I’m not that guy who goes into car shops on the weekend and tries to act big, nor am I that guy who bounces around from car shop to car shop test driving cars for the hell of it, in fact, I intensely dislike test driving cars. So, when I go to a car shop it’s because I’m interested, and by the time I do, I’ve normally looked at my financials, looked at the resale value of my current car and so forth, so I go in there with a purpose and not to waste anybody’s time as I appreciate people’s time.
Last weekend my sister and I went down to BMW in Cape Town. I’ve been driving my Audi for a couple years and I feel it’s time to perhaps change, I would stick with Audi, their service is great, the guy I deal with takes me seriously and has always had my best interests in mind (I feel it’s fairly rare to establish a relationship like this), but Audi don’t have a car that I want – The A4 and A5 cabs are too big, the S3 is for kids and doesn’t have a soft top, the TT is beautiful but I can’t bring myself to get that and the Q-range is sexy, but I feel I’m not ready for a baby seat in the back (chuckle) and the R8, well, let’s just say that I appreciate the fact that paying off property is far wiser and if you’re going to spend money like that on a car, there are plenty of better options. So, that covers the Audi range and is why I’m not simply going in and taking that direction.
The 125i/135i cabriolet’s that BMW has are, to me, gorgeous. They’re similar to my A3 cabriolet, but have a few features that I wish mine had, the engines are also stronger and there’s a slightly better touch of elegance. I’ve eyed them out for a while now and that’s what lead me into BMW to have a chat. I was greeted by a guy called Shaun who was friendly, showed me the 125i and 135i, told me about the specs and gave me the change to sit inside one – he offered a test drive, but like I said, I don’t like test driving. I left with an awesome booklet and was rather excited at the idea of treating myself to a new car as this difficult year comes to an end – I’ve worked my butt off this year and felt I perhaps deserved to treat myself. In terms of finances, it wouldn’t cost much more than my car, so all in all it was a situation that looked fairly good. Shaun promised to email me through a quote on the Monday so I waited in anticipation.
It’s Friday today, it’s been almost a week and not a word, so I followed up this morning to which I received the following response:
“I tried calling you about four times an no answer an I was off from work on Tuesday an wensday had an small op on my mouth so sorry about that . What eaxactly would you like to know”
I wasn’t greeted, I was made to feel like it was my fault and the spelling and grammar is just awful. Perhaps I’m just anal and perhaps I’m overreacting, I don’t think I am though.
Now, I admit that I don’t always answer my phone, I do this thing called work during the day, which often comprises of strategy to which I prefer to have my phone off so I can concentrate, but I always check for missed calls and voicemails – I have not received a voicemail and don’t see any missed calls that I haven’t responded to. I could be wrong and I certainly do make mistakes, but I’m quite efficient in this regard and don’t believe the error lies with me. That being said, the agreement was an email because he was going to send a quote through – quoting over the phone.. highly doubt that.
But in all seriousness, what’s the deal? Do BMW mark up their cars that much that they aren’t desperate for new sales? Have they got enough customers that they’re able to play their pieces like this? I’m no economist, but last I checked, one would imagine that car sales guys would push hard to close a deal, especially considering the time of year.
You tell me, am I overreacting or do you agree that this leaves a bitter taste in your mouth?
Update: I received a good response from BMW’s Twitter account, “You’re certainly not over-reacting. That’s not how we like to treat our customers & we apologise for the poor service. We are investigating this with the Dealer. Please send through your contact details and we will be in touch.“