home back

Cheapo car auction

I’ve been to a number of car auctions without problems, but one was miserable.  Imagine yourself going:   You can get easy credit [at high interest?].  You can look over the cars and start them, but not drive them.  They are very appealing.  You take notes.  Then you enter the auction room, take a seat, and can’t use your brain till it’s over.  One guy in dark glasses mumbles a lot of information into the mike.   [The thunderous volume in this room of terrible acoustics hurts your ears.  One helper and one security guard wear ear plugs.]   He introduces the helpers and then the auctioneer who we are supposed to clap for.  [Are these our new friends?]  He mumbles more info and the 1st car is driven in. The helpers slap the fender, kick the tires, jump up on the bumper.  Oh boy.  The bidding starts, but what is the starting price?  Is it real or is there a ‘plant’ in the audience.  The auctioneer frantically rattles off his auction mumble and praises the car.  [Super hype].  He mentions one price [what is it?] and another.  The helpers are jumping all over, hurting your ears by shouting and blowing their whistles and the car horn, making signals that are suppose to be the price, and getting too close to you.  You can’t hear normally, you can’t think, everything is happening at once.  You can’t underSTAND what they are saying.  A car that sold last week is here again this week, cars are offered ‘as is’ and sold- at some final- price [what was it?] and driven off.  Next car comes in, same ordeal, carefully crafted to separate you from your money.  It goes against everything you’ve learned about reasoning, clear expression, calm deliberation, manners, dignity – a terrible experience.

I left the lst and 2nd times as quick as i could.  I only returned the 2nd and 3rd times [with ear plugs] as this auction was the closest [and I was naïve and in a hurry to buy something].  I bought a car, which, like all of em, had ‘sold as is’ stickers on it .   When you pay for the car, you go into another room of bad acoustics, and face reflector glass you can barely see thru.  I talked to a foreigner I could sort of hear and sort of understand as she pushed form after form out for me to sign.  ‘Only l5 minutes’ became an hour and I got the car.

Why isn’t Ralph Nader having a fit over this type of auction?  It cries out for investigative reporting with hidden cams.  Then reforms such as:  – a large flow chart showing each step and the options.  – a maximum level of decibels.  – no ‘plants’ in the audience.  – no misrepresentation.  – obvious declaration as to which cars have been turned down by dealers.  – safeguards against artificially high prices.  – a large electronic sign that indicates the first [sensible] price, each rise [with intervals between each rise].   – helpers keeping 20 feet from the audience.  In this time of consumer rights, the public is not being protected.

comments
leave a comment