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-   -   Deceiving Tactics ...bmw Of Sterling,va (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=131453)

flyinglow330 02-07-2006 12:34 PM

Deceiving Tactics ...bmw Of Sterling,va
 
I never expected this from BMW.

A few weeks back, I inquired BMW of Sterling about the purchase of a new BMW 330i. The representative that I worked with was a man with the name of David Davila. He seemed well knowledgeable and very professional. He introduced me to the "BMW way of doing things." To include, the exploration of options, accessories and even the test drive of a similar vehicle to the one I had in mind. Because of my work hours and the distance of my residence, I was more comfortable doing business over the phone than physically at the dealership. I had contacted David several times with questions and several concerns. One of my concerns was the price of the vehicle, although I was not planing on financing this vehicle, I did want to stay within budget. Now, don't get me wrong, I knew what I was buying and knew what value of the vehicle. I was told by David that BMW does not loose its clients due to price, which I have to admit, was a little comforting. With this in mind, we proceeded with the design of the vehicle along with options and accessories. After the final configuration of the vehicle, I was given an MSRP price. As stated before, I wanted to stay within a certain budget, so I asked David if it was appropriate to make an offer. He assured me that any offer would be considered and reviewed. So I did. I made an offer on the vehicle to David over the phone. He would then run it by his manager and get back to me soon. A few hours later, David contacted me with an answer. He stated that he had spoken to his manager and unfortunately they would not be able to honor my offer. Which was no surprise on my behalf. David, however, after speaking with his manager, came back with a price of about $1500 less than the MSRP. This time I has asked David to please provide me with an OUT THE DOOR price, to include taxes, licensing fees, S&H, and any other fee that may apply. We went back and forth on the price trying to reach an agreement. To make a long story short, David finally called in on a Saturday and had good news, he said that he had spoken to his manager and his manager had agreed on the offer I made. This offer was to include all charges and fees except for installation fees on some of the accesories, which I was fine with. In other words, an out the door price.
I even asked for the break down of the fees which David provided. As far as I was concerned, we had a deal. I would be in the following week to finalize the deal.

Monday afternoon, I walked in to BMW of Sterling with what I thought was to finalize the
purchase of the vehicle. I was greeted by David and was told that his manager wanted to
speak to me and see how serious I was about purchasing this vehicle. Well, of course I was serious... Why would I be there if I wasn't. Well I was brought in to speak with David
Lee, New car sales manager. Mr. Lee questioned me bout the vehicle that I had in mind and the options and accessories.. Once we went over the configuration, he asked me how I would be paying for the vehicle. I told him, I would be paying cash. Then he went onto discussing price... As far as I was concerned, price was already agreed upon.. Turns out that Mr. Lee was never made aware of my offer nor was he ever involved with the price decision I was quoted by the sales associate. When confronted with these new developments, David Davila, the sales associate, suddenly became very unaware of any of our conversation over the phone. He tried to put the blame on me saying that there must have been some type of miscommunication...miscommunication? How do you miscommunicate an almost $50K dollar deal? I mean, how do you misinterpret OUT THE DOOR PRICE? Anyway, needless to say, we did not reach an agreement with the sales manager and I left the dealership very upset and frustrated. I could not believe that BMW would use such deceiving tactics just to reel me in.

I decided to write a letter to the General Manager Hayes, explaining the experience I had
just gone through at his dealership. However, it was a mute point. Mr. Hayes did exactly what any other manager would have done to cover his reputation and the reputation of the dealership. Took sides with his personnel and assured me that there must have been some type of mistake on my behalf and that Daid Davila had made it very clear to me the price of the vehicle.

At this point, I was so dissapointted with BMW that I almost went with a competitor. But, I decided to contact VOB BMW in Rockville instead. I spoke to sales manager who was not surprised with the experience I had gone through.. He stated that this is not the first time he has heard of such tactics from this particular dealership. I was then treated the way like I deserved to be treated, like a customer and client. I am happy to say Thank you BMW of Sterling, if it hadn't been for the disrespectful treatment and deceiving tactics you pulled on me, I would have never not only gotten a tremendous deal on my new BMW, but would have never been truly introduced to the true "BMW way of doing business."

Once again Thank you!

And for those who truly want to be treated with respect and as a customer, I would definitely suggest you purchase your BMW at Rockville


LFN

LmtdSlip 02-07-2006 01:09 PM

Glad it all worked out for you.

One point of note. The BMW dealers, like most auto dealers, are all independent business and BMW doesn't hold sway over their policy's regarding how cars are sold. Thus you cant blame BMW for this sort of behavior.

How about pics of your new ride? :thumbup:

BahnBaum 02-07-2006 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flyinglow330
I even asked for the break down of the fees which David provided.

Did you get this breakdown in writing?

Alex

ATC BMW 02-07-2006 01:23 PM

The Loudoun County luxury tax of a few hundred dollars added onto the negociated price forced me to do my ED elsewhere.

KL2DC 02-07-2006 01:27 PM

Did you try Passport BMW over in Marlow Heights? Got a great no-hassle deal, $500 over invoice+$100 processing fee+tax+tags...no B.S. fees. Price agreed first 5 mins on the phone, 1k deposit...they put me on a 112 status slot that went into production a few days later... :thumbup:

resker 02-07-2006 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LmtdSlip
Glad it all worked out for you.
One point of note. The BMW dealers, like most auto dealers, are all independent business and BMW doesn't hold sway over their policy's regarding how cars are sold. Thus you cant blame BMW for this sort of behavior.

I disagree. It's more commonly the case that the auto manufacturer will hide behind this separation to claim plausible deniability. The reality is that as the supplier or the product being sold they do have sway over their reseller channel. I very highly doubt that there isn't provision in their reseller contracts that defines recourse for bad behavior. Anyway, I don't expect this to change... but if BMW wanted to alter the customer experience they could.

SteveinBelAir 02-07-2006 01:54 PM

Passport was great. No hassle, did it over the phone in December, picked it up today. No BS. Ask for Jim Redden. He da man even though he is a Redskins fan!

B_Chuong 02-07-2006 02:10 PM

Not surprise to see it happenned to you, sometimes just walked out the deceiceful dealership and moved on to the next, next ..and the next until you found a final deal.
I dealed with 5 dealers over the phones and the honest one got my business.
One more thing, don't get too much emotional about it, the dealers are always looking for that "big fish in their dreams" so they tried to turn you into one by reeling you in over the phone.

LmtdSlip 02-07-2006 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by resker
I disagree. It's more commonly the case that the auto manufacturer will hide behind this separation to claim plausible deniability. The reality is that as the supplier or the product being sold they do have sway over their reseller channel. I very highly doubt that there isn't provision in their reseller contracts that defines recourse for bad behavior. Anyway, I don't expect this to change... but if BMW wanted to alter the customer experience they could.

In general I agree with that. However, many states including Florida have very strong franchise laws that favor dealers. And BMW or any dealer for that matter has a difficult time punishing a dealer for these sorts of activities.

Anything that would be considered a slap on the wrist to a dealer (i.e. reduced allocation, fines, etc.) could be consided anti trust violations by state laws.

This is why these sorts of practices continue. Otherwise I am sure there would be certain manufacturers that would love to sell directly to consumers over the internet and skip the dealer BS.

westwest888 02-07-2006 04:29 PM

I ordered from Passport but switched my service to BMW Sterling. It's a ridiculously nice dealership, brand new looking. A++ for service -

When getting service, you basically drive your car into a showroom and like valet parkers or car washers, they take your keys, wrap your seats in plastic and your mats with paper, then drive your car into a garage that looks the VW Phaeton factory and/or a hospital. You sit with a service advisor at a little desk like you're buying the car again and they talk about what's going to happen that day. Then you go sit one of two large waiting areas with a bunch of plasma TV's playing the news and hollywood movies that feature BMWs. They have comlimentary coffee, tea, sodas, pasteries, etc. Class all the way. Really added to my BMW experience.

Sorry you had a bad time with that sales guy.

usajacek 02-07-2006 04:59 PM

I have had a different problem with the same dealer: BMW of Sterling in VA. I have tried oil change service with them. I left three messages and they never called me back. Now, they will never get my business. :tsk:. Now, they are tooooooo far. I just was transferred from Reston to DC a few days ago.

usajacek 02-07-2006 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteveinBelAir
Passport was great. No hassle, did it over the phone in December, picked it up today. No BS. Ask for Jim Redden. He da man even though he is a Redskins fan!

Same here. Got a car just before Christmas from the same dealer and the same Great salesman!

trulytruly 02-07-2006 06:39 PM

DC Area BMW Dealers
 
I have to agree that Sterling -- for BMW sales; for service for my MINI -- has consistently had a problem returning calls.

Re: quotes, I always make sure to get them in writing.

Passport - I vote for them wholeheartedly; Jeff Nicklason was my rep.

Niftster 02-07-2006 06:53 PM

I got one better. Go get an OTD price one day, go back the next and get a higher OTD price. Happened to me years ago when I was shopping for a Suburban.

There seems to be some unwritten rule that it takes at least a week of haggling to close the deal.

I'm shopping for a 3rd car right now (can't do another BMW) and am running into all kinds of "miscommunication". Funny, they are so friendly and organized the first time we talk.

RNummi 02-07-2006 07:01 PM

Passport was great!
 
Add my vote for Passport, there are too many BMW Dealers in DC area to take ANY sort of games from any of em. That's probably the reason Passport has acres of cars and service.

adc 02-08-2006 09:05 AM

I'm glad it worked out well for your with VOB.

I for one, based on my experience and the ones of a few friends, have had nothing but good from their service department. My SA is a true BMW/car enthusiast, owns a modified E46 M3, and is really fair and curteous without going overboard. :thumbup: :thumbup:

The sales experience at VOB has been mixed. When I bought the ZHP from them in 2003, I had a great experience, plus in the end they beat anybody's price by $200 - with no hidden fees or any BS tactics.

But last year when we went in for an ED X3, they behaved like a$$es - and lost a sale. I mean they were great with the test drives, options etc. But then they tried to swindle me:
1. Worked off a 2004 price list, where the Premium package was $1500 more expensive
2. Tried using the Diplomatic price instead of European Delivery (another $1000)
3. Stopped returning my calls after I confronted the salesman about the 2004 price list issue.
I went straight to Passport, had a great deal over the phone in literally 5 minutes without haggling, and followed through with a painless ED and US redelivery.:thumbup:

When the time comes for my next BMW, I will give VOB sales another chance - but it will be the last one.

So buyer beware - always negotiate and never take any cr@p from a salesperson. No dealership is without blame - so be careful out there...

adc
03 330 ZHP
05 X3 3.0

kobechrome 02-08-2006 09:14 AM

I echo everyone's sentiments about Passport. Was the best experience I've ever had buying a car (from their internet sales). I think I've referred 7-8 ppl there from these boards alone....

I plan on taking my car to Sterling to service though because I'm moving to Ashburn in a few months. I hope this is not a premonition of their service dept also...

agentx208 02-08-2006 01:37 PM

Tate BMW, Annapolis. Very smooth negotiation, no games, took a 1st & 2nd test drive. Very resonable price.
Once delivered, we will see on the rest.

Plaz 02-08-2006 01:45 PM

All sales guys will say whatever it takes to get you into the dealership. They all say "Let me run it by my manager," when they probably only do that 50% (or less) of the time they say it.

They will all use deceiving tactics. The exact same scenario could have easily happened, IMO, if you had spoken with VOB first, and then moved over to Sterling, where they have surely heard similar things regarding VOB from others.

99% are scumbags. The others are working on establishing some other career path.

Work the phones/email, and get someone to fax or email acceptable numbers to you in writing before you even set foot in there. Don't ever expect a car salesman to live up to something they just verbally assure you of over the phone.... that's just setting yourself up for disappointment. They'd offer oral services from their spouses and children over the phone, if they thought it would get your ass in a seat across their desk.

IMHO.

poldim 02-08-2006 02:30 PM

I asked for a qyote through email and their reply was very rude and it didnt appear as though they wanted my business. They are too stuck up and used to people coming in and falling for their ****. I got a great deal from BMW of Towson, paid ~sticker price out the door.

Just Bryce 02-08-2006 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Plaz
All sales guys will say whatever it takes to get you into the dealership. They all say "Let me run it by my manager," when they probably only do that 50% (or less) of the time they say it.

They will all use deceiving tactics. The exact same scenario could have easily happened, IMO, if you had spoken with VOB first, and then moved over to Sterling, where they have surely heard similar things regarding VOB from others.

99% are scumbags. The others are working on establishing some other career path.

Work the phones/email, and get someone to fax or email acceptable numbers to you in writing before you even set foot in there. Don't ever expect a car salesman to live up to something they just verbally assure you of over the phone.... that's just setting yourself up for disappointment. They'd offer oral services from their spouses and children over the phone, if they thought it would get your ass in a seat across their desk.

IMHO.

I want to argue, but I can't. Many of you know I worked the biz for a long time. I couldn't sell a car over the phone so Plaz is correct, I NEED to get you to my desk.
And yes the good guys are soon looking for a different carreer just like I did :thumbup:

kobechrome 02-08-2006 02:40 PM

I did consider Sterling when ordering my car. For the most part they were courteous as I only dealt with them over the phone but I will say that there were 2 salemen calling me, competing for my business which I found a little awkward.

They offered $1400 over invoice as an initial quote but were willing to match Passport's price. A few things ultimately led me NOT to order from them. They were unwilling to put it in writing but instead wanted me to come to the dealership to meet with the GSM and they were not willing to refund the 5% deposit (which is already high IMO).

I will, however, be going there for service....

marcpotash 02-08-2006 03:10 PM

Refund of Deposit
 
In Virginia it is illegal not to refund the deposit unless the car has been actually delivered.
Anything signed that says otherwise does not count.

Just Bryce 02-08-2006 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marcpotash
In Virginia it is illegal not to refund the deposit unless the car has been actually delivered.
Anything signed that says otherwise does not count.

^ I had the customers sign a non-refundable deposit agreement, but if I didn't see those taillights go over the curb they could get their money back :tsk:

dgunsuh 02-08-2006 03:39 PM

I purchased my car from Sterling BMW and had NONE of the problems you had, my experience overall was awesome and they treated me well and worked with me the whole way. Sorry you had a bad experience.


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