"Questionable Ethics of Sales Manager"
We had a very negative experience at the Pacific Mazda dealership in Victoria on July 30, 2020. It started out great, we had finally found the car of our dreams, a 2016 CX5. We were thrilled. Then things went horribly wrong.
We spent 1.5 hrs examining and test driving the car and told Rain, the salesman, we loved the car and wanted to buy it. We offered to put down a deposit on the car to hold it, and he said no need. We proceeded to his office to work out the deal. We were invited to test drive a new 2020 model while Rain worked out the deal. When we returned from the test drive, the 2016 CX5 was out on another test drive. We told Rain we weren't interested in the new car and wanted to buy the 2016. We were excited.
We went to Rain's office to conclude the deal. The asking price was okay but didn't understand why the monthly payments would total to $9000 more than the purchase price. We asked for details and Ben Sanders, the sales manager told these were other fees (including a mysterious fee to cover theft). He offered to write out all the fees and come back to explain them. We were happy with this offer and thought we would get a good understanding of what we were agreeing to.
While waiting for Ben and the written figures, Rain left and when he returned stunned us with the news that another salesman has people in his office and was negotiating the sale of the car we were doing the deal for. He said now we had to wait to see if they wanted the car or not before we could conclude our deal. We didn't understand.
We pointed out we test drove it first, had shown clear intent to buy the car, talked payment amounts, offered to put a deposit down and and were sitting with him negotiating the final deal! What was happening here? Had we done something wrong? We were incredulous.
Rain had to go to talk to Ben. Ben appeared and told us we did not put down a deposit so it was all okay for another salesman to proceed with another party.
We said this was not really fair and explained we had offered to put down a deposit but Rain told us this was not necessary. We told Ben we made it clear we were interested in the car, had spent the day test driving the car, examining it, discussing the inspection report and negotiating with Rain. We thought we had a verbal deal we just had to work out the details. We had figures in front of us and were in negotiation. He was part of the process!
Ben said that was unfortunate but that his hands were tied and there was nothing he could do, this was the law according to the Vehicle Sales Authority. He could not take a deposit without a written signed sales agreement . We disagree with Ben about this. Either he was misinformed or was being purposely misleading as there is no such provision in the VSA regulations.
At any time we could have signed a deposit agreement that would have secured the car for us until negotiations were complete. As Sales Manager he was part of both salesmen's negotiation. At any point he could have done the ethical thing and put the 2nd party negotiations on hold and done us the courtesy to conclude discussions with us. Its not like this went on for hours, this all transpired in less than half an hour.
Ben Sanders should have been ethical, corrected the situation and told the other people to wait as Rain was in the middle of negotiating a deal with people who had come first.
Because he neglected to tell us we couldn't do the deal until I asked about the fees, I can't help but think he encouraged the other deal because they did not ask questions. We were unaware of them but they surely knew about us. Did he use pressure tactics on the other party? Very gamey!
We had to wait until the other people decided if they wanted the car or not and if they didn't want it we could then proceed with our negotiations. There was nothing we could do about this situation but wait to see the outcome. We were heartbroken when the other salesman told us had sold the car.