Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Surprise Car Deal

Chances are that most of you have seen or heard ads for Kia Motors advertising their "buy one car, get another for free" deal. The company and their dealerships have been doing this in various forms for the past few years and it's created quite a buzz. In some iterations of the deal, you buy Kia's most expensive car, fully loaded and you get the cheapest car at no cost. However, you were still required to pay taxes on the second vehicle. Honestly, that's not necessarily a bad deal as even game show contestants have to pay taxes on a car when it's given to them. Don't blame Kia for that one--blame the government.

But the most recent version I heard on the radio does seem to have a catch. While a television or print ad has actual fine print that you can read (provided you have a high-powered magnifying glass or you managed to record the tv comercial on your DVR), a radio ad has the announcer reading these details at a frantic pace. So, at the end of the Kia ad that I heard this morning, the announcer is rambling off the details so fast that I cannot hear most of what he's saying--except this one, minor detail:

"Price of single car includes second car."

I wish I would have written it down word for word because I'm sure that I'm paraphrasing--but only slightly. That's the jist of it. You're not really buying one car and then getting the second car for free. You're buying both cars when you buy the one car. Technically speaking, it's not really a "buy one and get another one free" deal. It's more like a "buy two when you think you're buying just one and then we give you the second one to make you feel good...since you've already paid for it, anyway."

Now that's the Power to Surprise!

EDIT: I just heard the radio ad again while sitting at my desk. So, I can now safely give you the words from the "fine print" verbatim:

Price of one car includes another.


Randy said...


Oh the trickery! I remember too as a kid, those "free" basketballs on the back of cereal boxes. Free with four box tops and five dollars shipping. So, in reality that free ball comes to 25 bucks!

I have recorded commercials and then read the fine print at the bottom. These "promo" items still end up costing a bundle.

Good post.


Sniz said...

Sounds like a deal to me. So when are we getting our new free car? Umm...

eally said...

Yeah, we always have to watch the "Buy One Get one Free" sales at grocery stores too because a lot of times they just bump up the price of the item to include both items - what a racket - unfortunately people fall for it.

Arby said...

It's not a Toyota, so it does not matter. They could give me a thousand. I wouldn't buy it.