I received a letter in the mail that told of the great demand for used Hyundais and that they would buy back my Hyundai Sonata no matter what I owed on it and no matter how old it was and not matter if I bought a car from them. The letter also had a $4000 gift card toward the purchase of a new car. The trick was that it had to be from certain dealer inventory models. After going to the dealership, they told me they wanted to look at my 2008 Sonata. It was in mint condition with 55, 000 miles.
After looking at it, they told me it was only worth $7000 and that they could not cover the $10, 400 on the loan. I pressed the issue that the letter said they would buy it back no matter what the loan amount was and whether or not I bought a car. For the record, my car, when new, had a nearly 22K sticker price and I financed less than 18K, which made it so that I did not have to buy gap insurance. My interest was just over 5% and I had a little over 2 years left on my loan so I definitely had equity in the car.
They told me to pick out a car I liked and then we could discuss numbers. I said I would if he would give me $10, 400 for my car and apply the $4000 gift card as a down payment. he agreed he would. I chose one of the cars that was featured in the ad I received with the letter ON SALE FOR $11, 999 with $169.00 per month in payments. I told them I would buy that car for $169/month if they would apply the gift card for the down payment, buy my current car at $10, 400, and no other money changed hands. They came back after "processing my credit" and offered to sell me the car, but it would cost $270/month. My current car was a 60 month loan for $350/month. I had to ask them 3 times how long the loan was for before they admitted it was 84 months!! I told them that was crazy and followed up by asking them how much was the interest.
They kept giving me some excuse that they were not sure as the "computer figures it." After I demanded they tell me the interest rate, they had to go check. It took 5 minutes for them to check and they told me 10.9%. Knowing my credit score was in the high 700's I knew my loan rate should be 4-5% even though the letter offered 0% financing for 60 months. When I told them the numbers did not add up, they sent the finance manager out to "explain it to me" because I was "confused." Little did the finance manager know that I was a former software engineer that had written complex mathematical programs for the space shuttle and my brother was a former Hyundai finance manager that had taught me everything about auto financing tricks to get more money from a customer.
As the finance manager started explaining it to me, I insisted he show me the numbers he was using. The first lie I caught him at was that he was charging me $18, 900 for the car that was listed in the ad for $11, 999. When I demanded he correct that he quickly reworked the numbers and there was no change in the payments. Then I noticed he had decreased my trade in from $10, 400 to $7000. I insisted that I wanted him to buy back my car like the letter promised. He said he was buying it back, but not for the amount I owed, the difference would be added to the new car. I told him he was not buying it back if he was making me pay the difference between $7000 and $10, 400. He insisted he was buying it back, just not for the price I owe. When I saw that explaining to him the he could not buy back the car for $7000 because it has a $10, 400 loan did not work, I then said that it would be like me promising to buy a car from him, then making him accept $3400 less than the price of the car. He still did not get it.
I then cut to the chase and said okay, forget the new car, buy back my old car. He said he could do that. Then he added for him to do it I would have to make up the difference from $7000 to pay off the loan. I told him that the letter promised he would buy it no matter what was owed and that it also said it did not matter how old the car was or how many miles was on it. He told me condescendingly, read the letter again. I read it out loud for the whole sales area to hear the word for word promise that the letter made. When I finished I asked him are you going to buy back my car no matter what I owe? He said yes, but I had to pay the difference between $7000 and the amount owed. I then told him that he was not honoring what the letter promised and that the words "buy it back from you no matter what was owed" on the car meant just that. Not that he could name his price and that constituted buying it back.
He argued that it was so I countered by asking how is this a special deal for loyal Hyundai customers and added, how was this different from just trading in my car at any dealership? He said it was a better offer. At that point I advised him that I had a better offer last week at Ford. He said I could not get a better offer from Ford because he had a list of their stock and and could not get a car from them for a better price. When I challenged him to honor anything in the letter, he reiterated his offer and said if I am not willing to take their offer they could not do business. At that point, I told him "why would I want to remain a loyal Hyundai customer if he can not even admit the letter was a lie and he was trying to scam me." He walked away and while the salesman was watching him leave, I gathered up ALL the paperwork on the table as evidence and left.