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      03-23-2008, 05:26 PM   #1
gundamfans
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BMW of Columbia denies potential customer 135i test drive because he's not serious...

Link:

http://consumerist.com/371090/bmw-de...rious-customer

I just find this absolutely ridiculous.

Ok, maybe manager really needs to keep the miles down on the demo car, but they could get out of the situation with a variety of different excuses rather than accusing the customer as "serious". And with competition heating up, buyers can easily switch to other brand cars. Yes, many say that BMW buyers are generally not too affected by the slow economy, but current economic climates do have an effect on the auto market. Smart move, BMW of Columbia.

But somehow I understand this feeling of being maltreated by the dealer...just personal experience...
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      03-23-2008, 05:29 PM   #2
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wow , manager is stupid
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      03-23-2008, 07:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry
Note that I'd already been warned by an enthusiast acquaintance of mine that BMW of Columbia is a low-class leasing mill. My experience seems to bear that out, as we probably didn't look like we were going lease anything (being "buyers").
A "low-class leasing mill"???
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      03-23-2008, 07:17 PM   #4
uberschnell
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I can imagine how many people are coming out of nowhere just to test drive the 135 with no intention of buying it (335 owners come to mind). I'm sure most dealers are kind of sick of it. Still, the 'lost a potential customer' is such a hollow threat. Anyone seriously considering a car won't get turned off by a crappy dealership, they'll just find another one.
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      03-23-2008, 08:03 PM   #5
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It was the same type of situation when the 335i came out. Everyone wanted to drive the new turbo-6. I test drove it at one dealership who definitely treated me like I wasn't a serious customer. Instead of getting angry, I just drove my new E92 over there to buy a keychain.
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      03-23-2008, 08:05 PM   #6
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If you have ever been in sales you can sort of understand!
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      03-23-2008, 09:49 PM   #7
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I've had experiences before where the sales guy didn't even pay attention to me. Case in point, I went with my friend yesterday to an Infiniti dealer at Ardmore, PA because he wanted to check out the new M. I went along to take a look at the G37S. When we got there, there were 2 other people there looking around and plenty of salesmen around. Yet none of them came up to talk to us or offer us the keys to look around inside the car. Personally, I think it's because I was dressed down and in sweats and I'm still relatively young, they probably figured we were just college kids with no real intention or ability to buy a car. Yet when I was at work once, I was at a Porsche dealer looking at the Cayman S and immediately a salesman came out to talk to me and offer me a test drive. I happened to be wearing a suit that day. It basically comes down to image I guess.
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      03-23-2008, 10:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonman4 View Post
I've had experiences before where the sales guy didn't even pay attention to me. Case in point, I went with my friend yesterday to an Infiniti dealer at Ardmore, PA because he wanted to check out the new M. I went along to take a look at the G37S. When we got there, there were 2 other people there looking around and plenty of salesmen around. Yet none of them came up to talk to us or offer us the keys to look around inside the car. Personally, I think it's because I was dressed down and in sweats and I'm still relatively young, they probably figured we were just college kids with no real intention or ability to buy a car. Yet when I was at work once, I was at a Porsche dealer looking at the Cayman S and immediately a salesman came out to talk to me and offer me a test drive. I happened to be wearing a suit that day. It basically comes down to image I guess.
wow thats weird the exact same thing happened to me when i was looking at a g37 and a cayman lol.... i also think that the porsche dealership has a higher standard of treating customers.. or maybe that was just the one i went to lol
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      03-23-2008, 11:28 PM   #9
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When the GTO came out in '04, I wasn't allowed to test drive, because it was reserved for serious buyers only. One week later I purchased my '04 TL that happened to sticker $1000 more than the GTO. Their loss.

I had the opposite experience at an Infiniti dealership. I went to one after leaving the Acura dealership from across the street to pick up a brochure of the M35/M45 for my father. The salesman insisted I drive the car, so that I may have a better impression to relate to my father. I thought that was pretty cool. We drove so far we got lost - I have a lousy sense of direction - and the ride took over an hour.

I wouldn't mind spending money at that dealership if I ever wanted to buy an Infiniti.
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      03-24-2008, 02:19 AM   #10
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I've never gotten this attitude in car customers, the whole "I should be able to show up looking like a hobo and be treated like a million bucks" thing.

People put tons of effort into getting ready to go out for dinner or drinks/dancing, run a gauntlet of maitres'd and bouncers after queuing for hours, determined to make a good impression on the staff for the mere privilege of spending a couple hundred bucks at the establishment.

Then they show up at a strange car dealership looking like crap, expecting to drive off in tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise, without a second glance.

Purchasing a car is business, expensive business, and I don't show up for any business meetings in sweats, t-shirt, and running shoes and expect things to go well, unless I've already established a relationship with the other party. Why expect to be taken seriously when you can't be bothered to look serious? Knowing that a jacket, tie, and recent shower can make things go much more smoothly, why show up looking like you're delivering a pizza?
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      03-24-2008, 02:28 AM   #11
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That is Hancock BMW. It's only about 30 minutes from me. I am not surprised by that guys story. For being the the BMW dealership of our states capitol, it seriously small. I think the last time I went there, there was maybe 20 cars on the lot, if that.

I think a lot of it is who you with deal with, probably the same at all dealerships. I went there to test drive the 335i when they first hit the lots and got the same story...they wanted to know if I was a serious customer. I even came there in my own E46 M3. At first they said they didn't want to put miles on their demos. Then after I decided to leave, they wanted me to fill out a credit app, then they would decide on a test drive! I just left. I came back about 3 weeks later, and dealt with someone else and got my test drive. Now I just drive the hour and a half to the Charleston dealership. Had a test drive with the 135i Friday. Didn't ask for a license or anything, just tossed me the keys. Just depends on the Client advisor.
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      03-24-2008, 03:24 AM   #12
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Both Audi and Infiniti treated me the same way about a month ago.

The Audi salesman kept asking me "are you going to buy today?!? are you buying today?!?" regarding the A5, and finally another salesman ran out and handed me the keys, telling me I could take the car around the streets alone.

Infiniti was even worse, gave me all this bullshit about how they had little gas on their G37s and said that I could sit in the passenger seat while the salesman drove me around in a manual (can't drive stick, I wanted an auto). After bitching at them they handed me the keys.

Only BMW threw me into a 335 no questions asked, didn't even check my license (might have something to do with why I ended up choosing that car).

Yes I'm a little on the young side (19) but I pull up to these dealerships in an X5...nothing about me screams NOT SERIOUS, yes both Audi and Infiniti seemed to think that way. Salesmen should really take customers more seriously.
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