Deceptive car dealer advertising tactic

March 28, 2010 · Posted in Commentary 

Arapahoe MitsubishiIt’s a wonder how anyone can stand to buy a new car from some of these sleazy automobile dealerships.  In scanning the car dealer advertisements in the paper for the last few weeks, I noticed what could be a new deceptive tactic to bring in customers.  On the other hand, maybe I am a little late to the game in noticing this unethical practice.

Please take note of the scanned image of the advertisement from yesterday’s Denver Post.  “NOW ONLY….$10,919*”, states the ad copy.  If you read nothing but that tag line you would think that the price of the car before tax, license, and fees was $10,919.  But wait!  Read just above the price.  “Your Cash………$3000”.  What this ad is saying is that you need to put down $3,000 to get the advertised price of $10,919.  The true price of the car, after the “discount”is $13,919.  There is an asterisk next to the advertised price, so you may think that there’s an adequate disclaimer there.  Nope!  The text next to the asterisk in the ad reads, “Dlr retains all rebates”.  So Arapahoe Mitsubishi is not disclosing the true price of the car in the small print of their disclaimer.

I chose to highlight Arapahoe Mitsubishi because I was able to get their name in the scan along with the ad.  However, they weren’t the only dealer using this dishonest advertising tactic.  This deceitful brand of advertising should be reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission, as well as the various State Attorney General offices.  I am actually very surprised that this advertisement got past the Denver Post.

Even if this type of deception is legal, I would urge you to vote with your pocketbook and not patronize any dealer that engages in this practice.

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One Response to “Deceptive car dealer advertising tactic”

  1. uberVU - social comments on March 31st, 2010 7:19 pm

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    This post was mentioned on Twitter by dspenc1: Deceptive car dealer advertising tactic.

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