Looking for a new car is hard enough, so it doesn’t help when the car saleman is being a prick. These car shoppers share the time they got back at their big headed salesman. Content has been edited for clarity
I Thought They “Treated” Everyone Like Family”
“In 1982, I was twenty-six years old and looked younger than my actual age. My boss had told me to go get bids on a truck. This was right after Penn Square Bank failed and took a lot of banks down with them. Car sales were practically nonexistent as the bank failures put the national economy into a tailspin.
I pulled into a well-known Chevy dealership in my area that advertised they ‘treated everyone like family’. I pulled up in a loaded, late model T-Bird (my uncle sold Fords) but they either didn’t see that or figured it was daddy’s money. It wasn’t as I had been working since I was sixteen and bought my own cars.
In any event, I walked in and tried to get a salesman. I was the only customer in the place and there were a LOT of salespeople standing around. They literally walked away when I tried to talk to them. I finally asked for the sales manager. I explained I was trying to get bids on a new truck and he told me the employee that did bids was busy but would get to me soon. I spent a good half hour waiting before I got fed up and left.
I went to another Chevy dealership and got basically the same treatment. I gave up and went to my uncle’s dealership and a couple of other Ford dealers and got quotes for a truck with no problem. To be fair, it was probably because my uncle had called ahead and told them what was going on. I wound up with a crew cab, a fairly loaded F250.
When I picked the truck up I went back to the first dealership and asked for the sales manager. I showed him the truck and pointed out they could have had a sale if they weren’t such pricks. I also pointed out how I had told everyone I knew about how shabbily I was treated. The dealership went out of business a year or two later because I wasn’t the only one to get bad, or non-existent, service from them.
The reason I went to Chevrolet dealers first, instead of my uncle, was because my boss was a Chevy guy and Chevy trucks were a little less expensive than Fords. Also, I got the bids because I was the one who would drive the truck.”
“Who The Heck Do You Think You Are?!”
“It didn’t happen much when I was in the Detroit area as the sales folks there were very aware that most of their customers worked in the auto industry. However, when I was assisting a relative in Oklahoma work out a deal with a dealership, the sales weasel went all-in on his ‘expertise’ that was almost entirely nonsense. He was touting features of the car my relative wanted to buy, only to find out they didn’t have, nor even offer.
I asked him to show me to demonstrate those features on the car for us. He couldn’t, of course, because they weren’t there. Then I asked if he could at least show us on the window sticker or product spec book where they were. He couldn’t. I then questioned the existence of those features, and the guy started in on how I didn’t know the product like he, an expert, did.
Then he asked, ‘Who the heck did you think you are?’
I pulled out my business card, from the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) in question, which listed my job title as Product Engineer.
I said, ‘That’s who I am. Now we’re gonna go talk to Toddy, who we came here to see in the first place.’
I should note that my relative and I arrived at the dealer separately, and this guy had swooped in on my relative. Toddy was an old friend at that store, who knew my credentials including my time in the auto repair trade in that city before I went up north after college, and who of course wound up with the sale.
My friend later told me the sales weasel tried to claim the commission on the sale, but the sales manager got involved. He also had known me since my early childhood. So he explained to the sales weasel on just why that wasn’t gonna happen.
He said, ‘You tried to fool one of the people I call if I, or a customer, have a question about our products. So, no, you’re not getting the commission.'”
“It’s Good To Be A ‘Little Lady'”
“My first husband and I owned an auto repair shop so, over the years, I had gained some knowledge about cars.
After I remarried, we were looking for another car. We went to dealerships/used car lots and I was totally ignored. This was good because while the salesmen concentrated their efforts on my husband (who knew nothing about cars) I would have free reign to check it out. I checked the tires for uneven wear. New tires usually meant there were probably problems.
I checked the tailpipe to see if there was a lot of residue. Also, checked the hoses, etc under the hood, you get the drift.
Meanwhile, the salesman’s comments to me were ‘How do you like the color? Aren’t the seats comfortable?’
I even had one point out the cupholders!
If I didn’t like what I had discovered, I would tell my husband what was wrong with the car, loudly so the salesperson could hear. Then we would keep looking.
When we finally got to the negotiations over price, I would use what I had learned and made sure we got a good deal including some type of warranty, in writing.
Sometimes, it’s good to be a ‘little lady’.”
Was He A Liar Or A Fool?
“Many moons ago, my wife wanted a GMC Envoy Denali. Don’t ask me why, she just wanted it. Anyway. It got a pretty impressive (for the size) V8 and I planned to tow with it. I wanted to get the tow package (beefed up cooling, etc.) along with a self-leveling suspension (air shocks in the rear). I picked out the options I wanted and called around.
For some reason, that options list wasn’t popular and it was hard to find one on a dealer lot with that option group. Finally, I found a dealer who had one in stock.
I thought, Great.
We drove down there (about 30 minutes away) and asked to see the truck. They showed me a truck that didn’t ’t have those options.
I said, ‘What the heck!’
The salesman told me, ‘Oh, no sir. It does have those options. Says so on the sticker.’
I said, ‘Look here, the rear air suspension isn’t installed. Look under the truck, you can clearly see it’s not on there.’
The salesman said, ‘You’re just uninformed. I sell these every day; I know what I’m talking about.’
I said, ‘OK, lower the suspension.’
The salesman asked, ‘What?’
I said, ‘This truck is supposed to have an air suspension, so lower it.’
The salesma asked again, ‘What?’
I started walking out.
The manager came over, and asked, ‘What’s wrong?!’
I told him, ‘You’re salesman is either a liar or a fool. I did all the research on this truck and watched an online video of how the self-leveling suspension was supposed to work.’
I further explained the feature and showed him the video on my cell phone.
The manager was very apologetic. He offered to find me another truck with those options for the same price as we had agreed to. I agreed since that was a hard thing to find.
I don’t know what happened, but a week later, a new truck was ready to go. I went down, confirmed it had the options I wanted and paid the agreed-to price.
The dumb salesman was nowhere to be seen.”
“I had a brand new 2009 Honda Civic Si. When I hit 45K miles on it, I found out it had a factory recall on the paint, so I decided to trade it as soon as I got it back for a 2012 Toyota RAV4. I decided I would visit the dealership we bought my husband’s 06 Tundra from. I was already approved at the bank before I went to the dealership.
So one day, my husband and I went to the Toyota dealership and talked to the salesman there. The Sales Manager drove my car and kept the keys. Before that day, I used Kelly Blue Book to see how much my car was worth. Because it was in fair condition, it said it was worth 14,500 dollars.
The salesman offered me 10,500 dollars for it.
I told him, ‘Absolutely not!’
It wasn’t my fault the car had to be repainted, so I demanded my car keys back. The sales manager came over without my keys to tell me what he would give me for the car and again.
I explained to him, ‘Absolutely not. Give me my keys now!’
Since my husband had stepped outside to smoke a cig, the Sales Manager told me, ‘Go outside and discuss it with myhusband first. Then come back in and let me know what he decides on.’
I went off on the Sales Manager.
I told him, ‘Give me my freakin keys back! It is my vehicle and my decision to make as my name is the only one on the car. My husband is just here for the ride and has no say so, in regards to me trading cars! Now give me my darn keys back!’
The Sales Manager stood up, held up both his hands, and apologized to me.
He said, ‘I will go get your keys.’
When he came back with my keys, I told him I would be going to a different dealership to trade with. He apologized again and gave me 16,500 dollars for my car. So from there, I purchased the 2012 Rav 4 and I also told him that I wanted it to included all-weather floor mats, tinted windows and the tow package for free, to which he agreed to, Also, there was a lady sitting next to me waiting on her husband to arrive for her trade-in and asked me if I would be willing to help her negotiate her deal.
The Sales Manager assumed because I was blonde and a female, that my husband had an opinion, or that I needed my husband’s permission to trade my car in! I set him straight real quick!”
“Several years ago, I had taken my Dodge (now Ram) truck to the dealer for routine service. This was the second new truck I had bought from them, and after the bad experience I had with my first truck’s air conditioning system, I had gotten to know several members of management at the dealership. Their efforts to repair my vehicle and the exemplary way they treated me during the whole debacle kept my loyalty and made me feel confident enough to buy another new truck (the next model year, which did not have the same flawed A/C system) with my old truck as a trade-in. And also purchase a used car for my daughter.
Anyway, one day, while I was waiting for my truck to be serviced, I was admiring a new Ram SRT-10 truck (the one with the Viper V-10 engine) on display outside the front doors of the building. A new salesman walked up to me and asked if he could ‘put me in the driver’s seat’ of the truck. I told him I had my truck in for service, and that I was just looking for now.
I then said, ‘Do you think I could take it for a test drive? Just so I could tell my son that I drove one of these.’
Now, I was 45 years old at the time, not some kid off the street, but the salesman told me he was sorry, but if I wasn’t serious about buying the truck, he couldn’t let me test drive it. Then he walked off. Needless to say, I was upset by the encounter, and the more I thought about it, the madder I got. He could have let me down a lot easier with some nonsense about liability, but he chose to put me down instead.
When I got back to the service department, the service manager noticed me in the waiting area and came over to greet me. We had ‘bonded’ during the A/C problem on my first truck, with him going to bat for me. It helped that he was an asset to the dealership’s organization. He saw the look on my face and asked if I was all right. I proceeded to tell him about how I was treated by that new salesman, and that I really didn’t appreciate it.
He nodded and said, ‘Come on. We’re going to test drive that truck!’
He got the keys for the SRT-10, and I drove it off of the lot with that salesman watching the whole thing.
I drove carefully along a prescribed route, and on a clear patch of the road the service manager told me to ‘Give it the beans!’
I ran it up to about 60 mph (miles per hour), slowed back down, and carefully drove it back to the dealer’s lot. When I walked back to the service area waiting room, the salesman who had dismissed me earlier came back to find me there. He apologized profusely for the way he treated me and told me the sales staff had been instructed not to let just anyone test drive the SRT-10s on the lot.
I figured he had learned a valuable lesson, and told him I had no hard feelings. Later, I found out the sales manager had told the General Manager (whom I also knew) about the way the salesman had treated me, and the GM had read the riot act to that salesman. From that day on, any time that salesman saw me on the lot, he would make it a point to greet me with great enthusiasm.”
“Ma’am, I’m Helping Another Customer”
“Back in 2000, the engine blew in my beloved Toyota Celica convertible, so I needed a new car, and fast. I was not in a position where I could leisurely visit several car dealerships and waste a lot of time. Plus I was getting married in a few months and knew I’d be starting a family, so I knew I wasn’t getting another sports car. I just figured I’d get a safe midsize or something.
I wandered into a Mitsubishi dealership near my fiancé’s house. My dad had a Galant, I figured I would just buy one of those, or something similar.
I said to myself, ‘Let me just grab a few car brochures while I look around.’
I didn’t see any brochures, but I saw a young guy standing next to a car, in the center of the showroom, obviously a salesman. A couple was in the car getting the feel of it. They were talking to each other, with the windows up and doors shut.
I had no intention of taking him away from his customers, and since he was just standing there, I asked him, ‘Hi! Quick question, can you point me in the direction of where the brochures are?’
He said to me, ‘Ma’am, I’m helping another customer .’
I said, ‘I know, but I’m not taking you away from them. Can you just point?’
He said in the most condescending voice ever, ‘How would you feel if I were helping you, and someone came up and asked me a question?’
I replied, ‘I’m not an uptight person, so I honestly wouldn’t care. But thanks anyway, I’ll find them myself.’
I guess he didn’t know if he had just been cordial and polite with me. Or if I would have sought him out to get my sale after making my decision.
About two seconds later, a much nicer young man came up and asked if he could help me. I told him I was looking for brochures, because I may be interested in buying a Galant. Ten minutes later, the sale was made.
My younger sister, upon hearing I was getting a car and the deal I got, decided she wanted one too. She came down and the same thing, sold in 10 minutes. Same salesman, as per my recommendation. She got white and I got black.
A few days later, we showed up to pick up our cars. The rude guy was standing there, and boy, did his expression sour when he saw us.
When my sister said to our salesman, right in front of him,’ My sister said how nice and friendly you were to her, so I had to buy a car from you too!’
Our salesman laughed and said, ‘Yeah, you guys were great! Easiest sales I’ve had in a long time!’
We twirled our new key rings on our fingers, thanked him, and walked out. Such a great feeling!”
The General Manager’s Demand
“I was divorced in 1976 and GMAC Financial chose not to finance me for a new Buick. So I visited the Lincoln dealership and was virtually ignored, even though I was dressed in John Weitz. Probably the no tie and very long beard put them off. It just so happened the general manager was a poker buddy of mine.
So I gave him a call and instantly he was in the showroom, shaking hands and all that good buddy stuff while the sales staff staring at us.
I explained what Buick I wanted and asked, ‘What’s the out-the-door price for a Mark IV?’
We just used one on the floor to price. Then I asked for a loaner to go the four blocks to get my cash.
He gave me that ride, then told his staff, ‘Have that Mark ready to drive off in thirty minutes.’
When we returned, nothing had changed. He paged the new car manager and asked why the customer’s car was not drive off ready as he ordered.
The most arrogant salesman told him how a looky-loo had been wasting their time. After counting out, the purchaser d was never going to buy a car. He was fired on the spot and I was given the opportunity to drive my paid for with cash New Mark IV off the showroom floor.”
“We needed a new handicap accessible van for our adult child who was special needs. We knew what we wanted, and since my wife would be the main driver, she was going to purchase.
The salesman kept talking to me, but I kept redirecting him to her. She let him know we needed the 12 passenger van without the seats in the back. The space would be for my life support equipment and our child’s wheelchair and his supplies.
The salesman kept trying to sell her the 8-cylinder with CD and DVDs for every seat in the back, plus every bell, buzzer, and whistle known to mankind. She finally got him to bring the 6-cylinder over so she could test drive it. I hung around and walked the lot with our children.
She was pleased, so she tried to work with him on the price. It was the only one in California, and the sticker price was what the price was, with no deals. We left.
Three weeks later, I went back to the Nissan dealer to buy a couple of switches. Being an engineer, I tend to add things to make our autos more friendly to our needs. The salesman came over and asked why we bought our van at a different dealership.
I told him, ‘ The OTD (out-the-door) price was 8K.’
He asked why we didn’t try to bargain with him.
I said, ‘You refused to work with my wife, so we left. We bought the correct van with the color my wife wanted. They threw in the options it came with that we didn’t want rather than order the van for us.'”
Wrong Question, Sir
“This was back in the late 80s, possibly in 1989. My mother and I had a little business of cleaning out estates after a person passed away. We sold anything we took out and split the proceeds with the executor.
Over time, we realized we needed a bigger vehicle. So one day, we went to a local dealer that sold work vans, with shelving. We walked in and this salesman came running over. He had the nerve to ask my mother if her husband would be approving the vehicle and signing the papers.
My dad had died two years earlier, so no, he wasn’t signing anything. This guy was so condescending, acting like we had no idea what we were talking about.
I went over to the Sales Manager’s office and told him, ‘We need a different salesman. And it better be fast before my mom bops the fool who’s ticking us off.’
He immediately got a nice younger fellow to assist us. He walked around the lot with us, opened every hood, door, and demonstrated any lifts. We bought a really nice Ford Econoline, barely used, paid 16.5K in cash.
Should have seen the first guy’s face when he saw the stacks of cash on the desk. Bye-bye commission”