Dealership Chutzpah

Got home and found a bright red postcard, a Vehicle Recall Notice for my 2010 Cobalt with an included “GM-APPROVED MULTI-POINT INSPECTION AT NO FURTHER CHARGE…TO FURTHER UPDATE THE CUSTOMER’S SERVICE RECORDS”.

I thought, “how nice GM’s going the extra mile to make good”. Then I looked again and noticed it was not an official recall notice and was from a Chevrolet dealer in Cape May Court House, NJ and not the dealer I bought it from. It’s just a fishing expedition on the dealer’s part. Considering how much flak GM is getting about the ignition recall I’m somewhat surprised a dealer would try and take advantage of it. I attached a picture minus the dealer info.

Ed B.

Anything for a buck, it seems.

But the wording they use…ALL of them. I only wish I could remember all the tricky little sayings they invent that would trick some in to thinking they MUST bring their car in right now, or they’ve gotten a huge ‘‘check’’ so they must go immediately, or there’s never ever going to be lower price, etc.

Car dealers are car dealers…They will do any recall work gratis, but will also take the opportunity to drum up a little cash business if they can…

As a former letter carrier, my advice is to look at the form of postage paid. If it’s “presort standard” rate, that’s a bulk mailing. That’s the sort of postage paid by “junk mail,” and while GM might need to send out massive numbers of recall notices, they’d undoubtedly do it first-class, as 1st class delivery is guaranteed. The USPS make no guarantee that bulk rate gets there at all, let alone in a timely manner.

That goes for any “official-looking” mail: is it 1st class, or bulk?

Here’s a few things I’ve noticed about mail . . .

If it says urgent, it’s junk

If it says must open immediately, it’s junk

If it says immediate action required, it’s junk

If it has a very prominent bald eagle on the envelope, it’s junk

It it says this is your last chance, it’s junk

Any correspondence that actually is from the us government is always in a very nondescript envelope

Credit cards are always in nondescript envelopes, and the sender’s name and address are always very vague. Not only that, but the credit card companies tell you ahead of time, telling you to expect your new card in x number of days, and it’s coming from such and such city.

Typical dealer BS but one hopes that someone receiving something like that will see through it. Other points to be made…

Nothing wrong with trying to drum up work as long as it’s a legitimate need; and many cars have needs their owners are blissfully unaware of.

Many of those free multi-point inspections may lead to nowhere and the flat rate mechanic is the one getting the thumbscrews applied to them by working for nothing (coerced being the operative word) in the hope that a paying job will surface out of it.

It’s not just car dealers that are full of it. Many other types of businesses use misleading tactics to draw customers in. Think back to the last Black Friday sale and K-Mart advertising a flat screen TV for X dollars. It was pointed out the Black Friday price was the same price on the prior Labor Day and in between.
The company stance was that “it just shows customers get a good deal year round at K-Mart…”.

I heard a story that a fellow was sick of one particular company sending him creditcard offers. No matter how many times he’d call and ask to be removed from the list, it never worked. But, he got them back and they immediatly took his name off the list.

He was walking back from the mailbox one day with another offer from this company. He just so happened to look to the edge of the driveway and noticed that he had a few old bricks in a pile.

He took a brick, wrapped it neatly, in an old paper bag. THen he taped the return envelope to the brick. He included in the envelope his name and address from the letter that they sent.
He took the whole thing down and threw it in a post box at the postoffice.

even though the brick had no postage on it, the postal service was obligated to ship it as a “postage due item”. They just cannot throw something away.

They didn’t get the hint and he had to send a second brick, but after that one…and paying the postage…they caught on.
He never got another offer from them!!!


“At no charge, with each recall that we preform”

I wonder… if you had no recalls…then they would hand you a bill for the multi point inspection???


Probably not. The mechanics are often coerced into things like this and is a major reason why many flat rate mechanics are about one frayed nerve end away from losing it… :frowning:

The mailing of the bricks is a cool move though… :slight_smile:

Confusing junk mail is not limited to car dealers. There are many ways to make a buck and none of them are secret.

Over the past 4 years I’ve received several UPS or Fed-Ex mail deliveries that I had to sign for…that were just advertisements from a Bank I use to deal with for me to refinance with them. The reason I left was because they wouldn’t work with me when I wanted to refinance. The BEST they could do was more then two points higher then I refinanced for (0 points, $0 closing costs).

Its not as bad as “your warranty is about to expire” folks. They called me once on my cell phone about the warranty on my Riviera. I said oh thank heavens I could use a warranty. When they asked the mileage I told them 480,000. Good bye.

Those multi-point inspections are one of many reasons why I am now a civil service fleet mechanic

There’s only so much low-paying and non-paying abuse you can put up with before you quit and move on to something (hopefully) better


When you told them your mileage was 480K, did they actually say good bye?

Or did you just hear the click . . . ?

It was a few years ago but I do think it was just a click.

the warranty expire people call me and i never had a stinkin’ warranty, ever!

In my area there are a couple of dealerships that send you a key to a “brand new vehicle”! All you have to do is bring the key to the dealership. If it fits you win the vehicle! I have heard the “chipped” keys for modern vehicles can be quite expensive. They would not mail out thousands of expense keys. Of course all are made in China dummies except the one real one. Think again. There does not have to be a real one! What! That’s false advertising! That’s a scam! That’s dishonest! Prove it. All they have to say in response is: “We mailed 5,000 keys but only 500 were tried”. “Odds are the potential suc… er customer who received the winning key failed to bring it in”. AGAIN!!!

And if you win the vehicle, there’s probably a 25K processing fee . . .

There’s no f . . . . . g way you can come out ahead

They are getting really smart these days, I had a key cut at a dealership, and bought some vehicle specific fludis, Now I get an offer for my year make and vehicle to trade in at x amount of dollars. If you think there is not a giant database tracking you, you are misled.