Posted by: James Y
July 12, 2012
I recommend that you more rigorously formalize the quoting process as customers begin to commit to the buying process. Part of that would be using a standardized form for quoting the final price to the customer. In my case, I methodically evaluated choices and locked in on what I wanted, a car in the lot, one in stock. However during the lock in process I expressed interest in removing the video headrests for the back seats and replacing with normal ones. When the final price was shown to me, hand written on a copy of the invoice, I thought that price included what was shown on the invoice, including the already installed video head rests (they weren't scratched out or otherwise noted as not being included). At that point I was willing to take them. I naturally thought the price written on that invoice reflected my costs for what was listed on that invoice, not something different. When I came into close the deal I was told, no, that price didn't include the video headrests and that I was being charged ~$400 to remove them which was already in process in the service department. To make matters more confusing, I was then told that the car had actually been dealer upgraded to include 20" wheels rather than 18", costing another $1200. Again, not on the invoice. We negotiated a 50/50 split so in the end, that ended up costing me $600 more.
All of this could have been better handled if the final quote was written out on a clear form, noting what differences were present on the actual vehicle as opposed to what was on the invoice.
We got things worked out but I was left with a rather "unpleasant taste in my mouth" from the confusion about what the car actually had included and what was scribbled on invoice copies.
I sincerely believe that none of this was intentional; they were honest mistakes. Save that, my experience would have otherwise been nearly perfect. The salesman treated me exactly the way I wanted to be treated during the evaluating and buying process, professional and not "pushy" or overbearing. I would buy from him again but would insist on a clear and detailed written quote. Instituting a better final quote process should resolve issues like the one I experienced.
Happy to discuss on the phone if someone wants a better understanding of what happened. Jim (314) 210-6192