I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I believe it is necessary to fully and accurately describe my experience with this dealership.
Positive Experience with Miguel
I first made contact with a salesperson, Miguel, on May 14th, 2021 to inquire about your stock of Carnivals – specifically, the SX trim with Astra Blue exterior and Dark Gray interior. Miguel confirmed that none were in stock, but he did expect one matching this exact configuration to arrive on May 21st, 2021. To ensure I would be able to purchase this vehicle, I placed a $1,000 USD deposit with Miguel and he assured me that my deposit would not only reserve the vehicle for me, but would also lock me in at the sticker price, $43,020 plus TT&L, with an estimated purchase price of $46,000 USD.
To be clear, Miguel was an absolute pleasure to work with. He was very kind, helpful, communicative, and responsive. He was truly a stand-out salesperson and I would love to work with him again in the future. However, my experience with Demontrond after initially placing my deposit likely prevents me from ever purchasing a vehicle from your dealership again. Worse yet, I feel compelled to warn others to avoid working with Demontrond as well.
As mentioned above, the vehicle matching my requested configuration was scheduled to arrive on May 21st. That day, Miguel contacted me to let me know the shipment had been delayed due to inclement weather and had been rescheduled for delivery the following week on May 28th. Unfortunately, the 28th turned into the 30th, a Sunday – a day when your dealership is closed. Then June 30th turned into the 31st and the 31st turned into June 7th. Each time the shipment was delayed, I was patient and understood these delays to be out of Miguel’s control.
Finally, on June 2nd, I received a call from a Demontrond Sales Manager saying that my car has arrived. He was kind enough to send me photos of the vehicle, but I quickly noticed that this car did not match my requested interior color. Upon speaking with him, he confirmed that he had ZERO incoming inventory matching my requested color combination for the foreseeable future. At this point, I was quite frustrated and no one was able to explain how this happened. I passed on previous opportunities to buy this car from other dealers because I had a deposit with Demontrond and wanted to stay true to my word that I would buy a car from Miguel. Plus, in the weeks that passed, the demand for the Carnival far exceeded the supply and dealers started raising the prices above MSRP, leaving me with very few choices, so I reluctantly agreed to purchase a Carnival that did not match my preferred color.
Objectionable Sales Tactics
I drove the 30 miles to the dealership on the same day to see the car in person. It was still covered in plastic and would not be ready for me to take delivery until the following day. While still sitting at the sales desk, I was brought a summary of the final pricing and saw an extra $1200 for “admin fees” and $300 for window tint (which I did not request). The sales manager could not identify or itemize a single cost contributing to the “admin fees” and after failing to do so, finally conceded that it was a way to recoup the lost revenue from selling the car at MSRP. Although I appreciated his honesty here, I was less than impressed with how dismissive he was of my patronage by implying that I was “lucky” to only be charged $1200 because he has “another customer willing to buy the car for $5k over MSRP”. I calmly explained that another customer’s priorities do not and should not influence my finances. He basically told me to take the “deal” or leave. Despite this terrible customer service experience, I signed the pricing agreement and planned to return the following day (June 3rd) to take delivery of the vehicle, expecting the worst to be behind me.
Finance Bait and Switch
I arrived shortly after 5:30pm on June 3rd to meet with the finance officer and take delivery of the vehicle. My purchase experience with Demontrond quickly turned from bad to worse when the finance officer informed me that I would not be “allowed” to finance the purchase at the advertised 1.9% APR through Kia Motors Finance and would instead be forced into 3.25% APR at the behest of the Sales Manager, despite being more than qualified for the lower interest rate. After going around in circles with the finance officer, he finally offered what he believed to be the truth: Demontrond management was using the higher interest rate to recover even more profit from selling this car for MSRP. Each of my requests to finance at my qualified rate of 1.9% was rejected, costing me an extra $1,000 in interest.
I was, and still am, absolutely disgusted by this business practice and feel compelled to share this experience with anyone who is willing to listen to ensure that no one else has to endure such a belittling car buying process. In general, car dealers already have a bad reputation and, with the exception of Miguel – who was wonderful to work with, Demontrond managed to completely live up to that reputation.