Completely true story.
On Wednesday 8/7/13, I visited a local vendor to look at a 2007 Compass. It was a very stripped down model with manual transmission, about 80k miles, manual windows and locks but with 4x4. The vehicle had no rust anywhere and the interior was spotless. I needed a good commuter since I started a job requiring 110 miles a day and live in upstate NY and have snow to deal with. There was a popping noise in the front end so I was worried about the control arms or tie rods. Salesman agreed to have it checked and fixed before pickup, so I signed the sales agreement and paid a deposit. Pickup scheduled for Friday 8/9.
On Friday 8/9 as I was getting ready to drive to the dealer for pickup, I received a call from the salesman stating that when checking the front end, they discovered structural damage to the frame at the rear of the vehicle caused by rust. Dealer pulled the vehicle back as a no sell. As of today (8/23) I am still trying to get the deposit back.
After looking around for a couple of weeks, I had not found anything else that I liked. Started looking for end of year 2013 Compass specials and wound up back at the same dealer. They had the only base model in the area left. Went to negotiate price on Tuesday of this week but left without reaching agreement on price. Finally got the dealer talking on Wednesday, so went back and test drove the vehicle. During the test drive I mentioned I wished the Compass was the Cherry Red instead of the Black that they had.
When we got back to the dealership and started working up the price, the salesman asked me to look at another Compass parked on the lot. Said it was the exact same vehicle (manual trans, 4x4, electric windows and locks, AC) except in the red color I wanted. It was previously sold, but they could not get the financing. I looked at it briefly, but didn't test drive it. As they were writing up the sales agreement, they hit me with a $300 up charge due to some minor difference between the two. It was worth it to me to get the color I wanted, so I didn't fight it.
Got home and started setting up the insurance. When I entered the VIN, it came up as a FWD. I was very upset at this point. I can understand errors occur, but when the salesman charged me more for a FWD with a smaller engine than the one I tested I felt cheated. I will take part of the blame for not actually checking the vehicle myself but still think this is their error.
On Thursday, they changed the agreement back to the 4x4 version and corrected the price. I had a long discussion with the sales manager and they took another $500 off the price plus cut an additional $300 off the extended warranty. Pick it up in the morning and then plan to run as far as possible from this vendor. Can't walk away from the deal because I am getting $5,000 of list.
Wish me luck with the pickup and I hope the Compass is more reliable than the dealer.