I just finished disputing the refund of a $500 cash deposit with a dealership. About a week after I put the deposit down I changed my mind, and bought a different bike. The refund was denied over the phone, and after some wrangling I was only offered store credit. The dealership had a policy not to refund deposits unless the bike sold to another person.
When I put the deposit down, I was told verbally that deposits are non refundable. I'm an idiot, and went ahead with it anyways. I was just excited to get a newer bike. I signed a "worksheet." It was not a sales agreement or contract.
I figured I was forced into buying the next $500 worth of stuff, realistically a tire change and a tune up, until someone told me about the Vehicle Sales Authority.
Their website is here. www.mdcbc.com/index.html
Their policy on deposits is here.
Be sure you understand the dealer’s deposit, return or exchange policy before you sign any documents. Remember, the term deposit can be used to describe quite different things.
Depending on when it is taken in a transaction, a deposit may be a separate agreement for a variety of services. It could be an agreement for services:
* to hold a vehicle;
* to locate a vehicle;
* to bring in a vehicle; and/or
* to arrange financing for a vehicle.
If the taking of a deposit is part of an agreement to purchase a specific vehicle when all the terms and conditions are known, it may be a partial payment.
The terms and conditions of the giving and the taking of a deposit or partial payment must be clear and unambiguous and must be provided to you. At a minimum, the taking of a deposit requires a motor dealer to set out in writing:
* Clearly distinguishing a deposit from a partial or down payment;
* Clearly stating the purpose for which the deposit is taken;
* Clearly stating the amount of the deposit;
* Clearly stating when the deposit will or will not be refundable;
* Clearly stating any other agreed to terms such as whether a deposit will be credited towards the purchase of a vehicle; and,
* Provide the consumer with a copy of the deposit agreement.
If there is a written purchase agreement, the Motor Dealer Act Regulation requires motor dealers to detail the terms and conditions under which a deposit may or may not be refundable. Even when a deposit is stated to be non-refundable, there may be situations when a deposit will be refundable; such as when a dealership cannot deliver on its promise.
The complaint form can be found here: http://www.mvsabc.com/documents/Comp...Surrey_000.pdf
Two months after I filed a written complaint to the VSA I got an offer of a $250 refund, and a $250 store credit. The dealership held firm to their "policy" of not refunding until the end and gave me the line, "If we refunded every deposit to the undecisive buyer what kind of world would that be."
It took way too much time and effort to set up meetings with the local VSA rep and the owner of the dealership to justify the whole process for just the money. I should have held out longer if I really wanted to make a point out of the VSA's policy.
Hope these tools help any other buyers that are dumb enough to put down a deposit.