Car Buying Questions

Vehicle Sales Contract
Stuffed by Payment Packing

A car buying question from Laura in Milwaukee, WI...
Victim of payment packing and vehicle sales contract stuffing.

I made a few very expensive mistakes last night. I'm hoping someone can tell me if I can fix them.

When the finance person (who spoke extremely fast) went over the vehicle sales contract with me, she made it sound as if vehicle etching, gap insurance, and car service contract were included (free) with my purchase.

She gave me a table to look at that offered even more options, but never told me that I had a CHOICE about whether or not I would purchase these three "basic" services.

It wasn't until I had more time this morning that I realized that these services are not included free, but in fact are VERY expensive, and I cannot afford them! I am embarrassed to say that the forms say that I was not required to purchase these services- but again, that is definitely not the impression that I was given.

It does say on the service contract that I can cancel, but the other two forms do not say this.

Do you think I can cancel them? I am very upset about this, as my $5800 car ended up costing me $9000!


Hi Laura,

This is by far one of the most common car buying scams still in use today. It involves payment packing and then filling the payment on the vehicle sales contract. Everything looks normal, because your payment stays the same as you were quoted on the sales floor, but in reality you've been scammed.

Unfortunately, etch is considered a non-cancelable product, but under the circumstances I'd definitely talk to management at the dealership and demand that it be refunded.

I can not stand shady finance managers and am sorry to hear that this happened to you. This finance manager is obviously not a good enough sales person to explain the benefits of these products to you and in turn sell them legitimately, but has to resort to deception in order to "make" a sale.

The dealership may try to tell you that the car window etching has already been done and it's too late, but that is a crock...window etching is not a labor intensive setup. In fact, it's usually only a matter of using numbers already etched on the window and/or applying some stickers to the vehicle.

In addition, the dealership may try to give you a song and dance about how your contract has already been sent to the bank and it's too late, but I wouldn't accept that answer if I were you.

If you need to, threaten to report them to your states Attorney General office for possibly being non compliant with the disclosure laws.

I would certainly recommend attending to this matter quickly as any delay works in their favor as sort of a silent acceptance from you.

Any dealership that is upstanding and really out to help their customers should easily cancel this and would hopefully have a long talk with the finance manager.

As for the service contract and GAP insurance, those should both be able to be canceled for a full refund.

This is a great example to future car buyers as to the importance of carefully reviewing your vehicle sales contract in order to avoid payment packing...In fact, it's a large portion of what this entire car buying site is all about.

If you have problems getting them to remove the etch from your contract please let me know and I'll see how I can try to give you additional guidance.
Hope this helps,

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