I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.
Friday, February 8, 2019
Pop-Up Tent Sale Prohibition Ordinance Passes 1st Public Hearing via a 4-1 Vote...
The pop-up tent car sale ordinance passed on Thursday by a 4-1 vote. Next month it will come back to the board for a final vote where I predict it will pass via another 4-1 vote. One interesting comment came up during the deliberations before the vote. One of my counterparts said he was personally unaware of "anyone coming to the BCC complaining of this issue." But as I explained to him at the meeting--just because he doesn't know about issues with these sales--does not mean there are "no problems" with these sales. I am personally aware of one person who recently purchased a lemon from a South Florida dealer here locally--and she is paying the price now for this "great deal!" We also had dealers, at the podium, holding page after page of unflattering reviews of these pop-up dealers. So, just to be clear, if one Commissioner does not know of something, this does not mean that something is not happening (as if nothing can be real unless he has PERSONAL knowledge of it) Newsflash to this commissioner: Large trees fall all the time in the forests--and when they do, they make noise even if you don't hear it. But to those that believe what they hear this one person say unflinchingly--check out this email that ALL commissioners received just one day after the vote.
I understand you're considering whether to ban or restrict out-of-area auto vendors who set up tent sales in Escambia County.
I am all for keeping them out.
A year or two ago, I received a postcard promising a prize if I'd come by the tent to check my numbers or some such. When I went by, I was told that I'd won a gift card but they were all out. They'd send me something, the salesman said. I gave him my mailing address (which they had from the postcard, theoretically). I never received anything.
Using the scant information on the postcard, I dug around online and determined where the business was based. They used a network of business names to make it tough to track them down, but once I had it figured out, I filed a complaint with their local Better Business Bureau.
The dealer responded and promised again to send the gift card, and the complaint was quickly closed with "resolved." Again, I never received anything.
Sure, that was just a $5 or $10 gift card, not worth even the effort I put into it. However, the whole situation speaks volumes about the business.
Why wouldn't they put the name and location of their dealership on their advertising and promotional dealerships? I had to look the name up they used on Sunbiz, find the principals' names, and search for other businesses they were associated with to narrow it down.
Why would they make promises they had no intention of keeping? Twice! They set the rules for their promotion. They could have made sure that only a set number of cards had the "winning number." They could have added the notation "while supplies last" (and I never would have wasted my time going to the tent). Then they assured me they would send the gift card and never did.
If they can't handle a simple promotional giveaway and treat a potential customer fairly, I have no doubt that they would misrepresent the cars they are selling and the terms for any financing they might offer.
We are better off without them.
Thank you for your time.
XXXXXXXX XXXXXXX St.