Stow, OH asked in Contracts and Consumer Law for Ohio

Q: Is it "Bait and Switch" when offered a price, and when time comes to sign for a car the price is higher?

The salesman then lied to me and told me the increase was due to bank fees for the loan. Now that I'm a customer of said bank, I've inquired about those "fees"; they've informed me there are no fees or charges to apply for an auto loan. Original price was $16993.00 and at contract time the amount to be financed was listed as $18199.81 at 19.24% over 72 months. It appears the salesman raised the price, not only for the dealership, but to raise his commission as well? Over the length of the loan I'm estimating paying approx. $4000 or 10 payments more than I would have had to at the original price. If this isn't bait and switch is it at least fraud or deception in retail by lying to a client about added fees that didn't even exist? Do I have any recourse? And how many others suffer this plight through a major dealership in the area?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick

A: No, bait and switch is when they advertise a particular car for some very attractive amount of money (the bait) and then when you get there to buy it, they tell you the car you wanted was sold--and then try to move you up to a more expensive car (the switch). It is hard to tell why they jacked the total price up by $1,207--probably because they knew you would agree and buy it anyway. But here is the bottom line: Spreading the extra $1,207 out over 72 months makes the payment go up $16.76 per month--or $.56 per day. About as much as a cup of coffee.

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