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-poke-I had put a deposit on this car and return 1 week later to find the front clam damaged. Myself and my son rented a car and drove 4 1/2 hrs to find that this car had been damaged after the deposit had been made. The owner of Car Connections now refuses to return the deposit after stating upon deposit, "that if the car was damaged my deposit would be returned in full". This car has HID lights installed by HRM (which is now out of business and will not warranty) the ballasts are against the front clam and rubbing. On the passenger side of this car there is (or was if it has been repaired) a spider crack the size of the top of a soda can. Looking at the HID installation the driver side is ready to crack in the near future. Buyer beware!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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From their website:

A Message From Our Founder

Car Connections USA, Inc was founded in an effort to fix much of what I believe is wrong with the car industry. I graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. After graduation, I spent 6 years working in Public Accounting and Consulting for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. During my tenure at PwC, people would often ask me to help them find, buy or sell cars. It frustrated me to have only limited ability to help people negotiate. In 2002, I resigned my position with PwC to chase my dream in the automobile industry. I committed all of my resources to building an automobile business based upon knowledge, integrity and value.

Today, our Dealership provides these three factors to our clients. We offer you our knowledge at no cost. If you have a question about a car you own or are considering buying, we encourage you to contact us for advice. We offer integrity by giving honest advice and honest descriptions of the cars we sell. If you ask us to compare one of our cars and another one you're considering, we will give you accurate data about both cars to help you decide upon the right one. Value is offered in our low prices. We sell our cars consistently for thousands below franchise dealer prices. We operate on a low overhead model that enables us to sell cars with minimal markup.

We know your time is valuable and we appreciate your taking time to learn more about our organization. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. We are looking forward to making your next car buying experience a positive one!
(highlighting mine)
 

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I know these guys pretty well and they have an excellent reputation around here. No one has 100% positive experiences in the used car business (or any other) but I would be interested in their explanation.
 

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Did a quick search, they appear to be in PA on their site. Searching dealers on Lotus, they are not one of the two dealers listed by lotus. So that may be a factor... not actually knowledgeable about lotus vehicles... just a trade in they are trying to sell? (but of course I don't know for sure since I have no knowledge about them and regardless there are plenty of horror stories about authorized Lotus dealers)

Hope the situation can be worked out
 

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Some truth and perspective. WHAT IS A DEPOSIT?

Be careful making assumptions of guilt when only hearing one side of a story. As the founder and owner of Car Connections USA, I am blessed to have a loyal client following and a fantastic reputation in an industry where that takes time and effort to earn. I can assure you that, if the story presented by the accuser was true, we would happily refund his deposit. A brief search for posts by fjrexige will reveal that he fancies himself a critic and has bashed Rothrock for selling a dirty car, HRM for going out of business and us for refusing to return his deposit.

The truth of the matter is that the frustrated poster indeed came down to visit the pre-owned car, spent over 2 hours examining it, then placed a deposit on it. He agreed this deposit would take the car off the market and was non-refundable. He then waited a week, during which time, he found a 2007 that had never yet been sold. He came back down to finalize the transaction, but admitted he thought he may be crazy for buying a used one when he had found a good deal on a new 2007 elsewhere. Armed with a flashlight, he then executed an extraordianarily thorough examination of our car, scrutinizing each and every nick and chip he could find. In his examination, noticed a minute blemish on the front clam that he had not seen in in his first review. He mentioned the mark to us, expressed that he had missed it in his first checkover, and asked if we would be willing to help remedy it. Everett and I discussed it, and we agreed to reduce the sale price by $750 to reflect the cost of refinishing the clam. He happily agreed to the adjustment.

In his presence, we called the previous owner, who explained that the blemish was caused during the installation of the HID headlights when he originally bought the car. We also called the original selling dealer to ask if they would stand behind their workmanship. They declined. It is a tiny blister in the paint under the clearcoat, only noticeable in direct sunlight. Fearing that this blemish might someday appear again, or surface on the other side someday, he changed his mind and said he was afraid to buy the car. He again mentioned having stumbled upon a new 2007 during the week since he left his deposit. The more he thought about it, he felt he'd rather have a new car than a used one. He said, it would take several thousand dollars of adjustment as he feared the unknown costs of fixing the blemish. Tired of his bizzare bargaining tactics, we elected to cut him loose and repair and re-advertise the vehicle. He acknowledged that he was flaking because the new one he had found was really tempting him and he couldn't see taking any blemish without a huge price adjustment. He apologized and agreed to forfeit his deposit. We happily assisted him in his transportation both to and from our facility, minimizing the cost and impact his change of heart had on him. Days later, he contacted us, frustrated, asking for his money back.

What is a deposit? We are selling a used car for a fraction of its new value. It has never been tracked, is in fantastic shape, and was identical to the condition it was in when first inspected by the disgruntled reviewer. If I hold a car off the market for a buyer for a week, turning buyers away, should a deposit be refunded when a buyer flakes? A deposit serves several purposes: 1) It creates a binding contract upon buyer and seller. 2) It is a psychological tool used by dealers to guide the consumer into committing to a particular car, hence stopping the shopping process. 3) It represents an amount of money that both buyer and seller agree is a fair amount to forfeit should the buyer find himself unable or unwilling to complete his transaction. Words of wisdom would be to place a deposit when you are ready to buy a car, not when you are still thinking about it and shopping.

The lesson learned by all: Look carefully at a vehicle before agreeing to buy it. If you want to keep options open, allow the seller to also continue to advertise the vehicle to others. If you are ready to pay for the exclusive right to purchase a vehicle, then place a deposit on it, knowing that, should you have a change of heart, you lose only that deposit. We are sorry for this gentleman's frustration with his purchase experience.
 

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If I hold a car off the market for a buyer for a week, turning buyers away, should a deposit be refunded when a buyer flakes?
I would be surprised to find out that your turned away people showing interest i the car without having some way of contacting them in case the deal fell through, so I don't really see any lost opportunity here.
We are sorry for this gentleman's frustration with his purchase experience.
I can't speak for you, but the fact that you came here is a positive sign. So perhaps you're not like other dealers. But we know that other dealers have been known to sell cars after having received a deposit and then come up with an excuse like "it was sold by a coworker while I was at lunch, I'm sorry here's your deposit back".

As a salesman, you're in the rough position of being in an industry that is known for taking advantage of the buyers. It's your business to make as much money as you can while at the same time satisfying the customers. Some dealers weight the profit more than the satisfaction. As a dealer that promotes integrity and customer satisfaction you're in an even more awkward spot of having to avoid any specter of impropriety.

I really don't see how $750 is worth the opportunity cost here and frankly I'm surprised you kept it.

From looking at the pictures I don't see the blemish and wish you the best with your sale. You might want to fix any blemish that is there though as front clam repairs can be very expensive.

Good luck with your sale, it's a pretty car.
 

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Thanks

Thanks for the perspective. You are right that we need to be very careful stepping through an industry that has spent decades earning its bad reputation. I hope you have a moment to piece together the posts and story of this guy. He came to the delivery with significant reservations caused by another car he found. With that perspective added to the equation, the retention of a deposit becomes much more justifiable. We absolutely refuse any offers once a deposit is taken, regardless of price. I only wish all dealers upheld the same standard.
 

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I am not hear to "bash" anyone only to offer my experience in my pursuit of a Lotus and offer insite for members in the cars out there.

The truth of the matter is that the frustrated poster indeed came down to visit the pre-owned car, spent over 2 hours examining it, then placed a deposit on it. He agreed this deposit would take the car off the market and was non-refundable. He then waited a week, during which time, he found a 2007 that had never yet been sold. He came back down to finalize the transaction, but admitted he thought he may be crazy for buying a used one when he had found a good deal on a new 2007 elsewhere.
I did inspect the car for 2 hrs and there was no visible damage at this time. Stated deposit was refundable if the car was damaged. During this week I secured the money , insured the car and rent a car for return trip (4 1/2 hrs each way). If I had found a new 07 a phone call would have been much easier.

He mentioned the mark to us, expressed that he had missed it in his first checkover, and asked if we would be willing to help remedy it. Everett and I discussed it, and we agreed to reduce the sale price by $750 to reflect the cost of refinishing the clam. He happily agreed to the adjustment.
Never stated I had "missed" the damage. Agreement was reluctant (he had my deposit).

In his presence, we called the previous owner, who explained that the blemish was caused during the installation of the HID headlights when he originally bought the car. We also called the original selling dealer to ask if they would stand behind their workmanship. They declined. It is a tiny blister in the paint under the clearcoat, only noticeable in direct sunlight. Fearing that this blemish might someday appear again, or surface on the other side someday, he changed his mind and said he was afraid to buy the car.
After the above I explained to Car Connections owner David Coughlin that the repair would also mean the relocation of the HID ballast increasing the cost of repair. At this point I decided to cut my losses.

He apologized and agreed to forfeit his deposit. We happily assisted him in his transportation both to and from our facility, minimizing the cost and impact his change of heart had on him. Days later, he contacted us, frustrated, asking for his money back.
Did not agree to forfeit my deposit I had limited time to get my rental car back or be stranded in Pa. They were helpful in my return to the rental car. All I have asked is for the return of my deposit.
My post was only to inform prospective buyers of the previous damage to the front clam.
 

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Your reputation precedes you

Sad state of affairs. I know the economy is tough, but your posts bashing us as well as other dealers speak loudly for you. You SLAMMED Rothrock because their car was dirty when you arrived. They, and we have excellent reputations, built on repeated good works in the automotive community. Your undeserved bashing slices your credibility to the bone. It's a small world, so I caution you on starting your membership in a close knit community bonded by a common passion with unwarranted grumbling and complaining. You've contributed little, but have deliberately stirred a lot of muck. I feel like I should split the spoils of your ignorance with Rothrock since they didn't get anything good out of your bashing. I at least have your coveted $500. :thwack:
 
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I'm with CarConnection on this one (based on what has been posted).

IMHO, FJR did bash the dealer in his first response. "Buyer Beware!"

According to the dealer, he spent two hours inspecting the car BEFORE putting the deposit on it. And then later on explains that the imperfection was from the HID installation, which was not done by the dealer in question. Had he noticed the potential for more damage caused by the faulty HID installation during the first two-hour inspection, would he have backed out at that time?

This is NOT a new car. It's 2 years old at this point and is going to have a nick hear and there.

Sounds like buyer found a better deal and decided to back out and screw the dealer after placing his deposit to hold the car.

I would feel differently, had the damage occurred AFTER the initial inspection and deposit. But it sounds like the issue in question was existing at the time of the first inspection and when the deposit was placed, too bad, so sad.
 

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carconnectionsusa

I have done business with Dave Coughlin for several years, both buying and selling, and have had nothing but positive experiences. I saw the car in question this morning, and for $750, I would have happily lived with the star in the clam. If the owner of the car confirmed that the damage was there before the buyer did his 2 hour inspection, then the buyer should bear the responsibility of not noticing it. Perhaps new glasses are in order. If you inspect a car, agree to buy it, and put a deposit on it, then it is unreasonable to expect to get out of the deal without consequence.
 

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In the past two years, I sold two cars and bought one through Car Connections. My experience was excellent. I found Dave Coughlin to be a knowledgeable and honest car dealer, who did exactly what he said he was going to do.
 

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I'm with CarConnection on this one (based on what has been posted).

IMHO, FJR did bash the dealer in his first response. "Buyer Beware!"

According to the dealer, he spent two hours inspecting the car BEFORE putting the deposit on it. And then later on explains that the imperfection was from the HID installation, which was not done by the dealer in question. Had he noticed the potential for more damage caused by the faulty HID installation during the first two-hour inspection, would he have backed out at that time?

This is NOT a new car. It's 2 years old at this point and is going to have a nick hear and there.

Sounds like buyer found a better deal and decided to back out and screw the dealer after placing his deposit to hold the car.

I would feel differently, had the damage occurred AFTER the initial inspection and deposit. But it sounds like the issue in question was existing at the time of the first inspection and when the deposit was placed, too bad, so sad.
+1

I see nothing wrong with Car Connection's practices and agree that FJR's comments were a bit on the bashing side...:no:
 
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