The Stack Archive News Article

Car salesman asks customer to tick reCAPTCHA box… on paper

Tue 22 May 2018

A Florida resident was left bemused when a car salesman asked her to tick a reCAPTCHA box… on a piece of paper.

Writer Marci Robin was buying a used 2016 Fiat 500X in West Palm Beach, Florida and was going through the usual paperwork process when the salesman handed her a page with the offending tickbox on it. The salesman’s identity is not yet confirmed, but there have been rumours (started here), that he was played by Harrison Ford in a 1982 blockbuster.

Robin said: “He handed me that page and just matter-of-factly said, “And this one is just to ensure you’re not a robot.” 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.”

Having lived in New York for the last 17 years and only recently moved to Delray Beach, Florida, Robin questioned whether this process may just be unique to Florida. If any other readers have had to undergo a real-life Voight-Kampff test, do get in touch.

The CAPTCHA test was invented in 1997 by two separate groups working at the same time. It has had a checkered past, with criticisms from various parties, in particular, those with visual or hearing impairments. More recently, the Google-owned reCAPTCHA has gained prominence, with the aforementioned tickboxes becoming far more prevalent than the traditional letter-deciphering process.


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