Author Topic: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far? Updates in #18, #38, #75, #77  (Read 12511 times)

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Please pass the Calgon

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Not even a little impressed with a local car dealership tonight. A week ago I emailed them exactly what I wanted; I was exceptionally clear about the year, model, package, the accessories, and the color. I sent the guy who was helping me a quote I'd gotten from another dealer, and he agreed to meet it. He emailed me a final quote. I gave him my approval and they brought the vehicle to their location from a dealership 4 hours away (because the color I really wanted is apparently "rare" in our state). Yesterday I got his celebratory & victorious emails about having located & obtained it. This morning I got his excited emails about it being at the dealership and ready for me to inspect. He wrote things like: "IT'S HERE!! :)", "<insert exact description of van & accessories> is sitting right outside with your name on it. What a way to start the morning :)", "it's right outside my office window!!". The plan was for me to arrive first thing tomorrow morning and do the final inspection before the final accessories could be installed. At 7pm this evening I get a call from him... there's been a "mistake". He says he put in the wrong model's numbers when doing the original calculations. Now he wants me to pay $2050 more. He tells me that he already went to the managers who say the difference is too much and they won't honor the promise he made. I explained that this is was not my fault; I was exceptionally clear in what I wanted, I spelled it out several times, I was given a final quote and held up my end of the agreement. I asked him to go back to his managers again and let them know that I was seriously disappointed in this turn of events and didn't appreciate this last minute shakedown. They refused to honor the quote I was given and I feel like I gave them ample opportunity to step up and make this right.

Sooooo, I emailed the main guy who helped me and the other manager who answered a couple questions for me, I emailed their General Manager, I posted the situation both on their location's Facebook page & on the head company's Facebook page, I left a review on Google+ and on Yelp, and I Tweet'd about it. I kept my description of the events polite & factual but let my disappointment in their customer service be known. I have ALL of his emails & all of mine to back up what happened. Several of my friends have "liked" my note or added comments imploring the dealership to honor their promise. No cursing, no threats, no anger...but not a small amount of frustration.

Now I'm wondering if I went to far. Should I just have let it go after I told the salesman that I wasn't paying anything over what my original quote was for and him saying that he couldn't do that? I get that mistakes happen, but he's had this for a week and suddenly spots the mistake mere hours before I'm to head up there? I really, really wanted that vehicle and unfortunately it IS rare in that color. The original deal was okay, nothing spectacular and it definitely wasn't a stunning savings over the list price.

What could i have done differently to handle this firmly but gracefully?
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 12:05:15 AM by Please pass the Calgon »

EMuir

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 01:51:33 AM »
Did you buy it?  If you want to have further doings with this dealership, you might not want to have reviewed them so harshly, although it is good for others who can avoid your mistake. If you walked away from it, leaving your opinion of their service is what you're entitled to do.

Amara

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 01:52:56 AM »
I think you were deliberately low-balled. I have no doubt they planned to do this all along because they thought they could bamboozle you into paying the additional two grand when you got there, saw the car, and became emotionally bonded to it. Their whole method--stating the color is rare in your state, saying they had to get the car from elsewhere, making you wait--all smacks of the build-up to their final action. 

But you didn't fall for it. Now they are stuck with the car. I say stick to what you have done online. Dealers used to be able to get away with this a lot more. The Internet hasn't made their tactics go away but it has made them a lot more visible.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 01:56:10 AM by Amara »

Miss Unleaded

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2013, 03:58:58 AM »
I think you were deliberately low-balled. I have no doubt they planned to do this all along because they thought they could bamboozle you into paying the additional two grand when you got there, saw the car, and became emotionally bonded to it. Their whole method--stating the color is rare in your state, saying they had to get the car from elsewhere, making you wait--all smacks of the build-up to their final action. 

But you didn't fall for it. Now they are stuck with the car. I say stick to what you have done online. Dealers used to be able to get away with this a lot more. The Internet hasn't made their tactics go away but it has made them a lot more visible.

Yep I totally believe they did this deliberately.  And if I were one of their potential customers, I'd be very interested to know that they engage in these kind of business practices.  I don't think you went too far at all.

jeni

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2013, 04:09:11 AM »
No I don't think you went too far, I agree with the posts above, I think it was deliberate and they were hoping you would agree.

Something similar happened to me in negotiating the sale of a car, I was firm about what  I wanted and eventually the salesman phoned me and verbally agreed to my terms. So I went in and signed the contact of sale which contained the terms, then it went to the Sales Manager who crossed out several things and basically changed the terms.  So that was it, the sale was off, the contract was ripped up and I went elsewhere.  They had also added extras to the car that I had spoken about, and this was way before I had even looked at the contract, it was just a discussion at that stage.  In my case it wasn't a lot of money but it was the principle of it, there had been lots of negotiations and the sales rep had said the terms were agreed.  Basically they got me there under false pretences.

Let us know what response you get!

sweetonsno

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2013, 04:10:34 AM »
What exactly were you hoping to accomplish? Talking to the business and the managers is definitely appropriate, as they may have the power to allow the salesman to honor the quote. Leaving a review on Yelp or another web site designed for consumer ratings is also appropriate, as it's a way to help other potential customers decide whether or not to go to that particular business. Tweeting or Facebooking strikes me as more punitive, as you are offering/spreading negative information to people who don't need it/aren't looking for it.

If someone walked up to you in the street and said, "Don't go to Burger Goddess; their severs are jerks and their mayo is obviously fake," or a friend called you to let you know that the barista at her local café had a gross phlegmy cough, you'd probably think that their primary concern was getting back at the establishment rather than helping you avoid the same fate.

Basically, I think the line is whether or not your actions can be helpful or productive. Can your action possibly get you what you want? Would it be valuable to your specific audience? If the answer to both questions is "no," I think it probably falls under the category of venting and should be treated as such. Do it to your sounding board for whatever amount of time you've decided is acceptable, then let it go. Chances are that this particular type of post isn't going to be especially relevant to all of your followers/friends.

I'm of the opinion that all you have to do to handle this situation firmly but gracefully is reiterate that you agreed to pay X price for the vehicle and that if they can't offer the vehicle at that price, you aren't buying. Basically, you could have stopped after confirming that the dealership wasn't going to honor the price. There's absolutely no need to do anything else. Walking away without causing a scene is perfectly firm and graceful.

zyrs

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2013, 04:12:39 AM »
You have handled this well. 

katycoo

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2013, 05:30:04 AM »
I would not have hit social media until I was certain the situtation could not be resolved to my satisfaction.

kherbert05

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2013, 06:00:50 AM »
They are paying the price for trying to scam you.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2013, 07:00:36 AM »
I think you were fine. And as a potential customer of a car dealership I would appreciate the heads up about their practices.

Zilla

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 07:12:38 AM »
I agree, you were fine.  I also think this was deliberate. 

Winterlight

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2013, 07:57:14 AM »
Considering they tried to bait and switch you? They bought those bad reviews and comments.
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Coralreef

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2013, 08:38:11 AM »
Car dealerships...  and they wonder why they don't make the most trusted lists. 

I think you dodged a bullet there.  They had a week to work it out.  And a colour being rare?  Please!  Thousands of cars are made each year, I don't think the manufacturer runs out of paint.

Personnal experience : when I was shopping for my car, I went to several dealers.  I knew exactly what I wanted, how much I could afford, etc.  One of the managers put a sealed envelope in front of me and said that this was his deal and that if I took it, I had to buy the car.  I got up and left.  The sales rep called then next day, he got a rather frosty (but polite) response.  Never, ever play games with my money.

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Knitterly

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2013, 09:51:38 AM »
Add me to the list of those who think you behaved appropriately - including hitting up social media.

I have also used social media for reviews (both negative and positive), as it reaches more people than sites like Yelp. 

Mr K and I had a similar situation when we purchased our car.  There were two BigBrand dealerships fairly close to us - one was about 20 minutes further away.  We went to the closer dealer and the salesman was utterly slimey.  He gave us a quote and began throwing in things as "required fees" that were actually optional upgrades that we didn't want.  We negotiated the price we wanted, but then when we came back in to sign the papers, he told us his managers rejected the deal and we had to pay more, so we walked away.  We also wrote a strongly worded letter about how very disappointed we were in the service we received.

We went to the other BigBrand dealership further away and negotiated a good price that was honoured.

A little while ago, I took our car in for the annual maintenance and took it to the closer BigBrand dealership.  The service was TERRIBLE!!  They didn't even take the car in until well over an hour past my appointment time.  And of course they came back to me with a long list of things the car didn't actually need doing (like replacing the brakes, which had just been replaced a month prior).


Lynnv

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Re: Car dealer kerfluffle...did I go too far?
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2013, 10:16:27 AM »
I think you were fine.  They chose the way they do business, you are just broadcasting their choices.  If they want to do business this way, the poor reviews they garner are just the price they pay for acting that way.

I say this as someone who just bought a car from a fairly smarmy dealer and a pushy sales guy...but it is a less common used car, and we were willing to sit and wait out all the tactics and BS until we got the price we wanted.  But if someone was to ask me, I would not recommend the dealer at all.  And we will never take our car there for service based on the way they deal with things in the showroom.  And we didn't get treated nearly as badly as you did.  If a dealer did this to me, I would be putting it out there far and wide too.

Lynn

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