My complaint to the dealership (from which I got no written reponse) follows:
In summary, I provided a valid, documented, offer on a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu from a competitor to your sales department on Friday, January 21st. My understanding is that your team recognized the price as a "loser deal" and tried the best they could to avoid the email advertisement I had received a week earlier from Andrew Williams promising to beat any competitor's offer. Not only would your dealership not beat the offer in hand, they also contacted the other dealership the very same day to let them know I had passed along their offer, and in doing so, nullified the deal at both dealerships.
The details of my experience are as follows:
- Throughout the month of December (2011), I had been contacting various local Chevrolet dealerships about their Malibu inventories as well as their advertised prices and which costs were or were not included in those advertised prices.
- On Monday, January 16th, I visited your dealership and was treated very well by Ozzie Turner, one of your sales consultants. He helped me check out a 2012 Malibu and a 2012 Cruze. At the conclusion of that visit, he provided me a written offer on the Malibu with a total "out-the-door" price. At that time, I told him I would consider the offer but that price was my clear driver in the deal and I was not willing to close the deal.
- Over the next two days, I emailed a counter offer to Ourisman Chevrolet of Bowie. I also emailed my offer to other local Chevrolet dealerships. From those inquiries, I received my best offer from Ourisman Rockmont Chevrolet.
- Their offer was $362 higher than my personal budget for a new vehicle so I inquired further about lowering their cost. At that time, Richard Cunningham made it clear that the vehicle (2012 Chevrolet Malibu LS) was already being offered at a loss to their dealership and that they would not reduce the price any further.
- In an effort to close the gap between the total vehicle price and my budget, I inquired with Andrew Williams (on Friday January 20th) to see if he would be able to beat an offer from Ourisman Chevrolet Rockmont. I inquired with Andrew because he had sent me an email blast approximately one week earlier stating Ourisman Chevrolet of Bowie would beat any competitor's offer. Hours after I sent the email to Andrew, Ozzie gave me a call and asked me to forward the email offer to Meredith Dotson.
- Ozzie than called me back after Ourisman Chevrolet of Bowie had received my offer from Ourisman Rockmont Chevrolet and said Ourisman Chevrolet of Bowie would not be able to match this offer.
- When I pressed him further, he rechecked with his management and then called me again to tell me Ourisman Chevrolet of Bowie would match the offer if I traded in my old vehicle (which had initially been assessed by Ozzie on Monday at a value of $250).
- When I reminded him that the trade vehicle was not part of the standing offer from Ourisman Rockmont Chevrolet, he again rechecked with management and called me back to tell me they would make me the deal if I financed through you guys. At this point, he was giving me an "out-the-door" price around $18,035. Again, I pressed further because this was clearly not matching the comparable price from Ourisman Rockmont Chevrolet at $17,035. Again, Ozzie said he would check with management and this time did not call me back.
- Meanwhile, sometime during this exchange, someone from your dealership contacted Ourisman Rockmont Chevrolet because Richard Cunningham emailed me twice offering to increase the value that Ourisman Chevrolet of Bowie was offering on my trade (which was still not part of the deal with either dealership in my mind).
- On Saturday, January 21st, I called Ozzie at Ourisman Chevrolet of Bowie to inquire about the status since he had not called me back as promised. During this conversation, I was told that Ourisman Rockmont Chevrolet was a sister store and therefore not considered a competitor. When I asked to speak to Meredith or a manager, Ozzie told me Meredith was off and that you and Lew Gilinksy were unavailable, but would return my call at the number I left.
- Approximately a half hour later, Ozzie called me back and stated that I would need to bring in a signed "Buyer's Order" from Ourisman Rockmont Chevrolet and then Ourisman of Chevrolet would beat the offer.
- Following that exchange, I checked my email and read a message from Regina Matthews (Internet Sales at Ourisman Rockmont Chevrolet) stating that both dealerships would not be doing my deal for a new Malibu.
My concerns with the advertising and business practices of Ourisman Chevrolet of Bowie are as follows:
1) Over the two day period from Friday January 20th through Saturday January 21st I spoke with Ozzie on the phone four or five times, each time essentially being provided a different reasoning/excuse as to why Ourisman Chevrolet of Bowie could not beat the offer. It was clear after the first two excuses that your dealership would have beaten the offer had it not been considered a "loser deal" to start.
2) Upon requesting to speak with management, I received a call back from Ozzie, essentially a middle man who had to listen to my complaints. Ozzie was professional and courteous in all of our interactions, but to improve the customer service/process, I believe a manager should have been calling me by this point.
3) When I provided your dealership my offer from a competitor, someone alerted the other dealership that I was trying to obtain a matching offer from your dealership. Your dealership offered to beat any competitor's offer, not call the other guy and tell them that I was trying to get a better price, thereby nullifying my relationship with both dealers. In my mind that defeats the purpose of advertising to beat your competitor's.
As a consumer, I believe it is perfectly acceptable (and expected) to perform research and shop around for the best deal. In this case, I believe I did this to the point that my best offer (from Ourisman Rockmont Chevrolet) really was an unbelievable offer. When I returned to Ourisman Chevrolet of Bowie to cash in on your advertisement to beat any competitor, you did not follow through on your own advertisement. As I pressed further for a management response, I did not get hear from any managers and your dealership reached out to Ourisman Rockmont Chevrolet to negate the deal with them as well.