Did you buy a vehicle from a Red Rock dealership and think you may have fallen victim to shady sales tactics? If so here’s some help:
First, think back to the day of your purchase:
Did the financial manager have you sign your name electronically on an IPad or email Docu-sign link? Did the financial person show you your full contract including the page with all the numbers on it, with the total price of the purchase and all the extras, before your signature appeared on it? Did the financial person tell you about the extras that had been added to your contract — extended warranties, maintenance agreements, oil changes, coatings, insurance, etc. – and did you openly agree to pay for all of them, or were they hidden from you?
If you signed digitally, were not shown your contract during the sale and the dealership did not tell you the full amount you were committing to before they added your signature to the contract including all the extras, then you are a victim of illicit Red Rock sales tactics.
When a salesperson intentionally hides the financial information from the buyer in the course of closing the sale, it is called a “hands-down close,” a “five-finger close” or a “five-finger spread.”
Here’s what to do:
Dig out the documents from your purchase and look them over.
Then, contact the bank or credit union that holds your vehicle loan. Ask to speak to the loan officer and say want to see all the information the dealership submitted to them for your deal through platforms like Credit Union Direct Lending (“CUDL”) or DealerTrack. Customers usually never get to see this information, so it is a ripe place for a dealer to lie about your deal and try and qualify you for a bigger loan than you would normally be able to get, so they can make more money off you. The problem is, it will result a bigger loan than you can afford. You might have to go the bank or credit union in person to prove your identity before you can get this information. Do it ASAP. The lender should have copies of all of the documents from your purchase, so if you can’t manage to dig them up, if the dealership failed to give them to you or if they accidentally gave you someone else’s documents (yes, people have reported that has happened) the lender will have copies of everything.
Once you get all the information about your deal from the lender, sit down and take a close look at it for the following things:
- INCOME – Look to see if the gross income Red Rock reported to the lender matches what what you really make. Did they inflate your gross income to the lender? If so, by how much? An inflated income can cause them to get you to get a bigger loan than you can afford. Also, check to see if all the correct boxes were checked on the credit application, or if they were even marked at all.
- RENT/MORTGAGE Amount – Check the amount the dealership put down for your monthly rent or mortgage payment, and note if it is the correct amount of your actual rent or mortgage payment.
- VEHICLE DESCRIPTION – Look at the description of the vehicle the dealership provided to the lender on the “book sheet” and check to see if it matches the features and trim style of your vehicle. Did they add any features it doesn’t really have, like leather seats or a sunroof? This will inflate the value of the vehicle to the lender, resulting in a bigger loan.
- SIGNATURES – Look to see if the signatures on all the “Buyer” and “Purchaser” lines are your own, or if they look like someone tried to forge or mimic your signature. Also check to see if there are blank signature lines on agreements that resulted in your being charged more for extras, like Resistall. People have been charged for items even though their signature did not appear on the agreement to buy them.
- Look to see if Red Rock charged for extras they didn’t tell you about and you didn’t agree to buy when you purchased the vehicle, like an extended warranty (look for words like “Portfolio” or “Endurance”), a maintenance contract, sprays or coatings (like “Resistall,” Covid treatment, anti-bacterial treatment, glass etching etc.), key fob insurance or other items you didn’t know about or agree to.
- Check the selling price of your vehicle on your contract. Does it match the price you understood the vehicle would cost, for example the price that was in the ad or online vehicle listing you responded to? Or is it inflated above that amount?
- Are any pages of your deal missing?
If any of the information on your credit application, contracts or other documents appears suspect, like if the signatures on the “Buyer” and “Purchaser” lines are not yours, if the selling price is inflated, your gross income is misrepresented, the dealership did not show you the page of the contract with the final cost of your deal, you signed digitally and they misused your digital signature, or if you were charged for items you weren’t told about and didn’t want, then:
- File a complaint online with the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Auto Industry Division (AID), which regulates dealerships. Have photos or images of your documents ready to upload. The complaint will notify the AID about the problem(s) so they can investigate and take action against the dealership if merited.
- If you believe you were the victim of a financial crime in the course of doing the transaction, like forged signatures or other fraudulent activity, fill out a Grand Junction Police Department Financial Crimes Reporting form (pdf), call the GJPD non-emergency dispatch line at 970-242-6707 and schedule a time for an officer to take your report in person.
- If you were cheated out of money and/or put into financial distress as a result of deceitful acts or misrepresentations the dealer made during the course of the purchase, make a list of everything you believe was illicit. Tell your lender you believe you were the victim of a fraudulent deal and then…
- >Contact the dealership. Make an appointment to speak in person with the platform manager/owner. Bring all your documents and friends or family members with you to the meeting, not just for moral support, but to witnesses the interaction. Tell the platform manager about all the problems you found with your deal, and describe the financial difficulty it has caused you. Before the visit, consider what you’d like the dealership to do to help you get out of the financial distress they put you in, and don’t be shy about asking for what you need to get back to where you were financially before you did business with Red Rock. Has your credit score tanked because you’ve had to rely more on your credit cards to get by? Have you been forced to get second and third jobs just to make your car payment after doing a deal at Red Rock? Have you missed payments and gotten your credit dinged because the monthly payments they arranged are far more than you can manage? So far Red Rock has taken back people’s cars, paid their loans off in full, and provided additional funds to help people whose credit they ruined by a deceitful deal. And don’t take the first thing they offer. Stick to your guns and demand everything you truly need to get back to where you were financially before you did the deal with them.
- Also consider reporting your experience to the Federal Trade Commission to help them formulate laws to rein in illicit behavior by dealerships.
I recently purchased a vehicle at Red Rock KIA and it was a very good experience, customer service was excellent, all very transparent and they all were very professional. I have followed this issue here online closely so I know about some of the stories. I heard people responsible have been fired. Paying close attention is always important in these transactions.
I’m glad to hear you had a good experience. Concern remains however for all of the people in this community who did business with these dealerships over the last 5 years who did not benefit from these recent changes in behavior, who were victimized and suffered irreparable financial harm due to the corporate culture of greed at Red Rock and Tim Dahle-owned dealerships.
Not all of the people who perpetrated these wrongs on people have been fired. Many are still working there.
And take your lawyer along!
Yuk Yuk. One could use the old saying “Don’t trust them any farther than you can see them” but that isn’t near enough with these thieves.