Pinetown Hyundai: Highly Questionable sales practices, terrible customer service and legal action!
Before I start this I just want to state that this whole incident happened over a period of 7 days from the 20th of February to the 26th February 2017.
I was looking to purchase a pre-owned 2014 Hyundai i10 from the Hyundai dealership in Pinetown, Durban. I put down an R5000 holding deposit on the vehicle whilst I arranged finance with my bank. Whilst in the dealership I was told that this holding deposit would be returned to me if I decided not to take the vehicle (this was witnessed by my Father). At the same time, the dealership offered to quote me for in-house finance as a comparison to the bank to which I agreed. Whilst I was arranging finance the salesman who was helping me urged me to consider a 2015 i10 at a higher price saying it was the "better deal". I asked to be shown a quote for the 2015 model as a comparison to the 2014 model which I was still primarily interested in.
After looking at my budget and comparing quotes I decided that the 2014 model (the model I paid R5000 to hold) would be best and I sent an email stating that I wanted to take it. I was then contacted by the same salesman about an hour or so later saying that the 2014 model which I had paid the R5000 to hold had been sold. The salesman again urged me to consider the 2015 model and I went to the dealership to discuss this (24th February 2017- late Friday afternoon). He tried to sell the 2015 model to me by "playing with the numbers" - including a large deposit and a large balloon payment at the end of the term. At this stage, I was feeling a little desperate and I tentatively agreed.
It's important to note here that at no point had I signed the final papers, nor was the Finance agreement in any way finalised or signed (rates etc were still being discussed) - it was essentially a quote and at most an intent to purchase.
After leaving the dealership and thinking about the offer which had been quoted to me I decided that it wasn't in my best interest. I emailed the salesman stating that I didn't want to take the 2015 model and I asked for the R5000 to be returned to me as per the original agreement (26th February 2017 - Sunday evening). I was then contacted again by the salesman who said the 2014 model had been returned to his stock (Coincidence? I think not). Feeling played and irritated at the thought of the dealership potentially hiding a vehicle in order to sell me a more expensive product (a strategy to which the New Car Sales Manager, Andre Collins, confessed to my Father and one of his peers, happens often) I declined this offer.
I then received an email stating that the R5000 I had deposited for the 2014 model was forfeit against costs incurred (which were none as the most they had done was quote on finance). I called the New Cars Sales manager, Andre Collinette, to enquire about this ludicrous claim but I was met with arrogance and such frank rudeness I was shocked. Taking it higher I received the same disregard and rudeness from Hyundai customer care as well as the Dealer Principle, Mark Torens.
I have since decided to take legal recourse against the dealership as I feel as it's the only option I have left.
Please, don't let yourselves be caught like me.