Submission Number: 00095
Received: 3/19/2012 5:09:49 PM
Commenter: Robert Walker
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Public Roundtables: Protecting Consumers in the Sale and Leasing of Motor Vehicles; Project No. P104811
Attachments: No Attachments
I would like to know when auto dealer employees are going to be required to under go back ground checks as part of their employment criteria?
I have been to several dealerships, and as part of our service we provide back ground screenings for the dealers that want it. I see people that are selling and doing the financing of cars that have had convictions for ID theft, drugs, check fraud, bank fraud, impersonating law enforcement to child molestors, sex offenders, unregistered sex offenders and the list goes on and on. I have the documentation to back up these claims.
The consumer under no circumstances should be allowed to go into a dealership and unknowingly give their social security number to someone that was just released from prison for ID theft and is now selling cars. If the public knew that this was the practice of dealerships and that nobody was protecting them, they would be outraged.
If mortgage loan originators must go through a back ground check and education and licenesing, why not auto dealer employees? They provide the exact same service as far as financing is concerned. None of them hold the notes, they are brokered out. Very similiar busines model, yet nobody holds auto dealer employees to the same standards. Why is this?
I don't think any of you at the FTC would like to purchase your next car from a convicted ID thief or let a convicted child molestor show your child where the rest room is at a dealership while you're in the finance office completing your paperwork. It happens everyday and needs to change.
If what I know were to ever get in the hands of the media, there would be a frenzy of consumer outrage. Please do something about this before I do.
Auto dealers are under the impression that they are untouchable, and this is partly the FTC's fault for lack of regulation. It's very easy to create laws, like the Red Flag law, but if you're not going to enforce them or at least set an example, who's going to comply? Auto dealers are never,and I mean never examined by any agency, state or federal unless there's multiple complaints against them, therfore they aren't compliant and think nothing of it. The risk far outweighs the reward in this case.
Until dealerships, at least one in every state starts to get radomly examined you will never see a change with auto dealer compliance. I know of one dealership that hasn't given a privacy notice to a customer in over 2 years! I asked why and he said because he ran out. Unbelievable you might say, but I can assure you that it's true.
I know the FTC is making an effort with these round tables, but you're missing the point. The financing is a very small piece of the pie when it comes to issues with auto dealers. Most dealers assign thier loans to banks, and the banks have procedures in place to protect the consumer and will reject the loans. This issue of paying off loans by rolling them into their next purchase has been the practice since auto dealers started taking trades, I have no idea why you decided to make that a priority, it isn't the issue. If you want to see changes in the auto industry start enforcing the laws you already have on the books.
Privacy issues, poor data storage, back ground checks and data security is where you should really be focusing if you want to see changes in this industry, not on the financing.
I worked in the auto industry at the dealership level for 15 years before going to work for Washington Mutual Bank. I know every single angle that car dealers use to get the customer to drive a car home that day and could be a wealth of knowledge for you if you would just ask. If you would like to know what really goes on in a dealership, I would be more than happy to come to DC and fill you in. You would be shocked if you knew what happened in the sales and service department as well as the finance department.