My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Alabama
After the Cayman R unveiling in Nov, I was pretty excited and gave my dealer in Alabama a $1000 deposit for a custom build order from Germany. The piece of paper given back to me stated:
The purchaser signing below agrees that a deposit in the amount of $1000 is being applied to the agreed selling price of a 2012 Porsche Cayman R. This deposit will secure a located vehicle **OR** will secure an order for production to be delivered at a future date. Deposits are non-refundable unless the vehicle is not delivered as ordered. Vehicle will be free of damage and will be in the color and equipment listed on the original purchase order.
When the dealer received the Cayman R (CR) build allocation (2 weeks ago), they called me and I went in and told them I wanted to cancel (various reasons). We never used the configurator and a final price was never discussed at any time. My configuration was never submitted to the factory in Germany. Now, the dealer will not return my $1000 deposit. The dealer has always stated that they were going to get one and only one CR build allocation regardless of my interest. It was only after I wanted to cancel that the salesperson brought up a story that someone had come in and asked for a custom order CR and was told I had the only one. I do not believe this it was never mentioned to me.
I was thinking about small claims court and would appreciate any feedback. This is my first time dealing with a Porsche dealer. Do I have a leg to stand on?
The ONLY paper documentation i have is a single peice of photocopied paper. It has a photocopy of my check on the top and the above language in my original post at the bottom. It has no other language. I signed it and the salesperson signed it. There is no other documentation. We never got to the point of sitting down in front of the configurator and submitting an order to the factory. We never discussed the final price. I have no other written documentation.
Some more interesting info. At the very start (before i gave them $), i mentioned in passing that i would probably not add the AC back in. They said nothing. At some later point in time, after giving them deposit but before i mentioned cancelling, they stated that a car with no AC would require an additional $10,000 deposit BEFORE order is placed. I did not really say anything at that time.
Also, I did ask them several times when could we negotiate price and they of course stated that that was not possible until their build allocation had come in. Then we could sit in front of computer, configure the car, haggle back and forth, agree on a final price and then submit the order to the factory. So there never was an agreed to price.
I concede that i may not have a case - i signed a piece of paper stating nonrefundable so i am in a bit of trouble - legally speaking. My only comment is this. They said they were going to get a CR allocation regardless of me walking in the door. Lets assume no one else asked for it. What hardship have i placed on the dealer? Me taking the CR order did not change their business one bit. However, if they did indeed get another customer in and they told them a CR was not available and if that customer is now no longer interested, then yes, I concede that i have caused them hardship and should forfeit my deposit. But how can i tell if they are being honest? I just don't beleive them. Do i have a right to ask for proof that someone came in and was turned away? Otherwise they are just taking my $ without any reason.
I will try talk to the general manager or owner tonight. I would prefer not to go to small claims court. I probably would not win.