Blank contract causes car invoice ripoff

7 On Your Side with Nina Pineda

Seven On Your Side
April 27, 2012 2:58:21 PM PDT
When Baseemah Hamid met her fiancé, she knew that between her kids and his, they would need a bigger car.

In February, the couple's car shopping took them to Eastchester Chrysler Jeep Dodge, where they thought they were getting a great deal on a used SUV.

"We did explain that this was our first time, so I think they used that and stuck it straight to us," said Hamid.

Hamid put down a $2,500 deposit, and both she and the sales manager signed an agreement. The price of the car was more than $8700. But before leaving, Hamid says the salesman asked her to sign a blank contract.

The blank contract was all with good reason. Three days later when they came back to pick up the car, there was a "new" contract. However on the new one, the price of the car ballooned from $8700 to $9500

The deposit magically deflated - by $150

"It makes me feel used somewhat and taken for a joy ride," said Hamid.

The dealership would only agree to refund $375. But Hamid says she never got the check.

After crunching the numbers in the two contracts, 7 on your Side found the devils in the documentation.

The couple had been overcharged, not just $375, but much more - nearly $900.

7 on your Side explained the issue to Eastchester Dodge General Manager Barry Shaen.

He went to investigate, and by the time he came back it was let's make a deal. However, there was still a difference of $1,011

The very next day, Eastchester Dodge picked up a check in exactly that amount.

What 7 on your Side found Hamid was even more. Since she was financing the car, there was interest on the price discrepancy. As for the dealership, they said it was an accounting mistake that he fixed. The big tip - never sign a blank contract.



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