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Call 12 for Action helps man recover extra payment from car dealership

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) — With the bill of sale in hand, Dennis Macedo thought the transaction for his new car was complete but within days, the dealership was demanding more money for the vehicle.

Macedo told Call 12 for Action he double-checked the price before signing on the dotted line.

"I said, 'does this include all taxes and fees?'" Macedo recalled. "He said, 'yes it does.'"

Days later, Macedo got a text from the car salesman asking him to return to the dealership.

"They're telling me I owe another $1,330," he said. "It just made absolutely no sense."

At first, Macedo refused to pay the extra money and requested that the dealership return his trade-in vehicle and deposit.

The dealership refused, dropped its demand from $1,300 to $795, and ultimately Macedo signed a new bill of sale because he says he had no other choice.

"They told me they were going to take the plates off my car because it wasn't registered," Macedo told Call 12 for Action. "They were going to give me temporary plates unless I made this payment."

In a letter to the Rhode Island Dealers' License and Regulation Office, Russell Bauer, the general manager of Langway Toyota of Newport, admitted his dealership made an error.

"We gave the customer a sales tax credit for his trade in which we should not have," Bauer wrote in the letter.

The Dealers' License and Regulation Office said the complaint didn't warrant enforcement action but suggested Macedo may find relief in Small Claims Court.

He filed a lawsuit and also contacted Call 12 for Action.

"They made an error," Macedo said. "I'm not paying for their error. Period."

Bauer refused to discuss the issue with Call 12 for Action but within minutes of our phone call, Macedo said Bauer contacted him and promised to put a refund check in the mail.

Susan Campbell ( is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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