: Faulkner Cadillac - Trevose, PA

01-29-05, 08:55 PM
I left a glowing recommendation for Kemper Cadillac a few days ago, but my experience today at Faulkner forced me to write.

My wife and I had an interest in a leftover demo 2004 SRX V6 AWD ($43500 sticker). After multiple phone calls back and forth this morning with a dealer 45 mins away, we decided it sounded like an ok deal, so we took a ride....

Well, then it got terrible. Major problem #1 - this is an old-fashioned type dealer where the only purpose of the salesman is to hand you keys for a test drive, then you haggle with the "finance guy", and then when it looks like you might leave without a deal, in comes the "manager"....

...and the price of the car that was quoted over the phone was not honored when we arrived at the dealer.....

It's for the best though, because as much as my wife and I liked the Silver Smoke SRX, as soon as she saw the hideous dealer installed RED pinstriping on the car, she was turned off....

Hate to give negatives, but this experience deserved it. Thanks for listening to me vent...

01-29-05, 09:29 PM
That's why after 26 & 1/2 years, I got out of selling cars. I got sick & tired of haggling! I could not take it anymore, and there's a certain type of personality out there that crosses across all ethnic and religious and age backgrounds, Oh, I'd say 1 in 8 that feels that they don't get (or can't get) the best deal UNLESS they also get fresh and abusive. At 51 I wasn't about to take any fresh loud mouthing directed at me from some snot-nosed 20 year old. Many people when they don't get the price THEY want, resort to abusive behavor. I found if I instanly gave the last - the final price - like if invoice was $20,332.00 and I gave them the price of $20,332.00 immediately, as in right off the bat, they still began haggling and getting loud and semi-nasty.
That's when I left it. Sounds to me like that guy who "just hands over the keys" as you describe, has about had it, too. I'll bet he was over 47 years old, and at it for at least 12 years.
I'd like to see some of the customers open a fresh mouth over at Macy's or Target when they want something impossible. They'd call security, and security would remove their trashy butts. Sadly, car dealers don't have security. When a customer would annoy me to where I was gonna "pop" I headed for the bathroom with the sports page. I was there to sell & deminstrate cars, not to take their verbal abuse. My wife of 23 years doesn't yell at me like some of my "customers" did in the past.
Like I said, that Key salesman is probably burnt out. No YOUR fault, don't misunderstand. It only takes one POS to give ya a bad attitude all day.

01-30-05, 07:29 PM
I definitely appreciate your point...dealing with people (especially those that know just enough to be dangerous) has to be unbelievably difficult. My biggest problem here was that the price quoted to me over the phone was changed when I got to the dealer...that's deception whether or not the salesman has had enough of his job. Once they pulled a "switch" on the price, they could have offered to sell me the car for $10,000 and I probably would have told them to keep it.

Also, I've been spoiled at other dealerships where one person greets you when you walk in, and this one person handles everything from the test drive to the sale, to the financing, and all paperwork. It's the game of back and forth where the salesman keeps going into the "back room" to meet with the manager and coming out with another offer written on a piece of paper that turns me off. Then, when it looks like no deal may happen, this manager appears to try and save the day. If the sales associate doesn't have the authority to deal with the customer, then why should the customer have to deal with the "middle man." I'm not one to haggle - can't stand it. In this case, we went to look at a car based on a calculation we did from a price over the phone. When we got there and the price was higher, the calcs didn't meet our budget anymore. When we tried to say thanks and leave, then the games with the manager started. The salesman knew our budget and pricing up front, but couldn't give us a price without leaving for 5 minutes and coming back with a number on a piece of paper. I have to think that this method turns away more customers than having qualified personnel who can handle all aspects of a transaction.

I'm not trying to start any argument, but I just want to explain my opinion from the customer in the way you can explain it from the sales point of view. Selling cars (or anything) is a difficult occupation. But some dealerships (in this case) make it more difficult on their personnel just by the hierarchy and the method they choose.

Again, I say this with all due respect and hope that haven't offended you in any way, Sandy.


01-30-05, 08:48 PM
What was the reason given to you & yourwife for the change in the price? (Or WAS there a reason offered??)

As I have said before on this site, Sales managers are so full of themselves that they ALL need to drive SUV in order to get in their EGOs !

Few places any longer allow the salemen to handle the entire deal. Funny, in 1970 when I began, about 4 weeks down the road, I was allowed to handle the entire deal. Fast forward 27 years, to 1997 when I quit, I was NEVER allowed to handle the entire deal.

I had ALOT of people tell me, "Sandy, it was a pleasure dealing with you, but we walked out because that other guy, I don't know who/what he is ruffed us up and started playing games with us". 80% of the time the "Other Guy" was the Sales Manager a.k.a. "Sales Loser" 20% of the time it was the General Manager. They treat everyone the same, cookie cutter style and you just cannot do that. You need to be able to read your buyer, and sincerely act in their benefit as well as your bosses benefit.
You just cannot attempt to rape every customer! (and you aslo have to control the sale. Once the consumer gains control of the sale, YOU (the salesman) has LOST the sale. But, conversly many people come into the dealership acting in a way that they would never act in any other establishment.
I recall one guy who came in and shouts out, over at me, "Whatcha givin' away, today"? Would he do this in a carpeting store? A supermarket? The candy concession at the movies?? Of course not.

Did you know that every customer walks in, and walks up to some car on the showroom floor and asks a salesman "What can I buy this for?" and did YOU know that IF IF IF you reply to him, that there's a 1 in 50 chance that you'll sell him? In other words, if you reply to him, you lose!

I suggest that you & your wife visit another dealer. Don't necessrily buy at the lowest price - buy where you feel the most comfortable, and where you felt you were treated properly, and WATCH WATCH WATCH the interaction of the boss & his salesman! How he treat his salesmen is a good indication of how YOU'LL be treated, should you spend your money there.......

01-30-05, 09:06 PM
Clearly this is a topic that is near and dear to you, and I can definitely see the frustrations you must have dealt with in your years selling cars. In our case, I called this dealer based upon a GMBuyPower web search of leftover 2004 SRX's. This dealer has one, so I called to inquire what the pricing was of the vehicle, understanding that as a leftover the price should be below the sticker price. The salesman said that he'd have to look into it and call me back. He called back with a number of $34,900. I asked if the $1500 rebate was available for current GM owners on this car. He said "yes" and the price would then be $33,400. He was unable to give me APR's on financing, but my wife and I did some quick calcs and the numbers were close to our budget. The salesman said to come on in, we can make it work.

When we got there, the financing numbers came back much higher than our estimate. Besides an outrageously high 7.5% APR, suddenly, the $34,900 number INCLUDED the GM Loyalty Rebate, which was impossible because I didn't even mention owning another GM vehicle until after he gave me the price. That meant the price of the car was actually $36,400 - a number I never would have even considered. For better or worse on my end, this destroyed any faith I had that a deal could be reached. I felt like we were deceived into coming there, under the assumption that once we entered, they could get us in a car. I would love to go back to our friends at Kemper Cadillac, but since we're looking for essentially pre-owned vehicles, we can only return if they have what we need.

Again, all the credit to you Sandy for being in the business all those years. I know I could not have had the patience to handle it like you did. Sorry if I came off as someone bitter because I couldn't negotiate an unrealistic deal...I'm not that type of consumer. In this case I just felt tricked...

01-30-05, 11:57 PM
You absolutely were tricked. I'll explain why.
There's an old slogan in the business that states:-
"You can't sell 'em over the phone, so get 'em to come in" ~

There IS truth in that!! However, it's apparent that they were
going for a mega-kill at your expense.

Do you want the car? If so, I'll tell you how to go about getting it.

1. Go back there. But before you go, figure this out.
2. What you are willing to pay for the car, how much you are willing to put down as a d/p and what finance rate you'll accept.
3. On each of the above, write down your MAX figure, only because it's EXTREMELY important that you do not come UP in d/p, in purchase price, or in finance rate %.
4. Go back to your salesman. Tell him that you'll buy it right now (after a test drive) for those numbers. Upon handing his the sheet of paper with your figures, also hand him a check, made out to the company, and signed by you for $100.00 deposit.
5. In the car business the gospel is "Money tralks ... Bullshit walks" ~ Now, you've "put up" and shown you are there in good faith.
6. Here's what will happen.
7. He'll write up the offer and take in in to Mr. Ego (Sales Mgr). S.M. will keep the check, and sent the messenger back out to tell you that "We are sooo sooo close to a deal, the boss says we can only slice the balongia so thin, and then we start missing it......
Please, help us out. We wanna sell you the car and you wanna buy the car and you know our great reputation and and and and FINALLY he'll get to the $$$ amount. Whatever it is.... W H A T E V E R .... Say NO. Once you offer up an additional $18.22 cents, you've announced that you're fair game for UPWARD MOBILITY !! Here come the other "hidden" charges....... DO NOT BUDGE! If they will not accept you offer, request your check back, and do not leave w/OUT it. Once you get it say goodbye.
My best advice!

01-31-05, 08:32 AM
Thanks for the insight. In this case, we are not stuck in a corner where we need the car soon, so we definitely can pass on this one. Plus, I can't see giving this dealer the benefit of selling me a car.

01-31-05, 09:06 AM
Buying cars CAN be a pain these days. I just bought two in the last couple weeks (one for each of my kids). One was much easier than the other but both did have definate "issues" that I needed to deal with.
Unfortunately, there are fewer REAL quality salesmen out there than there used to be, and with the advent of the internet, customers are coming in armed with more information than ever. I know in my case, by the time I go to a dealer, I know what the car I'm looking at is worth, and what I'm willing to pay for it. Some dealers are better than others but most do use the procedure described by Sandy. In my case, I don't mind that, I treat it like a game. I usually know pretty quickly whether the dealer is going to play or not. If not, I have no problem going elsewhere, and I let them know that. They try to get all the money they can for each deal but and if you're not on your toes, they'll manage to seperate you from a good deal of your money.
Bottom line, I usually get my cars for a very good price and I have no shame over having to beat them up at times to get it. I never resort to being abusive or in any way disrespectful but, I do let them know that they won't be taking advantage of me and once we both understand that we can talk a deal like two adults.
If it were me, I'd probably call Faulkner and talk to the GM and let him know how you feel. Depending on his reaction, I'd either work a deal with him or move on. Either way, I'd take a moment and write letter to the Cadillac Customer Service dept. and let them know about the way you were treated.

01-31-05, 10:30 AM
One very successful salesman I knew would give the customer the price of the car and would not haggle. He gave tham the price and walked away, usually outside the building, from them. The customer usually followed and tried to haggle the price. (He was an older man, and looked his age). He'd tell them, look, I've got ulcers and do not wish to argue with you. I gave you the best price that I possibly can, and that's the price. If it's too high for you I can show you another car.
Then the buyer would usually talk in private with the wife (or whomever) and either pass or buy. Most bought at his price. He refused to argue price! He did tell the truth, he had an ulcer and was age 71. It seemed to work for him, in a sales force of 5 he was usually # 1 or #2.

01-31-05, 11:12 AM
Not far from what several manufacturers do. Isn't Saturn like that too?
My problem is usually that I just HAVE to get something off! ;)
I just have a hard time paying retail, especially for something like a car.

01-31-05, 12:26 PM
Like Katshot said, by researching online ahead of time, you can find out the sticker and what should be the rough invoice number and know if the "best deal" a salesman can give truly is a good deal. In our best experiences, we deal with someone who I can trust to give me his best deal upfront - essentially cut to the chase, like your example Sandy. I know right away if it fits our budget or not.

I have an colleague that will not go to the dealership until his deal is in place. His method is to fax 4 or 5 dealers with the options he wants, the one or two colors he's willing to take, and the price he will pay (usually assumes $500 over invoice). First dealer to call back with a deal, he goes in. He usually has financing in place through an outside source.

01-31-05, 02:56 PM
That FAX plan sounds like a good idea, but in reality...isn't!
$500.00 over invoice on some car absolutley positively will NOT
buy that car (Try $500 over on a XLR or a Jag S-Type ...no way!)
yet $500.00 over on other cars is too much! If a car has a spiff
on it too the dealer BY the MFGR, then $500 is high.
There are too many outside influential things to be so rigid.

01-31-05, 03:51 PM
It's true that every car has to be taken individually. That said, I can honestly say that I've never paid over invoice for a car, and generally START my negotiations AT or NEAR invoice. One of my favorites was on a '02 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec-V. I bought it on Dec. 30th, 2001 as I recall. The car was brand new on the market and hot. I bought it for well under invoice even though the first comment made to me by the salesman and sales manager was something like, "it's a brand new model, we can't go below list". Yeah, right!
Buying a car is like a lot of other things, if you are willing to give up easily, you will get taken advantage of. Then there's also a lot of guys that feel that trying to get a "deal" in some way makes them look cheap or poor. These guys think that dumping money shows people that they have it. Like my grampop always said, a fool and his money are soon parted.

01-31-05, 04:09 PM
I didn't mean to imply that the fax method works well, it was just another example of how the whole process can go with each individual. Each car is definitely different, as is each dealer. I am personally ecstatic with the deal I received on my 05 CTS - with GM incentives I got the car for almost $7000 below sticker. Alot of that is attributed to the comfort level and trust between the dealership and me. As a consumer, I feel it comes down to being educated about the car, educated about the marketplace for that car, and educated about the dealer you're working with. Your methods and attitude will have to vary depending on which front door you walk into.

04-30-05, 10:19 PM
About six months ago I drove with my family from New York City to buy the Cadillac-SRX. I called the sales rep and he asked me to come over at mutually agreed time. I already had quoted price through email and had done my homework.When I reached there they made us wait for over 40 minutes in a corner room. The salesman was nice so we tolerated. At our turn, my wife and I sat down to make a deal. I did not have to haggle for the new car but they were not honest about the trade in value of my GM car of other brand. I felt sorry for GM that their own dealer can assess the value that low.They gave me Kelly book value . I noticed that they did not include all options that my car had.Anyway the value was $1000 lower than assessed by other Cadillac dealer only two days ago so I made a deal without trading in my old car.It was time to close the shop on Saturday night so no test drive. They requested us to come on Monday and we went there at the given time. They made us wait again for about one hour siting delivery. While we were there they treated us like Mr. and Mrs. nobody again . I wondered why they treated us like that . May be because we were of foreign origin and do not fit into their stereo profile of affluents or they simply do not care. At the end we signed all papers and got the delivery. The funny part was that while signing the papers on the desk there was a note suggesting that we provide the feedback that the service was excellent ( insulting the inteligence of the customers ). I felt bad that no one except sales person said halo to us in two visits and the General Manager missed his opportunity to come out and say thank you for buying. Three days later I got the thank you letter from GM which I tore off. You can bet that one who treats us like a dirt will not get a business from us even after 1001 ' Thank you' letters. I am sorry for the negative feedback but hope that this is a wake up call for cadillac and GM.:histeric::histeric: