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BBB recommends research on big online purchases


MONTEREY, Calif. (KION) - The coronavirus pandemic has caused more internet buying -- which includes some pretty big purchases like cars and trucks. But when the purchases arrive, they may not always be what you expected.

The Better Business Bureau is recommending taking your time and doing your research when making big purchases online after a Florida man received a car he bought from a Central Coast dealership.

Steve from Florida reached out to me after purchasing the car he found on Auto Trader.

"I've been a BMW guy my entire life. I've probably owned, if I had to guess of the top of my head, 7 different BMWs."

He was looking for an M5 and one he was interested in happened to be right here in Monterey.

"It's pretty much what i was looking for and the price was reasonable," says Steve.

After correspondence with the dealership, the car was bought online and delivered to Florida. But the buyer claims what he was promised is not what was delivered.

"I've got literally 3 different body panels on this car that have been repaired and repainted that have never been disclosed to me," says Steve.

Steve reached out to the dealership asking for a fix.

"I'd like $5,000 and we can resolve this because that's what I believe the depreciated value is," says Steve.

BMW of Monterey suggested getting the car inspected at his local dealership.

"To be fair to the customer we would be willing to compensate him the amount of money it would take to repair the vehicle to his satisfaction which is 1500 dollars quoted by the body shop."

"I just want to be made whole because I know that car is worth less money... and not just a couple hundred bucks… like thousands and thousands of dollars. It's going to be very difficult for me to sell that car," says Steve.

The Better Business Bureau says issues like this have gone up with these big, online purchases during the pandemic.

"What we advise to consumers calling us with the same problem is find another car somewhere else. Find that Chevy, Ford or whatever same year, model... look and see if you can find it somewhere, be patient, take your time to maybe where you don't have to have this type of disagreement or problem," says Steve McFarland with the Better Business Bureau.

Steve, who bought the car in Florida, hopes he's able to at least meet somewhere in the middle with the dealership, but right now things are pretty much at a standstill between the two.

Central Coast / Monterey / Monterey County / News / Video
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Max Tarlton

Max Tarlton is a morning anchor at KION News Channel 5/46.


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