File this one under the dangers of mixing traditional Brick & Mortar business practices with the immediacy and transparency of the internet. Glenn Hyundai of Lexington, Kentucky placed a slightly used Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T on eBay Motors. There was no reserve, and a gencoupe.com forum member named McFly made a bid of $16,125 and won the auction. (Here's a PDF of the auction.)
Not a bad price, especially as the Gen Coupe in question had less than 5,000 miles on it and costs over $22,000 when new. McFly then secures financing from his bank to pay for the Coupe, makes the necessary travel arrangements to go pick up his car (he doesn't live in Kentucky) and calls the dealer to put down a deposit with his credit card. This is when things begin to go bad. We'll let McFly take it from here:
"I talk to the front desk secretary, ask her how to make my deposit for an Internet Sales deal I have, and she immediately transfers me to Eric Manley. I talk to Eric briefly and he laughs at me over the phone, 'Sorry buddy but you're not getting it for that price, he says. I tell him it's a deal that I have worked out with the Internet Sales guy, and I'm ready to make the deposit. He laughs at me again, and says, 'Sorry buddy, not for that price." It's obvious that this guy knows nothing about it, but it's odd that he won't let me make my deposit. He's clearly either confused or not the right guy."
Youch - and you know there's a Hyundai Assurance joke in there somewhere. No one wants to be laughed at, especially when you won the car in question fairly and in a legal manner on an eBay auction. McFly doesn't give up, and eventually finds out that the owner's name is Cy Dicken. He gets in touch with a guy named Tad, who called McFly supposedly to take his credit card info. It turns out that Tad is the person who placed the Genesis Coupe on eBay in the first place.
"Tad tells me that he's the one that made the deal (listed the eBay auction), and there is no way I'm getting it for that price, and that he doesn't care about the Legal Binding Contract that they have (the eBay auction). I'm not getting the deal.
"We argue back and forth for a while. He offers a Christmas card, and then a Turkey [sic] for compensation, while I tell him that I have a 'Legal Binding Contract' from them and that I'm not going away until I get my car or some compensation for this headache that they've put me through. He then says, that 'Sorry, car has already been sold, so you can't have it it's gone.'
"He says, 'We're going around in circles, you're not getting the car that I don't have here to sell you, and definitely not for that price. You've had a few people hang up on you already, why continue this? Didn't I tell you I was the owner.' All lies of course, as I tell him 'No you told me that you were Tad, not Cy Dicken, and everyone has been real nice so far, no ones hung up on me.'"
It goes on and on like this. To make a long story short, McFly didn't get the car at that price. We saw a similar case a while back when a Nebraska BMW dealer refused to honor an auction for a $60,000 M3. Due to pressure, they eventually caved in and agreed to let the car go for the price they sold it for. Still, you've got to wonder if the few thousand dollars both of these dealers feel they deserve is worth the headaches and bad press.
We contacted Glenn Hyundai to get their side of the story, but were passed around before ultimately being hung up on. We then contacted Hyundai USA, who told us, "We expect our dealers to contract in good faith with customers. We do not know the details of this transaction. But we hope the dealer and customer in question can come to a mutually beneficial agreement." We'll keep you posted if McFly's situation changes.
Note: after this story was first posted on Autoblog.com, a number of event transpired, which we'll list for you here:
UPDATE: Jalopnik.com reportedly spoke to Internet Manager Eric Manley, who said, "I don't know what the kid's problem is other than he's a little psycho." He's also threatening to sue the buyer because of "slander" and claims he "lost his mind."
UPDATE: From McFly: "Glenn Hyundai's lawyer called me (about 1 hr ago). He says that there have been numerous calls to the dealership today, and that I need to stop. I told him that I hadn't called since December (it was actually on 12/18/09 when I talked to Elizabeth McKinley about the last and final purchase order, which stated 'Not ebay internet price'). He said he found the information I posted on the internet, and to stop contacting the local news (which I haven't contacted, maybe someone else did, I don't know). He also asked that I take off all the information from the internet. If I don't comply that the dealership and he will take legal action. He asked me for my address so that he could send a formal letter requesting these things. He has my address, 'it's on the purchase order they faxed me,' I told him."
UPDATE: More from McFly: "Good news, Glenn Hyundai and I have come to an agreement. I am now taking the next step, and changing every one of my posts to reflect that 'This was a misunderstanding and we have come to an agreement.' I'll give the details of the agreement once everything has been finalized. Thanks so much for all the help that you've all given me."
No word on what the "agreement" is, nor what the "misunderstanding" consisted of. That said, all of McFly's posts have been changed to read, "This was a misunderstanding and we have come to an agreement."
UPDATE: If you're still calling the dealership to voice your opinion, please stop. There are reports that McFly could be in danger of losing the deal if calls to the dealership continue.
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