ARCHIVE: August, 2010

“This is BMW. We don’t negotiate.”

Following my ordeal with Ford, I started my drive home and drove past a BMW dealership. I decided to check it out and pulled into the lot, parked, and walked inside. My mother and I walked around looking at the cars and nobody walked over to help for a good 15 minutes. Finally I walked over to the front desk and the girl looked up and asked what I wanted. I said “I’m looking to purchase a BMW.” She suddenly had a smile on her face and said “OH! One second, let me see whom I can get to help you.”

The girl made a phone call and spoke softly and then followed by “uh huh. Ok.” and then looked up to me and said “One of the sales reps will be right with you.” I nodded and gave her my thanks and walked back to the car I was looking at. I couldn’t help but feel like the lack of anyone coming to help and her initial attitude was caused by some sort of racial profiling but I could totally be off base on that (but based on prior experiences, I’m more than likely correct). Finally a salesman came out, introduced himself and then asked how he could help. I explained I was looking for a 328xi to which he responded we should step into his office. He started filling out some paperwork to which I stated “Wait, we haven’t discussed anything yet. Why are you filling out forms already?” to which he replied ”This will save time. You obviously seem like you’ve decided on the car you want.” I eyed him suspiciously and after he filled in the paperwork, he excused himself and took the paperwork and walked away. I looked at my mother and whispered “I seriously think he’s running a credit check to see if I can get the car.” We were both agitated already from our previous experience not 30 minutes prior. I’ve purchased a few cars in the past, for both myself and my parents and have never encountered the type of obnoxious behaviors I’ve run into that day.

So he comes back, sans paperwork and sits down. He starts asking me what I’m looking for and is interrupted by a phone call. He says “Excuse me one second, that’s my wife.” and I happened to see that the phone was an extension internally. I listened very carefully and heard “The credit is seriously excellent. They can buy the 7 series if they wanted.” to which he replied “Wonderful! OK, I have to go, I’ll talk to you later.” and turned to us. “Sorry, she wanted to let me know dinner would be waiting for me when I got home.”

I’m going to shorten the story but we discussed what I wanted, and he said he had the car in the lot and made me an offer. I countered and he looked at me and said “This is BMW. We don’t negotiate.” I was totally surprised and countered with “I know for a fact that’s not true as four people I know negotiated before they bought their car.” He said “They might have got a good special, but the best I can do for you is give you a 1.99% financing. It ends tomorrow so we have to sign today.” I said “If I sign, how long do I have before I can cancel the deal with no penalties?” He said “You have until you take delivery.”

“Let’s go look at the car.” I got in and drove it a bit, and it handled great. Even my mother was impressed how it handled, but it had no options or features. I wasn’t so thrilled since I was giving up everything I actually wanted and not getting a great deal. In the beginning, I told him I wanted one thing no matter what – a hookup for my iphone to connect to the Bluetooth and to play music through the radio. If I have to compromise, that’s the one thing I refuse to give up. We talked as I drove the car around the lot a bit and he made comments about it’s power, acceleration, etc. Finally I got out of the car and began to look for the hookup for the iphone. When he inquired as to what I was searching for, I said “The iphone hookup which you guaranteed came with the car. I don’t see it anywhere.”

He said “It’s right…” and opened the center console followed by “uh-oh”. “Wow…ok…looks like the car doesn’t have the connection after all…not a big deal. You can get an aftermarket part. Let’s go finish the paperwork.”

I looked at him and point blank said “No. The deal’s off. I told you flat out that I’m giving up every option I wanted with this car. I’m settling for a lesser car and the ONE thing I REFUSE to give up is the one thing you guaranteed to be included. Now you’re telling me it’s not and I have to spend MORE money? I’m done.”

He replied “You’d really walk away from the deal for just this?”. “I already said deal’s off.” “OK, OK. Let me go talk to my boss. See what I can do.”

We go inside and he walks inside the manager’s office. He says “I have a customer who wants to purchase a car but he wants to hook up an iphone to it. The car is supposed to have the part but doesn’t. He’s ready to walk away on the deal.” I heard the manager say “For a $30 cable? Give it to him!”

The sales guy comes out and says “I convinced my manager to give you the part. It’s a $650 part that we’re giving you for free.”

We walked back to the office and sat down to sign the paperwork. Again I asked, “Just to double check, if I sign, how long do I have before I can cancel the deal with no penalties?” He said “I’m so confident you’re going to want the car, that you can break it until you take delivery of the vehicle.”

I signed the paperwork and told my friend what happened. He had been researching cars with me and said I should check out the Hyundai Genesis. He went with me to test drive the car the following Monday. We were both seriously impressed with the car and how it handled. I told the salesman that I’m looking to pay X for all the features and I don’t really need the car. If he can meet it, I’ll sign and drive away. If not, no hard feelings and I’ll walk away. He said “Wow, that’s low…but let me see what I can do.” He went to talk to his manager and came back after about 10 minutes. He said “My manager is calling the bank to see if they’ll approve it. It’s a real low offer and he doesn’t think they’ll approve but we never know.” Five minutes later, the manager comes over, shakes my hand and says “Congratulations. I hope you really enjoy your car. It’s the pride of our fleet.”

I called the BMW dealership and spoke to the salesman to let him know I was cancelling the deal. He responded “What can I do to keep your business?” I said “Honestly? There’s not much. You’re not going to beat the price.” He said “What kind of car are you getting and how much are you paying monthly?”  I said “Hyundai Genesis and x dollars.” He said “You’re giving up a BMW for a HYUNDAI?” in shock. I chuckled and said “Not just any Hyundai, one that ranks higher than yours, is cheaper, more room in every direction, has every option you offer, and uses regular gas instead of premium.” He said “Is there anything that I could do to make you reconsider?” to which I calmly replied “Sorry, you’re BMW. You don’t negotiate.”

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