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Old 11-13-2012, 11:43 AM   #1
prohobo
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Default Car Order-delay Scam?!?

Please note that I just ordered two Subaru (WRX and STI 2013) and currently waiting for them. I got a good price on both, after shopping around (a price I am satisfied with).

I was talking with a friend who works at an Audi Dealer and told him about my experience with the Subaru dealer (which was very positive).

He mentioned the order-delay scam that has become more frequent. He told me this is how it works.

1. They order the car for you, with all your options, and you get a good price.
2. The car is delayed or going to take a few more weeks (which is untrue).
3. They call about a couple of weeks and said they got a similar model that just arrived, but not with all the same options.
4. However, if you want the car they can add those options at the dealer, but it will cost more. (usually $500 - $1500 depending on options).

The reality is that it was the car that you ordered in the first place. He said the ploy works is because they create disappointment when they call the client and tell them that the car is delayed. Then they call back when the car really does arrive on time, which then gets them excited and almost 100% of the time they will pay-up for the dealer installs.

He said his dealership NEVER does it and suggests always getting the VIN of an ordered car when possible to help prevent the scam, which is harder to fake. Plus once you have the VIN the car is built and is on it's way. However, he said that several dealerships that he is aware of have done that and some have made it a common practice, as it puts $500 - $1000 more into each sale.

He told me to make SURE to get the VIN number on the car if I ordered one, PRIOR to it showing up to the dealership. This would help prevent that scam from happening. He also said to check the forums and chat with other buyers that buy from your dealership to see if anything similar has happened to them. He didn't think this would happen to me and never heard that it happened with a Subaru dealer.

I just thought I would share this story and see if anyone else has heard of such a thing.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:51 AM   #2
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def sounds like something that dealerships would do. I was used to sell car and the first dealership I worked at was pretty shady. I heard crazy stories from other salesman of how they effed people over. Buying anything extra from the finanace dept where they do your sale paperwork is the biggest rip off.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:55 AM   #3
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I guess you could call that a scam... a bait-n-switch of sorts, but in the end it is the consumer's choice to say "I don't want to pay more than the agreed upon price, let me know when my car arrives with the price that we agreed upon." There is a very long thread going with people who ordered 2013 model WRXs and it seems that most folks ask for the VIN once it is available anyway.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by turbolvrwrx View Post
I guess you could call that a scam... a bait-n-switch of sorts, but in the end it is the consumer's choice to say "I don't want to pay more than the agreed upon price, let me know when my car arrives with the price that we agreed upon." There is a very long thread going with people who ordered 2013 model WRXs and it seems that most folks ask for the VIN once it is available anyway.
I agree, but imagine you ordered the car with the expectations of 4-6 weeks, then told it was going to be about 12 weeks. Then in a couple of weeks they call and say a car almost just like the one your ordered arrived and you can have it NOW (but pay up for the dealer installs) or wait a few more weeks or months?

I can see WHY people jump on it because they are already waiting and disappointed. If they are financing it then it is probably only a few extra bucks a month for them.

After reading the WRX/STI 2013 order thread, there are people waiting for over 4 months already. So I was wondering if anyone had a similar experience or thought this could possible happen in the Subu community.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:00 PM   #5
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There are suckers born every minute so...
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
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Aside from your friend, do you have any NEED to think that the dealership is scamming you in anyway? Because honestly it sounds like you let a friend get into your head a little too much.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:04 PM   #7
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Aside from your friend, do you have any NEED to think that the dealership is scamming you in anyway? Because honestly it sounds like you let a friend get into your head a little too much.
No, not at all. My dealership told me before purchasing the car that it would be 10-12 weeks, perhaps 14 weeks. As I mentioned in the OP, that I had a great experience with my dealer and also my friend said he never heard of that happening at a Subaru dealer.

The point I think he was making is that with auto-sales down since the recession, meaning the dealerships are moving fewer units, they are coming up with more creative ways to pad their bottom line. I just thought I would share it - nothing more or less. Just wondering if anyone else has heard of this and or experienced it?
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:01 PM   #8
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I'm guessing an unscrupulous dealership could take your down payment, make some interest off it for a few months while you're waiting for your supposed car to arrive, then either convince you to get a different car off the lot or refund you the payment while keeping the interest.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:06 PM   #9
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I'm guessing an unscrupulous dealership could take your down payment, make some interest off it for a few months while you're waiting for your supposed car to arrive, then either convince you to get a different car off the lot or refund you the payment while keeping the interest.
Interest of a $500 deposit?

I think the game (as describe to me) is about getting $500-$1500 dollars out of a sale, for the same options that WOULD HAVE be installed at the factory (at the time of order) vs. dealer install (in which labor has be to charged). I believe that is the purpose of it - not trying to make interest off a deposit. Which in this day an age, with the short-term rate at Zero, is really nothing, maybe $1 at best.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:14 PM   #10
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I think this is total urban legend.

When the car comes, it has the build sticker with all the options. If the options are listed on it, you pay what was originally agreed upon. If those options are missing from the sticker but have been added in the car, then you have to pay for your impatience.

Has your dealer called you to offer you this or are you just listening to morons? If they did call, you simply say "Ok, cancel my order. I'll be down to collect my deposit....I'm getting a Mustang instead, they have exactly what I want on the lot".

Or find the car somewhere else.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:16 PM   #11
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I was thinking the deposit would be closer to $2000 or so. I guess a short term, high yield account isn't realistic though. Their main goal is just to get the deposit from you in the first place so you are trapped into buying something once the car you really wanted never shows up.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:16 PM   #12
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Scams only work if you allow yourself to get scammed.

Dealer calls, says they have a car in stock, but it doesn't have what you ordered, but they can install it for more money.

You tell dealer that you will come down to look at the car before you decide.

If the car doesn't have everything you want, you can tell them you'll continue to wait, or tell them you'll take it - MINUS the cost of the options you had ordered in your pre-negotiated price.

If the car does have everything on it that you ordered, then you caught the dealer in a lie, and it's up to you to decide if you want to deal with a dishonest dealer.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:26 PM   #13
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I think this is total urban legend.

When the car comes, it has the build sticker with all the options. If the options are listed on it, you pay what was originally agreed upon. If those options are missing from the sticker but have been added in the car, then you have to pay for your impatience.

Has your dealer called you to offer you this or are you just listening to morons? If they did call, you simply say "Ok, cancel my order. I'll be down to collect my deposit....I'm getting a Mustang instead, they have exactly what I want on the lot".

Or find the car somewhere else.
Urban Legend? Well, since I have never heard of it, nor has anyone else it would seem, and I was "told" this was more of a recent scam, then I don't think it would qualify as an Urban Legend - yet.

This was only what I was told by a guy I know that is a Audi dealer. Note, he was NOT trying to sell me a car - we were just talking about my STI that I ordered. He asked me - about my ordering and how it went. I think he was just interested in the options. When I told him that I was told the car was going to be DELAYED for a few weeks, that is when he told me the story about it. He said it was something more recent, last couple of years, and becoming more prevalent. I don't know why he would lie to me about it, but to be fair, I also don't know if he has first hand knowledge either.

It does make sense and I can understand with the last couple of years of a significant slow down in sales that dealers are always looking for an edge.

While I do agree that the sticker shows all the options, is it not possible for the dealer just to order your car SHORT those options from the factory and just add them as a dealer install?

It certainly doesn't seem that difficult and while it maybe improbable, it doesn't mean it's impossible.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:33 PM   #14
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Scams only work if you allow yourself to get scammed.

Dealer calls, says they have a car in stock, but it doesn't have what you ordered, but they can install it for more money.

You tell dealer that you will come down to look at the car before you decide.

If the car doesn't have everything you want, you can tell them you'll continue to wait, or tell them you'll take it - MINUS the cost of the options you had ordered in your pre-negotiated price.

If the car does have everything on it that you ordered, then you caught the dealer in a lie, and it's up to you to decide if you want to deal with a dishonest dealer.

From my understanding of the scam is it works like this:

1. You order the car "supposedly" with your options and it will be here in 3-4 weeks.

2. They call you shortly after you order and tell you it is delayed and will be here in 8 weeks. (regardless of reason, I am sure they make it sound legit).

3. They call you in 4 weeks when the car you actually ordered arrives and tell you that one came in, but not the one you ordered, minus a couple of options.

4. They give you the option, continue to WAIT for the car you ordered for the price you ordered it for OR you can pay extra to have the factory order parts "dealer installed", but that will cost because they have to pay for labor and the parts cost more when not installed at the factory.

So they GIVE you the option. They have NO downside, because they had already agreed to sell you the car for X and this is just a possible opportunity for them to squeeze out a few more $$$$.

That is how I understand the scam (or bait-n-switch) or whatever you want to call it.

However, how would one KNOW if they are being scammed or not?

I guess the advice that I was told was to get the VIN number, prior to the delivery, which would arm you with that information.

I personally don't have any experience with this, this was something that was told to me by another dealer (who has NOTHING to do with Subaru), and I just thought I would share it with the community.

I certainly wasn't looking to start anything and sorry if I did, which was not my intention.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:57 PM   #15
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^^^I just watched early episode of Top Gear where they described it in almost the some way.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #16
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I actually had the opposite happen to me, a swp wrx arrived at the dealership 4 weeks earlier than my expected delivery date. It had my exact specs but included the rubber floor mats that i didn't order, so they just gave them to me. Not like they cost that much, but it was cool.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:15 PM   #17
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If this were something that was going on, it's a simple bait and switch and has been going on for a hundred years.

Let's say for argument's sake that it is going on. So the dealer takes your order and what? Doesn't place it? Because why? Then some random car comes and he says he'll install options at a higher price. Ok. that's a pretty low probability risk of them actually having a customer take it. Wouldn't it be easier for them to ..... Oh, I don't know.... place the order for the car as you are ready to buy?

Ok.....now here is something that I would believe: Ready? You place your order. Car comes in and someone sees it, falls in love with it and is willing to buy it for $2000 more than your agreed price. Dealer sells to him and scrambles to get you a car. They offer you a different car and offer to install the options that it doesn't have. Now, that one I can believe. If you say no, he says it's going to be longer. Why? He just sold your car to someone else and is placing an order for you right now. And you know what? That's a trick older than me.

So perhaps the Audi friend is such a n00b that he hasn't heard these very old tactics and is like "oh man....listen to what some un-named dealer-but-not-me is doing" like it's never been seen before. But he misinterpreted something or forgot some details.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prohobo View Post
However, how would one KNOW if they are being scammed or not?
Please see below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamBot View Post
You tell dealer that you will come down to look at the car before you decide.
Done.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:50 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jack ffr1846 View Post
If this were something that was going on, it's a simple bait and switch and has been going on for a hundred years.

Let's say for argument's sake that it is going on. So the dealer takes your order and what? Doesn't place it? Because why? Then some random car comes and he says he'll install options at a higher price. Ok. that's a pretty low probability risk of them actually having a customer take it. Wouldn't it be easier for them to ..... Oh, I don't know.... place the order for the car as you are ready to buy?

Ok.....now here is something that I would believe: Ready? You place your order. Car comes in and someone sees it, falls in love with it and is willing to buy it for $2000 more than your agreed price. Dealer sells to him and scrambles to get you a car. They offer you a different car and offer to install the options that it doesn't have. Now, that one I can believe. If you say no, he says it's going to be longer. Why? He just sold your car to someone else and is placing an order for you right now. And you know what? That's a trick older than me.

So perhaps the Audi friend is such a n00b that he hasn't heard these very old tactics and is like "oh man....listen to what some un-named dealer-but-not-me is doing" like it's never been seen before. But he misinterpreted something or forgot some details.
Unfortunately from your post, you do not seem to understand the art of this particular con (for lack of a better word). Maybe it was my lack of explanation, so let me try again.

1. They DO order the car.
2. They tell you it would take 4 weeks (which is most likely the TRUTH).
3. They call you a short time latter to tell you it has been delayed to 8-10 weeks. (the LIE).
4. They call you in 4 weeks when your car DOES arrive, but they TELL YOU it is a random car that arrived in inventory and does NOT have all the FACTORY options you ordered. However, if you want that CAR now, they can install those as "dealer options" but it will cost you $500 - $1000 more or you can wait.

Obviously no skin off the teeth of the dealer - he can sell it to someone else, sell it to you for more, and also has you locked into a car with a deposit. What's the worse case scenario for him, a loss of a deposit? Seems simple enough and plausible.

I apologize if you didn't understand this the first time, maybe it was my inability to effectively communicate it. For that I apologize.

However, I think your ad hominem efforts and calling my friend a noob is a little extreme. Are you not a moderator?

Last edited by prohobo; 11-13-2012 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:21 PM   #20
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You would have to be pretty dense to fall for this. If they offer you a car with things you don't want at a price you didn't agree upon, you just walk away.

And then what, do they keep your car on the lot for another X amount of weeks until when you are supposed to pick it up?
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:22 PM   #21
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hmm my common sense says:

If they try to give you a car with a higher price or lower options, for example, what you did not order. Tell them NO. Problem solved. Then you either wait for your car that was ordered, or cancel your order and get $ back.

Why do people need to post simple questions that common sense should answer for them.

Hey guys, the light on my gas gauge is on, should i get gas or will it go away?
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:20 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Horuku View Post
You would have to be pretty dense to fall for this. If they offer you a car with things you don't want at a price you didn't agree upon, you just walk away.

And then what, do they keep your car on the lot for another X amount of weeks until when you are supposed to pick it up?
I don't think one would have to be dense to fall for this. You have the option of having your car EARLIER but for a few more dollars so the options can be added by the dealer or waiting and get it later for the price you agreed to. I think the dealer would try to make this sound more like an OPTION if you choose to get it earlier, but have to share in the cost of adding the options at the dealer, rather than the factory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lando View Post
hmm my common sense says:

If they try to give you a car with a higher price or lower options, for example, what you did not order. Tell them NO. Problem solved. Then you either wait for your car that was ordered, or cancel your order and get $ back.

Why do people need to post simple questions that common sense should answer for them.

Hey guys, the light on my gas gauge is on, should i get gas or will it go away?
I think you are missing the point, you are not getting a car with lower options for a higher price. You are getting the car you ordered with the option you ordered, but those options are added at the dealer (rather than the factory) which costs more.


I am not sure why this seems so hard to fathom or why it seems to draw so much argumentative type commentary.

I sure didn't mean to start a flame thread or drum up the hate. I appreciate if I didn't do a good job in my initial op to warrant a more detailed explanation.

I thought it interesting to share, guess not... sorry...
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:45 PM   #23
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I am not sure why this seems so hard to fathom or why it seems to draw so much argumentative type commentary.
It's because most here don't bother to acutally read the post(s), but would rather jump on the author of the post and call him and/or his friends idiots. I understood your original post about this bait and switch (it wasn't hard to follow).

It seems that this scam is completely plausible and it is easily understandable why some would fall for it. You order a car that you have been waiting years to get and get let down when you find out it's going to take twice as long to get to you. Low and behold, a different car shows up and will cost you a bit more to have the same options installed. I can see how some would jump at the opportunity to have the car several weeks earlier for an additional cost.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:47 PM   #24
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Hey man I get what you are saying and I think it is helpful to know a dealer might try to pull this. Especially being a first time new car buyer. I would not be to happy if a shady dealer tried to pull this on me.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:48 PM   #25
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It's because most here don't bother to acutally read the post(s), but would rather jump on the author of the post and call him and/or his friends idiots. I understood your original post about this bait and switch (it wasn't hard to follow).

It seems that this scam is completely plausible and it is easily understandable why some would fall for it. You order a car that you have been waiting years to get and get let down when you find out it's going to take twice as long to get to you. Low and behold, a different car shows up and will cost you a bit more to have the same options installed. I can see how some would jump at the opportunity to have the car several weeks earlier for an additional cost.
For a second I thought I was crazy and no one got it. Thanks for the reassuring response that I was able to explain it.

Maybe I am just getting too old.
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