Society for Case Research MBAA 2020

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Cara Peters, Winthrop University Luke Peters, Bank of America

The Car Deal that Went Bad: An Innocent Mistake or Intentional Con?

Melinda and Jake Johnson were trying purchase their first luxury vehicle. The couple had a bad experience at one car dealership and then had worked out a deal with a second dealership, located approximately three hours from home. However, when the vehicle was delivered and they were completing the paperwork, Jake found an error in the financing terms. When Melinda called the dealership to explain, the finance manager tried to get the couple to accept the different finance terms. The couple then sent the car back to the dealership. Melinda felt that there had been a communication error between her and the salesperson, but Jake believed that the dealership had intentionally structured the loan at a higher interest rate and for a longer term to increase overall profit on the sale. Melinda considered Jake’s perspective and wondered if the error in the financing terms was innocent or intentional?