A car dealership asks customer to prove she’s not a robot…by ticking a printed CAPTCHA box
Until we get over our squeamishness about driverless cars, you need a human behind the wheel. For that reason, I’m extremely grateful to the car salesman at a Florida car dealership who insisted a customer tick the CAPTCHA box to prove she wasn’t a robot, which he had helpfully printed out.
Marci Robin, the contributing editor of Allure Magazine, was in the process of buying a used 2016 Fiat 500X and was going through the usual paperwork when the salesman handed her a piece of paper with the familiar looking tick box on it, designed to ensure that internet bots aren’t filling out forms designed for real people.
“He handed me that page and just matter-of-factly said, ‘And this one is just to ensure you’re not a robot,’ Robin told Jalopnik. “There was nothing else on the print-out. Just the Captcha box. It even said ‘Submit’ under it, and he told me to sign there.
“My husband and I were like, ‘Wait, what?’ We just looked at each other and laughed. The sales guy seemed unfazed, like this was a 100% normal thing to ask a person sitting in front of you to do.”
At this point, you may be wondering if this is a story made up for retweets (if so, it’s been pretty successful with 15,000 retweets at the time of writing), but it’s not. Jalopnik contacted the dealer and… yes, it’s true. They really do ask customers to tick a box confirming they’re not robots. There is a kind of logic to this, if you get yourself into a slightly loopy mindset: “It’s not about us,” the dealership is quoted as saying in response. “In order for us to print the next one, you have to check that. So we print it out, and have the customer check that when we do.”
Ironically, this is a quite robotic way of thinking. You would have thought that a quick visual check would let them skip that stage – or if they wanted something more subtle, they could ask the customer whether they’d prefer a coffee, tea or a shot of motor oil on arrival. Nonetheless, this is the system that the dealership has chosen and I guess it does keep robots out of cars.