It’s a tricky business, trying to make the world safe for consumers. Long ago, during my short-lived mystery shopping career, I had the assignment to sign up for a membership at a warehouse club. I was treated so poorly by the staff member registering new members that day that had I been spending my own money and not on assignment, I would have walked out.
Jim decided to take advantage of the Cash For Clunkers program and trade his Crown Victoria in on something a little more fuel-efficient. Unfortunately, the dealership where he bought the car wasn’t quite ready to handle one of the most frightening of all creatures: an informed consumer. They counted on their customers to not fully understand all of the program’s rules.
What’s a great way for a car dealer to get attention during a drought? Offer customers a free car if it rains. No, the dealership owner won’t be standing out front in a poncho, handing out keys to everyone who passes by on the appointed day. It’s cleverer than that.
Remember the disgruntled Range Rover owner in England who lettered his complaints on the vehicle and parked it in front of the dealership? Reader M.H. discovered his American counterpart standing in front of a Hyundai dealership in Vancouver, Washington.
As GM’s bankruptcy looms, let’s take a look at what might be in store for its network of dealerships. Chrysler dealers are understandably angry at the company’s shutting down of dealerships, refusal to take back unsold inventory, and general inability to, in the words of Jon Stewart, “be a f@#king person.” Or ethically behaving corporate entity, whatevs.
In case you don’t watch “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” as obsessively as I do, here’s a segment from earlier this week that is relevant to Consumerist readers’ interests. In it, they provide an overview of news coverage of the closing of GM and Chrysler dealerships, and implore the companies to “be a f@#king person!”
Nearing the end of his lease on a Chevy Equinox, Tom wanted to turn the vehicle in before he used up his allotted miles, and drop it from his insurance as soon as he could. The dealership he leased it from, their lot clogged with cars and trucks that nobody particularly wants to buy, wasn’t really keen to take it back. So Tom got creative.
Repossessing cars is so old-fashioned. All that driving, locating people’s houses, towing the cars away… with the mess credit markets are currently in, who has time for that? Car lenders don’t.
Justice has finally been served to the senior citizen who was not only ripped off on his trade-in vehicle (which is, frankly, to be expected), the dealership also got him to hand over his ATM card and just straight up stole $2000 from his bank account.
Jay writes in with a question: how do you get back your deposit from a car dealership when a deal goes sour? The salesman jacked up the price after an initial negotiation, and now won’t refund the deposit: “He said we’d be surprised at what he can make up to keep the deposit.”
Leather seats aren’t supposed to break apart on your two-year-old Acura TSX. So a conscientious owner with miles left on the warranty does what any sensible consumer would do: Take it to a dealership for warranty repair. Not so easy.
(Thanks to ca choppers!)
You might think that going after car dealers for shady dealings is just too obvious and easy for the Consumerist. So it’s not just any car dealer story that rises to the top of our hallowed frontpage.