April 5, 2016 12:11 p.m.

So I ordered a Focus RS. I was pretty stoked about it.

So much so I bent over and let them ream me over the price on it.

I'm a stupid, stupid man, but I don't haggle worth a crap.

Plunked down a $2000 deposit and was told I would get an order number and status updates on the order as I was the last of the 8 allocated to the dealer I chose.

That was over a month ago.

I've not heard anything.

Things have been busy around here with the baby coming and preparing the house for all of that, plus we had the roof replaced and the usual by yearly freakout with the in-laws (every 6 months they do something incredibly stupid that I have to help the wife with because they are very large children with huge emotional problems, currently its keeping all of their money at home and not in the banks because they had their account hacked and they of course got it all back, but I digress).

The only thing I've heard from the dealership? Automated emails from their contact software asking if I've found a car yet or if I'm still looking.

After about 4 or 5 of them, I decided enough was enough and I wrote them:

"Have I found a vehicle yet?

Sort of.

I ordered a Focus RS through your dealer, put down a $2000 deposit and haven't heard anything from anybody since, I was told I would be contacted with my order number and updated with the status of the order.

Instead, I have to go off of the "about 2 months" status I received when I originally ordered the car and I get these occasional automated emails about whether I'm still looking for a car. It concerns me greatly that I'm still shown as "looking for a car" in your system.

At this point, an order number, a status on where it might be, etc. would be very helpful.

Let me say clearly that I'm not feeling very comfortable about this process and your dealer's apparent lack of internal communication is the issue behind it.

If I have to pay $5000 ADM for the car, I expected a bit more feedback and attention as its pretty obvious the dealership is going to make at least $40,000 from the order of my car and the 7 others on top of the profits you make off the cars before the markup.

Regards, Stefan Mullikin"

I just do not understand why I can get so much more information on orders for random crap from places like Amazon, eBay, my local pizza delivery hole in the wall, etc. yet car dealerships are permanently stuck in the mode of "we're doing you a favor by allowing you to be near our cars, let alone speak to us."

At this point, they'll need to drop the BS markup (or giving me a spare set of tires/wheels) after updating me on its status to make me happy.

This is my first ever new car and likely to be my last, unless the entire car buying process actually changes for the better. I'm not holding my breath.

Robbie SuperDork
April 5, 2016 12:31 p.m.

There is HUGE opportunity in the car dealership market for a large shakeup.

How would you build the google of car dealers?

Maybe this:

Person wants a new car. They open an app. Search for car (maybe based on more relevant stuff than make and model... search on color or features instead). find a car they like, prices listed, no haggling, carmax style. type in specifics of your trade-in. get automated trade-in offer response. get 3 take-it-or-leave in financing offers. Choose one. pay $500 deposit. Schedule appt. Someone drives your new car to your house at appt time. test drive. Sign papers, and the person leaves with your trade in. done.

or, would you go even further and innovate even the ownership structure of cars?

BMWGeoff
BMWGeoff New Reader
April 5, 2016 12:33 p.m.

I had that issue when I ordered an Edge for my wife. I was a tech at the dealer at the time, and kept getting told things like 'we're just waiting for it to be delivered' or 'it should be here this time next week'

When I finally got it, 3 months after ordering it, I found out the build date was from the previous week, not 6 weeks earlier as the sales manager had told me.

Mike Dork
April 5, 2016 12:36 p.m.
Robbie wrote: There is HUGE opportunity in the car dealership market for a large shakeup. How would you build the google of car dealers? Maybe this: Person wants a new car. They open an app. Search for car (maybe based on more relevant stuff than make and model... search on color or features instead). find a car they like, prices listed, no haggling, carmax style. type in specifics of your trade-in. get automated trade-in offer response. get 3 take-it-or-leave in financing offers. Choose one. pay $500 deposit. Schedule appt. Someone drives your new car to your house at appt time. test drive. Sign papers, and the person leaves with your trade in. done. or, would you go even further and innovate even the ownership structure of cars?

I'll just leave this here:

http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/27/carvana-300m/

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
April 5, 2016 12:42 p.m.

Your nasty is still quite pleasant.

April 5, 2016 12:43 p.m.
BMWGeoff wrote: I had that issue when I ordered an Edge for my wife. I was a tech at the dealer at the time, and kept getting told things like 'we're just waiting for it to be delivered' or 'it should be here this time next week' When I finally got it, 3 months after ordering it, I found out the build date was from the previous week, not 6 weeks earlier as the sales manager had told me.

Lovely. That's a great thought. Thanks.

April 5, 2016 12:47 p.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote: Your nasty is still quite pleasant.

I work in IT, its hard to get "Nasty" without going in progressive stages unless I have a Director or CxO behind me :)

Ultimate step would be unleashing my wife on them.

Trust me, you don't want to deal with an angry, pregnant, Filipino woman.

Ask me how I know :)

April 5, 2016 12:55 p.m.
Robbie wrote: There is HUGE opportunity in the car dealership market for a large shakeup. How would you build the google of car dealers? Maybe this: Person wants a new car. They open an app. Search for car (maybe based on more relevant stuff than make and model... search on color or features instead). find a car they like, prices listed, no haggling, carmax style. type in specifics of your trade-in. get automated trade-in offer response. get 3 take-it-or-leave in financing offers. Choose one. pay $500 deposit. Schedule appt. Someone drives your new car to your house at appt time. test drive. Sign papers, and the person leaves with your trade in. done. or, would you go even further and innovate even the ownership structure of cars?

Well, lets get realistic for a moment and realize that cars are white goods. So while they require more overhead than say your typical white goods store, they still are pretty much bought as-is by most people.

Setup a website with the various models and options, if one exists in country already, then you can place a deposit or pay for the entire thing and have it shipped directly to your door or the nearest dealership.

If it doesn't exist yet, then you can place an order, again with a deposit (or paying for the whole thing if you have your financing in place already). Then they'll send you a confirmation of the order and a link to a website where you can track that order through the entire process.

As for dealers, they'll use essentially the same process to sell the cars they already have on their lot(s) with the exception of having to wait for the order and/or shipping to take place.

Heck if you want, you could reduce the amount of human contact to nearly nil by using kiosks and various phone apps. Buy a car through the kiosk, fill out the info, etc. and the car of your choice is automatically unlocked or the gate to the area where the cars are held is unlocked and you have your order double checked as you drive out. Just like many car rental agencies work today.

novaderrik UltimaDork
April 5, 2016 1:05 p.m.

have you ever considered calling the salesman and asking what the deal is? like, actually TALK to him? with your voice?

KyAllroad UltraDork
April 5, 2016 1:17 p.m.
novaderrik wrote: have you ever considered calling the salesman and asking what the deal is? like, actually TALK to him? with your voice?

IT people don't talk on the phone. Nor do they enjoy direct sunlight so that may be difficult.

Stefan, I understand your hesitation to unleash the wife. Tiger Mom is Filipino as well and has been known to make grown men cry....

April 5, 2016 2:42 p.m.
KyAllroad wrote:
novaderrik wrote: have you ever considered calling the salesman and asking what the deal is? like, actually TALK to him? with your voice?

IT people don't talk on the phone. Nor do they enjoy direct sunlight so that may be difficult.

Stefan, I understand your hesitation to unleash the wife. Tiger Mom is Filipino as well and has been known to make grown men cry....

QFT.

I honestly don't like talking on the phone. Never have. That's my personal problem.

Also, having lived with her for over a decade, I know full well the wrath that can be unleashed when provoked. Lets just say, she's the only Surgical Tech that is both feared and respected by the surgeons she works with :)

Also, when its someone's job to do something, I will give them time to do it themselves and not chase them around or micro-manage them. If I hadn't gotten busy with other things, I would have followed up much more soon with them. I'll accept blame on that for not expressing my expectations with them earlier.

GameboyRMH MegaDork
April 5, 2016 2:58 p.m.
Robbie wrote: There is HUGE opportunity in the car dealership market for a large shakeup. How would you build the google of car dealers? Maybe this: Person wants a new car. They open an app. Search for car (maybe based on more relevant stuff than make and model... search on color or features instead). find a car they like, prices listed, no haggling, carmax style. type in specifics of your trade-in. get automated trade-in offer response. get 3 take-it-or-leave in financing offers. Choose one. pay $500 deposit. Schedule appt. Someone drives your new car to your house at appt time. test drive. Sign papers, and the person leaves with your trade in. done. or, would you go even further and innovate even the ownership structure of cars?

Sounds a lot like TrueCar, which is as close as you can get with the US' laws that require dealerships to exist.

sachilles UltraDork
April 5, 2016 3:19 p.m.

No offense, but if you want a real answer, go stop by in person. 2nd choice is to call and talk to them. Replying to an automated sales email, that likely doesn't really get read by anyone at the dealer with any regularity, strikes me as unproductive. If you aren't bugging them, they honestly have no thought of you until your car shows up on the lot. Doesn't make it right, but it's the likely scenario.

spitfirebill UltimaDork
April 5, 2016 3:22 p.m.

If you unleash the wife on them, please video it and post here.

racerdave600 SuperDork
April 5, 2016 4:43 p.m.

Our local Ford dealer wasn't even remotely interested in ordering a car for me. Basically they told me no, and that no one else would want a car spec'd like I wanted if I backed out. Basically I could pick from something off the lot or walk...so I walked and bought a Subaru.

bigdaddylee82 SuperDork
April 5, 2016 5:06 p.m.

I totally feel you on the automated emails. We bought our Sportwagen new and financed with VW, they beat our credit union by 2% and knocked an extra $1K off in the process, or else I would have never even considered financing with VW Credit.

Bone head finance manager Derick (I remember his name) got my name wrong, I caught it, my sales lady caught it, and Derick the finance manager, promised to fix the issue. I took Derick at his word, my mistake. It took 2 months to get our car tagged, and many phone calls, many letters, and an affidavit from the dealer explaining that I actually bought the car, not the name that's actually on the paper work. I'm expecting a bit of a rodeo when we pay it off, and get the title for it too.

Anyway, I continued to get emails and letters about specials, check ups, incentives, etc. addressed to the wrong name. I asked half a dozen or more times for them to fix it, in person, on the phone, in replies to the emails, but nothing happened. It really burned me up, and was a continuous reminder of the whole ordeal.

Finally I sent this in reply to the sales manager's email congratulating me on my 1 year anniversary of owning the car:

Lee said: I'm still not Thomas, never have been, never will be. I know it wasn't you that got my name wrong, it was that dumb ass Finance Manager (Derick something?) that put the wrong name on all the paper work. I'm still going to have to jump through hoops to fix his screw up when the car is paid for and I get the title. Every email or letter I get addressed to "Thomas" is another reminder of the whole ordeal, either fix it or just stop sending me stuff. This is far from the first time I've asked to stop calling me the wrong name.

This thread got me to dig through my sent emails and find that, yeah it was a little crude, but you know what? They have Lee on everything they send to me now.

mad_machine MegaDork
April 5, 2016 5:53 p.m.

last new car I bought was in 1999.. I -still- get emails and snail mails reminding me that Such and such service is due on a car I wrecked in 2006.. and added to that are all these incentives I get for being a repeat buyer if I want to trade it in.

iceracer PowerDork
April 5, 2016 6:12 p.m.

When I ordered my '11 Fiesta, I told 6 to8 weeks. 8 weeks and no car. I made a pest of my self while being friendly. Where's my car. Dealer had no idea. I was getting to the point of cancelling the order. The dealer ship owner finally called some one at Ford. Seems the car had been traveling. From Mexico to Baltimore and back to Mexico for a stop sale recall. The car finally arrived 5 months from original order. I kept reminding the sales manager that my trade in was depreciating .

slowride HalfDork
April 5, 2016 6:21 p.m.

I won't buy another new car that's not on the lot when I'm ready to buy. I got reamed on a rental car when my Mazda took 3x as long to arrive as what the salesman told me.

April 6, 2016 1:11 p.m.

Update with a reply from the dealership:

Sorry for no feedback, the Focus RS has yet to be built and is still months out. When we know the exact date we will inform you. We appreciate you business and if you have anymore questions please let us know.

Sigh, the typos are killing me, but the fact that its still months out hurts. At least I have an updated target (for now).

SVreX MegaDork
April 6, 2016 1:50 p.m.

I've been working at a Ford dealership for the past year. They've got an RS that should be here in a couple of weeks that no one has given a deposit on, if you want to cancel your order.

PM me if you want contact info.

tuna55 MegaDork
April 6, 2016 2:00 p.m.
SVreX wrote: I've been working at a Ford dealership for the past year. They've got an RS that should be here in a couple of weeks that no one has given a deposit on, if you want to cancel your order. PM me if you want contact info.

Yes do this

BTD New Reader
April 6, 2016 4:35 p.m.
Stefan (Not Bruce) wrote: Update with a reply from the dealership: Sorry for no feedback, the Focus RS has yet to be built and is still months out. When we know the exact date we will inform you. We appreciate you business and if you have anymore questions please let us know. Sigh, the typos are killing me, but the fact that its still months out hurts. At least I have an updated target (for now).

My friend (who ordered an RS through my uncle - works at a Ford dealer in OH) got a letter from Ford's RS division with a very nice diecast model of his RS in the mail last week. I'm not sure when his is supposed to be delivered, but if you didn't get something like this, I would seriously reconsider your deal with your dealership. Sure, it's small, but it's a cool part of the experience of buying a brand new low production car. Combine that with the lack of communication you've had and I would have already walked into a different dealership.

With so many Ford dealers around, why mess with one that sucks?

If you want to reconsider, let me know. IIRC my friend bought his RS at MSRP.

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