Lyn Anderson and her husband Jim (not their real names) thought they should trade in their older Ford pickup and get a slightly newer, more family-friendly vehicle, so they went online to see what was available locally.
Little did they know what they were getting themselves into.
On the Red Rock Nissan Grand Junction web site, they spotted a used 2016 Ford Explorer a few years newer than their pickup, that was listed for sale at $17,000. They thought they could just swing the purchase if they could keep their monthly payments at about the same amount they had been paying on their existing vehicle loan.
The couple had already had a previous run-in at Red Rock Nissan, so they thought they were well prepared for how the dealership operates, and could deal with it.
In that first encounter, Lyn said, they had agreed on a purchase price for another vehicle at an acceptable interest rate, but when they went into the dealership to sign for the deal, the documents showed a higher payment and interest rate than they had already agreed to. The couple refused to sign and walked out, escaping a rip off.
With this experience under their belts, Lyn and Jim thought they were ready to deal with any further shady behavior by the dealership when they went back to consider the Explorer.
At the dealership, they looked at the vehicle, told the salesperson the monthly payment they needed, signed a few papers regarding their trade-in and went home. Shortly after they got home, Red Rock sent them an email that instructed them to provide electronic signatures, which they did.
“The signature link expired before I could screen shot it,” Lyn said.
Blindsided by electronic signatures
After that, Lyn said, they found out “We signed a loan application without it having a loan amount” on it, and “they never even told us a purchase price” they had paid for the vehicle. The dealership also added a warranty to their contract without telling them, and the Andersons had no idea how much they had been charged for the warranty. Their signature had been applied electronically and “we have never seen the actual contract.” The Andersons got their documents on a USB drive.
Later, the Andersons were astonished to find out they were now on the hook for a $30,000 loan at a 12.49% interest rate — for a vehicle that had been priced at $17,000. Lyn said “They overcharged me $12,000 on a loan I didn’t know I signed!”
They found themselves stuck with payments $150/month higher than their previous loan — far higher than they could afford.
Lyn and Jim were upset that they had unknowingly gotten themselves so much deeper into debt, and blamed themselves because they didn’t see what they were signing. But what they didn’t know was that they were far from being the only Red Rock customers who were treated this way and found themselves in a bad situation.
Jim had to increase his work hours to help pay off the debt. He’s now working 60 hours a week with only Sundays off.
Lyn was a stay-at-home mom until August, but after the Red Rock deal, she had to get two jobs to help the family stay afloat financially, a situation that is now taking a toll on their kids.
“I’m working two retail jobs at 40-50 hours a week. We also have two special needs kids that are now having more issues because so much of the home dynamic has changed, so we are hoping we can get to a point within the next 12-18 months where I only have to work one job. We are trying to refinance [the car] now, [but] we were holding off because we were trying to buy a home, which now has to be put on hold.”
The family had the vehicle for just 55 days when the transmission went out. After that, Lyn was left without a car for 22 days.
The family is now trying to refinance their Red Rock loan at a lower interest rate to help them climb out of debt.
Lyn wanted her family to remain anonymous for this article because they still have to deal with Red Rock Nissan’s service department over the engine problems they’re still having with their Explorer.
She wants others to know what happened to them because “I just don’t want others to be taken advantage of, either. I want people to know the shady things they do” at Red Rock Nissan.
Related stories: Customers fleeced out of thousands by Grand Junction Red Rock dealerships, Nov. 1, 2022
Another Red Rock dealership victim, Nov. 17, 2022