Dealers: the Bad
'In terms of buying cars, I regret I cannot recommend Audi. They sold me a car (an 11,000-mile demonstrator) with a worn spare wheel that was supposed to be unused! I had to threaten them with legal action to have that and another tyre replaced.
'I wanted to buy a Fiat 500, so went to our local dealer in London. I was so put off by the lack of professionalism, poor service, rudeness and arrogance of the salespeople that I am not going to buy the car.
'It took me three attempts to contact them to arrange a test drive and then, when I arrived for a booked test drive, it was too 'expensive' for them to let me test drive a car (the salesperson was not willing to let me test a car as it was going to cost him personally for the fuel I only wanted to go round the block). If that's the way they treat a customer trying to buy a car, I shudder at the thought of having to ask them to fix something. I'm not even going to give them the chance to find out. It's not just the car it's also the after-sales service that matters. When you want to own a car, you have to think long-term, so I am not going to buy a 500 because of the dealers.' AK
'I am convinced that dealers do not want our custom. I have left a message for a Mazda dealer via the Mazda.co.uk website enquiring about a 58-plate Mazda 6 and how I would go about getting a part-exchange figure for my current car (as this dealer is more than 120 miles away and Mazda stock is not interchangeable between dealers, apparently). However, no one has contacted me.
'I went into a local Mazda dealer and the salesman could not even be bothered to get out of his chair. When I asked if he could give me a part-exchange figure for my car, he very reluctantly got out of his chair. He would not give me a figure there and then, instead rang back about three hours later. He still would not give me a part-exchange figure, stating it depended on when I would be looking at buying as the 'underwriter' would want to know this. How can I even decide if I can buy a new Mazda if I don't know what I will get for my current car?'
'My previous experience of car dealers was in 2001. However, my distinct memory was that VW, BMW and Audi were all pretty good. By contrast, Mercedes-Benz was awful. I entered an empty dealership at 5.30pm, the solitary salesman, sitting at a desk doing paperwork, barely looked up as I approached him. I asked to see the C-Class and was told they had none! I then asked about a brochure and was simply directed to get one from a display on the far side of the cavernous showroom. The man did not even get up from his desk, shake my hand, ask my name or anything. I took the brochure, glanced at it at home and then threw it in the bin!'
'I was interested in a CLS, called in on a Tuesday, spoke to a salesperson quite quickly and arranged a test drive for Saturday.
This is where it went horribly wrong. I arrived nice and early to find that the salesperson was not around. She'd booked me in for the following Saturday, but didn't call back to confirm/clarify. I go home disappointed, as there isn't another CLS diesel for me to drive.
The following Saturday, I show up again and the salesperson has heard that I'd come in before, but no apology, instead I don't get anything more than a 10-minute drive because she's busy!
Obviously I didn't buy and didn't bother returning her phone calls. Just what exactly do salespeople expect from customers? Very disappointing.'