Car Dealerships and Rotten Customer Service

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by MisterMark, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. MisterMark

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    Hi all -

    I know that most of you probably aren't interested in my rants, but for any of you who are, I just thought I'd forward this message to you. I sent it to Honda Of The Desert after I stopped by their store today, hoping to just have a casual look at the new Honda Element. Instead, I left wishing that I hadn't even walked in the door.

    Why is that car dealerships and car salespeople still treat customers so poorly? I'll admit that, for the most part, when I've bought my Saabs, I've been treated pretty well. But I like to look at other cars as well. And when I've gone to Toyota, Volkswagen, or Honda, I've been treated very badly. Do they really believe that obnoxious behavior is going to win us over?

    Anyway, the message I sent to them is below. lol...I should email them a closeup photo of my cock and balls! hahaha...

    Mark



    Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 17:30:20 -0800 (PST)
    From: Mark Raymond
    Subject: Sales Tactics and Customer Service
    To: webmaster@hondaofthedesert.com


    Dear Honda Of The Desert -

    I visited your store today to look at a Honda Element. Although my salesperson, Donna, was very helpful, I found her questions to be intrusive and to put it bluntly, obnoxious. I felt like I was being interrogated.

    I do realize that this is normal behavior for a car salesperson, and usually I wouldn't even complain about it, but I'm just wondering: When will car dealerships realize that they are among the least liked businesses in America? The main reason that people do not enjoy dealing with you was made even more obvious this afternoon. When I say that I'm only looking - at least 3 times - I mean it! When I say that I want to look at other models before I buy something - I mean it! And while I've got your attention, let me make one thing clear: I will not buy a car from people who annoy me. I could go on, but I'm sure that none of this is news to you - or maybe it is! That's the scary part - your sales techniques are obnoxious and I don't think you even realize it.

    I may still buy an Element, but I'm going to avoid visiting your store again. I'm sure that you are good people who are only trying to make a living, but geez...there's got to be a more pleasant way to deal with customers. Finally, you really don't need to contact me. You are who you are, and I doubt that my message is going to change the way you do business. If I need you, I'll call you.

    Thanks for your time.

    Mark Raymond
     
  2. Imported

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    BIGBOYDAVE: Can understand fully your frustration in dealing with sales persons. i have had similar experiences in the past. I have found for me that when I enter a store or buisness that has sales persons I immadetly go to one and say why I am here And that I will ask the questions I want answered or I tell them that I am browsing on my own and That if I need help or information I will ask them . I make it clear Not to bother me or I will walk out. I set the rules and the limits. If another sales attendant approaches me I put up my Palm and point out the original. Then turn away from them . It has worked for me in car buying electronics furnature and apliances. I also Bargen down there price shipping etc.
     
  3. Imported

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    kyle: Honda of the Desert sucks! Along with Paradise Volkswagen. Oh, I hate those Livreiris. And don't get me started on the Jessups!

    I don't know why so many are so awful, but I go outside of the desert to buy cars. As a matter of fact, we brokered the deal for our last car on the internet. Cut out the assho... I mean, middle man.
    8)
     
  4. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    One thing I've learned to do when looking at cars is to tell the first salesperson who approaches me that I'm just looking for now but I'll be glad to call him/her when/if I have any questions - and I ask for his/her business card. Then, as I look around, if I am approached by another salesperson, I hold up the card and tell them I'm being helped.

    A customer never has to accept abuse or rudeness. If responding to an improper question with something like "I fail to see what that has to do with selling me a car" does not deflect the intrusive comments or queries, ask for the sales manager's name and either see him immediately or leave and call him later.

    Unfortunately there are many dealerships out there who use old-fashioned hard sell techniques which leave customers feeling bled and confused, but there are many more that insist that their sales force make the customer's satisfaction their top priority.

    Finally, Mark did the right thing in writing of his experience at Honda of the Desert. Customer response is of great interest to the manufacturer as well, so I'd suggest that a copy of the letter be forwarded to Honda of America.

    Pecker
     
  5. Imported

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    Finedessert: I guess I've been lucky, having bought and leased Fords for the past 25 years from the same dealer in Santa Clarita, California, every time it came to get another Ford either by trading the old one, in or returning the leased car when I'm approached by a sales person and I tell them "Just looking" they generally hand me their business card and say something to the effect " If you need help or have questions just ask for me" somehow the message gets around and I'm not bugged anymore.

    We have to remember that a car salesperson in a large dealership is under a lot of pressure to meet a sales quota, he either meets it or he's out the door, but that doesn't excuse rudeness on his/her part.

    Have you ever noticed that the minute you make up your mind on a given car or truck, and you hand the salesperson your drivers license and he/she says "I'll be right back" this is done while your filling out their paper work. What's being done at this time is a Credit Check is being made on you. They will know all about you in Five Minutes, if the credit check is a little shady then the squeeze for a larger down payment comes into play.

    After dealing with the same Ford dealer for the past 25 years, if I were treated like Mark was I'd just walk out the door. there are other Ford dealers, BUT I would make it a point to go back and show my new car to them, and let them know that they could have had the sale had they had better sales tactics.

    Grandpa
     
  6. MisterMark

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    Grandpa, I've heard about those quickie credit checks. But I'm pretty sure that they would have to have your social security number in order to do that.

    And thanks, Pecker - actually, I did mail a copy of the message to Honda of America this morning. Again, I don't really have any expectations that they will change because of me, but I do believe that if enough of us complain, eventually they will change their routine.

    I'm in no hurry to buy anything, but when the time comes, I think I'm going to try to buy a car through CarsDirect.com so I can avoid face-to-face dealings with salespeople. Has anyone used them before?
     
  7. Imported

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    Finedessert: MARK: Yes, As I recall they did have my SS number before they ran the Credit Check....So I guess that the only thing one would have to worry about is that salesperson an honest and trusted member of the dealership who will not use the information to steal your identity at a later date,or pass it off to someone that would.

    Grandpa
     
  8. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Using an internet new-car site is an excellent idea. I've used them before, but for negotiating purposes with the local dealerships.

    Believe it or not it was very easy to get 2 local Ford dealers involved in trying to low-bid each other on a vehicle. I started out by telling each dealer only that I had found the car they had for sale on the internet for a certain price. Then I told each dealer about the prices the two of them were offering me.

    It took only 3 days to get the monthly payment down from $419 to $290 (a savings of several thousand dollars) and I had them calling me, not the other way around.

    The only backbone it takes is to be able to say "That's not good enough," and to be willing to go through a few days of back-and-forth negotiating.

    Pecker
     
  9. Imported

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    thepress83: I can totally relate, my dad's car was stolen last year and when we were looking around for a cheap replacemtn (it's a commuter car that for those of you who know Vancouver is parked in Vancouver's Downtown east side for 8-10 hrs per day). Soi we go into a dealership and a salesman approaches us no more than 2 feet past the entrance and proceeds to show us their used cars, we were up front about not wanting a standard, or a Cavalier. All he showed us was standard cavaliers it was like they had an excess of them or something after about the fourth cavy and telling him four times we didn't want a standard cavy he called us picky and stormed off. Now if that doesn't take the cake I don't know what does. LOL
    Press
     
  10. Imported

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    wondering: When you go to a car dealership, the sales people have most likely "sized you up" by the time you are only a few steps from your car.  They look at the type of car you drive, the way you are dressed, and in your case, Mark, they have probably noted your license plate.  If they are particularly perspicacious, they have even done a crotch watch.  They have formed an opinion of you even before you enter the showroom.

    I can't say that I enjoy the car dealership experience either, but I have stumbled onto a technique that leaves me free to roam around "unmolested."  I was bicycling one day and decided to look at cars.  I rode around a dealership with "impunity" looking at many different new and used cars.

    I have since done this many times.  Apparently, if you ride a bicycle into a dealership and, sales people don't consider you a customer.  Only once was I chased out, probably because they thought that I was going to scratch one of their vehicles with my bicycle.  And, only once was I asked if I needed help.  I do execute one maneuver that affords me great latitude.  That is the quick escape.  I can ride off faster than any sales person can chase.
     
  11. MisterMark

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    :D Very amusing story! I'll have to try it.

    I don't think they sized me up, actually. The saleswoman who "helped" me was coming from their other showroom, so there was no opportunity for her to see my car or license plate.
     
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