U.S. Troops Allegedly Targeted by Car Dealers’ Deceptive and Unfair Business Practices

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Recently, a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hearing was held to discuss the problems that Marines, sailors, and other U.S. service members encounter when they attempt to purchase and finance a motor vehicle. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the consumer problems members of the U.S. military and their families face. It is believed service members are targeted by car dealers because they have a guaranteed salary and can ensure payment.

Consumer advocates argue that purchasing or financing a vehicle can be a very confusing process that has the potential for fraud. In some cases it has been found that salespeople employ bait-and-switch tactics and charge hidden fees. On the other hand, car dealers and their advocates argue that transactions are typically straightforward, and “rip-offs” are rare. At the hearing, several examples of deceptive business practices that target service members were discussed, such as manipulating them into purchasing warranties that were close to being expired, or charging for overpriced add-ons. One example discussed was a service member who was duped by a dealership into paying $2,700 for a GPS system that retailed for only $200. The dealership allegedly hid the financing costs by using two sets of paperwork.

If you have been a victim of fraud or deceptive business practices in California, you may find it beneficial to consult with an attorney to learn more about the legal options available to you. Howard D. Silver has dedicated his practice to helping wronged consumers since 1987, and can help explain your legal rights to you. Call 1-(855) 341-2611 for a free consultation with Mr. Silver today.