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Old 03-01-2009, 09:21 AM   #1
HPlover
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GM dealership customer service and sales

I've wanted to write this Post for months.

Its gonna get deep!

Here is a history of my experiences and observations when going to dealerships. I go to dealerships to look for two things. I look at sales and service.

I am one of a few people I know who really look at those things. Some might say they have a great place, but that might be based on longevity. I look for one of those "NATURALLY FRIENDLY" dealerships. Not the fake ones that pour over you until you buy. I've had those experiences.

There are a lot bad dealerships out there that work against themselves and for the life of me I can't figure out why. GM dealerships are number one on my list in that area. Again, I can't get it.

Let's compare. I have bought from three Ford dealerships, while dealing with another. That is four total. I bought a mustang in NY, so that won't count because I only spent an hour there after paying before getting there. I bought another mustang and a Ford Edge from sister Ford dealerships in Virginia. The sister dealers where pretty much up there for me as I would rate them around 8 or 9 on a 10 scale. The service was on time, honest, and I always got discounts when they could apply it to service. I even got washes. I got follow up letters, e-mails, and calls. I even saw they had a summer BBQ for buyers. The only issue I had later was when they gouged on the Shelby's, hence the travel to NY for the shelby. I still bought the Edge later, but still considering the gouging issue.

I think potential buyers are not holding dealers responsible for their shady business. Especially in this economy. Auto prices should be recessing as are all other things. The Employee pricing/0% is the same package redone that has been going for years. No dealer is really stepping up except foreign ones. Hyndai has the recession auto return. What about 5 year bumper to bumper? I always wonder how dealers can prop their "great cars" up, while saying the car can't be guaranteed for the life of the payments (60 months).
"You need to buy more warranty!" You mean its going to break down in 3 to 5 years? What people don't realize is an extended warranty can be got for 100.00 six months after purchase.

Back to dealers. I purchased an Equinox in 2004 from a well known GM dealer in VA (Koonz Chevy). My experience was the most horendous of all time in the history of experiences. I was lied to, cheated, and repressed, depressed, oppressed, and all those other words ending in pressed. I dealt with 4 sales persons. I don't know why I didn't walk away. It was the third worse deal in history (bank bailouts being the first and our china trade deal the second). I can tell you though the service area was immucalate.

I moved away from the dealership when I bought my house. I found a local GM dealership on my street (Alex Cherolet, West Virginia). They can't afford a website!! When I go to the service desk (notice I said desk and not plural desksssss), they have a small room with a plywood desk in the service area. You can see the cars being worked on through the window in the back. The lady at the desk is an angry one. Her hair is the second or third worse hair do did in the world. I went there a while back and I was about 50 or so miles over my allowed mileage to get service for free. All she had to do was tweak the numbers or give it to me on the house. That was dependant on my view of the dealership and if I would have them as my future dealer, knowing I would take a chance on the Camaro. Even though the Equinox was the second worse car I ever had. It almost beat my worse and first car Geo Storm. Another GM product gone bad.

I found it funny recently that the CEO of GM took an add out apologizing for a poorly made product. Where is my complete recall on my Equinox?

So here's where we are. I had great sales and service at Virginia Ford (Jerry's) up to the recent gouging issues. I renewed by stand against gouging when I joined this site. That same Jerry's has a Chevy dealership with 5 star service, but gouging the Camaro too. Could I ever go there? Fitzmall in Frederick, Maryland had MSRP, new Green service area, and every other oil change free and 10% off service. Fitzmall only works salary and no commission. Overall I want a great relationship with my dealership. I had that when I had Volvo. Saturn has a great sales and service. Why can't I get that from GM? Maybe its the area and business. The other Ford dealerships I dealt with when I was looking had salesmen issues.

Heres what service needs to be. Honest, timely and clean. I don't need to wait 2 to 4 hours for oil change when I have an appointment. Especially when their is no drinks, no TV, and magazines are months old. I dont' want salesmen to give me that vibe while I am walking around that lot waiting for my car. They should be friendly and say hello regardless, because they are giving that vibe they only care about a sale. If a salesman approached, said hello, gave me his card and some aftermarket pointers, I would be sold for life. I guess they want that big sale only. I like when service checks up on me while I am waiting.

Service is whats important to me. When it comes to sales, I want honesty and not that akward feeling. I want to have a dealer for life. Maybe most people don't do the dealer for life thing, so dealers don't have a model for that.

GM has been sinking and its not just their product. Its service and keeping the customer. Tell me if I am wrong. Why do I get ignored at every GM dealership I visit? Maybe its demographics. The West Virginia dealerships in my area (just over the Northern VA border near Charles Town) are terrible. Ford too. Dodge too. Everyone person should be treated the same when they walk onto a dealership lot, whether they buy a rice burner cobalt or a
ZR1.

That is the five star restaurant approach and dealers should do the same. Get those old men off the lots and get us some young lap dancers. Make it !!!!

Its like they want everything to fall into their lap and not work. Even in this economy. They are mad because the power is in our hands now. They are like those shady @$$ realtors and their ponzi schemes to get eveyone approved.

Bad times calls for desperate measures and GM has the world's survival in the hands of a kid and his Camaro.

Step your game up GM. Show us you care and hold those dealerships accountable. Get those crappy dealerships shut down. I like they plan to go forward with the Saturn business model. Sales and service experience should have always been job number 1!!!

GM: Stop apologizing and just do it!! I want to be WOW'ed.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:43 AM   #2
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It's the Times we live in, my local dealer wants 15,000.00 over MSRP for 2SS/RS, On friday
Went to see if will accept a courtesy delivery on the camaro i have coming from a my dealer and you shod have seen the face on the feet manager,That is y i dont get a car from them, but the parts department are good so i fix my own Cars..
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:26 AM   #3
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Don't take this the wrong way but maybe it has alot to do with your expectations.

Who cares about the hairdo on the receptionist? Isn't that a little much? Maybe the small town folks like the one "service desk". Some people look for the flea sh*t in the pepper and maybe you have nothing better to do than pick apart every little thing.

The few dealers you have had experience with are causing the demise of GM? I don't think so. There are many well run, clean, family and customer service friendly GM dealers out there and just maybe they haven't passed your test yet.

BTW, this should be in Off Topic as it has nothing to do with Camaro ordering. I'm surprised you didn't analyze that before posting.

Just my opinion. Sorry.
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Old 03-01-2009, 11:58 AM   #4
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Well, for the most part domestic dealers give better service than imports. There are also a lot more domestic dealerships so finding a few bad ones is guaranteed. Also, dealerships are run independently of their parent company, Scotty or TeamLynn should be able to explain this exact relationship better than I can though. But if you have problems at a dealer, then you problem is with that dealer. GM has little to do with it. But never-the-less, write to General Motors and tell them that a woman has a bad hairdo at a small dealership and it has damaged your view of the company, and let us know what they say.

You complain that they didn't give you free service because you were over the mileage allowance. Seems to me, if ithe agreement says free service up to XXXX miles, then it is not XXXX+50 miles. Why should they pay for something you did?

You want a recall on your equinox, was there a safety issue or a series of bugs? If its just little defects then it isn't worth it for them to issue a recall.

Getting ignored? I prefer to be left alone at dealerships. If I want to talk to someone I know where the office is. And a lot of people complain about having a salesman looking over their shoulder when browsing for a car.
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:32 PM   #5
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I see your frustration in your diatribe you posted and agree there are many dealers out there who offer less than desirable service and sales experience. However I do take exception to your comments about the "look" of the service cashier thats just plain mean on your part, the attitude is fair game to comment on but, I hire all different types of people to do different jobs, big, small, handicapped, beautiful, ethnic and even mentally handicapped as well. I believe ANY person that is properly trained can give and provide excellent customer service in all departments. I find your comments regarding appearance a tad childish on that front. As for the dealer "fudging" on the warranty claim thats a sore subject with me as well. We can lose our franchise for lying and cheating GM which is in essence what you want a dealer to do. I think this speaks a bit more towards your character than the dealers. I bet if you bought a car on Saturday left happy and excited then on Tuesday came back in and said "joe bobs" dealership will sell it to me for XYZ$ less I want to redo my deal and the dealer said no thank you, you would then call them a gouger, crappy dealer. Now lets reverse the scene a bit and say the dealer called you back Tuesday after your Saturday purchase and said hey mr. customer we feel we sold the car to cheap we want you to come back in and pay a tiny bit more and redo your contract? What would you say to that? Its ok I as the dealer would feel the same way. I wish you lived in Seattle so we could show you how we do things. There are dealers out there striving to exceed customer expectation you just need to keep looking.
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Old 03-01-2009, 04:59 PM   #6
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:20 AM   #7
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Thank you for your responses guys. RPO: This thread says dealer discussion and i am discussing dealers. Don't see what you are saying.

Teamlynn: As far as people with born issues, I have not issue with. all I am asking for a presentable and professional dealership. Again, PROFESSIONAL is all I am asking for and to do your job. I do my job for this country in a professional way. I did it in my ten years in the military with top brass and I still do it today. Its called pride.

My whole rant was mostly based on my experiences and no one can deny me my frustration. I am sure there are good dealerships, I just have to go a couple of states away to purchase and then use the local for service. I would love to do both local.

My "expectations" are only what is promised to me in advance. Dealers promise good sales and service and they don't deliver in my experience. Example. Koonz Chevy promises to WOW
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:28 AM   #8
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I was kidding about the lap dancers BTW. I don't care who works there as long as the present themselves in an honest, professional, and personable manner.

I worked for Tommy Franks for 2 years at Army Central Command in the 90's. He would expect the same exact professionalism and honesty (taking the highground) as I do.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:45 AM   #9
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There is always room for improvement...having said that, General Motors dealer-network is already among the top-rated in the Industry in terms of sales and service satisfaction:

Sales Satisfaction Index - JDPower

Service Satisfaction Index - JDPower

And their current product offerings are highly-rated, as well....so I guess yeah, you're wrong. ( you asked!!) Honestly, though -- I think you're being extremely picky.....:(

If we're sharing personal stories, I have nothing bad to say about the Chevrolet dealer I go to. From sales to last week's oil change, they've been absolutely amazing. I feel like my cousin or some other relative owns the dealership, that's the kind of atmosphere they have.
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:19 AM   #10
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:28 AM   #11
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There are good dealers and there are bad dealers. It's as simple as that. It's not about the brand they are selling so much as the person that decided to pay the money to open the dealership and sell brand "xyz". The Ford and Chevy dealers in my town are HORRIBLE, they give much less for trades and you can tell they are just trying to make a sale. I can't blame Ford or GM for the manager's lack of business sense. On the flip side the Pontiac/Cadillac dealer in my town has always given me thousands more for my trade-ins, their sales people are very friendly and genuine. Nothing fake about them and that's why I've bought my last 4 cars from them. Lucky for me they sell Chevy through a store they own in a town an hour away. So really I think the title of your post is misleading. It should be "Dealer "XYZ" customer service and sales", not GM.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:46 PM   #12
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Thanks JMAN311. You said what I was trying to say better and shorter. Yes, Title was misleading, but I talked about other named dealers in the text to include Ford.

I was more venting and looking for some input on what to do or get feedback on great dealers near me. Buffalo is not a bad drive...back...lol.

Horrible only begins to describe it all. The more we push our expectations, the better they become.

I don't know why I am getting flack when I read time and again how GM "listened to" Camaro fans. Everyone pushed GM and they got it. What can I say, I am visionary and all visionaries are met with rejection at first. I want GM to change their approach to car sales toward 100% customer satisfaction. I will have to look at the JD Power thing later. Thanks.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:59 PM   #13
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Dragoneye, Yes, Caddi and Hummer did great. Sounds like Rich people cars. Again, same service for all people. Top ten are high end car sales. That doesn't count.
Why can't I have rich expectations for a Cobalt?

Chevrolet, where I experienced and bought fell just points into Better than most. Almost about average.

Same thing with service. Chevy is one point from being "about average".

I am not dumping on GM. I am dumping on bad chevy and Ford dealers in my area. I am asking for a dealer that is above the ones I have experienced, thats all. I understand the bias you have and try protect the name you love. No problem with that. We all have our bias'.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:09 PM   #14
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Since you live in N. VA, which Chevy dealers have given you the best experience so far? I know they are few and far between in Fairfax.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamlynn1 View Post
I see your frustration in your diatribe you posted and agree there are many dealers out there who offer less than desirable service and sales experience. However I do take exception to your comments about the "look" of the service cashier thats just plain mean on your part, the attitude is fair game to comment on but, I hire all different types of people to do different jobs, big, small, handicapped, beautiful, ethnic and even mentally handicapped as well. I believe ANY person that is properly trained can give and provide excellent customer service in all departments. I find your comments regarding appearance a tad childish on that front. As for the dealer "fudging" on the warranty claim thats a sore subject with me as well. We can lose our franchise for lying and cheating GM which is in essence what you want a dealer to do. I think this speaks a bit more towards your character than the dealers. I bet if you bought a car on Saturday left happy and excited then on Tuesday came back in and said "joe bobs" dealership will sell it to me for XYZ$ less I want to redo my deal and the dealer said no thank you, you would then call them a gouger, crappy dealer. Now lets reverse the scene a bit and say the dealer called you back Tuesday after your Saturday purchase and said hey mr. customer we feel we sold the car to cheap we want you to come back in and pay a tiny bit more and redo your contract? What would you say to that? Its ok I as the dealer would feel the same way. I wish you lived in Seattle so we could show you how we do things. There are dealers out there striving to exceed customer expectation you just need to keep looking.
It Would Be Nice To Get That LIST.......I mean how would you find a good one without going thru the purchase process?....don't know to many people who have $ to keep purchasing cars just to find a great experience lol
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:48 AM   #16
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Sorry, I couldn't get through your rambling OP. When I got to the part that you went ahead and bought from a dirty dealer, well, there you go. You, Mr Discriminating Buyer, helped perpetuate the slime.

I touched 9 or 10 dealers in my pursuit of a factory order with trade-in. You would have thought I was speaking in a foreign language to some of them. I will spare you the stories of all the knuckleheads I dealt with. I found two worth doing business with. One was going through an ownership change and all the employees were unhappy so that left one. They got my business and I'm happy to give it to them they earned it and I would highly recommended them to everyone. If you don't do your homework and legwork, you won't get a good deal. Many dealers thrive by preying on the uninformed.
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