Whiteoak Ford - Bait & Switch Advertising Program
I contacted Whiteoak Ford on Saturday October 31 about an advertised special on the internet. I spoke with Ray Kulchysky, a salesperson at the dealership and went through the line by line financing on the Ford F-150 pricing advertised. Ray said that they had vehicles in stock although colours were limited unless I went with the XLT package (an additional $2K).
Ray advised that the price would be available until end of day November 2. When I called today to make an appointment to view and purchase the vehicle, Ray advised that the vehicle was no longer available. When I pointed out that the vehicle was still advertised with the same price, ($24,995), he said that there were no more available, and the best price he had was $28K for the same year, vehicle, and model.
I then spoke with sales manager Ben Cliff, and dealership co-owner Dave McQuillan. All said the same thing, that they couldn't honour the advertised deal.
I contacted Ford Canada because this "bait and switch" practice is appalling. Ford Canada was able to view the same advertised price on the internet, and also said that there was not too much they could do except contact the dealership and give them feedback.
I told Dave McQuillen that I would be contacting Ford Canada and he told me that they couldn't do anything. I believe this kind of response to consumer complaint is a problem. It seems to me that deceptive advertising practices are all too common and frankly, car dealerships have enough problems with perceived lack of integrity to perpetuate it in this obvious way. I've now done some searches to see if other consumers are having a similar experience and as one consumer says, "Go ahead and contact Ford Canada about the dealership. Nobody will care."
I'm concerned about this dealership and the lack of integrity. It looks like I'll be buying a GM, which is too bad, because all of my previous vehicles have been Fords. However, if a dealership behaves this way at the point of sale, I can't imagine how unfortunate the sales experience would be.
I wonder how many other people have been jerked around by this dealership and their bait and switch practices. I guess the internet has opened up a whole new way of doing business, where a dealership can post a price for a vehicle and then back out of it when asked to honour the internet price.
I'm concerned as a consumer that there is such limited recourse for these tactics. The dealership is not held accountable for their behaviour to Ford Canada. And, despite the millions and millions in advertising from Ford Canada on behalf of the dealership, there seems to be little consequence for advertising deception by the dealership.
As far as I'm concerned, Whiteoak Ford should have a new slogan, "We're People Too. Sometimes."