Buying Cars with Bad Customer Service

Buying a new car is one of the worst things you will in your life. But why? Why do we automatically assume that’s the way it is, and that’s the way it has to be? Society has ingrained into us that buying a car is like going to war. It’s us vs them, and you have to fight for every inch. I just don’t understand this train of thought. You are spending tens of thousands of your after tax dollars. Why should we have to go to war to get the privilege of spending that?

My Recent Experience

I recently purchased a Pathfinder from my local Nissan dealership. We argued a lot about the price, because I found several dealerships in the Greater Toronto Area selling for less. I really did want to buy from my local dealership, so after a lot of back and forth, we reached a deal of about 50% of the savings I would have got buying elsewhere.

Once we reached a deal, everything seemed to go smoothly. The financing went through, I purchased a rust module for the vehicle, said no to the extended warranty, pretty standard stuff. Three days later they called and said my car was ready for pickup. I went into the dealership, signed all the paperwork they had for me (which was a good sized book), and then was given the keys to my new Pathfinder.

When we walked into their shop, and there was my Pathfinder. The beautiful arctic blue I requested, sparkled off the shop lights, and by now I was pretty excited. I unlocked the driver’s side door, and was shocked by what I saw next. Black interior. I had ordered beige interior. My heart sank, as I calmly turned to my sales rep and explained “This is the wrong car”.

We both stood there in shock for a moment, both of us trying to figure out what to say next. I finally spoke and said, “We should go check the invoice. If it says black, I’ll gladly take it, but I’m pretty sure I requested beige.” So we both walked back to his sales office, looked up the invoice, and sure enough, beige interior was on the invoice.

Going south really quickly

Up till now, everything could be explained by a simple error. The wrong colour got ordered, a mistake was made, it happens. How I expected things to go in my mind was for them to apologize fo the mix up, order the new vehicle, and we would just do this all again in a couple of days. But alias, that is not how things went. Not at all.

My sales rep walked over to his sales manager’s office, and a followed behind him, keeping a respectful difference, as I wanted to hear what they had to say. The sales manager went on to their inventory management system, looked over a few things, and then simply said “It doesn’t exist”. I quickly opened my mouth and said, it does exist, I was looking at one in the GTA just like it. Sales manager’s response, “It doesn’t exist”.

I quickly grabbed my iPhone, went to the Toronto Nissan dealer’s website, and found the exact model I was looking for. I pointed it out to the sales rep, and somehow, they kept on with their “It doesn’t exist” battle cry. To this point I still haven’t received an apology for the mix up, nor any sympathy or empathy from the dealership.

At one point they even asked my why I wanted a beige interior. I explained that I found the black interior too hot in the summer, but it doesn’t really matter. I ordered beige, so the reasons should be my own, and not something they should question. Instead, they felt the need to explain that they both had black interior cars, and their car seats don’t feel too hot.

How did this car get here

When I ordered the vehicle, they had to do a “dealer swap” for it. So at some point, the person doing the swap either looked at the invoice, saw that the vehicle was suppose to have a beige interior, or missed it completely. If he saw the vehicle was suppose to have a beige interior, and ordered a black interior anyway, then I can’t imagine what they were thinking. However, if they made a simple mistake and missed that the interior was suppose to be beige, then that’s ok. People make mistakes, we are only human, but we must live up to those mistakes.

What I can’t believe is the attitude I received for refusing the car. They couldn’t believe I wasn’t going to take the car over something as “simple” as the interior colour being wrong.

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