In advance of the biggest online shopping day of the year, the Consumer Fraud Center issued its annual Cyber Monday Shopping Alert to warn consumers of the growing use by cyber criminals of legitimate websites such as Amazon Marketplace to sell illegal or counterfeit goods.
I hope the economic downturn is not beating you up too badly. Obviously it’s taking its toll on several sectors of the economy, one of which is car dealers.
I would hope that car dealers will fight their way out of the downturn with ethical and honest sales and service, and undoubtedly some will. However, there will be those that will not, and will turn instead down the dark path of deceiving consumers. To prevent against these dealers and these deceptions, we offer the advice and insight as found on my blog and in several articles I have written for many publications.
One area of car dealer fraud that we continue to see quite a bit of involves fraud in car leases. Even with the credit crunch, dealers are still able to arrange for financing for car leases, and car leases are frequently more expensive for consumers, although they appear as less expensive on the surface.
The classic lease fraud is the “bait and switch,” where a consumer goes to a dealer to buy a car and believes he is buying a car, but is instead switched into a lease. Sometimes dealers will tell consumers that they need to sign up for a lease “for a short time” to let interest rates come down, or some other malarky, and promise to change the deal to a purchase deal “in a few weeks.” When the consumer returns “in a few weeks,” the salesperson who negotiated the lease with him is nowhere to be found and no one at the dealer has any interest in changing the consumer into the promised purchase transaction.
There are various reasons why dealers would prefer to put you into a lease as opposed to a purchase. For one thing, dealers often get larger incentive bonuses from the leasing companies to put consumers into a lease, so dealers frequently make more money from the lenders on leases. Same with the manufacturers: depending on what is going on with vehicle inventory, manufacturers will often give dealers incentives to put consumers into leases instead of purchases. Finally, lease contracts are confusing, permitting dealers to throw more curveballs into the lease which result in higher hidden fees and payments by the consumer.
Currently, as of today, GM sales are off by over 40% and Ford sales are off by over 30%. I do not know the current status of Chrysler sales, but it’s probably similar. GM and Ford are in a position where they, and their dealers, will do just about anything to move vehicles off the lot. As stated above, there are truthfully quite a few dealers who will respond to the current pressures with honest ways and means of promoting vehicle sales, but there are also those that will respond dishonestly.
I do have a few tips if you are concerned about being switched into a vehicle lease, or if you are confused as to whether you will be paying more for a lease than for a purchase. Here are a few tips and pointers:
1. Remember that, with a lease, you are not buying the car. You are borrowing it, or renting it, for a longer period of time, and a lease deal actually has much in common with renting a car. There are often hidden fees at lease end which can make a seemingly less-expensive lease actually cost you more. There are hidden fees for excess mileage and wear and tear to the vehicle. If you know you drive 25,000 miles a year, then your lease should reflect that you drive 25,000 miles a year. If you lease a vehicle with a lease allowance of 15,000 miles a year, you would be penalized severely at lease end for the additional 10,000 miles a year.
2. It would be virtually impossible to describe all of the ways in which a lease can be more expensive than a purchase. First and foremost, you are buying nothing other than the use of the vehicle for a period of time within certain mileage limits, nothing more. You are not buying any ownership interest in the vehicle. Right then and there, a lease is usually more expensive because you have no trade-in at lease end. Many consumers are confused because they believe they can trade in a lease at lease end and receive credit, as if they owned the vehicle. This is not true.
3. At lease end, if you have any outstanding obligation on the lease (mileage penalty, condition penalty, unpaid lease payments), these are often rolled into your next vehicle purchase or lease. Watch your contract carefully to make sure that you get a fair deal on your next purchase or lease.
4. I recommend to all of my clients that they not sign anything on the spot at the dealership. Take the lease or purchase contract home and digest it overnight. Discuss it with a friend or a spouse. Go over it more than once. If consumers took this step alone and nothing more, they would likely avoid much of the fraud and monkey business at dealers because they would not be signing documents in a pressurized situation, after having been worn down by hours at the dealership.
If you, or your friends, have any further questions on leases and the potential for lease frauds, please do not hesitate to contact us. And, if you have been cheated on a lease, please consider us for your attorneys to resolve the situation.
Related Consumer Fraud Articles
by Internet Archive Book Images The new centuries has actually therefore far been a years of rampant customer scams. Intelligent companies and also salespersons formulate new method to dupe the general public on an everyday, otherwise a hourly basis. Hidden accident damages, rolled-back odometers,”laundered lemon”cars, where the maker has actually repurchased the automobile under lemon laws then disregarded to disclose the automobile’s history to the following purchaser, used cars sold as brand-new-these are just a couple of areas where dealerships as well as makers are regularly devoting scams against customers. My company, by the method, focuses on standing for customers that have actually acquired” lemon “car or who have been the targets of cars and truck dealer scams. This brief piece is developed to assist you in purchasing a used automobile, offering you with the appropriate tools to safeguard on your own from being duped on your next purchase. PLEASE PRINT THIS ARTICLE OFF AND LUG IT WITH YOU WHEN YOU Head Out TO PURCHASE YOUR NEXT USED VEHICLE. SHOW IT TO THE USED Cars And Truck SALES-PERSON IF SHE OR HE BALKS AT PROVIDING YOU WITH ANY OF THE REQUIRED INFORMATION. I just acquired a made use of vehicle with excellent results, as well as I am not an expert auto mechanic; rather, I’m simply an intelligent consumer, which is an outgrowth of the truth that I’m a shrewd as well as reliable consumer legal representative. The complying with pointers, if followed, are a lot more likely to cause an acceptable secondhand auto purchase. BRENNAN’S EIGHT-POINT CHECKLIST OF CRITERIA IN ACQUIRING A USED Cars And Truck AND ALSO PREVENTING COMING TO BE THE SUFFERERS OF A SCAMS 1)Constantly demand a warranty.”As-is”could conveniently be converted into legal lingo as, “You’re stuck, fool.”Also a 30 -or 10-day guarantee is
much better than simply”as-is “. 2)Firmly insist that the supplier print on the service warranty, in strong letters,” THIS Cars And Truck HAS BEEN EVALUATED FOR ACCIDENT DAMAGE As Well As ACCIDENT REPAIR WORKS As Well As HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE DEVOID OF CRASH DAMAGE OR REPAIRS.”This after that becomes a component of the service warranty. 3)Urge that the supplier prints on the service warranty, in strong letters,”THIS AUTOMOBILE HAS NOT BEEN WENT BACK TO A DEALER OR SUPPLIER AS A RESULT OF LEMON LEGISLATION DEFECTS OR PROBLEMS.
“If the supplier could run a guarantee service print-out, urge that they do so and connect it to the warranty itself, with an extra message published on the service warranty:” THE INSTALLED SERVICE WARRANTY SOLUTION BACKGROUND STANDS FOR THE COMPLETE WARRANTY HISTORY FOR THIS CAR, BASE ON ALL MANUFACTURER’S DOCUMENTS.” 4)You will certainly obtain an odometer disclosure declaration as component of the automobile acquisition. If there is any type of inscription on it such as”TMU”( mean”true miles unidentified”), see out: this cars and truck’s odometer has most likely been tampered with. 5) Stipulate an examination drive of a minimum of 10 miles. Urge on owning the car in differing roadway problems: city roads, freeway, straight as well as curvy roads both. Really wise consumers prepare to have a pleasant professional technician, not affiliated with the marketing dealership, to accompany them for the trip. Paying a pleasant mechanic$50.00 to do the test-drive can save you a great deal of distress later. 6)Prior to you purchase, have the vehicle checked by a non-dealer-affiliated specialist mechanic. The friendly professional technician that accompanied you on the examination drive need to do just fine for this. Have the vehicle thoroughly looked over, as you will
possibly be depending on the vehicle, specifically for its safety and security and dependability, for the next numerous years. Later on, anything past routine upkeep expenses will show galling, so understand what you are entering up front. 7)Do study. You may such as the looks of the automobile, but it’ses a good idea to look into the lorry’s service document with Consumer Reports or online. See the National Highway Web traffic Security Administration site(search under “NHTSA”) for guarantee, issue and also repair information about any kind of cars and truck you are thinking about getting. 8)Although they are debatable, I suggest getting a prolonged warranty, specifically if you plan on keeping the automobile for a lengthy time. That’s the list, which should supply happiness as opposed to sorrow for the most parts. It’s your insurance plan, so print it out and lug it with you when you following make a
used-car acquisition. Mark off each number as you complete that action of the list; then you’ll stand a much far better possibility of not ending up being the target of a fraudulence in a made use of car sale. I will currently clarify some issues worrying the documentation normally coming with a used-car sales transaction, including indicate keep your eyes peeled for as well as some definite warnings that signify you not to acquire that auto. All car dealerships try to put off the documents action for completion. Whenever I purchase a secondhand car, I urge that the documentation action be done initially
. Simply put, after I have actually come to be interested in an auto, I desire to see the documentation after that as well as there, before I begin talking about sales terms. All dealers have”dealer jackets” including all papers for every separate vehicle on
the lot. Evaluation these documents first, as well as only then opt for a test-drive and mechanical inspection. At the time of the sales close, you could expect that the salesman or a clerk will provide you with a stack of fine-print documents which would take a week to check out. Nobody-not even a seasoned legal representative-can review all of those documents quickly. However, you have to at the very least eye these files, and watch out for the following significant details: The”Odometer
Disclosure Statement “This is a record called for by government law to come with all sales of utilized cars and trucks. Review it, and also ensure the dealership indications it, for by doing so the dealer is certifying that the real miles on the car are precisely mirrored on the odometer. If the”Odometer Disclosure Statement “has an entrance such as”TMU”( which represents “Real Miles Unidentified”), or”Actual
Miles Unidentified”, or any type of such access, do not
buy the car! Probably, the automobile has even more miles on it compared to what is actually showing on the odometer. The “CUSTOMER ‘S OVERVIEW”The” Purchaser’s Guide “is the window sticker on an utilized vehicle which shows whether the car comes with a guarantee. My company tip to all utilized automobile buyers: only acquire vehicles with warranties. Do not buy cars and trucks “as-is.”The salesman will regularly tell you that some little old girl just drove the auto to as well as from church, and also that car dealership recognizes the solution history of the car since that’s where it was serviced, etc., and so on– it’s all
a pile of savanna pickles. If you buy a cars and truck “as-is”, expect to be duped. Anticipate issues with the cars and truck. When a car dealership sells a cars and truck”as-is, it is informing you plainly that it wants no more obligation for the automobile when you drive it off the whole lot. And also if the dealership does not desire any responsibility for the vehicle, just what does that inform you about the lorry? The moral of the story: buy cars with service warranties, also if the service warranty is for just Thirty Day. Guarantees provide you legal rights in case the vehicle was marketed to you fraudulently or it becomes a lemon. When you get an auto “as-is”, that could be the end of the line for you as for going after any scams or lemon-law case. The ‘Service warranty History “You need to request this, and also you ought to request it. Numerous car dealerships have accessibility to the warranty background of the vehicles they
sell, as well as specifically when it comes to brand-new auto dealers for the exact same construct from cars. As an example, if you are acquiring a used Chevy from an authorized Chevy dealership which services and also sells new Chevys, then that car dealership has digital access to the warranty history of the auto. This suggests that you could discover of any repair services
done to that
lorry while it was under its original guarantee. You could quickly discover if the cars and truck was a lemon by its guarantee history. If you don’t recognize the “warranty background “, have some knowledgeable explain it to you. Make certain you recognize it before you acquire the cars and truck. And, urge that the”warranty history”be affixed to the warranty itself, with a representation that it represents the full guarantee history for that car. This then gives the customer added lawful civil liberties if it ends up the lorry was marketed fraudulently or it is a lemon.”DISCLOSURE NOTICES “If you are given anything
called a “Disclosure Notice”, or such, BEWARE!!! Read over all the files to guarantee that you are not being marketed a recycled, or” washed “, lemon. Anything called a” Disclosure Notice”which reviews the mechanical problem of the vehicle is a warning to back out of the bargain and also leave the car dealership. You do not want to acquire a”washed lemon “-it will likely cost you a lot more difficulty compared to you ever pictured feasible.
In short, don’t purchase a vehicle
if there’s any type of sign that it’s a”laundered lemon.”The above, then, are the basic files you need to maintain your eyes peeled for. Actually, for your very own security you must demand to see them. The car dealership may not have the”warranty history “, yet it needs to have all the others. Robert F. Brennan, Esq. is a principal with Brennan, Wiener & Associates, an AV-rated regulation firm in La Crescenta, CA. His firm focuses on consumer defense lawsuits, consisting of lemon legislation, automobile dealer fraudulence and also consumer class actions. He
could be gotten to with his web site: http://brennanlaw.com A lot more Consumer Fraudulence Articles
Image from page 95 of “the entire world almanac and encyclopedia” (1908)
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Title: The World almanac and encyclopedia
12 Months: 1908 (1900s)
Subjects: Almanacs, American Statistics
Publisher: New York : Press Pub. Co. (The Latest York World)
Adding Library: Boston Public Library
Digitizing Sponsor: Boston Public Library
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■^V–J HONEST MATTER (100 ROLL CASES) This brand has 1,000 Sheets every single roll, or almost 500 feet of Tissue •divided into sheets, held by a slim • bond/ which can be ruptured quickly and without waste. The grade of report always the finest. NOTE—HonestCount implies only thai,while customers, in purchasing ToiletPaper, thinkthev get 1,000 Sheets, it’s true that 90percent, of all of the that’s sold contains leis. Every Roll is assured, on its wrapper, inside after language: To any person who will toward themanufacturer this wrapper, with an affidavitthat this roll isn’t as represented in everyparticular, ive uyill forward free TenRo:h. Large consumers, and tiny ones in addition, need simply these types of protectionagainst fraudulence inside fatherless moves, bearing elegant brands merely.that are plentiful shopping. H ec JEZROMEl FIXTURE IS THE RESULTS OF A LONG TIME EXPERIENCE OFTHE DEMANDS OF AN AMAZING FIXTURE, 1. All pnrts tend to be together with regards to renders thefactory
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