I’m a pretty big fan of decent (i.e. well documented and researched) investigative journalism, and for that reason I’ve been a long time fan of CTV W5.

Tonight, I happened to tune in by chance, and the episode is about car & truck dealerships in Calgary with shady and deceptive advertising practices.

So, first up, Woodridge Ford, which in their newsprint advertisement mentions 420 Ford F-150 trucks in stock (!?) as low as $399 a month. So off they go with hidden cameras… of course, the F-150 pickup shown in the ad can’t be found, but a similar model is found (after a while) in the showroom… but to keep that $399… one has to make an annual ‘contribution’ of $2250 (over 3 years!) to maintain that $399 rate … if not, up it goes to $587 a month! Obviously, given a fail notice by the APA with scathing commentary by George Iny.

Then, T&T Honda… where they start offering a ‘gift’ of free block heater. When the undercover reporter notices a $225 charge for the ‘gift’… salesperson starts saying it’s a ‘discrete’ special price… again, APA fail. And T&T said to CTV to not enter their ‘private’ property any more…

And so goes the episode of The Real Deal on new car dealerships… worth watching. The sad thing is all this detracts from the auto purchasing or leasing experience. After 30 years, not much has changed. Which automaker will change their sales methods – to get rid of this bait and switch and high pressure sales techniques with ultra confusing loopholes…