Complaints / Canada / Ontario / Sherway Acura Dealership
Dealership: Sherway Acura, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date: July 16, 2001
On Saturday, my girlfriend and I visited Sherway
Acura to test drive the new RSX model. She has been anticipating its arrival for several
months now, so when it finally became available locally she had already called and visited
several Acura dealerships in the Toronto area to scope out their available models and get
the best price. The treatment she received varied from dealership to dealership ... the
salesman at North Toronto had a decent, no-pressure approach, while Sterne Acura in Aurora
had the nerve to refuse a test drive without a prior down-payment. But all paled in
contrast to the sales rep at Sherway Acura (in west-end Toronto). I swear, this guy should
be hawking rebuilt Civics out of a trailer, not working for a quasi-high-end automaker
like Acura. Curious? Read on...
The experience started out positive. He let us test drive one of the models on the lot and didn't even insist on coming along with us for the ride. The trouble began once we returned to his office. The guy was beaming with pride when I told him how Acura in Aurora refused a test drive without a deposit. "Oh really?" he said, "What was his name? Hashanah yes I know him. That's not right. But we know how to treat customers right here at Sherway Acura." Too bad hindsight is 20/20 and foresight is blind ... I would have told him off in advance. "I always want my customers to test drive before we negotiate. How else can you know you want to buy? Right?" We both nod in agreement. "That guy in Aurora doesn't know how to treat customers. I do. I'm a nice guy, you see ... I let you test drive no money, no problem." Okay, man, get over yourself already!! He did, eventually, and then the negotiations began. Or, more acura-tely (cheap pun intended), they soon ended.
My girlfriend wants to trade in an aging Toyota that was recently appraised at $4000. So in negotiations, we bargained the salesman down to $28,000 plus the trade-in, all-inclusive. But before he could "confirm" the deal with his "manager" (we've all heard this b.s. before), he had the nerve to ask for a deposit. A deposit??? For an uncertain (read: improbable) bargain??? Sure, we're both young, but did he really think we were na´ve enough to fall for that game? I would have expected that low-balling trick from Crazy Al trying to sell us a beat-up Yugo with a wrench for a steering wheel, but surely not from Acura!!!
There's more to the story. My girlfriend wasn't ready to walk out just then; we asked for a few minutes alone and she called her father, a veteran negotiator and salesman. He asked to have a few words to the sales rep, and told him not to take advantage of her, cut the nonsense and give her a sure price with no deposit, or risk losing her business. "But ... but sir the other dealerships ... bbbbbut ... now I can't ... sir... SIR!!!" we heard him stammer throughout the phone call. "aaaaghh!!! Can't talk to him!!" and he hung up. He was silent for a minute, looking down at the table with a somber expression ... I swear I thought he was moved to tears!!! Man, I laugh just thinking about this .... he's such a bloody phony!! Finally he looks up at us and starts on his rehearsed nonsense again ... except I think this was rehearsed for some cheesy daytime soap opera. "I'm a human being too, just like you. I'm trying to give you the best deal I can, we just need your security knowing that you'll be loyal customers and do business with us. I'll give you the best value for your money." Sure, and you're a nice guy too, right? For his grand finale, he pushes the phone toward us and urges my girlfriend to call her father and convince him that she wants to buy the car through Sherway. "You need to make your own decisions." So now captain lowball has moved beyond his role as tweed-jacket salesman to give her psychiatric counseling ... how dare she listen to her father?!?!? Tell
him off, and give us your money!!!
Needless to say, we didn't stick around. My girlfriend still wants the RSX, but she is understandably dismayed by the whole dealership experience. I never would have expected such unprofessionalism from a wannabe-luxury automaker. But I suppose it only makes sense that such a business would breed wannabe sales reps who are willing to sell their dignity to the highest bidder.
Would I ever consider buying an Acura? Give me a deposit first and I'll check with my manager. And don't be talking to your father about this, it's time you made your own decisions!!!
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