Kia lottery by local US dealer angers consumers and lawyers

If you’re a local car dealership, you’re probably looking for ways to get customers to show up and eventually make a new purchase. A Kentucky showroom did just that, but ended up sending its ambiguous marketing offer to a trained attorney who was more than happy to teach the sender about consumer law.

Now Adam Mellor is suing his local Kia store for mistakenly telling him he won $15,000 on a new car, but there was a caveat. It turned out that his future prize was a lottery-style game, not the lump sum, which Mellor says is illegal and all kinds of wrong.

The Kia lottery draw is the basis of a lawsuit

This bizarre phrasing is apparently how the local dealer addresses its customers, which prompted Mellor to put his training into practice. Speaking to The News Enterprise, which did the original reporting on the case, he said:

I believe the language said I won $15,000. But I also believed there was something behind it when I showed up to say, “Hey, I won this,” I wasn’t going to get $15,000.

Lawyer Adam Mellor

Mellor admitted that although the language sounded rather odd and insincere, he decided to drive 20 miles to the dealership and see for himself. Upon arrival, however, he was given a $1 scratch ticket. Mellor understood that the ambiguous promotion referred to the possibility of winning from a scraper and he quickly explained to the staff that the promotion was illegal.

He is now asking for $75,000 in damages and there is a good chance he will get it. However, Mellor isn’t really interested in the money, instead he wants the dealership and Kia to run a number of ads the dealership was running in a few newspapers, including the one that did the original story on the car. ‘story.

Mellor has been known to take aim at other companies that may have toed the lines when marketing to consumers and he has a history of occasionally filing lawsuits against those companies. His passion isn’t so much to take “the man” down a notch as it is to educate the community about these illegal deals.

But Kia isn’t really looking to let go, which could be its downfall. The company argues it was all in the fine print, giving it the legal basis to continue, but Mellor isn’t nearly convinced. The case is not yet settled, but Mellor is not known for putting too much pressure on companies – they usually give in, it seems to suggest to The News Enterprise.

Jon J. Epps