Problem Getting Deposit From Smythe Mercedes

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I made a deposit of $500 in 97/98 with Smythe Mercedes, which is the San Jose area on Steven's Creek Boulevard. (I had thought of getting an ML, but decided against it later.)
I started calling them around 2001/2002 about getting back my deposit, but got no action. The fellow I dealt with, Rich McLeod, has since left.
Recently, I decided I had to go in there. I went in there, filled out a page of paper giving my current address, and a few days later I was told my check was in the mail.
Went in there around July and spoke to a Trey (Friedman?) who I had spoke with on the phone previously and had gotten a lot of encouragement but no action. This time I made the mistake of telling him I planned to leave town due to job issues.
A few weeks later I called and spoke with a Paul Aruba, who I believe is the manager of sales. He had me speak with his assistant, who claimed that she had sent a check to the old (work) address, that preceded the new address info I had given them, but would send one to the correct address.
That was a couple of months ago. Still no check.
Any ideas what I should do next?
Thanks for any suggestions,
Gerard Gold
(408) 996-0338
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com
P.O.B. 2584 Cupertino, CA 95015
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Forget about the salesmen, they aren't paid to solve your problems. They'll tell you anything.
Call the county's consumer assistance office.
Some years ago I bought a used Porsche 928 there. They took my money quick enough but then couldn't deliver its title - for months. I finally called the (then) owner, Mr. Smythe, and things were resolved a few weeks later.
The dealership is now owned by one of the mega-dealer chains.
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Tell them they have 5 business days to get a check to you or you will file a complaint with the DMV. Most DMV offices have an enforcement division. It is usually hidden in the back or upstairs but anyone can direct you there. A number of years ago I made deposit with a Honda dealer with a set date for delivery (the day after the next ship was arriving). Another Honda dealer that I had visited called me to ask if I had made a purchase yet. When I told him the details he said that the next ship was not due until two days after I was supposed to get my car. When i determined this was true and found a better and more immediate deal from this dealer I called the first place to cancel the deal. Promises and excuses followed. the sales rep who sold me my car made the DMV suggestion. Two days after I filed the complaint a refund arrived.
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Thanks to you and every one else for their suggestions. The dealership did tell me I was entitled to a return of the deposit, so I will pursue it.
Gerard

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It's easy to get a refund you are intitled to. Go in and ask for the manager. Tell his the story, and then say I feel you should assist me in getting my refund. When they say "We will get you a check cut right away" say thenks and then find yourself a chair and sit in the middle of the show room and say "Thanks, I will wait". You will surely get your check very quickly. By the way if anyone ask why you are sitting in the middle of the show room, tell them. That will speed up the process for sure.
Paul McKechnie 84 500SEL

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Paul wrote:

A friend did something similar while having trouble get a minor problem fixed on a new car. He took the car to the service department, told them them he would wait in the showroom and to page him when it was ready. He got very prompt service.
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Gerard Gold, You paid a deposit on a vehicle you wanted to buy. This meant you entered into a contract with the dealership. You then changed your mind and want your money back. You broke the contract and therefore are not entitled to any money back. The dealer could not sell the vehicle to anyone else as you had contracted to buy it and you deserve to loose your deposit. So stop hassling them and move on.
Oldun

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Actually, not true.
If you were to come back in reasonable time frame (say two weeks) and say you changed your mind, the dealer does in fact owe you your money back.
There is no formal "contract" in this case... Marty
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Maybe in the UK but not in the US. Most vehicle contracts here stipulate that if you change your mind you get your deposit back.. The dealer should have returned the money without being asked once it was clear he did not want the car.
h
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Ok, I stand corrected. unless Gerard did not ask for his deposit back within the time frame. How much time are you given to change your mind by the way? Two weeks was mentioned but that sounds rather a long time considering the dealer cannot sell the car in that time.
Oldun
said:

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On Fri, 22 Oct 2004, Paul wrote:

...and if it doesn't, retreat and return with reinforcements. These reinforcements should take the form of three or four young children of approximately 4 to 7 years old, whom you have borrowed from friends. Pick up the kids, then swing by 7-Eleven and load 'em up with caffeinated soda and lots of candy, *then* head over to the dealer, turn the kids loose in the showroom and return to your chair to wait for the check.
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Daniel J. Stern wrote:

As someone that has 3 four year old kids of my own, I can attest that having them around gets results. If they get wild in a resturant, you wouldn't believe how fast they can cook food and have it on your table, or have the check to you. You aren't waiting any 20 minutes for your Kung Pao Chicken, that's for sure. I might try bringing them with me the next time I go to buy a car...
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That's pretty funny. Thanks.
I may use it as a back up.
Gerard

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Gerard Gold wrote:

Get a clue. Anyone who leaves a deposit and then doesn't even try to get it back for 3-4 years, needs to acquire some common sense. I'd chalk it up to experience and move on.
Matt
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<snip> Get a clue. Anyone who leaves a deposit and then doesn't even try to get it back for 3-4 years, needs to acquire some common sense. I'd chalk it up to experience and move on.

I would have to agree with this assessment. It's not a bank it's a car dealership.
Marty
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Contact state consumer affair office...Take them to small claim court.
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I just called the manager, Paul Aruba, about the deposit refund check. He said he would talk to his admin/secretary again to follow up on the status of the check, and I would be "welcome to pick it up here." ("Here" meaning Smythe Mercedes). I'm holding my breath.

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It amazes me no one has asked the most basic questions. Like:
1 - What was the agreement at the time the deposit was given?
2 - Was anything put into writing and signed? If so, what does it say about the deposit?
3 - How was the deposit paid for? Check?
All of these are very important in determining if you're entitled to the deposit back and whether you can prove you paid one. If the facts are on your side, I suggest small claims court.
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Paul Aruba's (the sales manager at Smythe) assistant - Dee Griffin - called me yesterday & said she had sent out the check a long time ago. When I said she couldn't possibly have a canceled check, since I had never received one she said she would verify this, and then said it was still outstanding, i.e., uncashed. Obviously, since I never received it at either my old or current addresses.
I told her to put a stop on the check, and I would pick it up at the dealership Monday or Tuesday next week. So it looks like it's finally going to work out, two years after I started leaving voice mails requesting a refund.
Anyway, I'll only be sure when I actually get it.
Gerard

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Gerard Gold wrote:

Do you see a little problem in the fact that you allowed it to drag on for two years.
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