Car dealer accused of misleading ad
A TATA dealership in Umhlanga, Durban, is accused of using misleading marketing to lure consumers.
The issue is about the monthly instalment that is different from the one advertised, causing consumers to pay more than they had bargained for.
Fikile Lembethe, who claimed to have been misled by Tata, responded to an advert on the Internet earlier this month in which a Tata Indica Vista INI eGo was advertised for an instalment repayment of R999 a month.
Lembethe approached the dealership and signed an agreement to buy the vehicle, but did not realise there were hidden charges.
Lembethe's monthly instalment has rocketed to R2,494 and this is more than she had budgeted for.
"The [advertised] car was within my budget and I was assured I would get what I had ordered," she said.
She enquired about the discrepancy when she noticed that her contract showed a higher instalment than the one advertised. She was told the dealership did not set the interest rate but would be paid her R15,000 upfront to make up for the difference for a year.
"This made a bit of sense, so I went ahead and signed the contract," she said.
On collecting the car she found that she did not get what she ordered.
"The contract documents give the correct description of the car I wanted, but not the car I'm driving," Lembethe said.
She wanted a Tata Indica Vista but had been sold a Tata Indica Safire.
She took the car back and was told there was no difference.
Because of the high instalment on the car Lembethe sought advice from Wesbank and was told she was not sold a car that was on special.
"I am being charged 14% interest not 9% as advertised and I will be paying the instalment for six years instead of five," she said.
According to the advert she responded to there was no deposit and a residual of 30% payable at the end of the 72 months period.
"I feel cheated. Either the website advertising this car is misleading or the dealership I bought the car from gave me a raw deal.
"I got the wrong car on very inflated instalments that I cannot afford. I now want to cancel the whole deal and return the car."
Principal dealer Sven de Mare said the vehicle supplied was correct, and that the only thing missing was its eGO badge that he could order and have fitted.
He said to appease Lembethe the dealership had deposited R15,152 into her bank account.
De Mare said the interest rate is set by the bank and not the dealership.