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Discussion Starter #1
this may be the wrong place to post but here goes:

I ordered a sage brush pearl/fern w/ navi from a dealer in Glen Cove NY, the car just arrived, looks beautiful. However, I decided to get a different car during the wait ( '03 330i, go figure) and the dealer is not willing to return my $500 deposit unless I find a buyer. If you or anyone you know is interested please let me know. The car is available to drive off the lot today.
 

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Contact your states Attorney General and local Better Business Bureau. It's against the law in some states to keep a deposit if the sale isn't consumated.

There is no way I'd put up with that ****! I'd stand in front of the dealership door and tell every potential customer that they won't give you back your deposit. You need to get to the top....the owner probably cares, even if the sales manager doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
stand

Hey, I didn't know it could be possible to legally get the $ back. I live in New York, will have to check out the laws asap. You are right, no other time when I have ordered a car has the dealer threatned to hold the deposit. However, this dealer has said before hand that the deposit would not be refundable. I am sure he will have absoulty no problems selling the car (at MSRP) when I dont buy it.
 

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I'd say that's a bunch of crap! My salesman took a $100 check as a deposit on my Pilot, stapled the check to the pre-sale paperwork, and when I actually went in to pick up the vehicle, handed the check back to me. The day I wrote the deposit check, the salesman told me that the check was to hold that specific vehicle for me - was for my benefit - and that if I decided I didn't want the vehicle, all I had to do was call and they would send my check back to me. The dealer isn't going to have to house a Pilot on his lot for long unless he is charging over MSRP, so why wouldn't he give you the deposit back!
Have you written this up in the "Dealer" section of this site so potential owners will know how this dealer treats people?
 

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I actually had two deposits down for a while on two different Pilots. When the first one came in with the deal I wanted I cancelled the second. Neither dealer cashed a check until it was time. And like TNT quoted I'd tell them you'll be there this Saturday with a sign in hand telling customers about their policy of not returning deposit money. That's total B***S**T. You're a customer not a salesperson tell him to do his own @#$%* job. I'd start with a call to the salesperson again. Then I'd go in face to face (preferably while he is with another customer) and ask him again. Then I would go to the sales manager. I would then get the owner involved. If you're still not getting anywhere I'd check with another local dealer ship and get a number for the regional sales rep. They hate being bothered with stuff like this, oh, I'd involve Honda corporate at that point too.

Squeaky wheel boy, squeaky wheel.
 

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bgeraldo said:
Same here! Except mine was for $500. Did you sign any agreements?
I didn't sign anything, I just got a copy of the quote with my name, address, and check. Since they didn't have a VIN at the time, it just had a description of the vehicle and expected build and delivery dates.

Very smooth transaction, and I didn't feel bound in any way. At the time, I was still considering a Taffeta White MDX across the street that was due to arrive the same week as the Pilot (and did). I didn't have to give a deposit on the MDX, they just took me at my word and held it for me, knowing I was deciding between the two vehicles.

NOTE: Nice thing about the Acura dealership. It was not owned by the same guy as the Honda dealership, but the salesman was very nice when I decided to go with the Honda. He said he really liked the folks at the Honda dealership, and would like my business one day if I decide to ever get an Acura. I got my Pilot one month ago, and the Acura guy has called twice - once to see how I liked it and if I wanted to trade it for the X, and another just to keep in touch. Neither call was a hassle. Just a seemingly nice guy wanting to keep a good repoire with me in case I choose Acura next time. Pleasantly surprised!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Problems

Hey,

I just got off the phone with the dealership explaining to them the I dont want to take delivery of the car. Lets just say it didnt go well. Not only does the sales manager swear hes gonna keep my $500, he says he wants additional money for the 'damages' I caused the dealership, in excess of $1000 according to him. He was saying something about a legally binding contract and lawyers when I told him I'd come and talk this out in person. I've pretty much lost hope on the $500, but why would any dealer have such a strong reaction to having an order cancelled? Is there any way to get Honda involved in this?
 

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I was 2nd on the list at my dealership to sign up and the salesperson specifically stated that I would get a FULL REFUND of the deposit if I decided not to purchase the vehicle when it arrived. Obviously, I didn't get to test the validity of that statement, but he made it clear that I was NOT bound in any way at the time I made the deposit. I could back out for any reason, i.e. didn't like the color, didn't like the looks, didn't like the way it handled, etc.
Only difference I can see is that at the time I made the deposit, there were no Pilots on the market to see, test drive, etc. That might change the situation, but I don't think that it should.

What do you all think??
 

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Did you write a check for the $500? If so, has it cleared the bank? If not, spend $30 and stop payment on it. Not the long term solution, but will give you some satisfaction. Then I would contact my attorney.
 

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I dunno. I beginning to think there's more to the story here than you're sharing.

Did you sign a document 1) stating that you would forfeit your deposit if you cancelled your order; 2) did the document state that the dealership could come after you for liquidated damages; and 3) did you special order the Pilot with added accessories, or did you just sign up to accept the scheduled vehicle to be delivered?

If the answers to 1, 2 & 3 are yes, yes, and yes, then you've got a problem.

I stand by my original advice. Contact the owner, contact the Attorney General and contact the Better Business Bureau. You seem to be relying on a persons "good graces" and in these days that's risky business. Know your facts before you approach them again & next time do it in person...people "puff up" when there is a phone line between them.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
info

let me makes things more clear:
the Pilot I ordered is sage brush pearl ex-L with navi, nothing else, we agreed to 32980 including destination and a $500 deposit to hold the car, which would later be applied to the purchase price. The car was ordered in mid august. The dealer had said at the time that the deposit was not refundable. I did not pay enough attention at the time, not considering that I would not buy it, obviously in retrospect a stupid move. It was later I learned that almost all deposits are non binding, so I thought there may be a way to presuade the dealer to return it or hold it for a future application to another car. However, when I called to say I dont want the car, the sales manager reaction was extremely hostile, I cannot understand why. How can I have cost him money? Im sure a new Pilot is not the most unsellable of cars. I fully intend to try and get my deposit back, I just was unaware how a dealer can be so aversely affected when a customer renegs on an order.
 

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That's just it....they aren't that adversely affected. They lost a sale and some Sales Managers are jerks. You can't make a blanket assumption about "dealers" or "dealerships" because this guys a jerk. That said, if you didn't sign anything, they have no right to keep your money. Don't waste your time with him.

Sales are off in the car business right now, and this manager is wiggin' cause that's one less sale at the moment. Don't let that dissuade you. Probably his tactics have worked on other meager folks so he is keeping it up. If it were me, I'd tape record the phone conversation and pass it along to his superior.

Good luck & keep us posted.
 

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Different thought

Um, let's go at this with a different approach. When is the car due to arrive? I would go through with the delivery of the car...to a point..take the time to review it and find something that you just can't live with PRIOR to signing any more paperwork. One thing that I seem to remember is you can opt out of a contract with the car dealer within three days of a sale. Since there will not be a sale and the $500 was to go towards that sale you should be able to get it back. Go over your paperwork and find the loop holes in it. He probably knows you are not going to push it too much since the lawyer fees would quickly go above $500 and what lawyer wants to deal with a small case like that? I don't know if it is possible but try to talk to others in the dealership about whether they have done this before. I'm sure if there are a number of people knocking on their door they would reconsider.

One more, got time? why not hang around the dealerhship a couple of hours and just spend some time playing with the Pilot. I am guessing here but I would assume at some point they would kick you off the lot thereby breaking the agreement themselves. It is a hot vehicle and they are not going to be stuck with it. Their job is to invest time with potential customers, do they carge everyone for a test drive? I still think they are jerks but keeping yourself calm I think you can do it. (I'm not, I'd want to grab the check and ram it down their throats and then tell them to cash it when it passed.)
 

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I agree with TNT. Talk to someone higher than this salesperson. Threaten them with bad publicity on this site (like it hasn't happened already), BBB and a lawsuit.

The dealer that we bought from took a deposit ($2000 via Credit Card) and said that its completely refundable for whatever reason including and get this --"if we chose to buy the Pilot from another dealer". Obviously I didn't have to do it but a friend of mine did. He got his deposit back because he bought his from another dealer (who had a Pilot available for him earlier).

Hang in there. Perseverance pays.
 

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If these are selling so well, it shouldnt take long for another buyer to come along. Around here, the dealers have been lucky just to have a demo on the lot.
 

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banningjr might be onto something here:

Go down to the dealer to 'buy' the Pilot. Commence on a 1500 point inspection that requires atleast the salesperson and a mechanic to complete. Clearly, you will want to check the torque on all the bolts, make sure every piece of the car is within manufacturer's tolerances, compete a surface inspection of the tires, 250 mile test drive, sleeping test, jack drop test, etc. If after about 10 or 12 hours of this they are still with you, then announce you are ready to move onto the paperwork. Since it is late by now, tell them you will have to come back tomorrow to finish up the paperwork, but only if they are willing to stipulate in writing that the vehicle will be in the exact condition tomorrow as it was today. If they refuse, then move onto the paperwork now and be prepared for an all-nighter. If the accept, and stipulate the condition of the vehicle, you can use that as a loophole later if needed.

Doing the paperwork will require your best Clintonian debate tactics. For example: "So, on page one line one, what does it mean by the word 'is'?" Start crossing out provisions of the contract and writing things in the margin and ask them to initial the changes. Routinely spill beverages on the paperwork hourly causing you to start all over. Negotiate for a couple of hours from a bathroom stall. Call an attorney friend of yours to go over some of the fine details and suggest that maybe it would just be easier if he came down here. When he gets there, have him pull the old "I don't think I should be talking to you without your legal counsel being present." and demand that they get their lawyer. After the lawyers have gone over the fine points for a couple of hours, slip and fall on their lot or fall down some stairs and 'injure' yourself. Make sure you are 'injured' enough that you need to be transported to the hospital by paramedics.

If you don't get your $500 back after that you probably never will, but atleast you made them earn it.

Or you could just call the owner of the dealership and talk to him/her personally about your experience. I bet he/she would kick your money loose.
 

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I solved a similar problem when cancelling purchase of a Pilot. I signed (knowingly) a non-refundable $500 deposit purchase agreement. However, dealer attempted to sell me a car with option (leather) I did not want. I cancelled, and sales manager refused to refund deposit.

Solution for me:
First sent fax-memo describing their default on contract, also sent certified mail.
Second called American Honda explaining situation.
Third step would have been to call my credit card company to dispute issue (funds are returned while issue is disputed), but received refund in about 3 weeks from call to corporate Honda (phone number elsewhere on this site).

Love this forum!
 
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