It takes hard effort to convince me never to do business with you, but one dealership went through the trouble this weekend.
So after reading the glowing reviews from EVO, CAR, Motor Trend, Automobile, Top Gear, The Smoking Tire, and pretty much everyone else, I decided I might want to check out the Fiesta ST as a fun, inexpensive, warrantied car to tool around in and run errands. Friday I visit a few local Ford dealerships that had Fiesta ST's in stock but only one with an acceptable color and the options I wanted. It had been in the showroom for a little over a month. I left the dealership after a test drive and a lengthy discussion about cars at around 4pm telling the sales person that I would be returning the next day (Saturday) around lunch to get my trade-in appraised and, in all likelihood, purchase the car.
I arrived the following day and the associate took my keys to appraise my trade in. I spent the next 45 minutes or so watching the TV in the lobby and occasionally answering a question about the car. The associate then came over and said they "think" an associate from their other store across town had come to get the car I wanted. There was another customer that wanted to check out a Fiesta but that they didn't know if it sold. I said that "it kind of matters whether you still have the car or sold it out from under me." After 5-10 minutes she returned to tell me that someone had indeed just showed up cold at the other dealer and bought the car this morning. She starts talking about how easy it would be to find one via dealer trade and to order if they couldn't find one. I wasn't having any of it and I'm from the school of "if you have nothing nice to say, keep it shut." Then she says they finished the appraisal and said "the best we can do" was an offer $6k below the average trade in for a car of my mileage and condition (for the record, a PRISTINE '12 Range Rover Sport with 30 months left on the factory warranty and less than 15k miles). I then loudly and instinctively shouted "HA!" Seriously, a kick to the groin and spit in my face would have a less insulting way of saying "we don't want your business."
Despite what I'm sure was a look of utter disgust on my face, I calmly asked where my keys were (over the course of the two days I had been making mental notes on how difficult they make it to just walk out through their "procedures") and left without saying another word. I then went to Carmax purely out of curiosity where I got offered what I originally expected to get for the car. Needless to say, a certain Ford dealership won't be seeing a dime of my money, now or ever. I'm even pissed I spent a dollar in their vending machine.
Did I mention I live two hours from the dealership and that the saleswoman was aware of that fact when I said I would return the next day with my trade-in?
Sell a car out from under an serious interested party (who lives two hours away)
Not contacting that customer to tell them you sold the car to a walk-in so they won't waste a day
Making a DISGUSTING low-ball offer on their car
Using misdirection and deception while acting like you're doing me a favor
Using techniques employed by telemarketers to reduce/interrupt negative responses like "no" and "I'd rather not"
One of the other Ford dealerships in this particular city (there are 4-5) was much nicer, less sleazy, and just more honest about everything. They are currently hunting down the car I want and will be getting my business when they do. I wouldn't recommend the other to my worst enemy.