Grande Prairie dealership admits to overcharging customers
MJW Auto Sales acknowledges they charged for optional items, said they were mandatory
A car dealership in Grande Prairie has admitted to charging customers for features that they didn’t need and telling them they were mandatory.
MJW Auto Sales and Leasing, which operates Western Truck Farm and Grande Prairie Mazda, signed a document with the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC), the industry regulator, promising that the practice has stopped.
“The Supplier acknowledges that its salespeople were selling certain options such as the tire package, glass package and extended warranties as mandatory items,” the document states.
“The supplier has indicated that they have stopped selling these items as well as increased their salesperson training to improve the buying experience for customers.”
The company has also been ordered to pay $1,850 to AMVIC to cover the cost of the investigation. AMVIC will also perform a follow-up inspection within three months.
The practice came to light a year ago after Darren Bezanson complained to CBC Go Public that he had to pay $1,200 more than the negotiated price when he went to pick up a truck he purchased a few hours before.
Bezanson says he is pleased that the company admitted to overcharging customers but he believes they should be compelled to do more.
“I feel good about getting my money back but I think all the customers should've been reviewed more and something more harsher done to them instead of letting them pocket a bunch of money,” he said.
Bezanson was billed $599 to have his tires inflated with nitrogen gas and another $599 for a body panel marking program touted as a theft-deterrent.
Bezanson asked for neither.
The only extras required under law are a $4 levy on each new tire and the GST.
With files from Mark Harvey and Lisa Matthews