This car salesman takes issue with our depiction of dealership sales tactics.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Mar 01, 1995

Dear Tom and Ray:

I regularly read your column and, in most cases, enjoy what you have to say. However, I and many members of our sales department take issue with your depiction of car salespeople as "rats." The analogy was humorous at first, but after your second mention in the same small article, it seemed to have lost its original humorous intention. Since you apparently know what we look like, why not send us a picture of both of that we can see what you look like...maybe there will be some similarities.

RAY: We can't send you pictures of us, Jim. Reproductions of our faces are regulated by the federal anti-obscenity act of 1937 (it was enacted right after my brother was born).

TOM: If I remember correctly, the letter you refer to was by a woman whose dealer found a dead rat in her ventilation system. There was some dispute as to whether the dealer had left the windows open and allowed the rat to enter. So we told her if the rat was wearing a white belt, white shoes, and plaid pants, then it was definitely a dealership rat.

RAY: We're sorry if it offended you, Jim. But the unfortunate fact is that there are still too many car dealers who use hard-sell, and less-than-straight-forward techniques to move cars off the lot because they're under pressure to earn commissions. And while there are certainly honest and trustworthy car salesmen who make their money over the long haul by developing loyal, repeat customers (and you might be one of them, Jim), the car sales profession is a lot like the car repair profession and the legal profession

TOM: Right. It's the sleazy 90% who ruin it for the rest of us.

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