The Industry's Leading Source For F&I, Sales And Technology

DP's Office

Indiana Dealer Reaches Settlement Regarding Doc Fees

November 10, 2015

CLARKSVILLE, Ind. — Auto dealer Jeff Wyler Clarksville has reached an agreement with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office to settle charges that his dealership violated Indiana’s Motor Vehicle Dealer Unfair Practices Act by charging car buyers unfair processing fees.

Under this act, auto dealers cannot require someone who is purchasing a motor vehicle to pay a document preparation fee unless the fee accurately reflects expenses incurred for the preparation of documents and was negotiated by and disclosed to the customer.

The Indiana regulator charged that Jeff Wyler Clarksville regularly charged car buyers a processing or document preparation fee of $479, which is much higher than the actual costs the company could possibly incur in preparing documents.

Approximately 4,400 former customers who purchased vehicles from the dealer over the past two years will receive a refund of $142 over the next several months, adding up to a total restitution amount of $624,800. The dealer also agreed to no longer charge document preparation fees over $200.

“Hoosiers file complaints with my office about auto sales more often than any other purchase,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. “Indiana law has certain protections in place to help safeguard consumers when purchasing cars, including a statute that prevents auto dealers from tacking on unnecessary and inflated fees that are often disguised to the customer.”

Under the settlement terms, Jeff Wyler Clarksville must mail half of the restitution payments to customers within six months of the signed agreement and the other half within the next six months. The company must also report the full list of eligible consumers to the attorney general’s office.

Comments

  1. 1. Sheldon Wolff [ November 14, 2015 @ 02:23PM ]

    This is consumer terrorism, charging for a service that really benefits the dealer. There shouldn't be any doc fees, period. It's news like this that taints an honorable profession of vehicle sales. Just because dealerships can get away with it, does not make it either morally or legally right. If the paper work doesn't get processed then the vehicles don't get over the curb, the inventory grows and so does the floor plan if there is any at all. this dealer should spend some time behind bars with the other scam artists!

  2. 2. Ben [ December 09, 2015 @ 06:14PM ]

    Sheldon, I agree the doc fees they charged were to high. However there are fees everywhere you go. Book a hotel and find out there are daily fees ect. I think $200 doc fee is a fair amount.

  3. 3. Freddy [ December 15, 2015 @ 08:44AM ]

    Seriously Ben, what is the Doc Fee suppose to cover? The cost to the dealer for preparing the documents necessary for the sale and submitting those forms to the state. These are dealer costs. By definition, the selling price of a product includes all dealer costs plus dealer profit, or loss

    Therefore, why is it reasonable for dealers to charge this one cost separately to buyers? Why don't dealers charge all costs, like heat, power, supplies? Why should the customer pay the F&I manager $200 to prepare the paperwork, which is essentially completed using a computer at minimal cost? Heck, give me $200 and I will prepare the paperwork. Personally, the one person I do not want to speak with at a car dealership is the F&I manager, whose only job is to separate me from my money.

    And really, all the paper work is prepared by the F&I manager prior to the completion of the sale. Any additional costs associated with the documents is minor and mostly done by a low paid clerk.

    The reality of these Doc Fees is simple. Dealers use the fake fees, concocted by F&I crooks, to increase profit and to increase traffic by being able to offer a lower price. Doc Fees are just deception.

    These Doc Fees are just one reason most buyers consider despise car dealers.

  4. 4. Vinnie V [ December 16, 2015 @ 04:17PM ]

    The idiocy of consumers who actually think they understand the car business never ceases to amaze me. First of all, car dealers work on a lower percentage of profit than any retail business known to man. they have to deal with more oversight by everyone from the manufacturer to the government to consumer advocacy groups to Monday morning quarterbacks who all think that dealers charge to much for a product that provides more joy and function and convenience than the vast majority of products sold. 30 years of experience in the auto sales industry has taught me one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt.....the person who tells all of the lies in a car dealership is none other than...the customer!

  5. 5. Barbara [ April 04, 2016 @ 09:56AM ]

    thanks Vinnie for standing up for the auto dealers... agreed most people don't realize how much mark up they spend on groceries, clothes, furnature etc but think we are taking them for all they have when writing a check or financing with us. The fact is that people need us and we need do our jobs efficentily due to the fact that we have so many eyes on us. We stride to have great customer satisfaction at our dealership.

 

Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email:  

CLOSE [X]

READ NEXT

FTC Announces Multiagency Crackdown on Abusive Debt Collectors

Operation Collection Protection has resulted in 115 total actions against debt collectors this year, 30 of which were announced during the FTC’s press conference to announce the multiagency initiative.