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AutoBuyology 101©

An Arts & Sciences Crash Ph.D. Course in Carlessnesshood 101©
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Uparmoring Car Deals - Do-It-Yourself Troop Support
Tell Car Makers To Make Cleaner-Air Vehicles
Tell Ford Motors Company to Get it's Gas in Gear

A Car Deal Repair Kit
Repairing the Dings in the
Great American Car Deal ...
for Village and Family Values

Just FIX IT!
Just DO IT!
If not you, if not us, who then?
Are we still waiting for the Auto Industry to fix it?

Fixing the Great American Car Deal is a two or three step process:

1. Consumer awareness and education
a. Learning the dealer and guerrilla car consumer tricks of the car deal trade
b. Becoming guerrilla automobile consumers

2. Governmental intervention and democratic control
a. Training, testing, and monitoring of auto sales and service personnel (Professionalizing the industry. If we are going to pay medical industry prices for auto service, we should be able to expect uniform standards of care be enforced in the automobile sales and service marketplace.)
legislation to protect consumers, and dealers and mechanics that compete fairly.

3. Demanding, supporting and using public transportation projects that provide viable alternatives to the private automobile for the majority of medium and long distance personal trips. Public transit benefits everyone, even the auto addicted.

Here are more AutoBuyology Car Deal Repair Tools to download, copy, post, circulate and share... they make great lecture or presentation value additives too... helping others benefits us all directly and indirectly.

Americans show an unseemly and uncharacteristic lack of self esteem in permitting the automobile industry to run roughshod over consumers on car deals and service, so much so that its laughed off as an expected ritual of buying a car. In contrast Australia has comprehensive consumer, dealer, industry, and economy protection laws that take the ding factor out of car dealing -- so why don't we? Perhaps everyone has bought the specious argument that buying a common automobile is somehow a test of Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest, where the deck is always stacked and the field is always tilted in favor of the dealer and the manufacturer and against the consumer -- our friends and families. Predatory capitalism is anti-family and anti-social.

Winning or losing the car deal game is not a test of Darwinian principles...and theories!!! Its a matter of who controls the economic and governmental marketplaces.

Just Demand It !!!
Consumer, Economy, and Industry Protection Legislation

Even Baseball Has Rules and Requires Umpires

..."Whatever Traffic Allows"
Until the American consumer shows some spine and self esteem, the auto industry will continue to treat us shamefully... and until we demand reasonable controls over the auto industry by our tax funded government, we can expect the sham treatment we have bought and paid for for decades to continue unabated.

    • Auto dealers and service shops will continue to take advantage of consumers and abuse an essentially unregulated marketplace in automobile sales and service until consumers show some spine and self-esteem and take back their marketplace and demand that this industry be cleaned up, that its practitioners be trained, tested, licensed and monitored similar to the way real estate agents and brokers are regulated for public health, safety and welfare.

A lifetime of automobile purchase and maintenance costs exceed twice the cost a of median priced American homes. We regulate real estate agents and the house selling industry. Why don't we regulate automobile dealers and the industry for higher standards and to help protect good dealers from the cost of sham in the system? So what are you waiting for? Its your government too, isn't it? Why let a minority of auto manufactures and dealers dictate consumer protection laws in the democratic marketplace? There is no Constitutional right for manufacturers and dealers to milk excessive profits from our families by unfair, manipulative and fraudulent sales and service practices

    • Demand that
      "FAIR CAR SALES AND SERVICE PRACTICES," consumer protection legislation be enacted at local, state, and national levels to protect America's friends and family values from the documented traditions of unfair, manipulative and fraudulent sales and services practices in the new and used car sales and service markets.

Make it an issue! Request that dealers and manufacturer's be monitored more closely by consumer protection agencies. Professional auto dealers should be trained, tested, licensed and monitored similar to the way real estate agents are regulated. Automobile purchases typically represent the second most expensive consumer activity. Random sales practice audits should be conducted until the industry demonstrates that it is capable of policing itself in its own interest and in the public interest. --- Remind your representatives routinely and especially near election time about your requirement that Fairness be made an integral part of the automobile sales and service marketplace.

Remember, the auto industry has a mechanic's lien law that guarantees payment regardless of competency or result. The consumer majority is entitled to legal protection from this industry -- demand it today and get it or vote in new representatives until you do...,

Download a copy of this home page or compose your own consumer protection letter and e-mail, fax or mail it to your local, state and national representatives and governmental leaders. Demand laws and law enforcement that helps this industry police itself in its own best interest, and to protect your friends and families from costly unfair, manipulative and fraudulent sales and service practices -- from the billions of dollars of inflated costs associated with questionable practices in this industry every year. Consumer protection non-profits report that $22 billion of ill-gotten profits and costs were milked fraudulently from our friends and families last year alone by unscrupulous practitioners of the auto industry.

Just do it!
-- Search for
for Federal Congressional Internet directories for the names of your national legislators, or your individual state government for state representatives, and

Demand fairness legislation in new and used car sales and services practices at state and national levels.

Demand that the automobile sales and service industry be tested, licensed and regulated similar to the way we regulate real estate agents and brokers.

Ask that this industry be policed and monitored with frequent random sales and service practice audits by deputized consumer protection agency staff. This industry has not earned consumers' trust or the privilege of policing itself. Fleecing consumers is bad for business!

a letter by regular mail is more effective than e-mail. A fax is second best after regular mail. Magnify and sustain your effect. Consider encouraging at least five friends, family members, neighbors and strangers to write letters demanding fair car deal legislation. Dealers and repair shops should consider demanding fairness legislation, too.

Guerrilla Car Consumer Tip:

    • Chain letters may be illegal, but they may be a good way to pass along good consumer awareness information or specific manufacturer or dealer concerns which would benefit other consumers and to share the Fair Car Sales and Service Practices consumer protection effort with a wider audience.
  • It's understandable why the industry often takes unfair advantage of our friends and families (grandmothers and daughters are especially at risk as are women and minorities) over the sale and service of a product which nearly everyone feels a need to have at least one of every several years. If you could get away with it, wouldn't you?

The question is, why has the American consumer put up with it, almost passively, for so long? Do we not have individual and the cultural self esteem to make this industry merely treat us fairly, indeed, merely treat consumers as anyone reasonably would choose to be treated, and the way most of us treat others most of the time--fairly and honestly?

Consider that seven or eight or more cars over a lifetime will cost, with interest, operating costs, loan interest and insurance costs, far more than the expense of a median priced American home mortgage. The real estate industry is regulated to ensure minimum competency and the auto sales and service industries are not. Subsequently the consistency of auto service and sales competency is spotty and unreliable.

Real estate agents are trained, tested and monitored for "professional" competency and sanctioned for professional improprieties. Automobile sales personnel and mechanics enjoy the mechanics lien law in most states which guarantees payment regardless of competency or result, because the industry has the ear of government and consumers do not. Auto sales and service personnel are not required to be trained and tested for competency to obtain a business license, even though a lifetime of auto purchase and ownership costs considerably more than a median priced American home. And the consumer pays for the industry serving anti-consumer legislation when it purchases industry products and services.

Automobile dealers should be required in their own interests and to boost rather than taint consumer confidence, and to protect consumers on a major personal purchase, to be trained, tested and policed in the way we regulate and control other professional associations, especially the real estate industry?

If you like the current ding-dong factor of the Great American Mickey Mouse Car Deal, you'll like buying cars today where you are never sure until its too late that you've been tricked or cheated in substantive ways on price and on product quality.

A Fairness Act requiring documentation and disclosure of all pre-sale use, test driving, damages, defects, and repairs is a minimal first step in cleaning up the Great American Car Deal. Demand that your government provide this minimally necessary consumer protection in car sales and service practices. Demand fail-safe odometers and complete documentation of every mile on the odometer of all pre-sale new cars, including users by name (with user's signatures) and address and phone number for verification. And be cautious of the ease by which odometer mileage can be rolled back on new car odometers currently without detection, especially prior to the first purchase of the vehicle by a consumer.

Even honest dealers and salespersons make "mistakes" or "forget" about things which cost consumers considerable in time and expense to resolve. Beware of the "oops" excuse for non-disclosures of defects and hidden damage repairs or misrepresentation or non-representation of the prior use of vehicle. Even manufacturers ship vehicles with known or unknown manufacturing defects, expecting the consumer will have to spin his or her wheels having the defects or repairs handled under warranty.

Manufacturers and dealers often sell new vehicles known to be the subject of an industry recall without disclosure this fact to consumers prior to the purchase. Make sure you request in writing from the dealer and the manufacturer that the vehicle you may be about to buy is free or recalls or to comprehensively list and detail the recalls on the vehicle. Is there are recalls on the vehicle, use this information to negotiate a lower sales price or to avoid paying the "new car" depreciation costs. Some "consumer protection" laws permit dealers to not disclose defects under specific dollar amounts in value with no provisions about the adequacy of such repairs. So often repairs are handled off the books or the repairs are cheapened to avoid the disclosure dollar amount threshold. The consumer is left to expend time and money to have these manufacturer responsible or undisclosed dealer responsible defects handled under warranty, if repair is honored under warranty, or personal expense, if not so covered by warranty. Protect yourself -- CARveat Emptor! Pay less up front on every deal for peace of mind down the road regardless of how bumpy the going becomes.


Even Baseball Has Rules and Requires Umpires.
Is fairness too much to ask?

Mr. Car Dealer, how much for that "Fairness" model
in you showroom window...?

Is anyone opposed to fairness?

"Dealers...?" "Customers...?" "Government officials...?"


How much did you pay the auto industry on your last car deal or lease to help the auto industry fight consumer protection, public safety, and environmental protection laws? Paying too much for new cars rewards the auto industry for anti-consumer activities.

Less than one hundred (100) car manufacturers and as many as 128,000 (+/-) car dealers lobby congress and state legislatures to weaken, kill or postpone consumer protection, safety, environmental and lemon laws (where they exist) to favor the industry at the expense of hundreds of millions of American consumers--our friends and families.

Make your government behave democratically to protect consumers and good dealers from anti-competitive unfair, inflationary, manipulative and fraudulent practices in the automobile industry. Consumers can help control the Great American Car Deal. Make your government work for consumers. Make sure your representatives at local, state and national levels know your feelings about this industry and its effects on the health of the nation's economy and the economic health and welfare of our friends and families. Don't wait until your next car deal. Do it now, while you're thinking about it. Sustain the effort with follow-up letters and phone calls. And follow-up your demands by voting unresponsive elected officials out of office.

Consumer protection is good for business. .. especially in a "consumer driven" economy...

It protects the consumer and the economy by bolstering consumer confidence. Our laws should favor consumer protection to protect the economy and the health, safety and welfare of our friends and families, and the integrity of the honest members of the automobile industry (where ever they are...) who compete fairly without resorting to sham, unfair, manipulative or fraudulent sales or service practices.

Do dealers and manufacturers really need to trick customers in order to profit from the sale of a product that nearly everyone needs at least one of every few years,-- a product which when used as directed requires constant expensive maintenance? Some car sales staff have suggested that dealers have to cheat or sham customers because the marketplace is too competitive, that it has been over-saturated by the manufacturers with too many "authorized" dealers.

Consider requesting that your local, state and federal government purchasing agencies reward car makers and dealers in fleet purchases who have demonstrated a solid commitment to customer service and satisfaction. Companies with histories of lemon laundering should not be rewarded with government contracts for large vehicle fleet purchases. Government should reward manufacturers and dealers with high rankings in consumer satisfaction and quality measurements.

Even baseball requires umpires! We just received an e-mail for a well intentioned but misguided fellow. He said that he once worked for a dealer after college before taking employment in writing. He said the first thing the dealer did was to call him into the dealer's office and warn him about lying to consumers. I wonder why such a concern exists. Actually, I have a pretty good clue. Bamboozling customers is a historic tradition in car dealing. The sales salary based on minimum wage plus commissions contributes to a tendency to cheat. Yes, folks, Time Magazine (July 24, 1994) reported that dealers blame "competition" for cheating. They blame the manufacturers for over dealerizing the marketplace -- so dealers have to cheat to make a killing? "Good Guys Finish First?" Gee, I wish we were making this stuff up. Wake up and smell the exhaust from this industry. There is no good reason why this industry should not be better regulated and managed for the health, safety and welfare of consumers, our economy and for the industry itself. The industry should be first in line to support a Fair Car Sales and Service Practices consumer protection Act. But, they will need consumers help in getting jump-started, boosted or pushed in the right direction. So push! Get this jalopy of a car deal towed out of the sewer the industry has driven it into!

The industry will point to its sales figures as evidence that the automobile industry does not need to be regulated and that consumers do not need protection. This might be true if consumers felt that they had and if they indeed had realistic alternatives to private automobiles for personal transportation. Remember, General Motors and its friends in the tire and oil industry buying up local railway tracks in 28 American cities to kill off public transportation competition with the automobile? Indeed, given an alternative, many auto consumers would abandon the lemon of a deal the auto industry is selling on nearly every dealer lot across America. Industry advertising digs deep into the psyche of consumers to plant and create consumer needs and wants where none exist for the express purpose of motivating sales and to manipulate the consumer / dealer dynamic and relationship. If it were not for the chimera of warranties, the palliative of monthly payments, and the dearth of alternatives to the automobile, fewer vehicles would be consumed at any price. The industry's sales figure argument ignores the traditions of historic sham and shortcomings in the industry, and merely argues for maintenance of the status quo, where the industry rather than the consumer is in the driver's seat of car purchase and lease deals. Consumers can continue to buy this sham deal or they can demonstrate the existence of a cultural spine and self esteem and take this lemon in for a complete overhaul.

The following note is included in the classifieds section of the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle under #455 - Massage / Spas: 'The San Francisco Chronicle & the San Francisco Chronicle make every effort to ensure that our MASSAGE/SPAS classification contains only legitimate advertisers who adhere to strictly professional standards of conduct. If you encounter a violation of this policy, we encourage you to call our representative......All responses will be held in strictest of confidence'.

Unfortunately, apparently the Chronicle and Examiner are more concerned about their MASSAGE/SPAS readers getting rubbed the wrong way than they are about their AUTO readers, as no such cautionary note or complaint solicitation is printed in any of its AUTOMOTIVE classified advertising.

If you get rubbed the wrong way by your auto dealer or service shop, drop your newspaper editor and publisher a note accordingly and demand that they police up their automotive classified advertising clients. Consumer protection is a safe sex team sport. Even baseball has rules and umpires. CARveat Emptor.

Auto Alternatives | Drive Shafts | Dealing With The Dealer
Hidden Profit$ | Consumer Driven Deals | Car Consumer Resources
Auto Industry Cases | Car Deal Repair Kit | My Last VW Mistake
"Ten Reasons" | Lemon Proofing Deals | CARveat's Caveat
You Can Help | CARveat Emptor Flyer | VW Junkyard | Links
My Other Car Not A VW | Legislative Alerts | Dodging Chryslers
Mini Van Junkyard | Activist Flyers True Costs of Driving | Car Deal Illiteracy
15 Sec. Car Deal Lecture | Parallel Parking | Test-I-Moanials


CARveat Emptor - Tricks of the Great American Car Deal ©
© copyright 1995-2012, R. Rand Knox. All Rights Reserved.
Not for use, reuse, sale, resale or fee unless so licensed or released
by R. Rand Knox in writing.
Cheers and happy motoring, wheeling & dealing
--virtually and really.


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What's In You?
What's In Your Cells?
Have you told your auto maker, or the auto industry to make more efficient and cleaner-air vehicles? Recently? (Flyer to copy and post). Have you asked others if they have? It wouldn;t kill you to do so! It may even help prevent or reduce asthma and global warming.
Help Save Your Breath, Life, Money & Planet (The breath, life, money and planet you save may be your own.)

For Healthier Air, Planet, & People: To Save Y'our Breath, Lives, Money & Planet...

Tell Car Makers To Make Cleaner-Air Vehicles
1 Jump Start Ford For A Cleaner-air Future

2 Jump Start Ford
Tell NHTSA to Improve Fuel Efficiency of SUVs
Tell Car Makers To Get Their Gas In Gear Flyer 2-up

Save Your Breath, Life, Money & Planet Flyer 1-up
Don't Be A Fossil Fool - Fossil Fools Day
Help Save Your Breath, Life, Money & Planet
(The breath, life, money and planet you save may be your own.)

Car Deal Literacy Self-help - Auto Consumer Resources:

Troop Support - Up-armored Car Deals

Real Conservatives Conserve (The money you save may be your own.)



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