Buyer: Dealership charged fee for unpaid service on used car

Check over every line of the contract you're signing at a dealership because you may not be getting what you are paying for
March 14, 2014 8:28:23 PM PDT
Attention car buyers: Be sure to check over every line of those contracts you are signing at the dealership because in some cases, you may not be getting what you are paying for.

A lot of cars are sold today with window etching -- that's when your vehicle identification number is etched onto your windshield to make the car less appealing to thieves. But one Pearland couple says they were charged for the service but never got it, and getting a refund was not easy.

"Basically I was thinking, just tell me how much to write the check for so we can get on the road," used car buyer Kathy Brafford said.

Brafford admits she should have gone over her car's invoice a little closer. Brafford was told about the after-market fee, but says she didn't ask about it until after bringing her 2007 Ford Focus home from the dealership. So her husband called Parkway Chevrolet, where the car was purchased, to get more information.

"He explained that it is a window etching that they put on every car that they sell," Brafford said.

Window etching is when a vehicles identification number is etched on the windshield to make the car harder for thieves to resell.

The problem is the windshield on Brafford's 2007 Ford Focus is not etched.

"So we paid for something we did not get in the first place," she said.

Brafford says when she asked for a refund from Parkway Chevrolet, the dealership did not give her a firm answer, so a week later, the couple called us and we called Parkway.

Minutes later, the dealership expedited the refund request and it is now on its way to Brafford. It turns out window etching does no have to cost anywhere near $398.

"On occasion, we do partner with local law enforcement and offer that service for free, for more information about that you can try our website,," said Sarah Schimmer with AAA Texas.

Schimmer says it's a good idea to get a cars windows etched. We found do-it-yourself kits for sale online for as low as $14.95.

Officials at Parkway say this was a misunderstanding and the refund was coming all along, but now it will get to the couple faster. If you are buying a car remember, window etching can be done for less than $50.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13