I was looking around to buy my first car, went to a couple of dealers (OpenRoad Infiniti/Audi, Jonker Nissan, Preston Cadillac, King George Nissan) and some used-car lots. I eventually ended up at Barnes Wheaton GM South Surrey.
Whilst taking a look at their selection of used cars, I was (unfortunately) spotted by one of their sales advisors. He was a timid, inexperienced, unconfident young man no more than a few years older than I. He did his best to drive me towards me their rather unflattering inventory of used vehicles. Unimpressed I began to take my leave when a red sedan took my attention. I went back inside the building and inquired about the vehicle with him. After some negotiating, he said that there was a similar vehicle in their nearby storage lot with the options and feature that I was looking for. He said he could get it transferred to the lot next-day so that I could take a look at it, I agreed and left.
The next day, after work, literally minutes before I arrived at the dealership per mine and the sales advisor's agreed upon time - I receive a call from an unrecognized number. I answer it - it's another sales advisor from Barnes Wheaton GM South Surrey. His name was Sunny. He gave me a spiel about how the original sales advisor was unavailable and that he was covering for him. He insisted that I meet him. I did and he had the car there. Took it for a quick test drive up highway 99 and then down highway 10. Liked the car. Loved the features. We get back to the lot and get down to the nitty-gritty of negotiating a deal. Sunny is an experienced sales advisor and knows what he's doing. He has the deal locked and I barely get $2000 off of the list price. See, the main selling point in the deal was the 0% financing. I figured I was getting a pretty good deal. I had never bought or owned a vehicle before and had no idea how financing worked - and they knew this at Barnes Wheaton GM South Surrey and used it to their advantage.
After waiting a week for the finance to be approved, I get a call from another unrecognized number. I answer it and it's Cherise - another sales advisor. According to her there were "problems" with the financing. A car loan I had co-signed a few years earlier was impeding the deal. She told me she would "work harder" for the financing. A few hours later she calls again and said that I had been approved. Great, right? I tell her I'll be in to pick up the car and sign the documents the following Saturday.
Saturday comes. I meet Cherise, she takes my certified cheque for $5000 and leaves with the insurance agent. After purchasing the car insurance I head back into Cherise’s office. She lays the sales contract in front of me and tells me to sign it. I give it a quick read and stop at the part where it says the financing rate. It doesn’t say 0% like it’s supposed to. It said 7.49%! She never mentioned this! Not on any one of the phone conversations, when I came to dealership with my xxxx $5000 in hand or when I was buying the freaking car insurance!! She coerces and persuades me to sign the sales contract, making claims that it’s “not a big deal” and that “everyone pays financing”. Being a young and naïve person I sign the sales contract. Her attitude changes and she seems to be quite relieved and happy with her herself.
A few minutes later she takes me outside onto the lot and we head to the car. She stops, hands me the keys and says thanks. She walks off and I’m standing there realizing that I just bought my very first car, a compact sedan, for nearly $40,000. A car that was listed at $27,000.
A few days go by and I just say to myself that I have to return this money-pit before it’s too late. I attempt to talk to Cherise by phone. She was extremely rude and argumentative, stating “too bad”. I tell her that I’m going to speak with her General Manager and she mockingly tells me to “go ahead” and that he “wouldn’t even bother to waste his time” with me. I am beyond pissed off by now.
I go to the dealership and demand to speak with Larry Holcraft, the General Manager. He was in a meeting with product salesmen so I waited. And waited. Finally he emerges from his office on the second floor and I approach him. I lay it all out there for him. He said he wants to meet with myself, Cherise and Eric Knight (the sales manager).
Nearly a week has gone by at this point. Larry keeps putting off the meeting making claims that Cherise has the day off or Eric is unavailable.
Finally this big meeting occurs. Cherise accuses me of calling her names and berating her on the telephone – completely unfounded garbage. Larry and Eric deflect the fact that I was bent over and rail-roaded in the deal. They make excuses and offer a meaningless “$250 service coupon” for use at their store. As if I would ever take my vehicle to be serviced by them! Not to mention that they charged a whopping $1210 in documentation fees – something that shouldn’t be more than $400 to $500!! Nothing is resolved after this meeting.
In the end they screwed me, a young first-time car buyer, right over. No one should buy a vehicle from any of the Barnes Wheaton stores, including their Harley-Davidson store in Langley. And no one should be purchasing parts or having service done at any of their stores either.
TL;DR: If ANYONE is in need of a Chevrolet GMC Cadillac product, please avoid Barnes Wheaton altogether. There are plenty of alternatives: Dueck GM, Eagle-Ridge GM, Carter GM or Murray GM.