CHICAGO (CBS) — Duped or dumb? An online truck sale did not go how an Illinois man expected.
Louis Garcia admitted his purchase seemed too good to be true, but he sunk more than $19,000 worth of savings into it anyway.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory helped get his money back, and is sharing his message to other buyers.
“You know everybody has a dream, right?” Garcia said.
His dream? Owning his own towing business: U-Break, I-Tow, Inc.
The i’s were dot and t’s crossed with the State of Florida, where he secured a business license in April. His final steps: get towing equipment and make the move from Illinois.
So Garcia searched Copart, a massive online auto auction company.
A beauty of a truck for around $19,000 popped up through a broker called A Better Bid.
“Everybody says, you know, ‘If it’s too good to be true, don’t do it.’ But it is an auction, and it goes by pretty fast. So you really have moments to think about it; to go with your heart,” said Garcia, whose heart wound up broken when he traveled to pick up his new purchase in Louisville, Kentucky.
“I was ready to roll, but unfortunately the truck was not in a condition to put on the road,” Garcia said.
He had to call another tow truck to haul his away to avoid storage fees. Pictures he provided CBS 2 show the truck’s undercarriage was rotted through.
“To fix that truck correctly, it will cost over $12,000 to $15,000,” Garcia said.READ MORE: Search On For Munster, Indiana Bank Robber Who Wore Hazmat Suit, Hard Hat
Copart customers can inspect vehicles before purchasing or hire an independent inspector to visit a truck yard.
Garcia didn’t think that was necessary, pointing to the truck’s ad. He said undercarriage issues weren’t pictured, but admits it was noted as secondary damage.
Still, with primary damage listed as minor dents and scratches, he thought the secondary damage to the undercarriage must also be minor. He said he heard a previous buyer refused to take the truck because of rotting. CBS 2 was unable to confirm that.
Garcia’s calls for a refund didn’t go well.
“They put me on hold, and then after 20-30 minutes, they just click,” Garcia said.
Garcia called CBS 2 for help, and the wheels were in motion once we got involved. Copart agreed to give Garcia a refund, even expressing gratitude for CBS 2’s “role in making that happen.”
“We care about our buyers’ experience,” was Copart’s explanation for the refund in another email.
The biggest lesson?
“Be careful what you buy online,” said Garcia, when we interviewed him a second time after Copart reached out to facilitate a refund. “I’m on my way to my dream one more time. Thank you.”
He’s already found a new truck and could start U-Break, I-Tow before summer.
Copart disputed claims that the truck description was inaccurate. A spokesperson also said Garcia wasn’t technically a Copart customer, but a customer of the broker A Better Bid.MORE NEWS: Chicago Police Rescue Ducklings From Uptown Sewer Grate As Mother Duck Waits
That company did not answer any of our questions about this transaction.