This news story is from a few months ago, and the The Federal Trade Commission has already gotten this dealership group in MD and VA to cease and desist, but other sleazy dealerships may attempt the same type of scam.
The way that it worked revolved around the mailing of phony recall notices to car owners. Then, when the cars were in the shop, owners would be told of “serious repair issues” that were not covered by the bogus recall.
I have a feeling that they are not the only ones doing this. And using a lame excuse to try and place all the blame on the third party. After all , they had to be the ones who contacted that slimy marketing group.
This has been around for quite a while and yes, it’s particularly sleazy. Worse than downright disgusting actually.
Some dealers here in OK were doing this 15 years ago .l received several “Urgent Recall” letters from more than a couple of dealers and when the letter was opened the vague letter simply stated to visit the dealer for more information. Once on the lot, the sales dept. pounces like vultures on carrion to apply the high pressure sales thumbscrews.
There’s really no limit as to how low these guys will go to coax people onto their lots. One Kia dealer here in OK was advertising for several months about a special deal on brand new Kias.
“Buy one new Kia; get a second one at the same price”. Wow, what a deal…
Another Kia dealer was insinuating that if someone bought one new Kia they would get another new Kia free of charge. Not likely…
I think it was Kia or that other one that can’t be spelled that would send a key out. Then you had to come in and see if the key fits the car or not and if it did you got the car. I only did it once on my way through and had no intention of buying anything but still it was very hard to get out of there. No hand cuffs or anything but the guys were big and hungry.
I answered a mailer that said if the key fit the prize might be a new vehicle or 10000.00 dollars or a 5.00 dollar Walmart gift card . Needless to say I only got the 5.00 card but it only took me about 20 minutes of my time.
Yes, some dealers in this neck of the woods (not Kia) also pulled that see if your key fits gimmick. No key ever fit.
Several dealers I worked for also pulled that “Free Service Clinic” thing a few times. People were encouraged to bring in their cars for a free checkup, free alignment, you name it. While they were waiting for the inspection to be over the sales dept was all over them with…
“Your Subaru has 25k miles already? Wow. Maybe you should consider trading before any problems crop up”. About as ridiculous as it gets.
That reminded me when I was a kid, the Merc dealer gave his kid an electric 57 Merc to drive around on the sidewalk. I always wanted that car. I happened to run into him a few years back and asked them what ever happened to that little car? He remembered driving that car but couldn’t remember what happened to it after his dad took it back.