Solve It 7: Car refund

Laura Barner runs a daycare out of her home, so she’s used to solving problems.

But earlier this year when Laura decided to buy a car from a Dorchester dealership she ran into some problems that she couldn’t solve.

“He said we didn’t service it yet,” Laura tells us. They told her they would test drive it see how it runs, and that whatever needs to be done would be fixed.

Laura purchased the car relying on that promise, but after just two weeks Laura says the car’s check engine light came on and car shut off.

Laura took it back to the dealership and as agreed, they promised to fix it.  However days turned to weeks, weeks into a month and Laura’s car still wasn’t fixed. She says she made numerous calls to the dealer, and finally after about six weeks, Laura finally got the call back saying that her car was ready.

“I got my car back drove it,” but, Laura says, “within 15 minutes the light came back on. So I told him I didn’t want the car anymore.”
 
She took the car back to the dealer one more time. There were promises of a new car, but that new vehicle never came, and she remained without a car. So after another month of waiting, and feeling like she’d been taken advantage of, she contacted Solve it 7.

Laura says her phone calls kept getting bounced back and forth between the general manager and the salesman – both making promises – neither delivering on them.

All the while she was spending hundreds of dollars a month in car and insurance payments on a vehicle that she didn’t even have.

Bob Harnais is the president-elect of the Massachusetts Bar Association, and has represented car dealers in the past. He says the dealership has to take responsibility.  Once the necessary parts are received; a repair shop or dealership has 10 days to get the car back to you – fixed!

He tells us “if they can’t rectify the problem..they have to buy back the car, insurance, all your reasonable expenses and the cost.”

We went to the dealership, and talked to the man who sold laura the car. He admits that mistakes were made by both sides, but that they want to make Laura happy.

Shortly after our visit, Laura picked up a check from the dealership for more than $4,000!

Finally smiling after months of frustration and thankful that she found help, Laura has some advice.

“Call Channel 7News first, but also to think about, you know, if it feels though you’re being, you know, mistreated, there is help out there.”

Remember, when you drop your car off for repairs you have a right to know what’s going on and what they’re doing with it. If you’re having problems you can always contact the attorney generals office or Better Business Bureau. Or we’d love to help – reach out to us at solveit7@whdh.com or on Twitter @solveit7.