Question of the Day: Your Worst Dealership Experience

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman
question of the day your worst dealership experience

I am stealing Jack’s thunder . I admit it. But, he opened up a tasty can of worms and I intend to eat the last drop. Or something. Anyhow, the dealership experience is absolutely insane. You’ve all heard of the dreaded four-square, right? Essentially, it’s four separate opportunities for the dealer to bend you over and drop trou. And they will, trust me. As (essentially) every car purchase involves a group people trying to screw you from multiple angles, these stories should be– and will be– fantastic. Mine, sadly, isn’t that great. But it goes like this… Back during the tail end of the dotcom boom, I was rich. Well, rich for a 25-year-old. Six-figure income and $425 a month in rent. Life was sweet. And I wanted an Audi S4 Avant more than anything in the world. So, I bop down to the Audi dealer. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have worn my ratty old Alice Donut T-shirt with a dead hooker on the front. But whatever. My plan: drive the Avant and put down $20k, hoping to get another $18k for my Grand Cherokee and only owe the remainder of the S4’s $45k price. The salesmen wouldn’t even look at me. After standing around feeling stupid for ten minutes, I approached one of them. No way could I test drive the car. Get serious. Now, I had just read an article about some new fangled car by Subaru called a WRX. It not only came as a wagon, but made 227 hp, AWD, and weighed 500 pounds less than the Audi so it was actually faster. Hmmm. Bopped over to the Subaru dealer. Got a test drive. AWESOME! They gave me $16k for the Jeep and I wrote a check for the rest. Done. The Audi dealer called me a few days later wondering if I was still interested. And I got to tell him all about my awesome new Subaru and the $45k he left on the table. You?

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  • Luke Luke on Jan 12, 2009

    Best - Wayzata Nissan, Wayzata, MN Went in to look at a low-mileage 2001 Maxima just off lease. The advertised price was about $2k below the book average. Looked it over, no suprises. Drove it, no surprises. All my questions about it's history were answered with supporting documentation. Signed the paperwork, drove it off the lot the next day. No hassle, no last-minute changes, no baloney. Second best - Carousel Audi, Minnetonka, MN Very interested in the lease deals on 2006 A4s. Went in numerous times and talked with a very friends saleswoman. I drove the cars when I wanted to with no hassle, and she did what she could to find a car equipped the way I wanted. I was always greeted warmly by everyone, always treated with respect. I ended up buying a Passat instead, but the impression they made has lasted and I've passed the saleswoman's name on to several friends. Honorable mention - Feldmann Imports, Bloomington, MN This is a Nissan/Mercedes dealership where I went for routine service several times. They treat all their service customers the same - absolutely top notch. Hands down the best service experience I've ever had. You pulled in to a warm, clean reception area, the advisor greeted you, your car got whisked away. When it came back it had always been washed, hand-dried, and vacuumed. The prices were equal to other Nissan dealers, so they became my service provider of choice. I will shop there again, too. Worst - Morrie's Mazda Got excited about advertised deals on "leftover" 2005 RX8s. Great prices were advertised, so I cleared my afternoon and went in. Of course, the cars were total phantoms. They didn't tell me this, though, until after I'd already driven a 2006. The advertised cars, if they ever even existed, were "already sold." They then proceeded with extremely high pressure sales, trying to pry out "the payment I was looking for" and trying to make me purchase to the 2006 I drove. I finally escaped when the salesman stepped away to talk to the sales manager. I literally ran out of the dealership. I've also had some appalling experiences at Chevy dealerships, which I won't repeat here...

  • RyanC RyanC on Jun 25, 2013

    Last September I went into RJ Burne Cadillac in Scranton Pennsylvania to order touch up paint for my Cadillac Deville. I bought the car in July and even though I'm 19 I still love the car. But, anyway I park right in front of the dealership and walk in I was wearing some basketball shorts and a Green Turtle shirt because I was done with classes for the day. Literally I just walked around for about 10 minutes, later on I sat down and started reading one of the brochures for the new CTS. About 10 minutes later a salesman walks over to me and says,"Hey buddy why don't you go and loiter in someone elses dealership?" I look up at him and point to my car and say,"You see that car out there thats my car and I was waiting for one of you guys to come over and show me where the service department is. But since you just pissed on any opportunity you had of gaining my business I'm going to leave now." I threw the brochure on the floor and told the salesman to pick it up. Went to another Cadillac Dealership and was in and out in about 15 minutes

  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
  • Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.