Friday, November 16, 2012

The Friday Five

The Eldest got a part-time job as a lab technician. The job is about an hour away, depending on the traffic. It's no longer possible for her and me to share my car. So she ponied up four grand she had saved working at her minimum wage job to put a down payment on her first car. She  needed wheels with superior gas mileage so she decided on a Toyota Prius in pale green. Himself took her up to Herb Chambers Toyota in Auburn, MA. on Sunday, 4. November. The salesman talked her out of her color choice. He had a white model on the lot he wanted to get rid of. He'd give her a "deal" if she agreed to the white car. He told her she could have the car by Saturday, 10. November

Today's Friday Five are five complaints I have about the dealership. Your mileage may vary.

 She called the salesman on Thursday to find out when the car would be ready for pick up. She had to leave a voice message and he never returned her call. When he did get back to her on Saturday, as he was off on Friday, he said there was a problem with the insurance company, but they got things straightened out.

Monday was a holiday so we figured she'd have the car by Tuesday.

Calls to the salesman went unanswered. She called the insurance company to see if things were all set. They told her the dealership hadn't faxed information they needed.

 On Wednesday, the dealership called to tell her the car was all set and would be ready for pick up Thursday afternoon.

She got out of her first job at noon, on Thursday. She called the dealer before we left the job, an hour away, to see if she could come an pick up the car. Yup, it would be ready. We got there and the salesman told her the car needed plates. The dealer has access to RMV computers and does all transactions at the dealership. The salesman took her to see her car. Tried to impress her with how shiny new it was and what a great job they did with the detailing.

After a fifteen minute wait, no tags coming. The girl needed to get back home, have lunch and then head to her other part-time job. The salesman told me he didn't have control of what "they" did upstairs to get the tags. I told him, it was his job to follow the process from start to finish. He was the contact person.

The salesman promised to deliver the car to the house in the afternoon. She took my car to work and I waited for the delivery. By 7 pm. no shiny, new car was in the driveway. I sent a text message to her on her break to ask if she had heard from the dealer. Yup, the computers went down  they couldn't do the transaction. Car would be delivered on Friday at 1 pm.

I called The Sales Manager to complain.

1. Customer service is not an oxymoron. He gave me excuses about trying to get her a "college grad" special offer financing package.

2. If there were anticipated problems with financing, don't promise the car by a certain day.

3. Don't talk the customer out of the dream color to push a "deal". The girl has waited nearly two weeks for an automobile that was sitting on the lot. She could have waited for her first color choice.

4. She was told to pick the car up on a certain day. She called to see if the car would be ready, and she was told to come and get it. She also called the insurance company to see if all the paperwork was done. Yup, no problems on the insurance end. The car should have been ready to drive off the lot when the girl got there. The salesman shouldn't have tried to impress her with the detailing. I expect a new car to be all shiny. I also expect a new car to have plates and an inspection sticker when told the car is ready. There should have been no excuses about not getting the tags.

4a. I asked The Sales Manager if the girl had been a young man, if the car would have been delivered when promised. I was told gender made no difference. A he would have been treated the same. Nice to know screw ups aren't gender biased.

5. The Sales Manager said my complaints would help him to improve service. I hope he learned a lesson. I told him I learned mine. I am next in line for a new car. Am also thinking about a Toyota, but I told the Sales Manager I would not purchase a car from Herb Chambers Toyota of Auburn.

Besides delivering the car today at 1pm  (I'm not pinning my hopes here), the dealer should also include a bouquet of flowers: white mums for truthfulness, yellow daffodils to show respect, and purple hyacinths to express a sincere apology. A box of Godiva chocolates wouldn't hurt, either.

Have you had a good car buying experience?


  1. Grrr...

    We use a independent guy in town. He just does used cars, but he'll find you ANYTHING you want if you ask him for something specific. He's awesome. He takes care of everything for you.

  2. Wow. It's a good thing you gave him a piece of your mind!

  3. Sorry she had such a rough go of it. Hopefully the car will be worth the aggravation and your new car will be all spiffy and BLUE!

  4. Bulls**t! It’s TOTALLY gender biased! If it had been your husband (or any other male that wasn’t a ‘young’ person) it would have been ready when it was promised! If not the first time, definitely by the second promised time. A car salesman would never be brave enough to tick off another ‘alpha male’ or risk losing a sale. (Sorry, I might have issues here, lol)

  5. Buying a brand new car should be a lot more fun than that.

  6. Our last car salesman had laryngitis so couldn't argue when we made a cheeky offer, very happy with that deal!

  7. I research the car I'm looking at online, then test drive it in person telling the salesman if he even speaks I will pull the car over and shove him out.

    If I like the car I do the entire transaction online, I either pay cash or use my bank to finance-- I never use the car dealer for financing, it's not worth the aggravation. You can negotiate a price and arrange delivery without even talking to one of these hucksters in person. Bought my last two cars this way.

    I've had some amazing experiences including a salesman trying to hard to convince me to come back in to the dealership that he hung on my door as I drove away. I told him if he couldn't run 60mph he'd better let go.