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I recently went out looking for an MDX to replace my BMW 323ic that was at the end of its lease. This is my story.

I called every dealer in the state of Washington, and one down in Oregon. All had the same story - booked until January, give us a $2k deposit for one coming in. Acura of Portland only wanted $1k and had one coming in early January, so I thought that was as good as I could do. Roger Womack was a great guy down there.

When I cold-called Acura of Lynnwood, a salesman named Raj got on the phone. He said "What color?" I told him I was a little flexible, and he said "Sure I've got a tour/nav in gold right now. Can you come over today?" I explained that I wasn't comfy with that color, that 3 or 4 of the other colors were to my liking, and he replied "Well you said you were flexible. Are you or aren't you?" >>Of course I should've cut my losses here, but I didn't.<< I gave him the colors I was looking for and my phone # and asked him to let me know, as he said he was unable to see the allocation sheet where he was.

He called me back 10 minutes later and said "I have a GG coming in a few days, you can have it." He gave me the VIN, which I was impressed with (and it checked out). He said he needed a $5k deposit to hold it. I laughed, remembered that my Amex card is very safe and has no real credit limit, and gave it to him. His response was "OK, great, I'll call you when its in." No social sec #, no street address, no nothing.

Next day, 2PM, I get a call. "Your MDX is here, I'm having it prepped right now. When can you be here?" When I told him that I needed a bit of time to come up with my down payment and arrange to get over there, he said "Well if you don't come sign the papers immediately someone else will buy it." I told him I'd come the next day (a Thursday) at 11. He was noticably irritated and kept asking if there was any way I could come the same day - possibly he could stay late? No, there was no way, and eventually he agreed to Thursday. >>the pressure was building, this guy was pushing hard, but I didn't back off - my fault<<

Got there right on time. He showed me the GG MDX, and 02 Tour/Nav just like I wanted. I sat in it, drove it gently around the lot, etc. When we got back, he had already written the paperwork up for MSRP+$1600+port options (mud flaps & wheel locks) with 0 down payment - he assumed I would just sign it and drive, and just pay down the loan later if desired. So I explained that I needed to return with money and my wife.

At this point, Raj quite literally lost it, telling me that if I didn't buy it right then he would sell it to the man coming in at 2PM. The price is non-negotiable, the financing is arranged, the sales manager will not let my deposit hold the car once I leave. Basically at this point he tells me "Buy it or not." I tell him not, not like that. He gets Tom, his closer. Tom puts the thumb screws on and starts beating me down to sign the contract. Luckily, I've been through this before many times. I tell Tom the same thing. Eventually, Tom refunds my deposit and says "You can call tomorrow, if its still here you can buy it." >>again, should wash my hands right here<<

I call back the next morning. Early. None of the sales guys are in yet. I speak to Burt, the General Manager of the dealership. I tell him that I want the MDX, but I hated the pressure and difficult salesmen and I wouldn't deal with them again. I compared this experience to my BMW dealership where everything was above-board and non-pressure. He then made the turning point statement: "OK, what would you like your experience to be when you get here?" I told him the deal I wanted, how I wanted to pay, etc. I also told him I wouldn't deal with Raj or Tom. His response was "No problem, I would feel the same way. When you come in, ask for me personally." I setup a time of 12 noon, with the agreement that he'd have my new MDX driven back to my home (my wife couldn't go with me).

When I got there, Burt was waiting. He had everything written up exactly as we had discussed. The car was prepped and inside the showroom, awaiting delivery. Then he dropped the bomb on me. "Raj will be delivering the car to you. I've had a long talk with him, and I think you'll be happy." Raj then came over and proceeded to apologize at some length for his behavior. He did a relatively lackluster job on the delivery, not explaining most of the items on the checklist. But he did have the detailer buff out some minor scratches. I then signed the paperwork and asked Burt who would be riding my MDX back home. "Raj will." Raj followed me in my new MDX, with a lot jockey following him home. >>this was lovely, I enjoyed the irony<<

Summary: The sales guy was an alpha-type aggressive salesman, pushy and somewhat offensive. So was his closer. I expect better at the $40k price point. The truck was worth the effort though. I'll simply never step foot in that dealership again unless I'm dealing directly with the General Manager.
 

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customer service.. hahah

I always go straight for the Manager / Supervisor / General Manager, etc.. I never deal with Level 1 customer service.. these people are dubm and can't get anything done right EVER!!!
 

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I recently dealt with Cerritos Acura in Los Angeles. My sales person was Mitch Franklin, the Internet/Fleet Manager. He was really nice to work with. Absolutely no pressure. He picked me up from the Greyhound bus station, which was quite a ways out of his way. He bought me breakfast, and while I was at the dealership, he put his money into the machine to get me some drinking water... He took real good care of me. He himself cleaned some of the oversights of the detailers. He was a charm to deal with. Finally, he even bought me a couple of bottles of water for the drive.

The only complaint I have is, I asked him to check the tire pressure, he tried, but he couldn't find a guage to do it.

I found that the front tires were under-inflated (28PSI).
 

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I agree with you that I expect better customer treatment than that, ESPECIALLY from a luxury car company. On the other hand (and not to belittle your experience), what you described doesn't sound THAT bad. Yes, the sales staff put pressure on you and I much prefer it when they let the product sell itself. But you are a savvy shopper, and you didn't fall for their psychological tricks. It sounds like the GM was quite reasonable, and I even admire him forcing Raj to apologize and then deal with you in a reasonable manner.

Unfortunately, car sales attracts a certain kind of person who is not always completely honest. On the other hand, they use whatever techniques they have found work for them, and "tightening the screws", as you put it, probably makes them a lot of money. I would much rather see them concentrate on building a lasting relationship with customers that will keep the brand healthy for the long term, but that kind of thinking is rare and precious. It sounds like the GM had it; now he just needs to hire and/or train a sales staff that sees things the same way. Good luck!
 

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I just love the way the load up the cars w/ these "accessories" and then offer them up as "take it or leave it," which is what happened w/ me when I bought.

My Acura buying experience is the exact opposite to my experience with BMW when I got my E46, where they were very classy, informative and professional, not to mention they worked w/ me on price on the high in demand Ci's.
 

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Flee67 said:
My Acura buying experience is the exact opposite to my experience with BMW when I got my E46, where they were very classy, informative and professional, not to mention they worked w/ me on price on the high in demand Ci's.
I know exactly what you mean. I bought a 323ic on the east coast where they're in high demand year-round. I had a perfect experience. They came down on the price to where they needed to be, they delivered quickly, and they were most courteous. Its the only time I've ever said "Hey I wish I worked here" about a car dealership.
 
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