Vol. I No. 2 September 14, 2000 CONSUMER ALERT A Publication Of the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs Philip S. Porter, Administrator/Consumer Advocate Spot Delivery Could Affect You A Lesson On Spot Delivery Are you in the market for a new or involves verification of various forms of The lesson to be learned is that you used car? In today’s complex and credit information. Often times, it is hard must read everything you sign and in financial world there are many to verify credit information after standard today’s market beware of ‘spot delivery.’ opportunities awaiting you. You can buy business hours. cars after customary business hours and From time to time, consumers are See the checklist below before purchasing a even into the very late evenings at some contacted one or more days after the sale car. and asked to return the vehicle. The places, but is this really for your convenience? consequences of returning the vehicle CONSUMER Car buyers beware! There is a confusing and sometimes frightening concept out there called ‘spot delivery.’ sometimes cause the consumer distress and embarrassment as he or she has become attached to the vehicle. CHECKLIST Spot Delivery is a term used most In one instance, a South Carolina Buying a car can be a difficult commonly in the auto industry. Spot couple suffered the consequences of spot process. Below please find some Delivery occurs when a dealer allows a delivery without knowing they had agreed questions about credit and loans that consumer to take possession of a vehicle to it. you should ask. Remember that a before completing all aspects of the The couple entered a dealership on a call or a visit to a dealer should help credit verification process. The vehicle Saturday afternoon to purchase a new clarify details about low interest is delivered to the consumer based upon vehicle. The couple and the salesman loans and car credit. a conditional credit approval. reached an agreement on the price. They Credit Questions About Car Credit: Generally, if the buyer and seller sign gave information for credit approval and a 1. Will you be charged a higher price for the a contract it is binding on both. If the contract with credit terms was signed. car to qualify for the low-rate financing? The couple was asked to sign other Would the price be lower if you paid cash, or dealership demands the car back just supplied your own financing from your bank because it did not know how good the paperwork and was told that it regarded or credit union? customer’s credit was, this would be an insurance and warranty. The couple soon, 2. Does the financing require a larger-than- illegal act. Even so, some dealers sought thereafter, left the dealership feeling usual down payment? Perhaps 25 or 30 percent? to avoid this problem by having happy with their new purchase. To their surprise, three days later they 3. Are there limits on the length of the customers sign or initial disclaimers transaction? Are you required to repay the indicating they (consumers) agree to received a call from the dealership asking loan in a condensed period of time, say 24 or 36 months? return the vehicle if the customer does them to return their new car because their not meet the finance’s underwriting. credit was not approved. The couple 4. Is there a significant balloon payment - possibly several thousand dollars-due at the The credit application process returned the car and after asking end of the loan? questions they learned that they had 5. Do you have to buy special or extra actually signed a disclaimer, which they merchandise or services such as rustproofing, CONTENTS were led to believe was insurance and an extended warranty, or a service contract to qualify for low interest? Spot Delivery...................................1 warranty, saying that if they were not Consumer Checklist.........................1 6. Is the financing available for a limited time approved for credit then they would have only? Some merchants limit special deals to a Consumer Education........................2 to return the vehicle. few days or require that you take delivery by a certain date. Fast Facts.........................................2 They ended up feeling as though they Scams..............................................2 had been tricked. 7. Does the low rate apply to all cars in stock or only to certain models? S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs 3600 Forest Drive, Suite 300/P.O. Box 5757 Columbia, SC 29250 (803)734-4190 or 1-800-922-1594 *All information in this newsletter may be copied and distributed. 2 Consumer Alert September 14, 2000 Consumer report inaccurate or missing labels. Education: Teachers please discuss this Facts for SCAMS concept with your students! Consumers: ` The busy vacation season is Do you know your Closet Cues: Care coming to an end as is a Clearwater, Consumer rights? Labels and Your Clothes Florida based travel agency. After hundreds of Virginia customers were Right to Safety: The right to Your favorite sweater shrank, given the runaround, steered to places expect your health, safety and your new pants puckered and the they didn’t want to go, or told financial well-being will be protected. nothing is available for trips and colors in your new shirt ran. You’re Right to Information: The right vacations they have been looking furious! However, don’t toss the forward to, Virginia Attorney to have access to full and fair clothes out just yet. If you followed information and to be protected General Mark L. Earley decided to the cleaning instructions on the care take action. Along with the FTC, against false or misleading claims. labels, you can return the garments Mark L. Earley has filed a federal Right to Choice: The right to and ask the retailer for an exchange complaint accusing Med Resorts make an informed choice among International of travel-related fraud. products and services at fair and or a refund. Under the Federal Trade Also known as and World competitive prices. Connections Travel, Interval Right to Be Heard: The right to a Commission’s Care Labeling Rule, International, and Destination full and fair hearing and, if possible, a manufacturers must tag their Unlimited, Med Resorts International satisfactory resolution when clothing with at least one safe requires their customers to pay an up dissatisfied. cleaning method. Garments sold front fee to join. This fee includes 15 Right to Consumer Education: without a care label-or with weeks of accommodation at various The right to receive continuing inaccurate cleaning instructions-may locations to be used over the next 40 consumer education that will help violate the Rule. Manufacturers may years. Med Resorts International ensure you have the information you use certain care symbols in place of guarantees accommodations at many need to exercise your other rights as a words on labels, to help consumers resorts located throughout the United consumer. States. Many Virginia customers in understand the new symbols. Right to Service: The right to particular however, found out that convenience, courtesy and responsiveness to needs and problems and to take the steps necessary to Fast Facts: Med Resorts International did not uphold to their guarantee. Since 1991, more than 300 complaints have ensure that goods and services meet been filed in Virginia against Med * Care labels are required by law on Resorts International. The Med the quality and performance levels claimed. all clothing, except: garments made Resorts complaint is part of a primarily of suede or leather; “Operation Travel Unravel.” This To Request Free Educational Materials footwear, gloves, hats or other items program targets fraudulent travel or Arrange for a Speaker Contact: operations such as Med Resorts for the head or hands; and household Sherry King International that are being S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs items, such as linens. investigated by the FTC and state law 3600 Forest Drive, P.O. Box 5757 * If you follow the care label’s enforcement agencies around the Columbia, SC 29250 instructions and the garment is country. 1-800-922-1594 damaged, return it to the store. If the Sou (803)734-4195 rce: store will not resolve the problem, The email@example.com Wa Consumer education should write to the manufacturer. shi ngt * You can help the FTC assure that start now! care labels are accurate and attached. on Ti mes Brandolyn Thomas C. Pinkston.......Deputy Public Contact FTC (6th and Pennsylvania Information & Education Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20580 Sherry Gore King............Education Coordinator Shana Kinard...........................Newsletter Editor or call them at (202) 326-2222) to S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs 3600 Forest Drive, Suite 300/P.O. Box 5757 Columbia, SC 29250 (803)734-4190 or 1-800-922-1594 *All information in this newsletter may be copied and distributed. 3 Consumer Alert September 14, 2000 S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs 3600 Forest Drive, Suite 300/P.O. Box 5757 Columbia, SC 29250 (803)734-4190 or 1-800-922-1594 *All information in this newsletter may be copied and distributed.