When a Car Dealership Has the Tables Turned On Them

People generally see car dealers as sleazy, shady, or straight-up sneaky individuals who will give you a junk heap of a car in exchange for every cent you have. In reality, you can’t fault car dealers for doing business the way business is supposed to be done — maximizing profits and minimizing expenses. Since they can’t do anything downright illegal, many of them stretch things as far as the boundaries will go. This is the story of one man, who we will call John so as not to reveal his identity, who made the mistake of buying a car without really understanding the financial aspect of the situation. John, who was a shift supervisor at McDonald's made just $1,200 a month but his new car payment was $795 a month. He was in dire need of help and he was in luck because his best friend, who we’ll call Bill, was a former car dealer who knew the industry well enough to get him out of the mess in which he found himself. As soon as Bill picked up the paperwork, he immediately understood how much price gouging and upselling the salesman had done, even though it's completely legal. What was upsetting to Bill was the fact that the bank was fine with the fact that John's car payment was over half his monthly salary. A little investigation on Bill’s part revealed that the car salesman had made a teeny-tiny mistake on the application where it asked for John’s income. Somehow, his hand had slipped, and instead of writing $14,000, he wrote down $70,000. Oops! That was John’s ticket out of the nightmare. Bill explained that what the car salesman had done in writing down an incorrect income was considered bank fraud, which is a felony. John went back to the dealership and pointed out the teeny-tiny error to the general manager, who promptly agreed to cancel the deal. The reason he was so agreeable to “pretend it never happened” is because he stood to lose his franchise because of what this would do to the dealership’s reputation. Even though the general manager was ready to let John out of his contract, there was just one small problem — John’s trade-in had already been sold. After some negotiating, the general manager agreed to give John a newer car with less miles on it than John’s trade-in. So, although John was back to square one, he walked away with a better car and no car payment.