See also my review of Bell Honda...
Whle looking for a particular car, we found a good price on the same model (but different color) in their Arizona Republic ad. We called, and were told that we could get the color we wanted for that price. We drove to Mesa and talked with a salesman who was very nice and helpful. Then I asked for the final out-the-door price in writing. He said he'd do that and be right back. He came back a few minutes later without it, and tried to talk us into the ad car. We refused, and asked again for the written estimate. Several minutes later, he returned with one of the financial guys, who took over the conversation. This is where the problems really began.
First, they had a fee on the estimate for about $175 to etch the car's vehicle ID number on the windshield, which I had specifically told them we didn't want (the Tempe police department does this for free several times a year). He acted like they just forgot what I told them. Then the financial guy said that the price was only for the ad car, which directly contradicted what we'd been told by the sales guy at least three times. Then he tried to tell us that the car we really wanted--and which we had been told by every dealer in the Valley was on no lot in the state (it was the combination of color and manual transmission that was hard to find)--was "in distribution". He said a dealer in Phoenix had it, and they could get it. This was obviously a load of bull, since we'd already called every Honda dealer in the Valley looking for that car (after we got home, we called them all again, with the same result). Then he tried to tell us that the car had every conceivable option added, a total of $800 worth of crap. If I hadn't been suspicious before, this would have been a red flag. We got into a bit of a civilized argument about why the dealer couldn't remove the "wheel locks" (glorified lug nuts), splash guards, and trunk tray (basically a hard plastic liner). He said they they also "tricked out" some of their cheaper cars that way (translation: we jack up the price), so I asked why he couldn't take that junk off the car and put them on one of their "tricked out" models. His answer was that they had been removed from the packaging, so they weren't "new." This is just stupid. Lug nuts aren't collectibles that lose their value when you open the package. He then tried to tell me that my only two choices were to pay $800 more for these options, or buy the car we didn't want. News flash--the third option is to walk out, and we did.
By the way, he also refused to let us take the written estimate with us, saying that the owners didn't want their logo out there to be duplicated. This, also, is clearly a lie. Their logo is on their website, for anyone in the world to duplicate should they wish. The point is that they didn't want any proof out there that they'd made any particular offer.
I asked a friend of mine who had worked in a dealership several years ago about this, and she told me that this was not uncommon. She said that he probably planned on getting a similar car, tricking it out, and trying to push it on us when we came to pick it up, figuring that we wouldn't say no then.
This dealership is, in my opinion, wholly unethical (which I suppose isn't surprising) and should be avoided at all costs. True, we could have bought the cheap ad car and gotten a decent deal, but I refuse to do business with such an unethical group.
Postscript: The next day, the sales guy called to see if we were still interested. I told him that I knew they were lying to me and being generally dishonest, and that we would not buy from them.