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I got the call from American Honda last week looking to survey me how I liked our new MDX and the buying experience. Since I've done a lot of surveying in past jobs, I assumed that the results would be anonymous (as is standard industry practise) and that my answers would be aggragated with those of others in getting back to the dealer.

But apparently, Acura does things differently.

I got a call from my sales rep this morning yelling at me for answering honestly. He needed to know what exactly he had done wrong. "Gee, Mike, do you think it was the fact that on 5 separate occasions you lied to me about delivery date and kept me waiting 11 months?"

The funny thing is, that my wife and I love the MDX. But Acura's service and their dealer network is a complete mess, especially compared to Lexus, BMW, M-B,...

Do they really think I can trust them for sevice?
 

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Surveys

There is no doubt they know where the surveys come from. Take a look at one of the threads on another well known site (shish, don't tell anyone, it's edmunds.com) and on their inconsiderate buyers thread under smart shopper, there is a long collection of infomation on how this entire process is flawed.

My saleslady was paranoid about me giving her "100% across the board" and even told me that if I did not like the F&I guy that it would reflect poorly on her. Just to help her out I am going to give her all excellents.

I'd be interested in hearing about others who have done the American Honda buyer surveys.

MIKEinTN
 

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I was repeatly reminded by my dealership to give excellent rating to my sales rep because it directly affects their allocation. While I love the 3 managers/sales rep who helped me when my main sales rep was not there, I was not particularly crazy about my direct sales rep. He was not honest, didn't know his cars, and did not stay on top of tracking the delivery. So I gave the guy fair ratings. But my honesty may have gotten him fired because he is no longer with the dealership. To know that Acura reveals the survey source and this was the outcome has completely annoyed me.
 

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vogo said:
I got a call from my sales rep this morning yelling at me for answering honestly. He needed to know what exactly he had done wrong. "Gee, Mike, do you think it was the fact that on 5 separate occasions you lied to me about delivery date and kept me waiting 11 months?"

The funny thing is, that my wife and I love the MDX.
I had the same experience. I very much enjoy the MDX. My salesperson was honest and knew a decent amount about the car. However, the salesperson didn't stay on top of delivery date info and usually returned my calls a bit on the late side. For example, after repeatedly requesting my build date (for 2 weeks) and getting no response, I visited the dealer (who knew I needed to sell my current car as soon as the MDX was on its way) and found out my MDX had been built a week earlier! It arrived the day after my visit! All of the sudden, the dealer wanted me to pick up my MDX right away. Luckily, I sold my car in two days and picked up the MDX w/in a week.

On the survey, I gave average to a bit better (mostly 3s with some 4s) scores on most responses. Of course, a short time later I got a call complaining about the scores. My thought is that all 5s should be earned not expected! Average service will get 3s and 4s.
 

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It's obvious that Acura corporate puts a lot of stock in these surveys. It is one of the few, objective sources of information they have on how their dealerships are performing. As such, they tie things like vehicle allocations to survey scores.

What drives me nuts is how the sales people and even managers beg for good scores. If they would put half of that begging energy into just doing their jobs courteously and conscientiously, the scores would take care of themselves. It's not the score they should be worried about--it's how they treat the customer. Dealerships that do that don't have to worry about the scores (and they are generally the ones that win the Precision Team awards...).
 

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The scoring method is such a farce you would think they would toss it out for something more meaningful.

My dealer even has an instruction sheet at the service area that tells you how to fill out the survey - a BIG arrow pointing at the "excellent" circle and something to the effect that any other score is no good.
 

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It's really amazing how similar the situation is in completely different locations!
My scores "were sold" for a free accessory that is less than $200, - sales manager told me that "if you'll bring excellent survey to me I'd give you money back"(they "pre-installed" and charged me for some, so called, options without asking me if I want to have them even though promised not to do this at a time of taking my order+deposit).
Overall, I'm pleased with my salesperson(not counting failure to return calls) and whole process. Yes, I got nervous when "estimated delivery date" was approaching, but the car was delivered almost in time. No hidden tricks, at least, that I know of.
I also got a letter from the dealership saying how important this survey is and how much they expect "excellent only" mark. They asked me to call if I can't do so. I was going to do exactly this since I liked everything, but that sales manager and practice of buying the scores that makes me feel myself "sold out".
The only problem, - I still have not gotten this survey after more than 3 mo. and my question is how fast it usually arrives after getting the car?
 

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Acura Survey's

I was actually bribed by my dealer to fill out the survey saying everything was perfect. They offered me free service schedule check-up's at no cost. I should of told the truth, but when I saw how much the service check-up's cost, I took the bribe. It's amazing how far they will go. I have to see if there is a way of contacting these survey people and tell them the real truth. I guess I should wait till I use the free check-up's or they may take them away, from what I'm hearing the survey people go back to the dealer. Holly Cow!!!!!:D
 

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What's in it for me...?

Hopefully I'm not going to attract too many flames for this post, but since the dealer insists on gouging the consumer, wouldn't it be in the consumer's best interest to be compensated in some way for the additional expense necessary to purchase this vehicle? I'm asking, not telling. I am all for doing the right things in life, but if the 'system' is so corrupt, would anyone at least suggest what should be expected in return to 'fudge' on the surveys? Or would this just snowball into the wrong direction? What is it worth to be dishonest? Is it?
 

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I agree with everyone's comments. We picked up our MDX 2 weeks ago and they also made sure to mention giving them all 5's on the survey. They didn't presure too heavily, but I think it was because they were a bigger dealership.

We (the customer) shouldn't feel pressured to give all 5's, and the allocation should be on a scale similar to the survey.

dfroim, my survey came within a week, but it may change depending on the dealer.
 

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I had good sales rep. Very friendly and knowledge. I gave me all 5s, except the delivery. I wish the delivery could be same as their phone survey. :D I picked up the car on Friday night, and received phone survey on Saturday morning. But I order the car in August, didn't receive it until March. A 7 months wait time. :(
 

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Don't mind the price, WANT the service

I haven't heard of a single buyer who "got a good deal" on an MDX. My assumption is that we all bought the MDX because we wanted one and none of us are cheap [If you want to haggle, need to buy a Ford, GM, etc.].

My belief is that we DESERVE the best service [heck, Lexus provides great treatment AND they still discount the RX]. I prefer that the surveys are not anonymous.

My buying experience was great, only negative was the 2nd reminder about the "how to score us" [1st one I could handle, but 2nd one pushed my button]. I suggested that it didn't happen a 3rd time and it never came up again.

My service experience has been more challenging [different dealer]. I contacted Dealer Customer relations and told them what the score was going to be [e.g. not good]. They asked what they could do to change that ... I told them, "you can't, too late". They asked why I bothered calling [asked nicely]. I explained that the NEXT TIME I brought the MDX in for service,
they would get rated on the service provided at that time. Suggested I complain to Svc Manager. I told them to do it if they wished ........ I have had some MDX wrinkles BUT dealer attitude is alot better, waiting is gone, rude is gone, concern for me is there now, understanding problem is now of interest, etc.
 

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WOW! This all sounds soooo familiar. We were reminder numerous times to please only give them "excellents" across the board on everything. I looked at the salesman (my second on at the same dealership) and said earn it. He looked a little surprised but smiled. I really liked him (as opposed to the MCP I had during the first round:mad: ) - he was VERY good about returning calls and had all the paperwork done before we went in for pick up and he only had 2 days. :D I haven't had to have any service done yet, so don't know how that will go. Keeping fingers "X"ed that all goes well for that too.:rolleyes:
 

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Got a letter today from my salesperson

After taking delivery of my Black MDX last Saturday, with my salesperson telling me at least twice to "nothing but excellent" on the survey, I received a letter from her today.

The jist of the letter was to give them all "completely satisfied" on all questions. She said that Acura and the General Sales Manager of the dealership "look very closely" at the surveys. She also said if there were any questions I could not answer in that manner to call her first and let her try to resolve it before answering the question.

I could see where it would be really easy to take advantage of the paranoia from dealers about the surveys. Has anyone out there done this? I'm 200 miles away from my dealer, so a free oil change does not do me much good.

I have no plans to extort my dealer, just wondering if any of you have had the dealer make overt offers for good surveys?

Two years ago I bought my wife a Chrysler Town and Country Minivan. (And it has been a very good van). The sales droid was awful. He jacked us around and when we went back the price went up, etc....so when we finally bought after several negotation sessions, he said, "When you get the survey, bring it into us and I'll give you three free oil changes".

We never got the survey, but if I had, I was going to torch this guy and take the orginal to the dealer to get my free oil changes, but make a photo copy of the survey and send it in with a note saying that this was a copy of the orginal I gave the dealer directily for three free oil changes! I guess he was lucky I did not get the survey. The dealer is a five star Chrysler dealer, so that must not have happened much. The happy ending is that their service department is outstanding and we have received really great service from them, and we have reflected this in service questionaires we have received.

Have a great weekend everyone!

MIKEinTN
 

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Great Surveys!!!!!!!!

My experience has been better for the survey. My dealer offered to bribe me into lying about how pleased I was with his less than stellar service. Because I wouldn't take him up on the bribe, I never got any survey. First time in my life I never got any survey with a new car.

It is one way to eliminate bad surveys. Got to love Acura and their wonderfull dealer network.
 

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My dealer went as far as offering me a "little proposition" which included me mailing the blank survey to him so that he could fill it out in exchange for free oil changes during the first year. I gladly mailed him the blank survey while I made a photocopy and filled it in and mailed it to the Acura address on the envelope. Personally, I think it's great that Acura shares our survey information with the dealerships because it's the only time they are actually interested in what we the customers have to say. I didn't know it before reading this thread but we apparently hold even more power if our feedback has a direct impact on the dealer allocations of a particular vehicle (which I still find hard to believe. If they want superior ratings then they should provide superior service - it's as simple as that !!!

JPOW
 

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okay guys I understand how you feel about the survey as a ACURA SALES REP let me give our take on it. Our compensation is reflected in these scores. I have been with Acura for over 11 years , this year Acura went to a phone survey 1-5 scale. If we get a 5 we get 100% 4-1 = 0%, we need to average 97% so if one out 10 gives you a 4 then your at 90%. If you honestly have a problem with someone other than the sales rep write a letter to the GM or Acura. Don't kill the sales rep!!!!!!!! We might be spaztic about the survey, now you know why.
If you bought an MDX you made a smart move , even at msrp it is still a good deal as far as what you get for the money and then compare the resale value vs. other manufactures you got DEAL!!!!!!:)
 

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I think our point, Tony, is that rather than focusing on the survey and begging for a 5, just put your effort and attention into pleasing the customer. Maybe go out of your way to ask at the end of the sales process, "Hey, was there anyone you dealt with here whom you're less than completely satisfied with? I want to make sure this is the best car buying process you've ever gone through!" Be sincere. You'll get your fives.
 

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Personally, I couldn't care less what compensation the Acura sales reps get in relation to the survey. That is between you and your dealer. When I pay MSRP (or more, in many of our cases) for a luxury SUV, I expect a certain degree of treatment from the entire process. I do agree with Tonyfins in that it is not right that the sales rep is "punished" if a customer is not happy with one of the other aspects of the buy. However, in most, if not all of the complaints you have read about in this forum are DIRECTLY related to the sales rep. This is further supported in the fact that most of us have received the survey within 3 - 4 weeks of picking up our MDX's so we really haven't had an opportunity to experience the other aspects of the dealer (i.e. - Service, Parts, etc.). In most of the complaints you have read about here, it has been issues related to shoddy treatment by the sales rep. If a company like L.L. Bean (and no I do not work for them) can establish superior customer service when the average spend probably averages less than $100 per order, than I would certainly expect as much when spending 400 times that for a new luxury car. Now that we know more about the impact of this survey than nothing but good can come out of it from the customer perspective.
 

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Re: Sales Rep Take on It

This is for Tony and any other Acura personnel who may read this [Tony, please don't take this personally]:

The survey was put in place to obtain a customer's opinion of their experience, it is:

** NOT a measure of the value of the MDX.
** NOT a measure of the MDX's resale value.
** NOT designed to perpetrate fraud [e.g. send dealer blank survey].
** NOT designed as a mechanism for barter [e.g. good scores = free oil changes].

If the DEALERSHIP wants good scores, then the dealership should work to obtain this. All personnel coming into contact with the customer should be motivated to make the experience good for the CUSTOMER [novel concept?]. Return phone calls on a timely basis? Keep promises? Lay off the "forced upgrades"? .........

I don't think that Acura intended the survey to be a test of the dealer's ability to "rig the results" [they would issue a "Rig the Results Survey" wouldn't they?]. As long as the dealers [and their personnel] beg, cheat, lie .... they should get what they have coming to them ... take lessons from Lexus, become accountable, become responsible, become honest, LEARN TO CARE .... EARN A GOOD SCORE ....

hmmmm ... that sounds like work .... anyone want to wager whether my words are wasted on deaf ears ...
 
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