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					  Vol. I No. 2                                                                                                        September 14, 2000

             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
    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.
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
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.

Teachers please discuss this                               Facts for                                        SCAMS
concept with your students!
                                                                                                        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
 (803)734-4195                                                                                                                              rce:
                                                           store will not resolve the problem,                                              The                                                                                                                        Wa
Consumer education should                                  write to the manufacturer.                                                       shi
                                                           * You can help the FTC assure that
start now!                                                 care labels are accurate and attached.
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.