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Calgary dealership accused of reneging on signed minivan sales agreement
Published Monday, September 26, 2016 9:51PM MDT
Last Updated Monday, September 26, 2016 9:56PM MDT
A Calgary woman says a local dealership changed its mind on a sale, under questionable circumstances, after she signed a contract and left a deposit.
Kim Ruppe decided on a 2016 Honda Odyssey minivan for her growing family. She negotiated a price with the sales staff at Village Honda and was told it would take two weeks for her van to arrive from a location outside the province.
Ruppe signed the bill of sale and left a $1,000 deposit.
A short time later, Ruppe called Village Honda looking for an update and was told her van’s delivery would take six more weeks and that she would have to pay an additional $2,500 to correct a financing mistake.
While waiting for her van to arrive, Honda Canada sent Ruppe a questionnaire asking about her sales experience. Ruppe gave Village Honda low makes and mentioned that she would tell everyone to avoid the dealership.
The day after she submitted her completed questionnaire, Ruppe says she received an email from Village Honda’s general manager stating:
“The deal was cancelled yesterday because every turn seems to be a terrible experience for you. And it appears we are not able to live up to you standards as a customer”
“I filled it all out because you wanted that information and, yet, I was penalized for that,” said Ruppe. “We thought it was quite childish. We thought it was almost like a joke. My husband wrote back and said ‘No, we still want our product. Are you going to give it to us?’”
“(The general manager) was dead serious. He cancelled it and he was ‘No, you’ve been refunded and you’re not getting it’.”
Ruppe still wanted the minivan but the dealer maintained it was not obliged to sell it to her.
CTV Calgary’s Consumer Watch reporter, Lea Williams-Doherty, investigated the legalities of the situation on Ruppe’s behalf.
Williams-Doherty contacted Barry Jordan, Village Honda’s general manager, by phone and he confirmed he cancelled the deal because the customers were impossible to please. Jordan maintained the contract wasn’t binding as Ruppe had yet to take possession of the minivan or pay the full price.
Williams-Doherty reached out to AMVIC (Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council), the province’s auto regulator, looking for further clarification on when an auto sales contract becomes binding. In a statement, AMVIC said:
"Generally speaking, a signed bill of sale between a buyer and a seller would be considered final. There is no "cooling off" period, so that means that once the contract is signed, in most cases, it is binding."
Ruppe has since purchased a different van from T & T Honda for nearly $10,000 more than the price she had negotiated with Village Honda. A complaint has been filed with AMVIC.
With files from CTV's Lea Willaims-Doherty