Dealership Prints Out Captcha to Prove Customer Isn't a Robot

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

Just about everyone who has ever used the internet has had to check off a Captcha box to prove they aren’t some sort of automated system.

Captcha is used to prevent spammers and bots from taking advantage of a website or service. Sometimes all you have to do is check off a box, but other times you’re asked to type in a jumbled and distorted line of letters and numbers, or select a number of boxes depicting a certain object.

Strangely, journalist Marci Robin was recently presented with a Captcha form in real life. According to Jalopnik, Robin was at a dealer purchasing a Fiat 500X and was being given a number of papers and forms to fill out. Among them was a printed off Captcha form, which the salesperson handed to her and said “this one is just to ensure you’re not a robot.”

This wasn’t an email exchange, remember. This was a face-to-face conversation.

I bought a car today, and the dealership had me check off — with a pen, on paper — that I’m not a robot.

— Marci Robin (@MarciRobin) May 20, 2018

Jalopnik reached out to the dealership, who said that in order to print off the required purchasing forms, they must first complete a Captcha. The dealer apparently just prints off the Captcha page when this happens and has the customer fill it out as well. It sort of makes sense, but at the end of the day, it should be pretty easy to tell a human being isn’t a robot. If Robin didn’t want to check off the Captcha form, the dealer says it would still sell her the car, as her social security number and photo ID would be enough to prove she’s not some sort of humanoid.

SEE ALSO: Chevy Just Told its Dealers About the Mid-Engine Corvette

This is apparently a very real concern of the dealership in question, with the sales associate telling Jalopnik: “You never know; they have that girl Alexa, and she can talk and make phone calls and stuff.” That still doesn’t really make sense, though, as Alexa is just an AI system – not a robot with a physical makeup.

What’s happening to the world? We think we need to go lie down.

[Source: Jalopnik, Marci Robin on Twitter]

Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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