Filed on Wednesday in Anchorage Stunning Court docket, the 21-page criticism stated partially: “Over four months in 2022 and 2023, the Alaska Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Unit (“CPU”) received three complaints against Swickard alleging false advertising tactics — specifically, advertising for the sale of vehicles that Swickard did not actually possess, advertising interest rates that were not available, and failing to honor advertised prices.”
Swickard stated the “genesis of the complaint” is its choice to market it in-transit automobiles and shared stock.
“While our decision to advertise in-transit and shared inventory vehicles was to provide our Alaska customers with visibility of our pipeline of upcoming vehicles, the AG employee found it to be a frustrating experience and opened an official complaint for him to investigate,” the automobile team wrote in its remark. “They reviewed over 100 transactions and did not share any additional complaints or violations.”
The criticism seeks $25,000 for every violation of Alaska’s Unfair Business Practices and Client Coverage Business, plus an injunction barring Swickard from the use of misleading practices.
“Buying a car is already a stressful process and an important decision for consumers,” Taylor stated in a remark. “We will not allow car dealerships to engage in illegal advertising and sales practices that make purchasing a car even more difficult for consumers. Nor will we allow unscrupulous dealerships to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors.”
Messages to the legal professional basic’s place of job for additional remark weren’t returned, excluding an e-mail from Colleague Legal professional Normal John Haley to Car Information directing inquires to the section’s press place of job.
Swickard Auto owns 8 dealerships in Alaska promoting the Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Cadillac, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Porsche manufacturers.
The primary criticism alleges the marketed charge of 0 % passion on a $60,000 truck jumped to a few.89 % as soon as a buyer affirmative to shop for the car at Swickard Chevrolet.
“CPU forwarded the complaint to Swickard and requested a response. In its response, Swickard claimed the advertisement was mistakenly placed in the vehicle,” in line with the court docket submitting.
At Audi Anchorage, a buyer sought after to buy an Audi A4 for the marketed charge of $36,295, however the cost jumped to $49,000 and used to be instructed “the mark-up included a ‘protection package’ that cost $4,990, an extended warranty that cost $6,000 and various smaller fees,” in line with the swimsuit. Swickard blamed an “overzealous salesperson,” in line with the environment.
The terminating criticism comes from Joshua Smith, nearest known to be an investigator with Alaska’s Section of Regulation. Smith, in line with the environment, visited the Swickard Volkswagen of Anchorage web page in September 2022. Smith used to be keen on a car he noticed marketed at the website for 3 days. He used to be instructed the cost of the car used to be mistaken at the commercial, and the auto used to be no longer to be had. Swickard stated it just lately had bought the dealership and used to be coping with web page problems all the way through the transition.
Smith determined not to purchase a automobile and submitted a criticism to the environment.
“In response, Swickard claimed the advertisement was a bona-fide error and Inv. Smith should have known the advertised price was incorrect,” the submitting states.
In March 2023, the criticism states, Smith returned to the gather and had a homogeneous revel in, together with a salesman pronouncing the e-commerce workforce will have falsely marketed stock to aid power bottom site visitors to the gather.
“We understand the customer/AG investigator frustration and we believe that our communication surrounding the availability/logistic updates of the vehicle of interest could have been improved,” Swickard’s emailed remark stated. “We are committed to maintaining trust, seeking constructive dialogue with the Attorney General’s office, and wanting to improve the consumer experience.”
“Despite the concerns raised in the Attorney General’s report, we believe that the single complaint from a non-affiliated individual was addressed and resolved to the satisfaction of the customer.”
Swickard Auto of Las Vegas, Nev., ranks Negative. 48 on Car Information’ listing of the lead 150 U.S. dealership teams, retailing 16,422 untouched automobiles in 2022. The car store owns dealerships in Oregon, California, Texas, Washington and Alaska, in line with its web page. In March, Swickard added 3 extra dealerships in California from Anderson Holdings, following a December 2022 transaction with the gang.