The other day I took some time to browse through the nice glossy Nissan Infiniti advertising insert that was included with my weekend newspaper. It looked very expensive to produce and it highlighted eight 2011 car models. Some of the pricing next to each model interested me, but before jumping up and running down to my local dealer I thought I would just try and read the very small print associated with all the asterisks.
With the help of my new reading glasses, a magnifying glass, a very well lit room, and paper and pen. I struggled for some time to understand the vendor’s offerings. The model shown had no relationship to the price that was printed just beside it! What I discovered raised the hair on my neck.
For example the picture of M37 Infiniti “Sport” model was next to a starting price for the M37 Infiniti “plain Jane“price of $54,480. The actual price of the car pictured starts at $65,480. This went on and on for each model.
Why do “what appears to be” honest well run companies stoop so low? Don’t they have better faith in their product, their services, and their employees? Why can’t they just display the correct model and indicate the starting price. Let’s save us all the bull!
Oh for the almighty, very small, and very hard to see asterisk. Notice that the word “RISK” makes up a significant portion of the word! It always jumps out at very scrupulous purchasers. To the smart shopper it screams! “Whatever you see in the picture is not representative of the price we show, we just want to suck in naive hard working Canadians” And yes it is true. And most automobile sales reps are not shy in stating “Bob, you know we will do anything just to get you into our show room!”
In today’s multi-tasking fast paced environment hard working Canadians that jump at such ads prior to conducting their own true due – diligence are in for a surprise. When they run off to the showroom, the polished sales team and their tactics are there to greet them. This is where they discover the real story. But by them they have seen the car, sat in it, gotten chummy with the sales guy, had a free coffee, and talked about their kids, their jobs and the weather. Most car sales personnel are very, very good at smoothing over the unexpected costs. They make it appear that if you have a good credit rating you can afford $75 per week instead of $62, only $13. Nothing there right! For the next 72 months!
In my opinion, this issue is simply one of many attempts used by multi national companies to trick or misrepresent their product or service to the Canadian consumer.
Our Government and our laws, consumer organizations all across
Why do newspapers allow these car companies to do this to their customers? Could it be that these unscrupulous ads bring in a good chunk of change and that they don’t care if their customers are being deceived?
Why do our Provincial and Federal governments allow these multi-nationals to do this to hard working unsuspecting Canadian consumers?
It seems to me that shortly the Internet and new technology will enable “dumb” shoppers to become smarter. They will remember how they were treated and newspaper car advertising will go the way of the typewriter unless they clean up their act!
So how about it car companies and newspapers, why don’t you get together and start being honest with your ads! Certainly you must believe that you have a good product and great employees. You don’t need to “befuddle” your customers!
But until you do, I will continue to park my blue box right next to my mail box!