CHICAGO (CBS) — With so many people unemployed, getting a letter in the mail stamped, “COVID-19 stimulus assistance” might give some a little hope.
But it turns out the mailer was a sales pitch from a local car dealer. And a lot of people were not pleased at all.
A CBS 2 viewer showed us the envelope, which claimed to be time-sensitive and contain COVID-19 stimulus assistance. But the only thing it was trying to stimulate was sales at Dempsey Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in far southwest suburban Plano.
We reached out to owner Tom Dempsey early. He told us via email: “I promise I will be getting back to you with a statement. I’m not running away from this, I just need some help.”
But then about an hour later, his tune changed: “We just need this to quiet down so the anger is not there.”
That came after angry posts on the dealership’s Facebook page. One read: “Whatever manager thought this was a good idea, they should be fired immediately. Utterly classless.”
Another Facebook post showed a man shoving the mailers into his fireplace.
“It’s so cold tonight and I was having trouble getting my fireplace to light. Then I remembered y’all sent me some complimentary fire starters in the mail today,” that post said.
Dempsey told us he sent out an apology letter, but refused to provide it to us. He then said the apology was posted on his Facebook page, but we couldn’t find it on the dealer’s page either.
the Illinois Attorney General also got complaints about the mailer and is investigating.