SACRAMENTO - The general manager of Folsom Lake Kia and Ford says a series of errors led a Roseville chiropractor to believe he had won a $66,000 Kia sedan during a charity golf tournament.
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Allan Ross claimed the dealership pulled a "bait-and-switch" when it offered him a $25,000 gift certificate instead of the luxury car parked at the third tee when he sunk a hole-in-one May 7 at the annual Eureka Schools Foundation (ESF) golf tournament at the Granite Bay Golf Club.
The resulting story on News10 generated thousands of Facebook "shares" and hundreds of comments critical of the dealership.
"It's frustrating," said Folsom Lake Kia and Ford general manager Jon Peterson. "There was no ill intent."
Peterson said he had sponsored hole-in-one challenges at the ESF golf tournament in the prior two years but had never before displayed a car so far above the intended prize amount of $25,000.
"(The K900) is a brand-new model and I really wanted us to get that car out in Granite Bay," Peterson explained. In contrast, the vehicle displayed at the 11th hole was a new Ford Explorer.
Peterson said he took out a $25,000 insurance policy on both holes at the cost of a few hundred dollars each.
Peterson blamed ESF for not putting the prize limit on the players sheet posted in each golf cart, which he said had been done in the two previous golf tournaments he sponsored.
In a July 4 post on the Folsom Lake Kia Facebook page responding to the negative comments, the dealership seemed to place the blame entirely with ESF:
We didn't intend to mislead anyone and ESF was at fault. They were responsible for putting the info on the players sheet. In an effort to do something good, we have been accused of trying to swindle the winner.
But in a phone conversation Monday, Peterson admitted there was plenty of blame to go around.
Peterson said the insurance company that provided the hole-in-one coverage was also responsible for providing signage that clearly stated the prize limit.
The signs ultimately placed at the two vehicles, Peterson said, merely said a hole-in-one shot would win a "new 2014 Ford or Kia" and he agreed the language was ambiguous.
"I didn't see that sign until I got there," Peterson said. When asked why he and his father posed with Ross in front of the car, Peterson said it happened so quickly there was no time to object.
The Eureka Schools Foundation did not respond to a request for comment from News10, but Peterson said the board was meeting Monday to help him craft a resolution.
A news release from ESF dated May 28 said the golf tournament raised more than $90,000. Peterson promised the settlement would not come from tournament funds.
"It's going to get resolved," he said. "I'm going to make it go away."