Dealership rant - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Dealership rant

The dealership where I bought my bike continues to amaze me. Let me start back last summer. I had just sold a 1968 Firebird and had a pocket full of money. I took my three boys into the store to look at dirt bikes. We were there for probably an hour or more looking and sitting on bikes and checking out gear, etc. No one said a word to us. Not hi, bye, kiss my ass... nothing.

I bought four Honda CRF's and a Honda four wheeler less than a week later off of Craig's List.

I have been in this dealership a dozen times. No one has even acknowledged my presence. When I bought my 919 about a month ago, I had to go find someone to deal with. They did let me test ride it first, which surprised me. And they gave me a pretty good deal. I bought it and left. Oh, I also bought two helmets while I was there picking up the bike. Total time for paperwork signing and all... about 1 hour. They then took more than a month to get my plate in. I had to call three times before anyone could even tell me what the status of the plate was. Amazing.

I plan to do all the service on my bike myself. But I thought I might ought to take it to them for the first one. You know, let them give it the once over since it is brand new. So I ride it over yesterday afternoon. The service guy opens the door and gruffly asks if he can help me. He honestly acts like I am interrupting his day. I tell him it's new and needs it's first service. He tells me they can't get to it until next Wednesday... maybe. That's a full freakin week for an oil and filter change and a basic once over to make sure things are good.

I have taken that as a sign that I need to go ahead and do all of the service myself. I will not go back to this dealer. I plan to find another to do any warranty work that needs to be done. I will not spend another dime in this store.

It just amazes me that in this economy you wouldn't be bending over backwards for someone who obviously is ready and willing to spend money in your store. I don't need to royal treatment. Just good customer service. What has happened to that concept.

Amazing is all i can say.

Doug

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post #2 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 08:52 AM
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you don't live in Owensboro, KY do you? Sounds just like the one here...except they don't let you test ride anything and they don't like it when you sit on them. That's the only way to get them to acknowledge you. Sit on one of the bikes that are packed into the store like sardines. They come over and tell you to stop because you might scratch the bike next to it. They pack them in so tight that you can't get between some to look the bike over.

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post #3 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 08:54 AM
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maybe the next owner will do a better job...

seriously... call and ask to speak to the general manager or better yet the owner...

you would be amazed that sometimes the owner don't know how his dealership is being run....

and how quick he will fire the boss's and start over...



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post #4 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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I expressed my concern to the owner when I bought the bike. He blew me off. He reminds me of the has been high school football stud type.

This is one of those mega store dealers... he sells all brands including Big Dog choppers and some huge boats, too. I'm sure my little 919 purchase doesn't add much to the bottom line but still, customer service is customer service. And it seems to be a lost art at most places I have been. And these guys have the lack of it down to a science.

Doug

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post #5 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 09:09 AM
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Dealers suck.

But, , , they don't usually suck all the time.

From my experiences around Milwaukee, the staff seems to change over pretty regularly, so maybe wait a year and check with them again. There's a place called Don and Roys around here that is a perfect example of this. When I bought my 919 I wanted nothing to do with them. A year later they were the only place I wanted to go to have service work done. But then another year goes by and they were back to being a bunch of asses. Not sure what their current situation is.

Doesn't anyone want to put any effort into building customer loyalty?

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post #6 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 09:11 AM
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I feel your pain! I have been faithful to my local dealer for many years, have bought many things, have spent thousands on parts for projects and such; my local dealer still doesn't know who i am or offer help. I have since found an AWESOME dealer about 100 miles away; they ship me my things and when i stop, they know my name! (ironically, it's a Guzzi dealer!)

30,000 mile 919 survivor. No plans of stopping the abuse any time soon.
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post #7 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 09:14 AM
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kind words Brian





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post #8 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 09:15 AM
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Having worked in (and currently working in) dealerships, I know there is a definite fine line. If you are too relaxed with a customer some people take that as you don't care, if you are overly excited or quick to introduce yourself people treat you like a scumbag salesman.

It was worse in car sales than it is in motorcycle sales. I take pride in the fact that my product knowledge is above and beyond the average employee. When I was in car sales I would be very excited to share important details of automobiles to help people make informed decisions, but mostly people just treated me like I was some kind of asshole trying to scam them.


Funny story:
One Sunday afternoon when I sold Subarus, I'm sitting on my computer checking my e-mail. A guy pulls up to the building in an off-brand car. Normally when people are going to walk the lot they pull close to the cars they are going to look at. If they want to come inside and talk to someone first, they pull close to the building.

So about 5-10 minutes go by and this guy is still just sitting in his car, looking into the dealership. So I think to myself "Hey maybe this guy is waiting for someone to come out and talk to him."

I leisurely get up, grab my coat, and walk out the door to greet him. I'm about 10 feet from his car when he jumps out and says "Jesus Christ! You guys don't even give people a ****ing chance to get out of the car, you're like a vulture."

No he wasn't kidding around.


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post #9 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 09:28 AM
 
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Sorry to hear of your troubles . It amazes me how dealerships like that stay open --

Looks like your just south of High Point - If yo uneed service work done, check out these guys - My old service manager and my best tech work there now , if you ever need anything, just tell them that Ned sent you and they will do thier best for you.

http://www.motorcyclesofgreensboro.com/

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post #10 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 09:55 AM
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my dealer will let me sell my bikes and not charge me a red cent for it, pretty cool cat





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post #11 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barton664 View Post
maybe the next owner will do a better job...

seriously... call and ask to speak to the general manager or better yet the owner...

you would be amazed that sometimes the owner don't know how his dealership is being run....

and how quick he will fire the boss's and start over...

+1 There's a local Harley dealer here that used to be THE Harley dealer until they got a horrible reputation for lies, hard sales, etc etc. Word finally got to the owner about what had become of his store's reputation, now you won't find a friendlier dealer (they have a bunch of signs posted everywhere that says "The Owner has Entered the building" and talks about their 'new deal') So yeah, you might do someone a favor if you raise a flag.

Edit: Just saw you did let them know, it'll catch up with them eventually.

The dealer I bought my Ducati from years ago still remembers me (even though my hair's longer and I'm a lot thinner and I had the bike for less than a year (lemon law)). I have no doubt that if I buy a new bike, they'll be the first on my shopping list due to that rapport.

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post #12 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 11:39 AM
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exactly why I hate dealerships. I have been to some where they talk to you, but most are ridiculous. I have had to ask a sale person to find the parts guy before so I could pay for my items.

'04 919---40k----6/18/10 SOLD

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post #13 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 12:50 PM
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to add to this thread...

I went to the local dealer today to pick up a gasket I ordered so I can replace my alt cover. It was cheaper from the dealer I prefer in Evansville, but I wasn't going to drive all the way over there to save $1.50.

When i got there, he said I had another part sitting on their shelf that I never paid for. I told him I almost never buy anything from them. Then I remembered calling them about 7 months ago about getting an o-ring from a 600RR pulser. He told me about the o-ring.

He tried to make me buy it. When I ordered it, they said it would be in just a couple days after our conversation. They didn't call me by the day after it was due in so I called to check on it. It wasn't there yet. I just waited for their call and in the mean time found an o-ring at Autozone for FREE. I forgot all about this "Special order" part.

I told him I'd give him $1.08 (price for the o-ring) and he could just throw it away because I didn't need it anymore. He just huffed and said he'd return it to the warehouse.

So why did he have to give me crap about a part that probably didn't cost them $0.50 and that he could return to his supplier?

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post #14 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmurphy84 View Post
So why did he have to give me crap about a part that probably didn't cost them $0.50 and that he could return to his supplier?
Because he was the all knowing dealer and you were merely the customer. It's this "you need me" attitude that blows me away.

I honestly think that you could start a business... any business, and if you delivered great customer service you would be successful. It is just so rare these days.

I was hoping that it was just me. After seeing all of the posts it seems to be prevalent within the industry. There are a couple of good dealers, but they are rare. I would much rather spend my money locally than on the internet but if I get no better service from the local guy, I'll go for the low prices.

Before I bought my 919 I stopped at a Harley dealer to look at Buells. Got the exact same treatment. They didn't even acknowledge my existence. I got on their web page and sent an email to the owner and sales manager. And I still never heard back from them. They should have at least sent an email back saying thanks for the info, sorry we missed you... something. I even sent it from work with our company logo in the email. I work in a very visible and well known industry and have the ability to communicate with about 25 million+ people each week. Not that I use that as a threat but as a reminder that you never know who you are dealing with.

I just don't get it. I don't know how they stay in business. And again, in this economy you would think that folks would be happy to see someone walk in their door.

Sorry about the rant. This is really one of my hot buttons.

Doug

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post #15 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 01:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioguy View Post
.

Before I bought my 919 I stopped at a Harley dealer to look at Buells. Got the exact same treatment. They didn't even acknowledge my existence.

Thats the norm for us Buell fans - we dont ride a " real bike " so its not uncommon to get the snobbish treatment - Shame really, Buells are great bikes --- I will say , Tillys in Statesville is a rare exception, real road race/Buell fans up there .

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post #16 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Tilley in Statesville is where this happened to me. I had heard good things about them. I was disappointed. Tilley in Salisbury has been nothing but fantastic, but they don't carry Buell, and I don't have a Harley. They have still been really nice and friendly. They acted like they were genuinely happy to see me when I walked in the door.

Just for the record... the only Harley I would own is the V-Rod. I looked long and hard at them before the 919. Decided at twice the price and 200 pounds heavier that it wasn't the bike for me. I still love the bike, it's just not for me.

Doug

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post #17 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 06:08 PM
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My dealer is amazing. Every employee knows me by name, what bikes I own, what 4-wheeler I own, and if my parts are in. I almost never drive by it without stopping to at least shoot the ****. I get prompt service, get to test ride stuff, and get good deals on parts. The first test ride I took the owner made me follow him since he didn't know me. . . he is about 55 and was on a 1000RR. . . I couldn't keep up with him. (Dealer is Just For Fun Honda in Middlefield Ohio)

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post #18 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 07:11 PM
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When i bought my 919 in august i passed the local Honda dealer (Fun Wheels) and rode and extra 35 miles to Hicksville. When i asked the FOUR kids behind the counter if they could give me any info on the 919 they asked me who made the bike... I had to do my own searching and when the day came, I drove past a Honda dealer to go to Honda... THEN when i took my brand $#@@ing new bike to get its first oil change i figured how could Fun Wheels screw this up? If i didn't look at the oil filter i never would have known that they didn't do it. Just goes to show you if you find a good thing, stick with it!

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post #19 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 07:48 PM
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Sad state we're in... Those of us semi -dependant on dealers... I read a lot of stories and very few names mentioned. Seems as if most of us here -adhere to the code we were raised with( or born to-)/ being polite/ repectful/ taking the "high road" with regards to "giving the benefit of the doubt to those you deal with. I respect that!

Times are Harsh! Customer service sucks no matter where you go... The last 15 years of inflated prosperity has depleted the ranks of true "professionals" So, where do we go from here..?

Locally, I know two mechanics that I trust to work on my stuff! Neither of them work for a dealership or shop! One is a fellow healthcare pro- and the other was an investment broker turned carpenter. My co-worker repaired another co-workers (idiot) bike for free!!!! Took a wrecked Honda VTX -new frame and reassembled with some improvements...engine swap etc.

As is, you have to find something that works... or learn to do it yourself and not count on a dealership for service unless you know them.

So, should we start naming the guilty? Is there a point if you know you aren't at Wal-Mart, you are paying a premium ( $65.00 to chage a tire) they should know how to do it..?

Restaruants are the same... here in North Carolina!

Lex Talionis
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post #20 of 26 Old 04-16-2009, 08:21 PM
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not you man they all have crappy attitudes!! only place i know of is not a dealer but mom and pop shops, i'll miss it if move

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post #21 of 26 Old 04-17-2009, 09:22 AM
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I guess we all have at least one horror story about a dealer. I've got a few myself. As a dealership employee I just don't get it. We depend on the public for our livelihood. Every customer is an opportunity, even the ones that fall into the a$$hole category. And there are more than a few.

I won't ever defend poor customer service, there's never a reason or excuse to justify it. But...there is a change occuring in the "family owned" dealerships that is unfortunate. Some of them (like the one I'm at) have been around a long time. What has happend at many of them is that now some are being run by the spoiled kids of the original owner. (No further explanation necessary)

Customer loyalty and dealer loyalty go hand in hand. It's hard to get one without the other. We all have our good and bad days.

So if you're ever in Douglasville, Ga. stop in and see me. You can get a cup of coffee if nothing else. Just ask for the guy riding the Pearl Orange 919, it'll be parked out front.

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post #22 of 26 Old 04-17-2009, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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s10hornet, tell me the name of your dealership. I go right by Douglasville a couple of times a year on my way to Texas and Talladega. I'll be that way right around the first of June. Would love to stop in and say hey.

Doug

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post #23 of 26 Old 04-17-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioguy View Post
Tilley in Statesville is where this happened to me. I had heard good things about them. I was disappointed. Tilley in Salisbury has been nothing but fantastic, but they don't carry Buell, and I don't have a Harley. They have still been really nice and friendly. They acted like they were genuinely happy to see me when I walked in the door.
Doug

Wow, Guess its changed since last I was there - Tripp was in there last time, meet him several years ago and he rembers by name for some reason - We were yappin about the upcoming 1125 if that tells you how long its been - Ive never had anything but good experinces there ,sorry to hear you havent had the same -

I have made a comparison before, alot of customers are like girlfirends - some of them like to be treated really crappy and they will fall madly in love with a shop, while at some shops, were the customers are treated like a person, they dont last for some reason ---

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post #24 of 26 Old 04-17-2009, 12:13 PM
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ned...such a good analogy! i think the bottom line in customer service comes down to RELATING with your customer. my local dealer has failed for the last 6 years with me. while i was in texas, the local Honda dealer also let me down. however, there was a dealer a block down the street that sold those evil suzi-uki things...anyway, when i walked in and said this is what i need, they said "Ok, what's it go on?" and they envolved themself in the conversation. i learned their opinions on it, got some suggestions, and was thrilled with the service. I ended up stopping by several times per week. there is a reason they call it HUMAN RELATIONS and CUSTOMER SERVICE. It's become too many spoiled kids of the original owner, too many kids who have their name on their polo shirt and control the world now...

30,000 mile 919 survivor. No plans of stopping the abuse any time soon.
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post #25 of 26 Old 04-17-2009, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
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s10hornet, tell me the name of your dealership. I go right by Douglasville a couple of times a year on my way to Texas and Talladega. I'll be that way right around the first of June. Would love to stop in and say hey.

Doug
Freewheeling Honda/Suzuki/Triumph - closed Sunday & monday
I-20 exit 37 - 1.5 miles north - we're on the left - can't miss us

Roger

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post #26 of 26 Old 04-18-2009, 08:04 AM
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most guys who been riding for a while when they buy a new metric .dont go back for service ...usually they never see the bike again unless its warranty work... no need to most can change there own oil and take up slack in cables...dont need to service your bike at a dealer to keep warranty ...and before the year is up on a new bike ..honda will send paper word if you want to extent your warranty ...its a 1/3 of what the dealer wanted ..theres a shops around my way that opened with honda certified mech..has a good following took a lot of business away from the dealer

dont need a bike to ride the fast lane
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