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DHA

Prestige vs "normal" car dealerships

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I have to say I have been VERY impressed with Guildford Audi from day 1, recommended 5 people and all of them have said the service and fault resolution is superb!

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you wanna try being a woman in these places ..... might aswell be invisible* - and that goes for the service department too**

* there are of course a couple of exceptions, one service chappy I spent a fair amount of (his) company time with chatting about cars, gearboxes, life and loves etc :cool:

** obviously was noticed in a certain dealership I am banned from :rolleyes:

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Interesting to hear all the good tales from Porsche - I've had the same experience. I actually queried this with a Porsche salesman once; he told me that the training they get is that every walk-in, no matter how shabby, is a potential purchaser. Maybe not now, maybe not next year, but perhaps in 10 or 20 years. Unless you treat him like dirt today, of course, in which case he never will be.

He also said that if the scruffy 19-year-old asks for a test drive in a GT2, they will simply go get the diary and start making an appointment. Most timewasters don't have the gall to go ahead and book something, they just want to pitch up and drive off.

Other 100% true conversations from sales floors:

Me to Merc sales guy: "Can you show my wife around this A-class, please?"

Him: "Certainly. Here you can see the plastic impact-absorbing bumpers, ideal for all those supermarket car-park dings..." (if looks could kill...:grin:)

Me to Alfa sales guy: "Of course, after years in BMWs I kind of suspect any Alfa will fall apart as soon as I drive off in it?" (with a smile & chuckle to show I'm exaggerating)

Him: "Well, err, yes it probably will"

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Can't fault Porsche either. As a 20 year old I went to the Reading dealership said I was interested in buying a boxster. Saleswoman showed me round the showroom car then took me for a test drive, I bought one.

I have just recalled a service department issue from my old M3, they had messed me about and I hand delivered a letter to the service manager. He read it in front of my eyes then said "if you let your Dad know we will look into it". I replied "why would I let my Dad know?" at this point the penny is starting to drop. "Is it his car?" I was asked. "No" came the response, and then there was possibly the most embarrassed look I have ever seen on anyones face.

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Can't fault Porsche either. As a 20 year old I went to the Reading dealership said I was interested in buying a boxster. Saleswoman showed me round the showroom car then took me for a test drive, I bought one.

It must be a Porsche showroom management thing. everyone who comes in, gets the same treatment. Irrelevant of who/dress-code/age, as this goodwill is repaid further down the line.

I have just recalled a service department issue from my old M3, they had messed me about and I hand delivered a letter to the service manager. He read it in front of my eyes then said "if you let your Dad know we will look into it". I replied "why would I let my Dad know?" at this point the penny is starting to drop. "Is it his car?" I was asked. "No" came the response, and then there was possibly the most embarrassed look I have ever seen on anyones face.

A basic rule of owning a business or being the public representative is :- Know your customer.

Edited by cruiser647

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We seem to be reaching a conclusion.

Porsche - wonderful people.

BMW - can be great, but keep clear of Sytner. (something that I also learnt)

All the rest - run away! run away!

:grin:

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DHA, I remember you talking about that incident at the time.

Treat people in the way you would like to be treated, politeness and repect cost nothing.

Talking of politeness and respect ----

off topic but have you ever spent a little time with some of the older people, sort of 75 - 80 +. They have lived through some hard times but often had fun and are actually really interesting - sort of 'living history' ...... saw something last night on TV, talking with a guy who was flying in the Battle of Britain when he was ....... 19 years old.

Just did his job, he said, and don't forget all the ground crew because without them the planes wouldn't have been repaired... and they never get any credit, he said .

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BMW - can be great, but keep clear of Sytner.

I was in Sytner BMW in Nottingham at the weekend, service couldn't have been better, the salesman spent at least 1.5 hours with me doing back to back drives in a 335d and 335i with full knowledge that I wasn't placing an order at that time. Also they way they looked after my wife and 17 month old while I was off on the drives was apparently fantastic, nothing was too much trouble for them.

I find levels of service can vary massively within the different departments of the same dealership. Derby Audi for instance, sales is a complete waste of space, but the service department is excellent.

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We seem to be reaching a conclusion.

Porsche - wonderful people.

BMW - can be great, but keep clear of Sytner. (something that I also learnt)

All the rest - run away! run away!

:grin:

I disagree - it's been said elsewhere in this thread - it's down to the dealer and often the group that owns the dealer. By way of example, Poole Audi garage is good. Southampton is rubbish. Poole VW is OK, Southampton is good. Local Subaru dealer is rubbish, Southampton Subaru dealer is rubbish, Malmesbury Subaru dealer (70+ miles away) is great.

Sadly, I still think the country is full of salespeople who are either in the wrong job or they're not trained properly - and both of those problems are down to the employer.

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I know from experience how variable Subaru dealers can be.

There are a few smaller Subaru only dealers who can be good from a 'family run business' viewpoint with decent old fashioned levels of service, but my word they live in the dark ages.

Others, often larger with franchises for other marques, tend to be a little more up to date, but do vary in terms of service quality.

As I've said, I think it's the launch of the prestige section that has forced my local dealer to up its game somewhat.

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There are a few smaller Subaru only dealers who can be good from a 'family run business' viewpoint with decent old fashioned levels of service, but my word they live in the dark ages.

Others, often larger with franchises for other marques, tend to be a little more up to date, but do vary in terms of service quality.

OK, so David Hendry Cars in Malmesbury, Wiltshire - family owned and run business, small outfit, main Ford and Subaru dealer, and sell TVRs and SsangYongs as well (go figure!) - but great service. Sparshatts of Botley (near Southampton) - Subaru only, but have other franchises - utterly shite, inattentive sales people and service. There, said it.

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Having never stepped inside a Porsche dealership in my life, I find it very interesting to read the comments about them. The attitude of everyone is a potential customer whether that's today or 20 years time, is exactly how all places should be in a perfect world. It would appear they would never dream of escorting a unshaved 20 year old in jeans and t-shirt off the premises if he started mentioning test drives and rightly so. Why can't other brands realise this? How we're treated on that one time we do walk in can effect how we think about the brand for life; maybe that 20 year old is dreaming of things to come but treat him well and you never know, he might walk back through your door in 10 years time wanting to buy a £100k car.

It's exactly what I mentioned earlier but in reverse. I've never set foot inside a BMW dealership again, and doubt I ever will, after how I was treated 8 years ago - I was that unshaved person who wanted to buy a car. A rough night on the Saturday meant I turned up (with my chequebook in my pocket, cash buyer with no p/ex) looking like I'd been dragged through a hedge backwards and I was completely ignored.

Disgusted, I drove over to Audi and turned up at 3 on a Sunday afternoon, still looking like a tramp. I was treated like royalty and within 48 hours, had ordered a car. Maybe that goes someway to explain why I've now had 3 Audis and never even picked up a BMW brochure?

I'm sure BMW make some stonking cars, one of which may be perfect for me, but why should I risk being treated like a fool again when I know there are plenty other places who will treat me with respect?

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Same reason for me too Milo, hence why I've had audis for the last 14 years.

I've since driven a few bmw's in the past 12 months and have to say I like the driving experience compared to audi, probably starting with an M5 didn't help matters ...... :P not called the dark side for nothing :D

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Note Porsche's message in their ads (this one was for the US market, but...)

KRbzJ0L1Zn8

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Note Porsche's message in their ads (this one was for the US market, but...)

I really like that ad. Good philosophy. +++

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With my experience at dealerships is before and after sale

Before

1 maybach

2 Bentley

3 Porsche

4 vw

5 Ferrari

After

1 bentley

2 Porsche

3 Ferrari

4 vw

5 maybach

Very interesting really.

Ferrari act before you buy like you are privileged they llet you in to the club. After you are in the club and treat you very well.

Bentley cater for your every need before and after. It's good to get to know the top dog before you get in there though.

Porsche I'd say the same as bentley. They have treated me like royalty since they hqve seen me take delivery of the car, run it hard as nails and not flog it like many of their customers for a quick buck.

Vŵ were a mess before and after sales to be honest, no organisation, tough of warranty claims and could never get chums with a sales or sevice agent.

Maybach treat you like royalty before a sale, speccing the car is a treat on plasmas in leather arm chairs, champagne and an attitude of anything g you want they will deliver. Post sales, probably because their team is so little, due to puny sales, you can never get hold of the '24h' concierge service when you need anything and to be honest rubbish care with mad bills. Not what you expect basically.

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Oh we've been there and had that.:roflmao:

Glad we're not the only ones.+++

MrsMe has walked out of a good few showrooms over many years of looking for a new car for her when a salesman has called her "Luv" or treated her like she's having the car bought for her.

Asking the prat why he is wearing a dodgy fake Breitling (or other name brand) watch usually sends them fleeing in fright. :)

I'm lucky in that the premium dealers all know me and my "motoring mafia" connections nowadays. I too have just walked out in the past. Have had 2 panicked calls (one Subaru, one Audi) from sales droids later after my withdrawal - usually after they have heard I bought elsewhere... Numpties the lot of them.

Thankfully today's shopping trip was much more fun. Maybe it was parking the C4S in their main driveway. :uhoh:

So for me VW and Porsche get the big +++

Edited by Rachel

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Thankfully today's shopping trip was much more fun. Maybe it was parking the C4S in their main driveway. :uhoh:

Never fails. Just for fun, I once made a Jaguar salesman come out into his carpark with me so that I could "give him my business card in case the right car came to his attention". Having treated me like rubbish for 10 minutes, and then dragged his feet rather than come with me (I had to keep talking, keep eye contact, and start walking, daring him to cut me off), he suddenly got really chatty when I pressed the key fob and with a "click" the bonnet of the C4S popped open, with my briefcase and business cards inside it.

Utter to55er. Have never been back, and had no intention of doing so. But it was worth it to see him change his tune. :grin:

Edited by patently

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I was in Sytner BMW in Nottingham at the weekend, service couldn't have been better, the salesman spent at least 1.5 hours with me doing back to back drives in a 335d and 335i with full knowledge that I wasn't placing an order at that time. Also they way they looked after my wife and 17 month old while I was off on the drives was apparently fantastic, nothing was too much trouble for them.

I find levels of service can vary massively within the different departments of the same dealership. Derby Audi for instance, sales is a complete waste of space, but the service department is excellent.

Just goes to show how things differ in the same organisation as Derby Audi are a Sytner dealership too....

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Never had a good experiance at main dealers of any make. VW were rude arrogant and never really seemed like they wanted me to be in their showroom when i was looking at cars and then after i bought one off a mate and took it to be serviced they did not give a c*ap either. So took it to the local independent and got the best service i have ever had. Ford were just as bad but they did it in a more subtle way. Lack of returning phone calls forgetting your courtesy car you ordered not cleaning the car after a service even though they asked if i wanted it done and i had agreed. It was not until i started working for a main dealer that i got great service. This is only because they can't fob me off as i see them every day. For our customers we pride ourselves on not letting anyone walk in without being greated even if we are all busy with customers one of us will just say somone will be with you in a moment please help yourself to coffee and point them in the right direction.

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I can't speak highly enough of Honda. I went in in my scruffs and they let me take a brand new car for the day, no questions. I was a rep back then, did 60k miles a year, never washed the car or lifted the bonnet. They would always valet my car FOC, lend me a courtesy car, make me a cuppa and be incredibly helpful. The car never went wrong. And the service Manageress was HOT. For 'non-petrolhead' friends asking my advice on 'what car to buy', I often suggest Honda.

Vauxhall were the worst, appalling cars, appalling people.

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I went in in my scruffs

But with you that would be your slacks, a cravat and your tweed jacket.

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...and your tweed jacket.

And let's face it, Honda salesmen are probably used to their customers smelling of wee.

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EldestMissMe made a Honda driver wet himself yesterday when she ran into the back of the poor feckers Accord. Sheesh.

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