audience with both Open Road Acura management and the leased car bank to remove the repossession. For now, however, we are still faced with paying two car notes.