Check out my wife’s new Mazda CX-5! It has ugly door edge guards on it that I wanted to remove, but my wife sorta kinda likes. There are no dealer badges or tag frames. That didn’t stop the dealer trying to fuck with us though. I am not someone to fuck with, car dealers!
After test driving a CX-5 last Sunday, my wife decided it was the car for her. We wanted a Touring AWD with the preferred equipment package (sunroof, Bose stereo, nav, power tailgate, auto-dim mirror) in machine grey with the silk beige interior. Our local Mazda dealer didn’t have one in stock, but I found the exact car we wanted at the same dealer group’s other Mazda store, 23 miles from us.
On Tuesday, I talked to our sales guy, and he said he’d make sure they get the car we wanted from the other location. He suggested we put a deposit on the car so nobody else would buy it. Ok fine, whatever. The dealer is attached to the same shopping center as my gym, so on Tuesday night I popped in before my workout to put down this deposit. Our sales guy wasn’t there, but I talked to the sales manager. He couldn’t reach the manager at the other Mazda store, but he said not to worry about the deposit, they’ll get the car.
Our sales guy’s day off was Wednesday, and he called me on Thursday to check in. He said he’d have the manager talk to the other location about getting the car over from the other store, and we could come in Thursday night to do the deal. On my way home from work, I called the dealership to confirm the car had been brought over from the other location. The receptionist said our sales guy had gone home for the day.
I was like, wait, I just talked to the dude earlier in the day and told him I wanted to buy a car from him, and I’d be in sometime 6-7 pm, and he left? I asked to talk to the manager who I had talked to previously, but the receptionist said it was his day off. I asked to talk to someone who could tell me whether or not the car had been brought over. The receptionist put me on hold and then said that the only manager working that day didn’t know anything about bringing the car over from the other location.
This was stupid, so I went home, and told my wife I don’t think the car’s there for us to buy. I called the other location, gave them the stock number of the car that was supposed to have been picked up to be brought back to our location. Of course, it was still there.
Eventually I got a hold of our sales guy on his cell phone. He told me that he finishes his day at 6 pm on Thursdays, but on his way out he had told the manager that we were coming in to get this car and it needed to be brought over from the other location. Seriously dude? Do you want to sell me a fucking car, or what? When I talked to him earlier on Thursday, he didn’t say fuck all about he gets off at 6 and someone else would take care of us. Fucking dumbass.
On Friday, our sales guy called again and said he would make sure the car was brought over from the other location. He acted like he was going to have someone from the other location bring it over, but then later in the day he said he was getting it himself. The other location probably told him, fuck you guy, no we’re not wasting our time to bring you a car to sell, come get it your own goddamn self.
Saturday, we went in to the dealership to do the deal. There was a bunch of haggling over trade values and lease terms and whatnot. The finance guy told us about something where Mazda covers certain wear & tear items on leased cars like wiper blades, brake pads and alignments as part of leases. He said several times that this was something on all Mazda leases. I was like, ok great, we get some free maintenance, and didn’t think much more about it, because I wanted to work out the numbers.
The monthly payments they were offering us were way too high. Basically just as high as the Honda CR-V that had no incentives on it, and the sales manager at the Mazda dealer had already ballparked me numbers the previous weekend that were way lower. I knew Mazda had incentives on it. Why weren’t the payments lower?
Eventually, they came back with a payment number that was $12 more than the most I wanted to pay. I asked the finance guy, who was handling all the numbers, what all the details were that went into this number, like purchase price, cap cost reductions, etc. He said he didn’t know, just that this was the number and the sales manager would get all the details on the lease contract.
My wife and I stepped outside to discuss, and while it was a little higher payment than we really wanted, we decided that this was the best possible car for her, and this supposedly “final” offer was way lower than the Honda dealer up the street was offering on a CR-V.
Then when the finance guy showed us the lease contract, there was a separate line item on it for $1420 for this wear & tear coverage. I balked at it being a separate line item. The way the finance guy had described it, he made it sound like these were just perks of leasing a Mazda.
The finance guy claimed that it was part of the Mazda official lease incentives and that the money factor was being lowered by Mazda in order to zero out the cost of the $1420 line item. He even went through a ritual of printing out a separate lease contract with a higher money factor and no $1420 line item to show that the payment would be the same either way.
Now, this felt fishy to me, but the finance guy very clearly stated that Mazda was subsidizing the cost of this additional coverage and not to worry about it. He gave us a brochure from some third party warranty company that talked about the wear & tear coverage, and it looked to me like it was some bullshit add-on that dealerships sell, not an official Mazda program. But the guy swore up and down that Mazda was subsidizing it in the lease, and this third party company works directly with Mazda. I chose to accept this explanation, which was a mistake on my part. We did the deal, and took the CX-5 home.
My wife was tired, and I went to pick up a quick takeout dinner. While we were eating, I got to talking with her about this wear & tear coverage just didn’t feel right to me. I googled the name of this warranty, plus Mazda. I couldn’t find any link between this warranty company and Mazda, except for certain Mazda dealers advertising aftermarket warranties from this company. I also found TONS of negative reviews of this aftermarket warranty company’s warranty coverage.
I told my wife, I think the finance guy fucked with us and lied about the wear & tear coverage and I was going back to the dealer the next day to get this shit taken out of the lease. Because fuck these guys.
On Sunday, I woke up at 5:30 am having to pee, and I couldn’t get back to sleep because the potential argument I was about to have with the dealer kept racing through my mind. Eventually we got up, had breakfast, and did house cleaning stuff until the dealer opened at noon.
I went to the dealer, and asked one of the sales guys to speak to a sales manager, because I didn’t see the sales manager I had talked to previously. He said the manager was at the VW showroom next door, so I walked over there, and the same finance guy saw me right away and asked what’s up.
I was trying to be all cool and just go talk to the sales manager, but this motherfucker was right in front of me and the anger welled up. I said something like,
“You fed me a load of shit yesterday. We have a problem and it needs to be fixed.”
He brought me back into his office, and I told him I had gone home last night and couldn’t find anything online about any kind of relationship between Mazda and the third-party warranty company. He clarified that no, actually, the warranty was in fact a third-party add-on sold by the dealership, not subsidized by Mazda. I told him that’s not what he said yesterday, when he said it was a Mazda incentive.
He instead wanted to argue about the fact that I had agreed to his monthly payment offer, but I said that didn’t matter, because after that, I questioned the line item for the warranty, and his explanation that it was a Mazda incentive was bullshit.
Then he claimed that the dealership, not Mazda, had lowered the money factor to something even lower than the Mazda incentive, and reduced the sale price of the car by $1000, because I had agreed to the third-party wear & tear coverage that he represented as a Mazda incentive.
Oh hell naw.
I told him since what he told me about the warranty was a lie, I was now unable to believe that any of the other numbers on the lease contract were actually the Mazda incentive. I demanded to see the exact terms from Mazda and that they matched the numbers on my lease contract. He said only the sales manager could show those numbers, so I said to go get him.
Oh, and at no point during the conversation did the finance guy admit that he said Mazda provides the third-party wear & tear coverage as an incentive. The closest he came to that was, “I’m sorry if it came off that way.”
Once the sales manager arrived, I explained the situation, and he was trying to make it right, but he still made a small effort to convince me the third party wear & tear thing provided value to customers. Fuck that, I never buy shit like that, and the only reason I agreed was because it was represented as a Mazda incentive, which it obviously was not.
At one point in the conversation with the sales manager, he said something like we want to make it right, because they want to earn repeat business, and I responded somewhere along the lines of, “fuck repeat business, I’m about ready to have my wife drive 9 miles the fuck up the road for oil changes with the bad taste I have in my mouth from you guys right now.”
When I got them to show me all the details of the deal, I learned there had never been some magical lower money factor the dealership was providing in exchange for the warranty, it was the exact same money factor as on the Mazda lease program. Their initial, as-high-as-Honda lease offer? They were holding points on the money factor above the Mazda incentive lease, and then they lowered it to the Mazda incentive when they tacked on the wear & tear bullshit.
Long story long, I got them to redo the deal with the same purchase price that was supposedly tied to the wear & tear bullshit but of course it’s not, the lowest possible money factor specified by Mazda, same down payment, all the same, just no $1420 add-on.
All told, the payment went down by $16/month, which put it $4/month below my maximum target.
We’re not sure if we’re going to go back to this place for service, with all the crap they’ve pulled. It’s only a mile from our house, and the next-closest Mazda dealer, which is part of a different dealer group, is 9 miles. It might be worth the trip.
My wife loves the car though.
We’ll see about the door edge guards.