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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Repo Man (Version 2.0) Arrives in Midwest

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:56 AM

click to enlarge Not your grand-daddy's repo man. - FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/DAVESEVEN
  • flickr.com/photos/daveseven
  • Not your grand-daddy's repo man.
The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article yesterday about a new automobile device being employed by used-car dealers across the country. The contraption -- which disables a vehicle whenever its buyer misses a payment -- is apparently very popular in the Midwest.

The WSJ chose to open its story yesterday with a brief profile of a Jamie De Lisle, a Collinsville, Illinois, mother whose Buick is equipped with one of the devices. It begins to chirp and beep in the days leading up to an auto payment. Devices like the one in De Lisle's auto can disable a car engine and send a satellite signal to the repo man pinpointing the exact location of the vehicle.

Donald Birger, president of InstaCredit Automart in Collinsville and O'Fallon, Mo., tells the Journal that he was initially "leery" of using the technology for fear that customers would object. But he tells the paper: "We have not lost a sale due to our use of the device."

Meanwhile Michelle Gibbs of Blue Springs, Mo., compares the device to "those ankle bracelets they put on you when you've done something bad" and jokes that her Honda Accord is "under house arrest" whenever it begins to chatter prior to a payment date.

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