Herb Chambers Honda gets in on the “fake important letter” scam

By | June 18, 2010

This came from Herb Chambers Honda a couple of days ago:

(click for larger image)

This one is a tiny, tiny bit less deceptive than the Honda Village mailings: notice how it has the word “Auto” hidden in the return address!

The mailing inside was also deceptive.  No, actually, it was an outright lie.  It’s one of those “trade in your vehicle now!” hard sells, which informs me, “Our Records Indicate Your 2007 Honda Odyssey Has A Trade Value Between: $16,500 and $18,450”.  Funny how the Kelly Blue Book says its value is between $13,200 and $15,550.  Big difference!

We were occasionally using Herb Chambers Honda’s service department, but now I guess we’ll have to find yet another dealership when we need genuine Honda service for whatever reason.

Are there any car dealerships that don’t engage in slimy sales practices?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

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2 thoughts on “Herb Chambers Honda gets in on the “fake important letter” scam

  1. Dan

    JonT: Consumers’ Union has been telling people for decades to refuse to say anything about a trade-in, when they’re buying a new car. It’s just a trick to make buyers think they’re getting a good deal when they’re not.

    Once you’ve agreed on a price, then mention, “On 2nd thought, I might be interested in trading in my old car.”

    Also, when the salesman goes in the back room to clear the deal with his manager, tell him first, “OK, but if he raises the price from we agreed on, the deal’s off.” If they try to pull it off anyway, really walk out.

  2. JonT

    The thing about the trade-in value is not necessarily a lie. Car dealers sometimes do give you a trade-in value higher than the blue-book value — sometimes much higher. When I was negotiating the purchase of my current car some years ago, the dealer preferred to grossly inflate the value of my trade-in rather than take more money of the official selling price of the car*. It’s certainly *possible* that if I hadn’t been trading in a car that maybe they would have lowered the purchase price instead. I’m not sure. But even if that’s the case, the inflated trade-in value would be at worst deceptive, rather than an outright lie.

    *(I guessed that this had something to do with sales commissions, but I never asked).


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