Charges laid after Alta. car dealership sold senior two vehicles she couldn't afford
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV Edmonton's David Ewasuk
Published Thursday, February 21, 2019 9:15PM EST
Four people at an Alberta car dealership are facing a total of 16 Consumer Protection Act charges after a 77-year-old woman alleged that they used aggressive sales tactics to sell her two vehicles that she could not afford.
The business manager, dealer principal, general sales manager and a salesperson at a Grove Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership in Spruce Grove, Alta., have been charged under the Consumer Protection Act, according to a press release from the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council, which oversees automobile sales in the province.
The council began investigating after Harriett Look claimed that she went to the dealership in November to look for a vehicle that could replace an old SUV. She told the staff that she could only afford a used vehicle, but alleges she was pressured into buying a brand new Jeep Compass that she couldn’t afford.
“They just couldn’t seem to understand English when I said, ‘I don’t want it. I can’t afford it,’” she told CTV Edmonton.
After a payment of $450 came out of her account the first month, she returned to the dealership and asked them to take the Jeep back. After six hours in the dealership, they sold her a 2012 Ford Focus that she says she did not want. But believing the Jeep was no longer hers, she signed the papers.
“Part way home, I went, ‘Holy cripes! All my papers are still in my Jeep. That’s my vehicle,’” she said.
Look called the police and reached out to her friend Jeff Goebel, a councillor in Swan Hills, Alta., where she lives. He contacted the AMVIC.
“I feel they pressured her twice, and like I say, they took advantage of her,” Goebel said.
Grove Dodge’s parent company Autocanda did not respond to a request for comment from CTV News.
Look hopes that the dealership will take back both vehicles and return her down payment.
“I hope it doesn’t happen to somebody else,” she said.