Bay City Kia - Not the Dealership You Are Looking For

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Wednesday, December 30/2009

Today promised to be an exciting day. We had made the decision to drive into Coquitlam to the Bay City Kia dealership so that my husband's van could be repaired and serviced. Since we were going to be there, we decided to check out their new cars. I didn’t hold out any false hopes about being able to buy one, but it was nonetheless fun to window shop.

Once we got there, I wandered around the lot, poking my nose inside the cars. One in particular caught my eye– a 2010 Kia Soul, a roomy, four-cylinder crossover with great features, four-star safety and a sassy look.

A salesperson happily jumped in to show me all the features, led me around the dealership and introduced me to the owners who assured me that customer service was their highest priority.

Out of curiosity, I decided to see what the dealership would give me as a trade in for my ’03 Caravan. I found out the book value for it was $5000.00 – however, I was told, my van needed a new transmission ($1500.) struts ($600.) and tires ($400.) for a total of$2500.00 for repairs, so unfortunately, they could only give me $2000.00 for my van.

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5000 - 2500 = 2000?

Now I don’t know about you, but 5000 minus 2500 equals 2500 – so where did the extra $500.00 go? (p.s. I had the transmission checked, and there wasn't a problem with it - so why was I told there was?)

After that, it was into the finance office to see how my credit stacked up. I was assured that although my score was on the low side, they had made deals happen with much worse and not to worry. However, the banks required proof that I was indeed serious about purchasing this vehicle, so they needed a down payment of at least $1000.00, which would be refunded to me once the financing was in place.

They then wrote out a bill of sale, and we prepared to leave, as, of course, most banks are closed on the weekend, and we thought we would have to wait to find out about the financing. But no – that isn’t what happened.

The dealership insisted we take the new car – guaranteeing that the financing would be in place by the following week. If I had known then what I know now, I would have run screaming for the hills.

I informed the dealership that I wouldn't be available on Thursday as I was scheduled for surgery, and was assured that they would call on Monday, which was January the 4th. I very bluntly told both the owner and the salesman that I did not want a phone call saying "sorry, but you have to bring the car back", so tell me now whether I qualify for financing, and can definitely have the car.

I was reassured that there would be no problem; they would make sure everything worked out and the financing would be a done deal – they would call me to come in and sign the papers. So the vehicle was transferred into my name and my insurance was transferred to the new car.

D Day

January 4th came and went with no phone call, so I called them. The person who handled the financing wasn’t in until the next day, so I told them I would call back. When I called back the next day, I was told the person I was looking for no longer worked there, and I would have to deal with someone else. Is this why I wasn't phoned?

I can tell you that raised a red flag. I decided to let the dealership call me, as they didn’t seem to know who I was or what arrangements had been made. I heard nothing until the day of my surgery, when, after waking up in recovery I discovered a missed call that had come in earlier.

I called them back the next day, after the anesthetic had worn off – at least enough to hold a conversation, and was informed that I needed to come in so we could go over the numbers. I informed the person on the other end that ‘we’ had already gone over the numbers – they already had all the information so what else did they need? He refused to clarify; again stating “...we need to go over the numbers...”

After realizing that I could not change his mind, I agreed to go into the dealership the next day to get everything sorted out.

Deal or no deal

We were greeted by the salesman who brokered the deal, seated at his desk and left to wait. This time, no one came to introduce themselves or chat. We were simply left sitting at the desk to wait.

Another ominous sign...

Finally, after we had been cooling our heels for the major part of an hour, we were ushered into the finance office. There, I was told that unfortunately, they could not do the deal. I was chastised for being hard to get a hold of - obviously being in surgery qualifies me as a difficult customer, and was asked if I had "brought the car."

As I was still unable to drive, my husband drove me to the dealership – in his vehicle. The finance officer transferred ownership of the vehicles and directed a Lot Boy to follow us home and reclaim their car. I was told by their insurance agent that because I didn’t have my plates with me, they couldn’t complete the transfer, and that I had a ten-day window to transfer my insurance back to my van.

Everything seemed all right until I tried to complete the paperwork and transfer my insurance back onto my van.Then I was informed that because my vehicle was a 2003 it had to be air cared before I could transfer my insurance back. I explained everything I had been told at the dealership, and was informed that their insurance agent had lied. It isn’t necessary to have the licence plates in hand to transfer insurance from one vehicle to the next. The reason they could not complete the transfer was because my vehicle had to have an air care certificate first.

The insurance company could finish the transfer of ownership (of my van,) back into my name for $28.00, plus a permit so I could drive the vehicle to the government air care center. The permit cost $88.00– air care cost $45.00 – plus the $28.00 transfer fee for a total of $161.00.

Since I already knew that there was no way I would be reimbursed for my out of pocket expenses - due to the underhanded techniques of the dealership, I accidentally misplaced the extra key for the car...oh dear...

Within a month of my experience with Bay City Kia, the dealership went into receivership. Hallelujah! It couldn't have happened to a better bunch of sharks...er...guys...

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Comments 11 comments

David R Bradley profile image

David R Bradley 6 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

Enelle, so sorry to hear about this. I've been in the car business for 7 years now. This type of incident happens because the dealership isn't organized well and there is no specific process in place and they lack effective communication skills.

Let me see if I can help explain a little for you.

-It sounds like the missing 500 on your trade is considered "market adjustment." Most likely the dealership will send your van to an auction or a wholesaler. Selling a car to an auction or wholesaler and actually getting the Kelly Blue Book price is near impossible. The Blue Book or any other used car guide is simply that, a guide to help you and the buyer (in this case a dealership) determine the best value for that car. If you don't feel like the value is right, don't accept their offer. You can always sell it yourself. The dealership should have communicated this too you.

-If there were some challenges with your credit, but they (the dealer) felt they had a chance of getting you approved, putting you on the road was part of a strategy. The first being, a bank is more like to approve a loan after the car has been delivered to the customer because they know that the dealership took a risk and are confident in the customer. Secondly, if they can't get you approved at the rate they quoted, you having the car for a few days and "taking mental ownership" puts you into an emotional investment in the car not just your financial investment. This way it will be easier to get you to agree on a higher payment. In your case, they simply couldn't get you approved. This is poor business all around. They should have been completely up front with you.

-Leaving you in an office for 30 minutes with out explanation or company is entirely unprofessional and unacceptable. More than likely there was somebody in the office signing their paperwork and they should have communicated that with you.

-I'd write the owners of the store (you can get their names on their website) and demand they reimburse the 189. If you're willing and angry enough, consider small claims court.

Again, I'm always disheartened to read stories like this. Not everyone in the biz behaves this way and not all car dealers run their business like this. Hopefully your next experience will be better.

I hope this helped just a bit. Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions about buying a car.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

Enelle, so sorry you didn't get your new car, but what Dave had to say is the straight goods. I worked as a receptionist at car dealerships and have seen the best and the worst, I am sure. He is certainly right about how they mishandled your return visit, and no reputable dealer should leave you out of pocket for expenses you incurred because of them. Definitely write to the owners - and give them the link to this article!

...and after you get your money back, find someone more reputable to deal with!


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

David R. Bradley - thank you so much for your explanation. I did realize that by giving me the car it helped me to take mental ownership - which I was more than willing to do - I really liked the car. I have been to other dealerships and have had salesmen really work to get me into a vehicle - even after being turned down by their financial institution. I did tell Bay City Kia that I was more than willing to pay a higher interest rate - that was never a problem.

RedElf - You are right - I will find someone more reputable. Ah well - it was not meant to be - everything happens for a reason :)


Jacob Darkley profile image

Jacob Darkley 6 years ago from California, USA

Wow, that's pretty shameful. So glad you shared the story though--thanks and good luck next time. And thanks to David for the additional information in the comments.


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Jacob Darkley, I agree, it was pretty low, and David had some great information. Thanks for stopping by :)


Jay Jay 5 years ago

Other car dealers to AVOID in that area are COQUITLAM CHRYSLER and KIA WEST. These guys are real jerks all around. They hype you up, tell you everything you want to hear and then leave you high and dry. Coquitlam Chrysler tried to sell me a used car that had been a rental. I asked if it had been a rental and they said no. I asked to see the paperwork and they refused, so I made a bee line for the exit. Kia West had the disappearing sales and financing employees. I asked to speak with the owner and they refused, so I made a bee line for the exit, again.


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I'll be right on your tail! I got my first car from Coquitlam Chrysler - all I can say is thank God it still runs LOL...


tmcspadden profile image

tmcspadden 5 years ago from Georgia

I'm so sorry that happened to you! I had trouble dealing with Kia a few years ago, but it was nothing compared to your story. I hope everything worked out in the end and thanks for sharing this story, I'm sure its helped a lot of people make informed decisions when dealing with that Kia location.


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

One can only hope! Thanks for reading and commenting :D


amanda 5 years ago

lol thats impossible.. you cant take a car off the lot without approved financing end of period


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Maybe that is why the dealership went into receivership :) But impossible or not, I drove off the lot with their blessings as the car!

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