Free gas card dealership dilemma

Seven On Your Side
January 14, 2009 2:59:55 PM PST
Last summer after car sales started to slump and gas topped $4 per gallon, free gas cards became a hot enticement to lure buyers to showroom floors. But months after gas became cheap, two next door neighbors are sharing their story of how a dealer's promise of free gas evaporated."They were not honest. You know? They were not honest," Sheila Valero's talking about her car dealer, Massapequa Nissan who she says baited and switched her. Attracted by this ad promising a $300 gas card with every purchase, she bought a new Nissan last fall.

But, instead of getting a gas card, Sheila got a $500 voucher, with strings attached. "You have to send $100 worth of receipts a month to received $25 back," said Sheila.

That's a problem for Sheila. She doesn't drive enough to make the $100 per month gas quota. "It's a little tough with gas prices down to do $100 a month."

Sheila's next door neighbor, Josephine DelPesce, says she also got a worthless gas voucher after buying a car from Massapequa Nissan. "It's being devious now, with this. You know, being taken for a ride," said Josephine.

So we went to Massapequa Nissan. We showed the manager their own original ad promising gas cards and he quickly came around, "We'll reimburse them, I mean that's not an issue."

And the next day? "At quarter to 3 the doorbell rang and there was FEDEX and when I opened it up I screamed because I saw $500!" said Sheila.

Both ladies got checks for 500-dollars, "And a free oil change. Thank you."

A rep for Massapequa Nissan told us they started giving out vouchers because they ran out of gas cards. They said they'd switch out checks for vouchers for any unsatisfied customers.


Story by: Tappy Phillips

Produced by: Steve Livingstone