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**Beware of Russell Subaru in Maryland**


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To anyone in the Maryland area that is thinking about buying a subaru. No doubt subaru makes a great car but the subaru dealership (Russell) I dealt with in particular pulled the old bait and switch on me. In the end the dealership ripped me off by about $4K.


Let me explain how they did this to me so no one else out there will make the same stupid mistake I made. First I was trading in a 2006 2.5i wagon that I loved but unfortunately did not have enough horsepower for me. The 2.5i wagon was purchased for ~$21.8K plus taxes and I had the car for about 6 weeks and put about 1600 miles on it. I had put around $2K down so with taxes my lien on that car was $21.7. The salesman told me that the 2005 LGT that I was thinking of purchasing had a value of $24,995. The 05 LGT was pretty nice with leather, electronic dimming rear-view mirror and e-compass but it was demo car with over 6,000 miles on it.


The First Offer (Verbal):

The Salesman offered me $550/month for 6 years which I told him I could not and would not do. I stated if he could get $2K out of the deal we could be around $500/month for 6 years. Given the car was a demo and had 6,000 miles on it and my 2.5i was barely used I figured this would not be a problem. He stated my 06 2.5i was currently in the deal at about $17.5K but he was trying to increase the price of my trade in to make it work.


Second Offer Accepted (Verbal):

2 hours later the salesman called me back and told me 6 years at $509/month. I accepted and stated I would be in tomorrow morning to sign the paperwork. When I showed up I purchased the extended warranty for $1,400 more. That took me to $530/month.


Paperwork Bait & Switch:

As I was in an extreme rush that morning I saw the monthly for $530/month and I signed. What I did not pick up was that they added another year onto the loan. When I was going thru the paperwork, I requested from the finance guy (Jim Murray prepared the financial paperwork and Neil Gillis approved the rigged deal) that he show me the values for my trade-in and the value for the LGT demo car. He stated he could not do this because of Maryland law regarding the paperwork but everything was properly taken care of. I SHOULD HAVE DEMANDED THIS FROM JIM MURRAY BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE CAUGHT THE RIP OFF, IF HE GAVE ME THE VALUES FOR BOTH VEHICLES…but I was in a rush to goto work that morning. So Russell blurred the math so I was just looking at one #, that was a composite (total new loan Amount). No one informed me of the change in term of the loan (not the salesperson who I told from the beginning I could not do a 7-year loan and not the finance guy who I had a conversation with how I could not do a 7 or 8 yr loan).


After the dust had settled on the car I was reviewing my paperwork and I noticed (this was about 3 weeks later) the 84 months on the loan. I called my salesperson immediately and I wanted him to check for an error. He called back and stated that the finance people had stated there was not an error but he did say he remembered the deal should have been for 6 years at the verbally agreed price.


Experience with the GM:

When I had a talk with Rick Baker, the GM of the dealership, he stated everything on his end was in order. I asked him if he had talked to his salesman and he stated he has no need to. A GM HAS NO NEED TO TALK TO HIS SALESMAN WHEN THERE IS A DISPUTE ON THE DEAL HIS SALESPERSON BROKERED. SHADY, SHADY. I asked Rick why I would negotiate a worse deal than the first offer at 6yr, $550. If I had just extended the 6yr, $550 to a 7th Year I would have been well $500/month (more like $480/month). Rick did not respond. This is exactly why car dealerships have the worst reputation and we all hate buying cars (think how much we love our cars and how we all hate dealing with dealerships). I call what happened to me FRAUD/DECEIT. Rick did not like the word, “fraud”.


End Result:

That means I purchased a demo 05 LGT with >6,000 miles on it for almost $27K. This same dealership lists 05 LGTs for $22.4K in the Local Examiner Paper all the time. Now I agree I should have reviewed the paperwork more thoroughly but the worst part is I was a financial analyst for 8 years and I should have caught this. Thats a $4K reading lesson I just took. I hope no one has to ever go thru what I went thru.


I reported the dealer to subaru and unfortunately they can not do anything except give you a case# (915381). Next stop the BBB, then the local States Attorney Office.


Please contact me if anyone else has had a bad experience with Russell Subaru.


Zach Shamoo

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Sorry to hear...


As john_knoxville stated....never base your negotiating on the monthly payment amount.


1.Always know the value of your trade by using www.kelleybluebook.com or others.


2.Know the approximate purchase price of the car your purchasing.


3.Figure the difference between the two. Factor in if you still have a lien on your trade.


4. Know what's available to you for interest rates.


5. Use a loan calculator to figure your monthly payment. http://www.planningtips.com/cgi-bin/simple.pl


6. NEVER sign any paperwork while in a rush. Take your time and read everything.


Best of luck.

- The Mortgage Man
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Agree on total $s out the door for financing but the straight now (present value) $s I paid for the car is around $27K and then I lost $6K on my trade...total loan of $33.5K. Anyway you look at it I was ripped off by a huge amount. Even though I'd probably lose the lawsuit, I think I am going to go sue them anyways. I can't wait to see a couple of those fellows on the stand lying under oath. Even though there is a slim chance I'd win I hope just the possibility of jail time will scare them straight from doing this to another person.


The bad part is I did do my research, I did know what the going interest rates were for different terms, I even had the deal calculated in MS Excel with everything detailed.

The only thing I did not do was carefully review the paperwork...and I think that is the lesson to be learned here: Never sign anything in a rush. Take the contract home and bring it back or stay at the dealer for a good period of time focusing on everything (car price, trade price, term, monthly). I thought I was safe because I knew the term and monthly amount but I missed the altered/frauded term on the paperwork.


There should be a requirement to fully disclose the trade price and the new car purchase price. Even after this the dealer has not given me the broken out figures...all I know is my total loan amount. Now that is something that the law should require. Good luck to everyone out there and I hope this never happens to anyone else. Learn from my stupidity b/c I think many dealers are crooks. Someone should run a sting operation on the industry and put a few people behind bars and watch how fast the industry cleans up. Still fuming...

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The bad part is I did do my research, I did know what the going interest rates were for different terms, I even had the deal calculated in MS Excel with everything detailed.


Your original deal at $509/month for 72 months comes out to $36,648. Is that really what you wanted to pay for the car?

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