Help your customer understand an “offer to purchase”

| Industry bulletins

Does your automotive sales business use an “offer to purchase” form with consumers? Sometimes a document might state terms and conditions about the purchase or order of a vehicle and require some sort of upfront payment. Other times this document can be called an “order sheet” or “order spec sheet.” Essentially, this is a deposit contract under a different name.

It is good practice that all salespeople work with their customers to ensure the customer fully understands all agreements and has read every detail including footnotes and fine print, before they sign. If your customer signs an offer to purchase, help them understand that they are signing a binding contract that usually states they are putting a deposit down in order to buy a vehicle under certain stated terms and conditions.

If a vehicle is being ordered, ensure the consumer understands if the offer to purchase states whether additional funds may be required upon delivery. Additional funds cannot be added if the price was advertised to adhere to all-in pricing. Taking time to help customers understand what they are signing can prevent misunderstandings and conflicts from arising, and ensure the business or salesperson is not accused of engaging in an unfair practice or breaching the Code of Conduct.

Although deposit and contract disputes will often be civil matters, AMVIC is able to investigate deposit-related complaints if there is evidence the consumer was misled or an unfair practice has occurred, as stated in Section 6 of the Consumer Protection Act.

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