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VIC Dealer Refusing to Sell Car as Advertised on Newspaper?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by kristyd82, 7 July 2016.

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  1. kristyd82

    kristyd82 Member

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    The car dealership had a car advertised for a drive away price. I went to the dealership and saw the car still on lot and test drove the car.

    Upon returning to the yard, I asked the salesman why there is a price difference from the newspaper. He told me he hadn't seen it, however, someone had called the salesman earlier and asked if the car was available. The salesman told me there's no way he will sell me the car for the price and it must be a mistake from the newspaper.
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Walk away.
     
  3. kristyd82

    kristyd82 Member

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    Most people I have spoken to have said the same thing but my argument is valid. Why should they get away with it?

    By letting people walk all over us like this is just telling everyone and anyone they can advertise what they want for however much they want and they don't have to sell it to you. How is this fair trading? How is that good business practise?

    It's against the law to multi-price, so why should I let them get away with it? Not to mention misleading. Being a single mum of 4 kids, I don't have a lot of money, so when I saw the ad, I was over the moon. It was the car I have wanted for ages and at a price I could afford.
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    If it was a genuine mistake the dealer has broken no law. The difference between the 2 prices may give a clue as to whether it was a genuine mistake or misleading advertising.

    What are the two prices?
     
  5. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Because you pick your battles.

    The answer to your first question is driven by the last sentence.
    What's actually driving you here (so to speak) is a mix of resentment and disappointment, nothing more.
    So you're pretending it's about "principle", when really, it's about you.

    I suggest to you that this is not a fight worth fighting.
    And probably not a dealer to do business with anyway.
     
  6. Ponala

    Ponala Well-Known Member

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    If it's a mistake, it's a mistake and he is under no obligation to sell it to you at that price.
     
  7. Ozwarlock67

    Ozwarlock67 Well-Known Member

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    You've possibly been a victim of a practice known as "ghosting". A dealership will advertise a car at a fetchingly low price, but when potential customers arrive, the car doesn't seem to exist, but hey, here's a similar model at a higher price.

    The customer will then be talked into a deal they can't really afford for a car they didn't want.

    Tim is right. Go elsewhere.
     
  8. familyguy

    familyguy Member

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    I know it is not what you wanted to hear but I would just move on.

    A few years back I had an IGA supermarket, we at times picked up the odd tobacco items from a local tobacconist if it was in between orders, they sold to us at wholesale. I noticed that they had a new line at well below whole sale, advertised on the front counter. I asked to purchase some at the advertised price, and I was told I could buy but had to pay normal wholesale. The special price was not available to me.

    I made a formal complaint to the ACCC only to be told no law was being broken and as the marketplace as a whole was not affected, they would take no action.
     
  9. DMQC

    DMQC Well-Known Member

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    Just my two cents re advertised price(s) of products - Generally, a vendor is under to obligation to sell any product for a price that is advertised to the "public", such as the advertisement you referred to in your original post.

    The reasoning behind this is, essentially, that in order for there to be a binding agreement, and as a consequence a price that the dealer would be obligated to sell you the car, there must be both offer and acceptance between the two parties. Since the advertisement is not an offer to you directly, rather it is an invitation to treat, there is no offer for you to accept. Same goes for supermarkets shelves, window displays etc.

    The dealership will ruin their own reputation through practices like this anyway, and quite a poor sales technique if you ask me - I know I wouldn't buy it if they jacked the price out of principle alone! Since they didn't seem to apologise for the error either it would seem that they likely posted the ad as "bait" as mentioned above.

    Also, as Familyguy stated above, the ACCC are to go-to people for complaints such as this, however, you would probably need to be able to prove the dealership done this intentionally - chances are the ACCC won't bother looking closely themselves since it will be a tough fact to prove. If you had an email thread where a salesman stated "advertise at x and sell at y" or words to that effect they could be in hot water.

    I wish to highlight that there are exceptions to the comments above so please do not treat it as gospel, rather more of a guideline from my understanding of the law surrounding this issue.
     

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