Car dealerships have been accused of using â€œunderhandâ€ tactics and jargon to try to confuse and pressurise customers to agreeing to a sale.
GAP insurance provider ALA has criticised dealers for using â€œbig sellâ€ techniques to railroad buyers into making a decision and said that such tactics are turning people against car sales staff.
In a poll of motorists ALA found car dealers were the least trusted profession – behind even politicians – out of a list of 35. Almost a third of respondents (29 per cent) said that they had had an â€œespecially bad experienceâ€ in a car dealership in the past, with most citing poor service, pressure to buy that day or getting ripped off as sticking points.
As part of its research ALA visited dealerships and created a â€œ BS [Big Sell] bingo cardâ€ of hard sell jargon trotted out again and again by sales staff. Among the phrases used repeatedly to force a quick sale were â€œlimited time offerâ€, â€œwould you be looking to sign today?â€, â€œjust for youâ€, â€œthatâ€™s the best priceâ€ and â€œweâ€™ll make no profitâ€.
Of the drivers polled that had used a car dealership in the past, all agreed that they had heard clichÃ© or jargon phrases during the sales pitch. More than a third (39 per cent) said there was a â€œsignificantâ€ amount of jargon used, whereas the remaining 61 per cent said it was present but â€œmoderateâ€.
Simon England, managing director at ALA, commented on the findings: â€œOur research found that many members of the British public have had negative experiences when it came to visiting car dealerships, so we wanted to take a closer look at this.
â€œWe created the bingo card, so consumers know what to look out for if they risk using a car dealership themselves, and to make sure they can better spot when underhand tactics might be used to confuse, pressure or push them into a sale.â€
The research asked respondents to describe car dealership salespeople in one word, the most common adjectives included sleazy (21 per cent), patronising (17 per cent), confusing (14 per cent), deceitful (13 per cent), rude (11 per cent), and unhelpful (eight per cent).