A Mini Adventure - NWS
A deserted Mini dealership, mid-week, mid-afternoon. I go and open the door of a Cooper and 10 seconds later the alarm goes off. Salesman comes running and across and tells me I shouldn't sit in the cars without asking. Alarm can't be turned off because the car battery is flat. I ask to test drive one and am told there's a two day notice period for test drives. I gaze across the empty showroom, smile politely and walk away. The end (of their chances of selling me a car).
Roll on Tescos, Sainsburys etc. selling cars
A Mini Adventure - Pugugly {P}
The subtle way that our delaer sold SWMBO one though. Lent us one whilst the BM was in for a service - she fell for it - hook line and sinker.
A Mini Adventure - dave18
I drove one while stepdad was picking up his company 325... they didnt ask for my license or for any ID. When I looked at one 'as a possibility for after college' it was a different story. Hmm.
A Mini Adventure - THe Growler
I would refer you to the thread begun by Rita about expectations from dealers. I wouldn't give an outfit like you've described the time of day.
A Mini Adventure - FergusTheDog
Standing in local BMW agent waiting to collect my boss. Overhear "lady" shouting at BMW salesman. Broken down MINI is apparantly "useless pile of c***".

Won't buy a MINI (or a BMW).

End of story.
A Mini Adventure - jd
>>A deserted Mini dealership, mid-week, mid-afternoon. I go and open the door of a Cooper and 10 seconds later the alarm goes off. Salesman comes running and across and tells me I shouldn't sit in the cars without asking. Alarm can't be turned off because the car battery is flat. I ask to test drive one and am told there's a two day notice period for test drives. I gaze across the empty showroom, smile politely and walk away. The end (of their chances of selling me a car).
Roll on Tescos, Sainsburys etc. selling cars>>


Couldn't agree more.

I have recently been in dealerships for Saab, VW and Renault. Comments are :-

Saab - look of incredulity as I asked to look inside three 9.5 estates on the forecourt. Several minutes to find keys. Once inside the cars (which I had taken the trouble to do some research on), salesman had NO IDEA about the cars.
Didn't know insurance group, bhp, mpg or anything on all three cars - pathetic. I don't sell Saab and I knew all the above from simply checking car data sources.

VW - spent 20 minutes poring over a Golf estate and not a single person came over to have a word. I saw over a dozen VW people 'busying' around. I was in casual clothing, made a point of looking as though I needed (and wanted) some assistance - but nothing. I drive a Passat and I think the whole VW quality/service issue is a myth.

Renault - I knew this dealership had a 2.2 Dci estate available as a demo and, during my inspection of a showroom car, asked if they had any used/demo models available. No, was the reply. It is still there, today, on the forecourt exactly to the spec I was interested in.


My opinion is these guys don't have a clue on how to sell and they must have life far too easy propped up by fleet sales, company cars etc.etc.

If they had to go out and buy their own car, I am sure they would see another world.

JD
A Mini Adventure - bafta
Absolutely agree. In spite of a previous thread where some respondents said that 'salesman' have a sixth sense, when it comes to tyre kickers, I am of the view that they haven't a clue.
A few years ago with cash to spend ( from a house sale) I went looking for a new car, armed with a shortlist and having done some research. I was dressed in casual clothes and some dealers could barely be bothered to speak to me as if the thought of me sitting in one of their automobiles might taint it. I got a bit fed up with that so the next time I went looking I wore a suit and carried my briefcase. The silly salesman were falling over themselves to sell me a car. I even got one for the day so I went to visit my parents. What does that say about their 'sixth sense?'
A Mini Adventure - NWS
I was wearing my best whistle as well!
A Mini Adventure - carayzee
Find another Beemer dealer then. Don't let this bad experience put you off a brilliant little car.

It's not the cars fault is it? Would you buy a FIAT if the dealer was suitably fawning? Didn't think so.........
A Mini Adventure - jeds
I used to drive an extra, approx, 15 miles to avoid my local VW dealer. The local one was appalling - the other was great.

I think the lesson here is a bit like where you have your bank account. Good staff and a good manager are more important than which brand you go to.
A Mini Adventure - NWS
This brought to mind a client I once had. The were in the biz of very high end geodemographic systems - ie they map what kind of people buy what kind of goods/services in any given location. They had data from the DVLA (I think, it was a few years ago) which showed the clustering of sales of particular makes around dealerships and whilst say Lada might have had say 2% of the total new car market nationally, within a couple of miles of their dealerships their share of all new cars sold was upwards of 10%. This would suggest that the majority do not discriminate massively between makes it's more a question of what's available to hand.
The hierarchy of marketing messages in different media (which Ford used to exemplify best of all) was 1. National press/TV - Buy a Ford. 2. Regional TV - Pennine/N East etc. Ford Dealers have great deals on 3. Local paper - Get them from Norberts - your local Ford specialist
A Mini Adventure - No Do$h
Absolutely agree. In spite of a previous thread where some respondents
said that 'salesman' have a sixth sense, when it comes to
tyre kickers, I am of the view that they haven't a
clue.
A few years ago with cash to spend ( from a
house sale) I went looking for a new car, armed with
a shortlist and having done some research. I was dressed in
casual clothes and some dealers could barely be bothered to speak
to me as if the thought of me sitting in one
of their automobiles might taint it. I got a bit fed
up with that so the next time I went looking I
wore a suit and carried my briefcase. The silly salesman were
falling over themselves to sell me a car. I even got
one for the day so I went to visit my parents.
What does that say about their 'sixth sense?'


In the original post I pointed out how this 6th sense *always* rang true because nobody ever bought from them.

In other words, the salesman decides somebody isn't going to buy and treats them accordingly. By some strange coincidence, that customer doesn't buy from them! In their mind, they were right about that "timewaster". In the mind of the customer, see the first post on this thread. It's magic.....

I thought it got misunderstood first time round. To see my comments come back out of context in this thread really had me worried!

Can somebody tell me that they get my point here? Please??
A Mini Adventure - bafta
Sorry, No Dosh, I get your point now. Perhaps, I should read more carefully in future.
A Mini Adventure - No Do$h
Cheers bafta. Thought I was going mad!
A Mini Adventure - Oz
Most posters on this thread indicate they have l - o - n - g memories.
My brother's car was washed off a hotel forecourt into a flooded stream a couple of decades ago.
In desperation, went to the adjacent petrol garage asking to borrow a rope. Yes they had one, but they didn't want to get it wet ...
I won't say I haven't ever bought that brand of petrol ever in the meantime, but at least, never without remembering this incident.
Oz (as was)
A Mini Adventure - Alex J M
I recently changed cars and before long I became convinced that some dealers really and truly didn't want to sell me one of their motors.

I generally went looking on my lunch break with a colleague so we both had a shirt and tie on, not super-smart but not scruffy either. Time after time, despite me pondering over various cars on the forecourt and/or in the showroom with a look of great interest, we were simply left to our own devices, until we got bored and walked away.

I had a £9k car to trade in and was looking to get something worth £13-£15k, so you'd think it'd be worth their while to at least ask if they could help me with anything.

The Hyundai dealer was appalling, the salesman did at least approach me but then completely ignored my requirements and was desperate to sell me a brand new Elantra, he even admitted he wanted to shift it before the end of the month so they'd hit their quota. He was irritatingly pushy too, so I left, pledging never to return.

The Rover/Volvo dealer clearly had pretensions of grandeur and the salesman completely ignored us, I quite liked the look of the MGs, but I wasn't going to go begging to be told about them.

The Ford dealer did at least have a friendly, open salesman - but his prices were on the high side. I agreed to return for a test drive on Sunday with the nearest and dearest, "There'll be someone here all morning", he said. We turned up on Sunday at 1030am and found a deserted garage, a 50 mile round trip therefore being wasted. Another one struck off the list forever.

The guy at the Skoda dealer was ever so nice but only had two basic Fabias and a used Octavia in stock, so no joy there.

I'd already decided I'd had enough of my local Honda dealer but decided to give them one last chance. The salesman waved vaguely at some cars I might like (after I'd dragged him away from whatever he was doing on his computer which was so absorbing his attention) and then started to moan about how little money they made on each sale, wondering what the f**k that was supposed to have to do with me, I made my excuses and left. That dealer has lost Honda a customer forever (a shame because I actually quite like their cars).

The Vauxhall and Toyota dealers are next door to each other, however, the site of two smart young men driving up in a £9k Accord and looking with great interest at the latest Vectras and Corollas and a tasty Celica clearly wasn't enough to tempt them up off their a***s into the chilly winter air. We even looked into the showrooms and made eye contact a couple of times, the result of this was one of the salesmen going to the coffee machine to get himself a nice drink. We left.

(Also note that my colleague, a fairly well to do family man who'll be looking for a sporty new car for himself soon, was taking note of all of this as well, some of these dealers have lost him as a potential customer without even saying a word to him.)

A couple of independent dealers yielded fruit in much better attention and salesmanship, although neither had a motor that fitted my criteria, trade-in offers were lower too.

A third independent dealer was remarkably shabby, I spied a very nice looking Polo GTi (cheaper than my target market but it caught my eye). Not knowing much about the car as I hadn't researched it I asked the dealer, "Could you give me a bit of information on this Polo please?", "It's a Polo", he replied. Every extra piece of information was extracted from him in a similar fashion. End result, one nice car, one very disinterested buyer.

The Peuegot dealer was chronic, despite us spending some 15 minutes in the very large forecourt, no one came to say a word to us. I was interested in a nice BMW 3 series (they don't just sell Peugeots) and a couple of others, but again, I wasn't going to go begging.

It was a similar story at the Renault dealer.

I never even bothered with VW/Audi dealer, a friend bought a nearly new Golf GTi from there 2 1/2 years ago, apart from having numerous problems with it inside warranty she was then hit with a whopping £600 routine service bill one month outside of warranty, when she questioned it she was told it was essential work and her warranty would be invalidated if she didn't agree to get the work done. I reckon VW/Audi are wildly overrated anyway, and after hearing that tale I was doubly uninclined to pay a visit.

I was pretty much giving up hope, but then got delightfully good service at the SEAT/Mazda/Ford dealer (they like to cover all the bases). Within moments of pulling up and starting to look about a salesman approached and politely asked if he could help me, I outlined my requirements, he suggested a few options, and also let me know about cars he was expecting to arrive in the near future. No pressure, just good advice and a keen interest in my needs.

I returned a few days later to chase up a particular car, he apologised and said there'd be a delay with it arriving but he'd call me as soon as it was in, in the meantime I was welcome to test drive any other car they had.

By this time I'd spotted a rather nice Ibiza Cupra, and requested a test drive, he replied it was a bit short on petrol at that time, so he offered me a coffee, took the car round the corner to put some petrol in, then gave me the key. I said I'd want to take it for a decent length drive to get a proper feel for it, he said no problem. After the test drive I sat down with him, sorted out a good trade-in on my old car and the deal was done.

He then sorted out all the change of ownership forms, put a year's tax on, and handed the car over later that week fully valeted and freshly washed with a full tank of petrol, the 6-CD changer had been fitted as per my request and he reiterated that I should call him if I ever had any questions or problems.

That was a month ago, I'm very happy with the car, very happy with the service I've received, I've spread the word to my family and friends (my father-in-law is after trading his Golf GT-TDi in for a Leon Cupra) and that's definitely where I'll return next time I change cars.

In many ways I was a very "easy" sale, all I was after was decent, friendly service and the right car at the right price. It's amazing that out of all the dealers I visited so few could deliver something so basic.
A Mini Adventure - eMBe {P}
Just think through all the stories posted here, and in Rebeccas thread. They basically prove the adage "exception to the rule".

The salesstaff are unlikely not to be on commission. So if they see a real chance to sell, they will sell - unless they have done so many deals that they are not interested in the likes of you.

If the dealership was not selling enough to pay its way, it would go bankrupt soon enough.

Both the seller and buyer have a choice. If the buyer really wants to buy, he will give off the right signals, demand what he wants, and not just wander around waiting to be talked to by salesstaff, and will buy at some point from somewhere. Timewasters will amble around aimlessly and not get down to serious business. If you go in dressed scruffy-casual rather than designer-casual, the likes of BMW may not want you as a long term customer.

Asking for mpg etc. is a bad sign - you have not bothered to read up about the car and are wasting sales time. Questions about the car's history, finance options, etc. are good signs. You are at the stage of buying then.

As for supermarkets selling cars, they are run on the basis of stack-high-sell-cheap and think about customer care later only if a problem arises. They also have no time for time-wasters who just want to come in for their research.

Occasionaly, the salesman will miss a sale but will not realisse it and even if you go back and tell him, his view will be that you rather buy from someone else anyway.

Finally, it begs the question, why are people whingeing about dealers that they do not wish to buy from if they really don't care so much about that brand or dealer?
A Mini Adventure - Dan J
Finally, it begs the question, why are people whingeing about dealers
that they do not wish to buy from if they really
don't care so much about that brand or dealer?


The Vauxhall dealer I purchased my Vectra from had managed to hide their rude, ignorant, cheating and discourteous attitude from me until after I had bought the car. A satisfied customer tells 5 people (allegedly), a dissatisfied customer tells 10. Eat your heart out xxxxxxxx, I told a damn site more than that.

But you're very right MB - Whingeing makes no difference and if you haven't even bought a car from the dealer then simply turn around, walk out of the door, and buy elsewhere! This is also Growler's advice and no doubt over in Asia this is exactly, like in the US, what people will do. Over here we put up with it then complain bitterly to everyone else about it. Look at the differing standards of customer care and service between us and elsewhere. Doesn't take much to see which kind of attitudes results in the best outcome...

Dan J
A Mini Adventure - Jonathan {p}
It never fails to stagger me how many people in this country just do not get customer service. It doesnt have to be the smarmy us style (which i quite like because they at least do seem to mean it). what staggers me even more is the fact that many tradesmen (and women) are so rubbish as to still be in business at all. The number of times Ive called to get someone round for a quote and they have either not returned the call or not turned up at all is beyond belief. I sometimes think I am in the wrong business, because if I could turn down all that prospective work, then I must be very rich indeed. Either that or they are very lazy and are content to manage, rather than rake it in (which I am very sure would be entirely possible given the hourly rates I have seen.

Jonathan
A Mini Adventure - bafta
I think that we were all trying to point out that these 'so called' salesman couldn't tell a real punter from a hole in the ground. 'Designer casual?' What planet do you come from? If all the rich farmers round here had to get dressed up to buy a Mercedes they would never sell any. Just because some young t*** in an M&S suit is selling status cars it doesn't give him the right to decide who can purchase it. Here, in Suffolk, several main franchise dealers have turned their toes up, probably for the reasons you mention, that they can't be bothered to waste time with people who don't look instantly promising (gullible).
Since the standard of service from 'so called' main dealers is getting worse not better I can see that, in the very near future, all cars will be sold by the supermarket method and you will be able to get them serviced at any 'authorised' garage. Watch the change when Tesco gets in on the act! The whole new car business is a giant swindle anyway with artificially high prices so that fleets can be sold on with minimum loss. The private buyer gets stuffed.
The reason people are whingeing about these dealers is simple. Someone raised the point, we shared our experiences and, I have to say, it is amazing how many respondents have been ignored on forecourts by idle salesman.
A Mini Adventure - eMBe {P}
bafta - this is precisely the point. The attitude you should take with the dealers is be proactive, make it clear you are serious, dont be agressive but be assertive.

You dont get if you dont ask, unless the other party is desperate. If like the poster above you walk away even though you have seen the car you want parked on display, you are the loser just as much as the dealer. Why not remind the dealer you have seen the car outside? Why walk away in the typical English reserved manner? Behave like the Pushy-Yank in Fawlty Towers who wanted the Waldorf Salad, and you will get the service you want.

In Suffolk, you dress according to the what the accepted noem there is. You have to know your market and customers. Maybe in Suffolk a BMW/Merc dealer will not pay you attention if you turn up in a smart suit, but will rush you if you turn up in stinking mucky overalls - a sure sign that you are loaded with dosh.

If you want real service, you do you go to your local independent shop. If you want to be treated as a number, you go to the big supermarkets.

So if the Suffolk dealers went out of business, whose loss is it? If it is the dealers, why do you care? If it is the punters, maybe they should have bought more cars from those dealers after telling them how to do business. If it is not the punters, obviously the punters are happily getting the service they want elsewhere. So I ask agian, where is this whingeing getting you except maybe on the way to a heart attack to an early grave?
A Merc Adventure - Rebecca {P}
I feel quite relieved that it's not just me and a girl thing then (sorry about the schadenfreude guys).

At the weekend my colleague (middle aged man, suit etc) went to try and buy a new Mercedes from his local dealer. He had a test drive and really liked the car. He has a 3 year old Merc to px and they agreed a px price etc. My colleague thought they were coming to a deal, when the salesman said he couldn't confirm it without speaking to the dealer principle (who wasn't there). He promised to call first thing on Monday....colleague is still waiting for the call.

How hard can it be to buy a car?
A Merc Adventure - eMBe {P}
Rebecca - So if your colleague really wants that car from that dealer, why is he waiting for the call? Maybe he cannot dial out from his own phone as it take sincoming calls only? As I keep saying, if you want something really that hard, you have to ask for it. Otherwise you are the loser. The seller obviously could not care less. either tell them of the service you expect or else do not expect them to learn. Until more of us start asking for what we want, we will forever be treated in this way. When will the English learn this basic rule of consumer choice?



* Backroomer photos: instructions at
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?f=2&t=10...4
A Merc Adventure - eMBe {P}
PS - Rebecca: consider some of the reasons why there has been no call back

1. the salesman is off sick or got run over by a bus
2. the dealer principal (DP) thought your colleague was driving too hard a bargain
3. the DP decided he did not want business from someone who seemed too stingy for his taste or dealership's image - a sure sign of trouble in later dealings between the two parties.
4. Someone else came and did a better deal on that car.
5. and so on.

As I say, if someone really wants something that badly (either dealer or punter), they will work hard to get it. Simple.



* Backroomer photos: instructions at
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?f=2&t=10...4
A Mini Adventure - bartycrouch
I wouldn't worry too much. I arranged a test drive in a Mini - Salesman couldn't have been more helpful, unfortunately they couldn't get the Cooper to me until three days later as they couldn't get it running properly.

Loved the car, but reading about the reliability problems has put me right off. No wonder it's not badged as a BMW.
A Mini Adventure - bafta
I love this. They were actually trying to sell you a car and they told you that they couldn't get it going, or did you have a spy in the camp?
 

Value my car