Apparently in Canada, they don’t jack around with shyster car salesmen.
A car salesman who sold a vehicle to an elderly widow for about $24,000 more than she expected has become one of the first auto dealership employees in Ontario to be jailed under current consumer protection legislation.
Naheed Ali Ramji was sentenced in a Belleville court Tuesday to seven months behind bars for “unconscionable representation” and “unfair practice” under the Ontario Consumer Protection Act, and falsifying information under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act.
“Mr. Ramji targeted female customers whom he deemed gullible to take advantage of,” said Justice of the Peace Deanne Chapelle. “He used and took advantage of them both. He used unfair practice by making unconscionable representation to both.”
Chapelle convicted Ramji last November after hearing evidence from six witnesses including customers Doreen Waites, 80, and Barbara Fournier, in her mid-fifties, regarding transactions at Bob Clute Automart and Bob Clute Motors in Belleville in 2010.
“It’s his own fault,” Waites said after hearing about Ramji’s sentence. “We had dealt with him before and he was fine. We never thought he would try to do this to us. I was dumbfounded.”
Court heard Ramji called Waites from Bob Clute Automart about the pending expiry of a lease and she signed what she believed was another one for a new Pontiac model at a cost of about $18,825.
Waites moved and took the car to Michael Boyer Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC in Pickering for a small repair and informed the dealer about her unhappiness with the lease. Staff checked the paperwork and found she had actually bought the car and financed it for eight years at a total cost of $43,065.
The dealer alerted the sector’s regulator, the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, which investigated and eventually laid charges. The Clute dealership immediately unwound the deal, took the car back and later fired Ramji.