Please trust your calculator

Motorists in social media are abuzz once again because of the ongoing turmoil between a third-party car seller (TPCS) and their customers. Third party because they cannot give you a car directly – it still has to go through a dealership; and they can’t give you a loan directly – they still have to go through a bank. So what happened? These customers are having their units (cars and motorcycles) repossessed by banks despite paying the monthly amortization to TPCS. Apparently, it’s TPCS that’s not paying the banks anymore.

In a video released by their ‘CEO’ himself, he said that the ‘delayed payments’ stemmed from their discovery during their internal audit. There are customers who are not paying their premiums, submitting false receipts, or have uploaded a wrong receipt. But if you go online, you’ll see lots of people in different facebook groups all saying the same thing – we’re keeping up with the monthly payments.

For those who are not paying, it’s perfectly understandable if they get their units repossessed by banks. The big question mark here is, why are the diligent payers included in the delayed payments and/or retrieval of units?

Let’s take a look into their ‘system’. In one of TPCS’s ads, they said you can own a popular small hatchback for only P3,225/mo for 5 years. This car has a retail price of P705,000. With such a low monthly rate, this means the downpayment must be hefty. So let’s assume they’ll require that you give a 50% down – that is P352,500. Now if we get the total of your monthly rate of P3,225 for 5 years or 60 months, that comes out to P193,500. Add that to the downpayment and TPCS is saying you can have this small hatchback for a total of P546,000 or P159,000 cheaper than the suggested retail price.

This disparity is the biggest red flag in this company. If you use a loan calculator from any reputable financing institution, having the same SRP and downpayment will yield a monthly due of almost P8,000 pesos. This is because the total should be more than the SRP because of interest. Why else will they lend you money if they can’t earn from it? It’s a business after all. No wonder their finances quickly got thin once there are non-payers.

Another warning sign to doubt this trend is this third party car seller doesn’t talk of interest rates. Instead, all you’ll hear them say is ‘system.’ You can see it repeatedly in their ads – avail our system, with our system, it’s our system. They add “0% interest, discounts, and lower prices” as garnishes on top, as if those words will instantly justify the lower total price of their offers.

Even I inquired with them a few months ago because I wanted a motorcycle and I asked them to explain how this low monthly rate is possible. All they can say is that’s their ‘system’ but they cannot say how they really make it work. They make it seem like they’re running a charity and not a business. I’ve reached out to them for this article hoping they can finally clear things up but they didn’t reply to me.

What really grinds my gears in this whole fiasco is the fact that it happened again. This whole situation was already done before by another entity. They started the same – shouting out their lower monthly rate, and looks like they’re heading towards the same ending of closure, people not getting their money back, units and cars repossessed, and a small group of people millions of pesos richer.

We cannot keep blaming these companies for what happens because the devil is already in the advertisements. The math alone suggests it’s a scam but still, you’ll avail it since life is hard, you can’t afford the rate of the real dealers, and deep inside you’re praying it’s legit. Unfortunately, it’s not. I’m not saying you deserve it but you can’t keep pointing fingers at them without accepting that you’re part of the problem too. If you, and others, didn’t entertain such a scheme, then all of you won’t be making facebook groups tagging the now Senator Raffy Tulfo or KMJS.

Oh by the way, there’s already another entity who’s promoting the same scheme. This time they’re using ‘avail our program’ and has the same car silhouette in their logo. Hopefully you’ve learned your lesson.

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