‘I told them I can’t afford it’: Alta. senior pressured into buying two vehicles
The senior that was allegedly pressured into buying two vehicles at a Spruce Grove, Alta., dealership recounted her ordeal to CTV News.
Harriet Look, 77, went to Grove Dodge—where she purchased a Jeep years ago—in November 2018 in search of a used vehicle.
“I can’t afford a new vehicle,” she said she told the salesperson. “I don’t want a new vehicle; I want a secondhand one in good shape.”
Look, who lives in Swan Hills, Alta., said they took her keys and would not listen when she tried to explain she could not afford to finance a new vehicle.
“I told them, ‘I can’t do this.’ My whole pension only comes to around $1,200. My mortgage on my house is $800. There is no way that I can get a new vehicle. I kept telling that and they just kept brushing it away.
“They just couldn’t seem to understand English when I kept saying, ‘I can’t afford it. I don’t want it. I don’t want a new car.’”
Four hours later, Look had a 2018 Jeep Compass.
About a month later, after a payment of nearly $450, the senior drove two hours south to return it.
Look said she was asked by a salesperson if they could find her a cheaper one—something she could afford.
She eventually agreed and purchased a 2012 Ford Focus.
Look said she was under the impression the dealership would take back the new Jeep as part of the deal.
“You can’t leave that in our yard,” she said they told her. “That don’t belong to us. It don’t belong to you. It belongs to the finance company. You can’t leave that here.”
Look told CTV News she was advised to leave the Jeep in an empty parking lot—so she says she did.
“Halfway home, I thought, ‘Holy cripes, all of my paperwork is in that Jeep. That's my vehicle.’”
Back in Swan Hills, Look called police. The incidents were reported to the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) on Dec. 19.
For now, she owns two vehicles and is making two monthly payments she says she can’t afford.
“People say, ‘Why didn’t you just walk out?’ Well, I didn’t have any keys, for one thing. I was just a nervous, bloody wreck. I couldn’t think.”
CTV News reached out to Auto Canada, the parent company of Grove Dodge. Auto Canada has not responded.
With files from CTV Edmonton’s David Ewasuk