"You’ll just have to take my word"
tl;dr (That’s right. At the top of the post): Old guy is angry he bought a car and didn’t read his contract before signing it. Claims that the dealer told him his APR would be lower than he signed for. Thinks I should just ‘take his word’ over the contract that he signed. I don’t.
Just happened today. I work for a bank that finances auto loans. We’re an indirect lender. Meaning that we buy contracts from dealerships. So the customer cuts a deal with their dealership, signs the contract, then we buy it from the dealer and take over the loan. Had this pleasant conversation earlier:
Me = me.
EOD = Entitled old dude
Me: Thank you for calling [Insert company name here]. My name is Scrapdraft. How can I help you today?
EOD: Do yuh have muh account up in front of yuh?
Me: I believe I do, can I just have you verify your name, birthday and address?.
EOD: [Customer verifies account]
Me: Thanks so much. And I’m assuming this call is in regards to your new vehicle, correct?
EOD: Yuh. And I want yuh to explain sumthin to me.
Me: Sure. What can I help you with?
EOD: Now muh dealer told me muh interest rate would be 2.9%. But yall sent me an invoice that doesn’t line up. Yall are sayin’ I got a rate of 4.44%. Can yall explain that to me?
Me: Yeah, sure. Let me take a look at the contract to see what’s going on.
I take a look. It’s written plain as day on the contract. 4.44%. It’s not even hidden; all of the main numbers on the contract are big and bold along the top. It’s nearly impossible to miss.
Me: So I took a look at the contract we got from your dealer. The copy we have does show an interest rate of 4.44. It’s also got you and your co-signers signature on it. Did you read the contract before-
EOD: NOW LEMME JUST STOP YUH RIGHT THUR. When I was talking to Chaz (they always assume I know the dealer personally even though they’re all around the country) and he told me SPUH-SIFICALLY that muh interest rate would be 2.9% Now his word is his bond, awright? As a customer, yall should take muh word on that! Yuh can’t expect me to read an entire contract when I’ve been at the dealership for 5 hours. So I don’t think you wanna use that argument with me.
Spoiler: That is EXACTLY the argument I use with him.
Me: I’m sorry, sir. We’re an indirect lender, so we just purchased this contract from your dealer once it was signed. We have no control over the original terms. From what it looks like, it appears you signed a contract for 4.44% APR.
EOD: I UNDERSTAND I may have signed it. But it’s not whut he SAID. He SAID I had an interest rate of 2.9. So I EXPECT 2.9. Now whut can yall do to fix this?!
Me: Again, sir, I apologize. But I have no idea what conversation may or may not have happened between you and the dealer. This is exactly why we have WRITTEN contracts. Not verbal. You’re more than welcome to follow up with your dealer to see if they can buy this contract back and redo it for a different APR, but as long as we’re working with THIS contract, the interest rate will be 4.44 because that is what you signed for.
EOD then starts ranting about how “this country has gone to hell” because there’s no such thing as “verbal contracts” anymore. Everything has to be in “goddamn ink”.
Me: Sir, look at it this way. Say we received your contract with an APR of 2.9 and it’s been signed by both parties. But a week later, your dealer calls us and says that your interest rate should be higher because they TOLD you it was going to be a higher rate. Would that be fair for us to change it?
EOD: Well no because the error was on their end. They made the mistake so they should pay for it. Not muh fault if they mess up.
Me: Exactly. So you can see why we work based on the written contract now, correct?
EOD: WELL THAT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE IM THE CUSTOMER.
Me: Again, if you’re wanting to dispute this, you’ll have to follow up with your dealer. We can’t just change a signed contract. That would be illegal. Is there anything else I can help you with while I have you on the line?
I need a drink…