Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Experiencing the Darrow difference


So I have this friend who found himself in the market for a new car. As you may have heard from the latest economic statistics, that makes my friend a rarity. So after some deliberation and some test driving, my friend settled on a Kia Optima.

Russ Darrow Kia in Waukesha told him last night that, while they did not have the exact model he wanted on the lot, they would have one shipped from their warehouse another dealer (see comments) in Eau Claire to arrive in Waukesha today. Because my friend thought he had a pretty good deal, he actually turned down a car at a different dealership.

Today arrives and my friend doesn’t hear anything from them by 3:00 PM. This has my friend concerned, so he called. He was told the manager was busy, but he would call my friend back. Finally at 4:30 PM my friend got a call back.

According to the manager, the car my friend bought last night was sold to someone else today. They cannot get that car, so he suggested my friend accept a different car with less options, and the manager would reduce the price, or that my friend should pay more for the turbo version of the car. My unhappy friend told the manager to price the turbo out and call him back.

The manager called back and said he can offer the lesser car with a free aftermarket sunroof and protection package. My friend wisely told the manager that the Optima sunroof is integrated and has glass for both front and back passengers. My friend countered that he wanted the Turbo for the price they originally agreed upon for the car that disappeared. The manager countered that he would be taking a $6,000 loss, prompting my friend to reply that with dealer holdbacks, incentives and wholesale pricing, the dealership would still be making money.

The manager then suggested that if he gave up the turbo, my friend would have to put more money down. My friend asked how much? And the sales manager said he would have to get back to my friend.

My friend never got a call, and finally stopped over there after his son’s boy scout meeting. At this point in the story, I understand if you want to try to remember the Scout Law and compare it to the Russ Darrow dealership’s behavior.

The sales manager is in the lot. He said, “You’re here?” My friend said, well, you never called. The manager replied, “I am still trying to work the figures. (Hard to do from the middle of the lot.) The manager said, “It’s kind of hard when you do not have the invoice yet.” My friend asked how much more will the dealer need. The manager said at least $3,000. (MSRP is $24,700.) My friend offered an additional $1,000 on the down payment.

The manager told my friend, after all the jerking around, he couldn’t do it. My friend, probably in a somewhat sarcastic voice, said, “So your integrity is worth about two grand to you. All the promises you made to me last night mean nothing.”

Ironic slogan


The sales manager’s response was, “I tried.”

My friend told the manager the deal was off and followed him into the dealership to make him give my friend the copies of the contract they signed, and then my friend left.

So here is my question to my readers. Have any of you had a similar experience dealing with the Russ Darrow dealerships? Have they ever jerked you around? What’s the most annoying experience y

ou ever had?

(I had one with Rosen that was a real doozy I may share some time. You couldn’t get me to walk onto one of their lots again at gunpoint.)

On the flip side, after hearing this story, would you still be willing to shop at Russ Darrow? Do you think that the dealer was not completely out of line the way they jerked my friend around?

I will say that Russ Darrow, aside from losing my friend as a customer, has lost a five-time customer as a result of this story. So that $2,000 (on the down payment, not the purchase price)just cost them a lot more than that.

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