Dealership Refused To Refund Corvette C8 Buyer's Deposit

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Is it illegal to change your mind?

Buying a new vehicle like the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is not exactly the same as buying a Chevy Trax. Although it may carry a base price of just under $60,000, a majority of C8 buyers will spend thousands more. Fully specced with the Z51 package, the new Corvette can exceed $100,000. For that amount of money, should dealerships give buyers special treatment? What if they changed their minds and decided instead to wait and spend six figures on the upcoming Z06 model? Should a deposit be refunded? Doing so would be smart business for the dealership, right?

Corvette Forum has an interesting story regarding one of its forum members who put down a $5,000 deposit at a Chevy dealership on a new C8. After giving it some thought, the guy changed his mind, preferring to wait for the Z06. Unfortunately, his dealership wasn't so willing to issue a refund. The buyer made the deposit by credit card but wasn't given paperwork on the transaction.

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That's not an entirely unusual situation, but the buyer's only account of the transaction was a bank statement. Apparently, the law says a car dealership is not required to refund a deposit, though not doing is incredibly poor customer service. The law does state a buyer's deposit represents "a good-faith gesture of his intention to purchase a vehicle." This is especially the case when ordering an exotic car. Dealers can also protect themselves by requiring larger deposits and a written contract, though that wasn't done here.

The C8 in question, a Corvette Z51 priced at $106,025, never got past the order status and had yet to be built. In other words, the dealership would not be stuck with a potentially difficult and expensive car to sell. It still refused to refund the deposit, even though the customer would be coming back at a later date to buy a Z06.

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Things were finally settled and the money was eventually refunded after the understandably frustrated customer spoke to the dealer's owner by phone. Still, the dealership's behavior on this matter is really bad business because the customer was already spending six figures on a Z51, but only wanted to delay the purchase for the Z06, which will almost certainly cost six figures as well.

Chances are the guy will take his business elsewhere for that Z06.

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