Legal Question in Consumer Law in Maryland

A car dealership recently charged me a processing fee of $499.00. After signing paperwork, upon leaving the facility, I notice a posting on the wall stating that the prcessing fee amount was $399.00. When I mentioned this to the GM, he said that the sign was old and had not been updated with the new rate and because the amount had been explained and agreed upon, that it was a done deal. Is this false advertsement and/or grounds for further action?

Asked on 7/26/11, 6:58 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Phillip M. Cook Cook Legal Services, LLC

Probably not. You were free to negotiate the amount of the dealership fee (or negotiate for no dealership fee) and you failed to do so before signing the "paperwork", which likely included a purchase and sale agreement (a contract!) and a bill of sale. I know you feel like you were duped, but for $100, I would let it go. If I were in your shoes, I would tell the GM that unless he gives me the $100 back, I plan on taking my car to his competitor to get it serviced, that I will never buy/lease another car from him again, and that I plan on telling all of my friends and family that he doesn't conduct business in an honest manner. Perhaps he makes it up to you with a service discount, coupon, or some other perk. If not, you've learned a good lesson for the next time you buy a car.

Best of luck.*****The above is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client privilege.******

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Answered on 7/27/11, 8:21 pm

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