CONSUMERS CAUTIONED ABOUT CAR DEALERS WHO CLAIM POOR CREDIT HISTORY NO BARRIER TO PURCHASE
– – – Customers Paying Inflated Prices; Being Pressured into Buying or Leasing Vehicles: Consumer Protection Office
The Manitoba Consumer Protection Office is urging consumers shopping for a vehicle to be cautious about car sales businesses that offer in-house/private financing for customers with credit history problems.
The office has had complaints from consumers about car loans they received in which the price charged for the car was much higher than its value and the interest rate was also unreasonably high. Car shoppers should understand all terms and conditions of any loan agreement they sign and pay special attention to:
any large fees for things such as preparing the loan documents,
the interest charged,
what will happen if they miss a payment, and
how long it will take them to pay back the loan.
In addition, consumers are also advised to beware of any car seller who places extreme pressure on customers to sign contracts but does not provide the customer with enough time to read and understand the contract terms before signing.
Complaints registered with the Consumer Protection Office indicate that some customers are not being given important information about their contract and they may have liens placed on their homes or other property without realizing this could happen. Some customers thought they owned the vehicle when, in fact, the documents they signed were for a lease.
It appears these business practices are often focused on customers with poor credit histories who lack options for getting a car. When shopping for a car, consumers are reminded that:
You cannot sign away or give up your rights under the Consumer Protection Act. It is an offence for any business to ask you to do this.
If you leave a deposit on a vehicle, make sure you understand the conditions and whether you can get your money back.
Read everything you sign and ask questions about anything you don’t understand in the contract. Don’t sign any documents or agree to anything that isn’t clear.
If a dealer is pressuring you or if you feel uneasy, find another business to work with.
Consumers who believe they may have been pressured or treated unfairly are encouraged to contact the Consumer Protection Office at 204-945-3800 or 1-800-782-0067 (toll-free) or email email@example.com.
Helpful tips for consumer protection when buying a vehicle are available on the Consumer Protection Office website at www.gov.mb.ca/cca/cpo/.