Bay City Kia - Not the Dealership You Are Looking For
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.
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.
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...