Treadz probe sparks Wildrose call for consumer protection
'Something definitely needs to change.' Wildrose spokesman Bruce Rowe says
The WIldrose Party is calling for stiffer regulations to protect consumers following a CBC investigation into Treadz Auto that uncovered complaints it was not paying people who sold their vehicles through the car consignment company.
Since then, the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) pulled the company's licence and on Friday, the Calgary Better Business Bureau suspended the car dealership's accreditation.
There are nine complaints against Treadz Auto listed on its Better Business Bureau profile.
Wildrose Service Alberta critic Bruce Rowe said Friday it's obvious regulations on consignment sales are not strong enough.
"I don't know whether you look at requiring a higher bond to protect consumers, but something definitely needs to change," Rowe told CBC News.
"Why are these people losing their money and not having any recourse, and losing their vehicles?"
More people come forward on Friday with allegations against the firm.
Susan Rachkewich and her husband told CBC News they bought two vehicles from Treadz. She said Treadz was supposed to consolidate both payments into one. However, she said, Treadz didn't pay out the original loan, so "now we have to pay for the same car twice: In one loan we're paying for it, and in the previous loan that we had."
Rachkewich said she wishes more had been done earlier to shut down the company.
"If we would have known back in May, I can guarantee you we wouldn't go to Treadz for a vehicle in July," she told CBC News. "So the government — yes, somebody — should have been stepping in, because … there's been complaints going back quite a while before they turned this all down and shut down that place."
Rachkewich says the only way to prevent other people from facing the same problem is a change in rules so finance companies pay the lien holder instead of car dealers.
Anyone with concerns regarding Treadz Auto are being urged by AMVIC to immediately contact their consumer services team at 1-877-979-8100 ext. 2002.
Customers should also contact the Calgary Police Service's non-emergency line at 403-266-1234 or go to any Calgary police office and quote file #14286151.