There are two types of car thieves, the first is the scumbag who breaks in and drives away with your prized possession, the other is a lowlife parasitic creature who is otherwise known as a used car salesman!
The thing that really sucks about the used car salesman is that they try and convince you that they are looking out for your best interest and even if you can catch the bastards out, they are unlikely to get arrested for ripping you off!
So what happens when you get a used car salesman trying to sell car security? That is exactly what one of my customers faced last week when they purchased a second hand Ford Escape from one of the large used car dealers here in Wellington. With the sale clinched the car dealer was obviously looking to make himself some easy cash as he wanted $900.00 to install a Meridian alarm.
$900.00 for what I consider to be one of the worst car alarms ever made. What a con! Fortunately the customer considered the price to be a tad high and decided to shop around. They then contacted me and found that I could supply and install a better quality alarm for almost half the price. Needless to say I got the job!
The car in question had previously had an alarm installed, in fact everything was present apart from the main alarm module which had been removed and the immobiliser points temporarily bridged so that the car would run!
Just a coincidence?
Probably not, the alarm was a Meridian and I know of very few installers that will touch them as they are not exactly know for being of good quality. In fact the only location in Wellington that I am aware of the sells Meridian alarms is this particular car dealer, who by the look of things would have been selling this vehicle for the second time.
Any benefit of the doubt vanished when I had a look at the installation. I only know of one installer inept enough to do such pathetic installations and guess what? He installs the alarms for this particular car yard.
Better still, he had left his trade mark on the job. He had screwed the siren bracket through the VIN plate!
Look what you could get for $900.00
The Car dealer felt it would be a good scam to pretend that the car didn’t have an alarm, this way he could make an extra $900.00 for selling an item which the vehicle already had! Because the customer turned down the alarm offer he then let the car leave the yard with a couple of spade terminals bridging the immobiliser points which were left hanging above the brake pedal!
Reasons not to purchase an alarm from a used car dealer
OK I’d like to make it clear that I’m not saying all used car dealers are out to rip you off, some will genuinely want to offer a full range of products to help clinch the sale. Whilst I have no issues with them trying to make an “honest living” I would hardly qualify them as experts in the vehicle security field.
My advice for what it is worth is to find a decent installer with a good reputation, don’t ever trust a salesman when he says the alarm will be installed by a NZSA registered installer, check on the website first and ask to see the installers ID badge. Remember having an alarm installed by a none registered NZSA installer could invalidate your insurance claim should your car get stolen!
Don’t get ripped off by a smooth talking salesman!