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View Poll Results: Have you ever dropped a car because of a poor sales experience?
Yes 180 52.79%
No 161 47.21%
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Old 9th April 2019, 14:33   #1
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Default Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

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On Team-BHP & elsewhere, I'm seeing too many mentions of ditching a car model from the consideration list because:

• The salesman was disinterested / rude / unavailable
• A test-drive wasn't offered promptly
• No one returned calls or responded to a web query
• Other similarly negative sales experiences

My advice = If you really like the car, please do NOT drop it just because of the sales experience. Reason? You have to live with the car, not the salesperson. Don't let the 15 - 30 minutes of a bad experience with that salesperson affect the MANY YEARS that you'll spend with a car. It is the actual product & driving experience that will keep you smiling in the years to come, not the dealer. I mean, seriously, think about it = an exceptional sales experience + average car OR an average sales experience + exceptional car. Which one would you really pick? We all know the answer to that.

Again, you have to live WITH THE CAR, not the salesman. And you never know, the after-sales & reliability could be good. My point is, don't let one ill-trained person on the showroom floor decide YOUR choice of car. If you love a car, be adamant about it.

As an example, VW's pre-sales experience pretty much sucks. But if I really liked the Passat, I would go ahead and buy it. Similarly with Tata. Many of their showrooms are relics from the stone-age, and the sales experience can leave a lot to be desired, yet if I really loved the Tiago JTP, I'd buy it. Irrespective of the car, you can have a good or bad experience at ANY brand. Do NOT let that influence how you're going to drive for the next 5 - 10 years. Pick another salesman, talk to the management, go to another dealer, escalate the issue to the manufacturer, be more aggressive with your followups...just get in the driver's seat of the damn car you love!

I mostly buy pre-owned, so don't care much about the sales experience anyway. But even when I'm shopping new, the product always matters 10X more than the person selling it. Even if he's a sleazeball. What I'm saying in a nutshell is, the build + quality + engine + suspension + comfort + driving pleasure are far, far more important than the salesman's attitude (or someone who's just having a bad day).

P.S. Believe it or not, Ferrari was known to have the worst dealers in India. If you had the moolah, would that stop you from owning one ?

P.P.S. All manufacturers have a few / some / most dealerships run by scumbags. Or thugs. Or both. No one has a dealer list full of well-meaning saints. What are you going to do now?

Last edited by GTO : 9th April 2019 at 16:13.
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Old 9th April 2019, 16:09   #2
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Dealership Section!
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Old 9th April 2019, 16:16   #3
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

Very relatable, because I'm going through it right now!

Have been doggedly following up for the Figo 1.5 AT & the JTP twins. Former not available anywhere (Ford apparently are dissuading dealers from even taking bookings), latter notoriously difficult to get a proper TD for in Bangalore (multiple showroom visits and calls to the JTP helpline later, I've now been forced to reach out people at JTSV directly, all so I can hand them my money if I like the car).

The one manufacturer diligently following up, no prizes for guessing, is Maruti Suzuki.
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Old 9th April 2019, 16:37   #4
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

I drive a Punto Sports. That makes the choice pretty clear. Isn't it?

I may skip a car where the dealers are notorious for cheating like VAG group in India. Otherwise its always the car that matters. I never care about Sales experience and usually build a very good rapport with folks @ service center.

Fortunately for me Fiat service in Hyderabad is the best in India
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Old 9th April 2019, 16:39   #5
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

Funny that this thread comes in at the opportune moment. This not regarding a 4 wheeler, but related to Show Room tactics by a Royal Enfield dealer.

I have a Royal Enfield dealer, who lives very close to my house in Mulund from whom I had bought my 2005 CI Bullet 500 Electric Start. That was before I joined Team-BHP and fresh returning gelfie, so picked up the bike when I was returning from work at 8.00 pm without any PDI etc.

Something similar like what happened in the movie Golmal with Amol Palekar, no I did not get my Vidya Sinha, but was palmed off a lemon which was submerged in the July 2005 floods.

Fast Forward to Nov 2018 when I booked the Interceptor 650, since the dealer is the nearest, chose him as I can see he has flourished in his business and also has a swanky RE show room now.

Jan 26 2019, got an email stating that the bike has been despatched and can be delivered once it reached Bombay. Excited, spoke to the dealer and was promised to be informed as soon as the bike landed. I am a traveling sales man and rarely in Mumbai during the week.

A date of fixed for 8th of Feb for me to make payment so that I can take delivery 3 weeks later, i.e depending on my travel schedule. The gentleman / dealer refused to take my money on some pretext or the other saying he cannot hold the vehicle for long. Even after payment, Surprising!

I went again after a month as I could now get a number of my choice and again some other silly excuse was made as to why they could not accept my payment.

In all of this, I was offered a Black and White Scheme by the dealer, when reported to RE, they are turning a blind eye to all of this.

Long Story short, yes what Sid Lal has made / created is good, but cannot be so distant to what is happening in the country and to the country men.
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Old 9th April 2019, 16:41   #6
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

I can't agree more to this. I don't attach a lot of value to dealership experience. Yes, it feels nice when the dealer treat you like you have bought the most exclusive car on planet but then more often than not, sales team and service team is different.

In my case, I bought car from Concorde showroom and service is by another Concorde center. Effectively, I will probably never meet my sales advisor again. Even when it comes to service, unless one lives in small city, there is option to go to other dealer for service. In Mumbai, I switched service centers 3 out of 3 times for KTM just because I wasn't very happy with them.
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Old 9th April 2019, 16:42   #7
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

For me, In simple words,
Milk is what matters and NOT the color of the cow.
Friendship is what matters and not the color/size/rich/poor/ or shape of the friend.

So, personally, it is a DON'T CARE state for me as to how is the sales man behavior, how was the coffee offered, How was the seats in the dealership, how was the delivery experience etc.

To go one step ahead, I do not even worry too much on the ASS.(For two wheelers decision). A decade ago, I knew Honda Bike dealerships sucks but still, I went ahead and purchased Unicorn in spite of all not so good experiences with dealership only because I wanted Honda ONLY because of the quality, reliability and other factors. The expectation set to myself was, to get the bike serviced from local known mechanic after free services. (But, I am not sure if I go with same logic with 4 wheelers)

Definitely, I will get biased if a person follows up with me 100 times as compared to no follow ups. But, buying decision will not be based on no. of follow ups a sales person does.

PS: I am using the word "DON'T CARE" State not with arrogance. It is a logical state : Zero OR One OR Don't care.

Last edited by gkveda : 9th April 2019 at 16:53.
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Old 9th April 2019, 16:48   #8
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

I remember the same words said by you a decade back when I was put off by the sales person when I was buying a Ford. I am glad that you commented GTO and I could let this short term experience let go in favor of getting home a new car, simply not worth it.

Things haven't changed still if you have a single dealer or a model is too hot in demand.
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Old 9th April 2019, 16:50   #9
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

Although not related to a car, this was my experience when buying TVS Jupiter Grande Disc Brake variant for my cousin.

When she went to book it she was totally overwhelmed by the sales person who asked her to get the non-disc one, or a ZX or Classic. Reason? They had those models available. The one we wanted was not much produced and they will have to order just one for me ALL THE WAY from the factory! What! You are selling a scooter and not a custom Rolls Royce!

He went on to say that Jupiter GE Disc was out of production! for a month old launch which my friend bought a week ago!

Called up TVS customer support and they asked the dealer details. Said that it wasn't out of production (confirmation).

Got a call back from that dealership (this time the sales manager) saying that they would place an order for one. But since it's RARE I would have to accept it even if it has some damages. Is said ok with 1 or 2 scratches but absolutely NOT with broken parts.

Went ahead and booked it. They received 3 units of Jupiter GE disc! Talk about all that previous drama! And we got to choose from those 3.

To conclude, if you want it, get it. Unless the service sucks too. In that case, don't.

P.S. Although it's okay in trying to sell what is in stock then what isn't but one should not be forced to buying what one doesn't want unless he or she is open to that compromise.
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Old 9th April 2019, 16:55   #10
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

This is completely true, we apply this logic over other things as well we purchase e.g Phones, household electronics etc. Why not apply this logic over cars ?

The simplest solution you highlighted is change your source of buying. However I think most of the buyers worry about the fact that once they buy a car it has to be taken back to the manufacturer (Dealer) for service.

Most of the other times Sales staff from dealer would deviate you away from a particular model, version due to the inventory not available or the margins for the dealers are high for a particular model.

While selecting manufacturers there is a thumb rule of availability of service centers hence we see this as one of the major reasons why people shortlist Maruti.

One of the other reason is also resale value which results into people looking at a head over heart decision.

Last edited by freak : 9th April 2019 at 16:57. Reason: Removed extra spaces
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Old 9th April 2019, 16:59   #11
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

I would not drop a car but I would drop the dealership and move to another one if available and if not, then it would be a situational call. The reason why I say it would be a situational call is because, there has been a case where I was given a test drive on a customer's car awaiting delivery that evening. Would I want my new car to be test driven by someone else who is just a prospective customer? Hell no! I wouldn't even want it to be driven by the sales guy from the yard to the showroom but then that is something which wont work.

So if I really like a car and the sales guy is not good, I move to a different dealership for the same car and would surely not drop it but if there is no other dealership for the car I am considering then depending on the situation I may drop the car as a remote possibility.

OT - looking at it the other way around, would you buy a car because the salesman was extremely knowledgeable and courteous?

Last edited by centaur : 9th April 2019 at 17:05.
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Old 9th April 2019, 18:18   #12
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

I have a different take on this. If the supplier (car dealerships in this case) is not serious about doing business with me then i will not spend my money on them. If it's a dealership/sales-person specific issue then I will go to another dealer/sales-person but if it's in the brand's ethos then I will skip that brand. That's why I prefer buying cars from 'underdog' brands as reaching their top management is easier and they tend to take customers more seriously.

Moreover, the dealership/sales team is the first experience of a brand for me. If the experience of dealing with them is a letdown, chances of my future interactions being great are also low.

Am I losing out on good products because of my approach? Possibly. But I don't have any regret as I get the support and attention that I require from the brands I choose.
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Old 9th April 2019, 19:16   #13
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

For me product is more important than person at the dealership or service centre. I believe you can improve upon the relationship with these guys when you meet and speak with them properly or appreciate the work they do. On the other hand product cant be improved if its inferior in the first place.
I gel very well with the service advisers as well as sales people of even rouge brands. I am better off enjoying a better engineered product which i need to drive daily than bothering about the human beings whom i need to meet once in 6 months.
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Old 9th April 2019, 20:01   #14
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

Good one GTO. Totally agree. When I wanted to buy my Vento TSI, the first dealer took the booking, promised a car in 3 weeks. Based on that I sold my current car. At the end of 3 weeks, they suddenly said that they can deliver only after 2 months (This was in November). I was almost upset enough to drop the plan, but had fallen for the car, hence went to another dealer- who also created a bunch of issues related to availability and colors. But I persisted, and now 5.5 years down the line have never regretted that decision.

Almost same issue earlier this year with a Tata Nexon purchase for my brother in law. Had fixed an appointment well in advance and when we went there, he said have to wait for 2 hrs for test drive. Then said he would bring the car home next day. No news after that too. Went to another dealer, again went through some minor issues, but got a smooth delivery.

So yes, if you really really like a car, do not let a poor dealership experience dissuade you.

Having said that, there have been cases where in the family we have been on the fence with respect to some cars, a good dealership experience would have pushed the deal through, but a neutral or negative experience have made us to to the next car in shortlist.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 9th April 2019 at 20:03.
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Old 9th April 2019, 20:22   #15
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Default Re: Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!

Now, most replies will say - "No, I wouldn't change the car because of a bad dealership. I will buy the shortlisted car from other dealerships".

Whereas the ownership thread will say - "Yes, I narrowed down on this brand due to the dealership network. I haven't even shortlisted other brands because of poor dealerships or service network".

After all, how many times have we heard the line - If x brand treated me this way before sales, how bad will they treat me after the sale?

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 9th April 2019 at 20:28.
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