In June of 2007, I purchased a car from Weston Motors. As I did not meet the standards for bank financing (I had just started rebuilding my credit at the time), I was sent to Toronto Auto Station/Sterling Auto Finance (Note, these two companies are under the SAME Ontario Business #, using Sterling Auto Finance as a front business in order to offer financing but are really one in the same company, same owner and all).
So, at Weston Motors, I had paid a $500 down payment and took advantage of a $1000 cash back option (which was applied towards the car's purchase price). The price before the down payment, taxes and everything else was on the front windshield as $6900. So, after the $1500 (down payment and cash-back), one would think the price would be $5400 selling price. Even with taxes and such, Weston Motors and I signed a Bill Of Sale for a total of $8900, which included taxes, a warranty for $499 and the "seller fee". I even have recipts and the original Bill Of Sale to show this, along with my plate fees which I paid for at Weston Motors, as well.
Well, to get the financing I needed, I meet with a man named Steve Rudman, who claimed to own Sterling Auto Finance. I signed 3 papers in his office, located inside Toronto Auto Station. One was a waiver allowing them to check my credit history, another was a statement of the car value (a bunch of numbers that added up to the $8900 purchase price I was aware of) and the third being the contract, on Sterling Auto Finance letterhead, in a triplicate booklet. I asked for my copy prior to leaving and was told I would get one in the mail within a few days. I asked them why I wouldn't get a copy then and was told they had to "finish up the paperwork" and I would get the "complete package" via mail very soon. He then gave me his card and told me to call if there were any problems once I got my contract. Before I left, an associate by the name of Michael gave me HIS card with the name and number of an "Insurance Broker" who would be able to help me get insurance in a pinch at a reasonable rate.
So, I leave, prepared to come back the following day to put $700 towards a new insurance policy, also at Toronto Auto Station. I get there the next day and wait about an hour for the broker to finally arrive, give him the money and take the bus home (I was told that the plates would be ready for me by that Friday). All is well, to my knowledge.
Then, the contract arrives... It's not the contract I had signed, or for the price I agreed to. In fact, somehow my name got put onto a contract with a company called VFC Inc, who had turned me down for credit only 6 months before at my local Saturn dealership. The very day I received the contract, I contacted both VFC and Sterling Auto Finance, as well as Toronto Auto Station (they have separate phone numbers, even though they are the same company in registration, which I was not yet aware of at that time).
The VFC rep states that I should be very happy about getting a contract with them and that the fact that I never signed a contract with them was not their problem, I now owe them $22, 000 for the car I purchased. So, I call Sterling Auto Finance and leave a frustrated message. In fact, I called both VFC and Sterling Auto every other day for over a month. VFC kept spewing the same garbage that I owed them even if I didn't agree to the price on the contract. And Sterling Auto Finance finally tells me (the reception guy, of course, not Steve Rudman whom I dealt with) that my calls are no longer wanted and to cease and desist immediately.
I went to OmVic, the Ontario Ministry of Vehicles, and filed a complaint. I also went to my local police department. Both told me not to pay as even one payment would be a show of acceptance of the contract. So, I call VFC and Sterling again, once a week for over 3 months (I also sent faxes, all went unanswered or acknowledged, although my fax reports show they were all received). No one responded to my dispute, no one responded to my BBB complaint, no one responded to my omVic complaint. I was just swept aside like some one who was supposed to just sit back and allow 2 companies to ruin my credit and financially rape me.
December of 2007, I get a call from my OmVic contact stating that Toronto Auto Station and Sterling Auto Finance are actually the same company owned by one man name Reza Behoorzain (although they are listed publicly as being owned by one Mr. Firoz Ghassemi) and they would now like to meet to "discuss my dispute and contract".
So, my husband and I go to meet this Reza person. We get to Toronto Auto Station, are announced and sent to a back office. Cameras are everywhere (which I would think is standard, and was actually happy for having the cameras), there is even one in the back corner of Reza's office. I sat down and my husband, being a bit anxious, looks onto the man's desk out of curiosity (I had been asking both VFC and Sterling Auto Finance to view the original signature since the day I received the conditional contract via mail). Well, Reza explodes and tells my husband to mind his wandering eyes, then demands that we leave his establishment at once. He also stated, which I have a statement to police about, that if we choose to pursue this "contractual issue" and get his company in hot water, then it will be our grave.
Needless to say, this issue is now on it's way to trial. In our most recent meeting for settlement, a Justice of the Peace ordered both VFC and Toronto Auto Station owner, Reza, to have to original signed documents ready for my viewing at VFC's head office on Booth Avenue in Downtown Toronto. (It was decided to be done at VFC's office because Reza had threatened me and I refused any direct contact with him unless a court official or police officer was present). I will be going to their office on Thursday, September 25, 2008 to view the VFC contract they claim to have with my signature. But, Reza is now claiming that he sent the original contract that I signed at his location to OmVic regarding the investigation they are now doing on his "companies". Also Steve Rudman has been conveniently "let go". OmVic, on the other hand, has never received any paperwork from Sterling Auto Finance/Toronto Auto Station, after over a year of requesting documents on my behalf. This was confirmed this week when I explained what the Justice of the Peace had ordered to my OmVic contact and Reza's claim that it was sent to OmVic and could not be viewed when I go to see VFC's documents.
This company is a serious BUYER BEWARE!!! I have found others who are having difficulty with them selling "refurbished cars" as good reliable vehicles, contractual issues among other, equally scary and shady ethical practices. I encourage any one who is in the market for a vehicle or for financing to avoid this company at all costs!!!
I would also welcome any one who has experienced similar issues with this company to join my suit or file one of their own quickly as I do not expect this company to be in operation for much longer. Please feel free to file your own complaint via canada-complaints.com or to e-mail me directly at [email protected] I will be watching this posting!
I sincerely hope this saves others from being a victim of fraud by Toronto Auto Station AKA Sterling Auto Finance. Note that both of these companies pretend to operate separately although they are one in the same.
You can also find out more about this company via the BBB and Yelp.com. Here are the links to ease any researchers needs:
Other canada-complaints.com about Toronto Auto Station:
One more thing, if I left you wondering what happened to the "Insurance Broker" they sent me to, well, he took my $700, took out 3 different policies in my name and allowed them all to go into default (he did one, it went into default, then he took out another with a different company and let that go into default, and so on). He never paid a dime to any of the companies he "brokered" policies with, provided me with 2 fake insurance slips and, of course, is no where to be found to date. His name is Jordan, just in case any one else has had the misfortune of being directed to him by any of Toronto Auto Stations reps.
West Hill, Ontario