"I try to work on it as much as possible myself," he said. "It's too expensive to get it in a garage."
Last week, he thought his luck took a turn when he received this mailer from Poulin Auto Sales in South Burlington. The promotion promised one of seven extravagant prizes since Huntley's numbers matched the combination box.
"Here it is. This is what you possibly could have won right here. But you walk away with none of those things," Huntley said.
When Huntley got to the dealership, he and about 20 others were greeted with a sales pitch, not a new car, cruise, cash or electronics. But the salesman didn't let him leave empty-handed.
"He said, oh, here's what you won. And he gave me a card for Panera," Huntley said. "I thought I'd at least get one of the cheapest ones instead of the five dollars."
"I think there's certainly some opportunity for interpretation," said Jason Duquette-Hoffman, who runs the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Program. "I mean do you consider grand prize one of the seven?"
Duquette-Hoffman says his office has received multiple complaints about the Poulin promotion.
"Whenever consumers send us in an advertisement like this, we take them seriously. We review them for compliance," he said.
Vermont's contest laws call for the advertiser to accurately represent the odds, the number of winners or the value of the prizes. Advertisers cannot require an entry fee or use misleading language.
"Look carefully at the terms of the offers. Usually, as they say, the devil is in the details," Duquette-Hoffman said.
Reporter Jennifer Reading: Did you read the fine print?
Merton Huntley: Yeah, I just finished reading the fine print. I was checking it out and there's no bagels on there.
The fine print does display the odds, but it also says: If your numbers match, you have won one of the prizes shown on this mailer. A Panera gift card isn't on there. So is it a clever car ad or a sneaky scam? For legal reasons, Consumer Assistance couldn't tell if it's pursuing legal action, but did say the number of complaints tend to drive action.
Even WCAX employees got the flyer. Ironically our scratch-off combination matched the winning numbers on three other flyers. We reached out to Poulin Auto Sales. The dealership refused to answer our questions.
"I have no interest in buying a vehicle off them. If they're going to try to scam me in that little way, then what else are they going to do? So, no, I wouldn't go back, no," Huntley said.
Consumers say a giveaway gunning for new customers ends up backfiring in a big way.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>