Fiat 500 Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I once went to OC Fiat in Costa Mesa, CA recently and did a test drive. When I was there, there weren't any other customers there for a while. The person who I spoke to and did the test drive with was nice and not pressuring as far as I can remember. Someone else, I can't remember who, asked me if I wanted to see the trade in value of my truck at least a couple times.

We spoke with who I think is the Studio manager. I don't remember his exact title and I won't post his name here. He came off as someone with experience but not in the better side when it comes to personality. Not all that gruff or anything. But he did state that he's been doing what he does for 31 years. When people say stuff like that, I'm not sure if they mean it in a "I'm above you, I know what I'm talking about" sort of way. Or if they're trying to say, "I've been doing this for a long time so I can help you out." Or maybe, "I've been doing this for a long time so I know my numbers, just look at the numbers I present you, they are good because you're hearing it from me."

I didn't buy a Fiat 500. I decided to see about selling my truck first. Mostly, I was undecided.


I went there again soon after with a friend who was interested in the Fiat 500's. She did a test drive and liked it. I was there to get her feedback on driving a manual Fiat 500 since I'm still new to driving manual. We then spoke to a financial guy at the Studio. It was mostly her and him talking. The financial guy spoke clearly and kept his dialogue going. Wrote down the numbers on the leasing plans according to mileage. I didn't notice anything sneaky but I'm not sure. And that was pretty much it.


Well now my friend bought a Fiat 500. I wasn't there when she bought it. And I noticed on her sales draft that the 6 year/70,000 mile extended warranty was added. I think it was $2,299 or something like that. Plus a finish protection thing for $799. She thought the car automatically came with a 6 year warranty at first until I pointed out the extra cost of it. She was upset. She said that the guy, whoever sold the Fiat to her, told her that it comes with a 6 year warranty. She doesn't remember the exact words she and he said. But we figure what may have happened is the guy said that the car comes with a 6 year warranty, not saying it is or isn't optional. And she might have said "okay" and he might have taken that as consent to add the extended warranty.

Technically someone I guess could say the car "comes with" a 6 year warranty, even if it's optional, so you choose and pay for it, therefor the car "comes with" it.

Also she signed and initialed the papers presented to her. By having the chance to read what she was signing, they might consider that as the offer and her consent by signing. But car sales people, not all but many, know that to do this intentionally BECAUSE the customer is tired(which she was) or otherwise just going along with the talk and papers, is unethical. But many still do it. Technically legal maybe, but come on, human beings can be better to each other. Call me idealist if you want.

She's going to go there to get a refund for the extended warranty. I advised her to get a copy of the signed cancellation form for that.


So anyways, since this concerns the south west U.S., has anyone been there. Anyone bought a car there? I was hoping they would be more honest and not try to sneak costly extras onto customers there. I wasn't there to see what happened. While I have some awareness of dealing with car sales people, I don't have the experience or practice to 'keep my game on' or whatever term may apply in a real situation. And if I was there to witness my friend buy her Fiat, I may have seen the extended warranty thing. But someone with hands on experience would notice more than I would when observing. So I'm not condemning OC Fiat right off the bat. Maybe there is some degree of the misunderstanding and the sales person or whoever really thought my friend wanted the extended warranty. She said she was tired at the time and signed the papers presented to her. But if she was specifically told that the extended warranty was optional with an additional cost, I'm sure she would have remembered.

Should we see what happens? I can keep us updated on her attempt to get a refund on the extended warranty. As for the finish protection thing, which I assume is something that supposedly protects the paint, I don't know about that. They may say it came from the factory like that. She doesn't remember asking or accepting an offer for that. She just say it when I pointed it out on the sales draft and was surprised.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
they always take advantage of women or try to its bullshiza i went with my sister once to buy a car.....it was down to the signatures so i took off.....then i get a call that its now 100 more a month it is has to have this blah blah blah.....
i told her to walk out..she did they ran after her.....told her to keep going......next day went to another dealer and got the car for less also reported the dealer to the better business bureau buying cars is a game have to learn to play the game or get even
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,599 Posts
Finance guys do everything they can to keep the hard numbers and real values hidden.

More money is made on a car in the finance department than any other office in the dealer's lot. Their number one objective is to maximize the bottom line for the dealer, and one ALWAYS has to have their game face on when dealing with them.

And the additional warranties, undercoatings, alarm security protections, pinstripings, etc can be done at some other date other than in the money man's office, where it is marked up brutally.

When I bought my Fiat, the finance guy offered to throw in a "free bumper to bumper warranty". He said he had a way to give me the plan and keep my payments the same.

Sounds too good to be true, right?

It was.

If I accepted his "free offer", he would have charged me an extra $1100 for the warranty, but in order to make it appear to be free he kept my payments the same as his initial projection by lowering my interest rate 3 points over what he quoted as the "before warranty" payment and adding 3 months payments to my term. Not exactly free and not exactly easily spotted.

I rejected his offer and you know what happened then? The payment offer he originally made before the warranty went down by $20 a month because the 3 percentage points higher rate he originally quoted was a sham figure to get me comfortable with the higher payment amount of the soon to be proposed "free" warranty.

Buyer beware!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OMG that is sneaky, from what both of the replies describe. My friend is female and from what she described, it's the classic case of female customer being led to spend more money. I really hope she succeeds in getting a refund for the extended warranty. I really don't want this situation to affect the fun she's having driving and having the new Fiat.

Fortunately in my case, when I sell my truck, I'll have enough money to pay off most of the cost of a Fiat. If I do this, pending my friend gets the refund and I'm then not as bitter towards OC Fiat, I may have to finance a few thousand dollars. Even then I'll have to make sure it's just the car and no extras. No extended warranty or service contracts. No mysterious finish protection for the paint, which I can protect on my own with products for around 2% of their cost. No "free" extra protection offers because I doubt they would seriously throw something like that completely for free. If I'm confused at any point or feel red flags pinging in my head, then forget it. I can try again at the Fiat studio in Riverside, which I read better things about. And honestly I'm open to other cars like the Toyota Yaris and Hyundai Accent(2 door hatchback model, 2011 and before). I prefer a Fiat but I'm not desperate, not willing to go along with any mysterious gibberish from a financial riddle spinner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,464 Posts
Every dealer ship I've bought a new car from. Tries to push extend warranties, some kind of fiber seal for the interiors, and a paint sealant. Years ago it was some kind of rust proofing too. Read the fine print, on extended warranties. The part about tear downs! I just always refuse. The word is NO thank you. This new 500 was the first car they didn't push this down my throat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
they tried it with me on the floor me but when i got to the finance department no nothing i just wanted out and i told him i had to leave so make it quick they also have 0% financing right now so its a good time to buy and the warranty is 4 years 50k thousand oaks Fiat has nitrogen in the tires mark up they have this on all the dodges as well...and some sort of parts registry in case your car gets stolen... so if you go there thats what you have to deal with...also just saw they now have stickers on the car saying that this car has aftermarket parts that are extra...

like others have said everybody has some sort of gimmick just go in with the attitude that they need you...you dont need them..walk out during the process your not sure...il come back......they will change works every time dont by the line that they have somebody else who is interested...unless is a arbarth and your schrewed......lol good look and go get that money refunded inform them you are looking into filing a complaint with the better business bureau if this is not taken care of....tell them the boyfrind is a reporter for the orange count newspaper....make them sweat dont take no for an answer do it learn to play the game and win
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I googled the nitrogen-in-tires thing and it says it supposedly does things like seep through the tire rubber less, the PSI changes less with temperatures, less humidity, etc. OMG, that's all? Really? Just saves little increments of time and effort. And how much is the mark up at the dealership, Fiat or Dodge? I bet it's like $120 or more. "But it costs us money to order pure nitrogen tanks and have it delivered here, and you'll be helping the American economy, blah blah blah."

A place that takes upselling to a really tacky level is EZ Lube, I think it's called. The one with a lot of locations. Almost like the Starbucks of oil change places. They tried to get my sister interested in some supposedly super air filter with a charcoal colored filter and red or orange sporty looking edges. We said no and they asked "you just want the oil change?" like we're cheap and stingy because we brought our car in for just an oil change. Well yeah, you're an oil change place. It's not like we made reservations to a 5 star restaurant and ordered nothing but tea. Like we're gonna feel bad or whatever. So freaking tacky of them. I seriously would rather be unemployed than work at a place like that and have to follow some script and try to do that to customers.

And jimtesla, that is a good idea about filing a complaint with the BBB. And OC Fiat, if you're reading this, we actually will do that if necessary. You may scoff but this may also affect whether or not I buy a Fiat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,599 Posts
Believe it or not, the Fiat dealer is one of the better places to buy a car, since the sales people are non commissioned. The finance guy for Fiat of Ontario however, is the same finance guy for the Chrysler store across the street, and he uses the old school tricks just like most every other dealer out there.

Car buying is an art form, and you really have to have a cast iron stomach and a larger pair of cojones than the guy trying to make the sale...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My friend went there today and turns out there is some more to the situation and I won't go into detail since it could be considered kind of private information. Even if no names are mentioned.

It has something to do with the interest rate and supposedly she had to get the extended warranty to qualify for a better interest rate. She was told that she can make a few payments, then cancel the extended warranty and keep the interest rate she's at. And there is some aspects of her credit history that could have come into play. Or maybe she was led to believe that. Anyways, I won't go into detail or specific numbers.

I'll see what happens in a few months. I was gonna wait that long or longer before getting a car anyways, whether a Fiat or something else. We'll see what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,599 Posts
My friend went there today and turns out there is some more to the situation and I won't go into detail since it could be considered kind of private information. Even if no names are mentioned.

It has something to do with the interest rate and supposedly she had to get the extended warranty to qualify for a better interest rate. She was told that she can make a few payments, then cancel the extended warranty and keep the interest rate she's at. And there is some aspects of her credit history that could have come into play. Or maybe she was led to believe that. Anyways, I won't go into detail or specific numbers.

I'll see what happens in a few months. I was gonna wait that long or longer before getting a car anyways, whether a Fiat or something else. We'll see what happens.
thats the same sham they ran with me that i posted above!
except i refused the warranty still, and they gave me the "better" interest rate anyways. There is no bank in the world that requires you to add an extended warranty to get a better interest rate.

It's just another way the dealer works in a larger profit for themselves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thats the same sham they ran with me that i posted above!
except i refused the warranty still, and they gave me the "better" interest rate anyways. There is no bank in the world that requires you to add an extended warranty to get a better interest rate.

It's just another way the dealer works in a larger profit for themselves.
I'll let her know about that. It looks like they convinced her to wait a few months, hoping she'll forget about it and accept the extended warranty. From what she said, it sounds like it was the dealership qualifying her for the lower interest rate if she gets the extended warranty. She said she vaguely remembers that or something like that when she did the paperwork to buy the car. Of course if that was really the case, the dealership can easily just let her have the better interest rate without the extended warranty. It's not like they can't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,780 Posts
I'll let her know about that. It looks like they convinced her to wait a few months, hoping she'll forget about it and accept the extended warranty. From what she said, it sounds like it was the dealership qualifying her for the lower interest rate if she gets the extended warranty. She said she vaguely remembers that or something like that when she did the paperwork to buy the car. Of course if that was really the case, the dealership can easily just let her have the better interest rate without the extended warranty. It's not like they can't.
If she waits a 'few months' she certainly won't get credit for the total amount she was charged for the extended warranty. They will pro-rate it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
That's what I was thinking too and I wonder how much they'll deduct in a refund after a few months. And they may go by miles since she drives a lot. She typically drives around 20,000 miles per year. We figure that she won't actually have the 6 year warranty for 6 years, if she were to keep it. It will last her about 3.5 years, which is about when she'll reach 70,000 miles. Which gives her about one more year. In the basic 4 year/50k miles warranty, she'll have that for about 2.5 years which is how long it takes for her to get that mileage. So she's really looking at one more year of extended warranty. From a mileage and use standpoint, maybe some would find it worth it. I don't know. Really, it's just another 20k miles for her.

There have been Fiat enthusiasts who surely have surpassed 70k miles already and have had no problems. There have been Fiat 500 drivers in the U.S. since late last year, if I'm correct?

EDIT: Actually it's only the fourth month of 2012 right now. So maybe it's a bit of a stretch to assume there are a significant number of Fiat 500 drivers who have that much mileage already. I just did the mental math wrong there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
From the site..

"Their service was incredibly professional which was in stark contrast to the experience that was had with a different (un-named) studio. Rob was up-front with the information, numbers, contingencies, and was there every step of the way to explain any questions. The deal was agreed upon before I headed down to the dealership and all that was left was to "dot the i's and cross the t's". The contract showed exactly what we had discussed and I felt completely comfortable with the environment the entire time."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I should have said, I'm glad you had a good experience there and was hoping to read good things about them.

Which site are you quoting? Are you affiliated with OC Fiat in any professional way?

If the Rob the quote refers to is the same person I'm thinking of, it wasn't the person who did the financial paperwork for my friend when she bought her Fiat. And when I was there on Monday this week, I had to sit in front of two other guys, one after another. Neither was Rob. And they kept trying to swerve the conversation into me looking towards buying a Fiat, even though I told them I wasn't doing that yet. I'm not sure if they really believed they could sway me and have me decide to buy one. They seemed more new to this line of work and might have thought they could recite lines taught to them and expect the customer to magically buy a car from then. Maybe without the experience to understand that there's a thought process involved, that customers actually think. Whatever the case, it was really tacky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
When my wife and I bought our 500c we shopped Bob Baker Fiat in Carlsbad and OC Fiat in Costa Mesa. Both were forthright and almost exactly the same price. All of our many questions were answered with no BS. When we closed the deal at Bob Baker (because they were closer) the finance manager offered a number of different additional items, all of which we declined. They were clearly identified. No pressure. No nonsense at either dealership. I did by the way read the contract before i signed it just to be sure it was as we discussed. We have had a great experience at Bob Baker since. The takeaway for us was that our experience at both dealerships was as pleasant as buying a car can be, which is not my favorite thing to begin with. My thought is if a particular dealer is not a good fit, find another dealer. There are more out there. We all ultimately vote with our check book.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,431 Posts
Just noticed this thread on OC FIAT where I bought my Abarth in May 2012. I'm happy to give an excellent report about my experience with this studio. I had shopped at the local San Diego studios, but none had an available Abarth equipped the way I wanted. I called OC FIAT, and within 10 minutes I had quickly (and without stress) negotiated a good (NO markup over MSRP) deal on the Abarth as well as a very fair price for my two-month-old Miata that I was trading in. When I got to the studio, the transaction was completed very courteously and without a complication of any sort. No funny business; nothing unexpected. The car was washed and ready, and I was given a good operational overview, phone pairing, etc. I inspected it, and we drove it to make sure all was satisfactory – it was. The finance department never mentioned add-ons such as extended warranties, paint/fabric protection, Lo-Jack types of devices, etc. There was absolutely NO pressure or even discussion about extras, at any time, and I spent under 15 minutes completing all paperwork! Hard to believe there was no upsell attempt whatsoever. I've bought over 30 new cars in my driving lifetime, and this was undoubtedly the easiest and most pleasurable experience by a wide margin... the way I always hoped it could be when buying a new car. Based on my extremely positive recent purchase, I would certainly recommend OC FIAT, and hope that anyone would have a similar experience.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top