Faced with a nickel-and-diming car dealer, Chisasibi couple vows to go elsewhere.

The old adage that the customer is always right doesn’t apply when dealing with Aube Pontiac Buick in Val d’Or, according to Chisasibi resident Delores Audet-Washipabano.

Washipabano says she and her husband called their dealer from Chisasibi to get a price for returning their vehicle. She was quoted a figure and they agreed to return the car the following week.

“So after a week, on March 2nd, I called the salesman, Robert Labreque,” Washipabano recounted. “He said, ‘Well it’s not going to be the same amount anymore because there was daily interest since last week’. It was like $22-something and he said it was the policy. He then told me that while I was at it, I should round it out to $30 because it’s going to take a couple of days to return your vehicle back to GM and there will be more interest.”

Washipabano is still fuming at the flippant way Labreque mentioned the extra interest. She’s also flabbergasted at the fact that she had to pay an extra $8 in interest during the time it took Labreque to return the vehicle, something she said they could have swallowed.

“I told him I’m not giving you a penny more than that what we agreed on a week ago and he said ok. I really felt that they could have just forgotten about the extra money just as a little appreciation for a customer of 12 years.”

She was also angry at the fact that when she finally got to the dealership, she was told to wait around until the wholesaler, who was buying her vehicle, arrived and inspected it.

For his part, Labreque said he was only trying to help and was just doing his job. “I was trying to help her by selling the vehicle to somebody else without seeing it first,” he said. “So if we sold the vehicle for $10,000 and the guy looks at it and says it’s only worth $9,000, that’d be $ 1,000 out of my pocket, so we have to make sure.

I took a chance doing that”

Labreque added that it’s not uncommon to sell a vehicle over the phone and then have it inspected at the dealership. “She was desperate to sell the vehicle,” he observed. “I did my best. I’m going to phone her back and explain everything to her again.” But Washipabano is also peeved at the way her husband was treated. “Clifford asked him if they’d reimburse the $34 of gas remaining in the tank. Labreque laughed and said, ‘Come on Clifford, you know how things go. In a business deal, the customer always loses.’

“That blew me out of my chair. I’m not a loser and that’s why I want people to be aware that they don’t treat their customers properly. It cost him eight bucks and that line to lose a customer of 12 years,” she said.

Labreque said that he was misunderstood. “I didn’t say it that way. What I told him was that somebody has to lose money on it. He was losing money on the vehicle and he was aware of that. Maybe I told him Aube won’t lose any money on a deal like that.”