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Old 11-14-2006, 11:35 AM   #1
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Exclamation Bad treatment by Dealership

I'm new to this forum. Found you by looking for help with a dealership.
I had sent them an email inquiring about buying their 75th Anniversary Edition.
This was the email they sent me: (I've taken out the names to be kind)

I am ------the Internet Sales Director. I was looking over this email and would like to add a couple things. We would love to have your business! However I just don't like to throw numbers out and I might not even be close to what another dealer is at and so would never hear from you again. It may sound like i am playing games but i assure you i am not. I am simply trying to earn your business. What kinda Figures are you getting from other dealers so i can make a Competitive Offer to you? If you don't mind answering that simple question i would be glad to give you a number to try and earn your business. All i ask is that i get 1 chance before you make a purchase. I Will Not lose a deal to price if we are talking same trailer options etc.. Thank your for your Time and Email I hope you give me a chance to make you part of the ----------.

I responded with an email that commented on the grammer used (I was a teacher) and made an offer.
This is how they reacted:

Thanks for the insult, makes me wonder how professional of a customer you are. If someone is (smart) enough to sell it to you for that, run do not walk but run down and buy it, while your at it pick me up one also. Thanks for the offer. Good luck and i hope you enjoy your new trailer.

Is this normal with emails now? I simply was floored by the way I was treated. I don't know weither I want to cry or am just burning mad.

Has anyone else been treated this way??????
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:41 AM   #2
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Very unprofessional - should make you think twice before buying from this dealer. Should make you wonder what service after the sale you will receive. I have not bought from a dealer, so I can offer you no real advice but I would pass this place by.

Good Luck, Mike

PS - Is my grammer correct?
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:11 PM   #3
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Call The Owner

Sounds like untrained sales staff. Call the dealer and speak with the owner and send him the email. It is the sales persons job to get an offer and work you up as needed. The desire to own an Airstream is already done so he has it easy. The old saying is he who mentions price first loses.

Good Luck Jim
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:13 PM   #4
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I think your treatment was very unprofessional and rude and would not give the benefit of my business. As every where there are bad apples scattered about. Sorry to hear you encountered one on what should be an exciting and happy pursuit.

I talked to many dealers and what my experience was is that they were very reluctant to give me a quote beyond their advertised price. I got them eventually but it took some sparring and some time. Everyone wants to know what your best deal is but no one wants to get the ball rolling towards serious negotiation. This is because you may call the next dealer with their low offer and then it will be bettered and they have either lost a sale or will be forced to come in lower by the competition driving down the price. How many say we will not be undersold? If that is true they seem not to want to be part of driving the collective price down for themselves and/or other dealers. You need to find people who will work with you and be pleasant and professional and not nervous and give you undo attitude. There are many more dealers, find a salesman more suitable and deserving of his comission.

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Old 11-14-2006, 12:41 PM   #5
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You didn't post your letter to the dealer

Were you rude to him?
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:45 PM   #6
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Salesmen don't always represent the owner of the dealership in the manner in which they want to be represented. I won't go into the story as it is lengthy, but I was treated very poorly by a major Ford dealer in SoCal many years ago. I called the owner of the dealership and complained to him personally. I not only got five-star service after that, but the salesman told me I got the car I wanted at about $2500 less than he'd seen any others go out the door. From my research, I knew that to be true as well.

When you're handed lemons, make lemonade. See if you can't make this incident work to your favor. The trailers are all built in the same factory. It's the price and after-sale service that counts. Everything up 'till then is just negotiations, and you now have a leg up with that dealership's owner.

Good luck!

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Old 11-14-2006, 12:49 PM   #7
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I agree the salesman should have taken the high road and not responded that way, but why would you comment upon his or her grammar? Were you trying to get a good price on an Airstream or teach him/her a lesson?

Flies+honey=more flies. Hmmmmm, that didn't turn out the way I wanted. Not trying to criticize you, but if I commented on spelling and grammar on every email I received, I'd never get anywhere.
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Old 11-14-2006, 12:55 PM   #8
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If you correcded my gramer in an email and I didn't no you from Adam, I wooda been a bit miffed to but Ida tryed to have held my tongue beter than he did.

It may be easier to discus prizes in person or on the telephone, than you kan see if they talk beter then they mite right.
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:14 PM   #9
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Wow! Thats nasty!

Sounds like amidst the pour treatment he was giving a potential customer on that first email, he was also trying to figure out how much you knew. Scratch him off your list of dealers. They certainly have to hate the Internet...

Bad experience with dealers definatley ruins the whole experience and joy of buy ing an Airstream... especially your first! We spent about 2 months fuming during our purchase of a 75th. It was NOT fun.. as it was supposed to be, and our dealer after delays and more delays wouldn't make up $.01 to smooth things over. But thats another story... Hopefully you can find a dealer who cares, it makes all the difference!

Lynn there are 39 75ths on dealers lots currently. All seem to be listed at MRSP, except one below MRSP and one is much higher than MRSP.

Knowing whats around should give you an edge. We bought our 75th sooner than we need to, because we were told they were almost sold out! Yes sold... but to dealers who have them for sale on their lots... sheesh... No doubt there will be units to be had into next summer. Right now though with lots of inventory around, you should be able to get a deal (hint: we did).

Not sure where you are, but we did interact to various degrees when purchasing with 4 dealers here in the east about the 75th before buying. I would have preferred to have purchased from one of the other 3

Any specifics on our experience etc, just PM me.

Here is a list of 75th's that I have complied... its about 2 days old...

Much easier to negotiate when you can say 'I have 38 others to choose from!'

Good luck!
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:55 PM   #10
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I, too, am waiting with bated breath to find out how one politely corrects the grammar of a stranger. I'd love to add that to my repertoire.

That particular email doesn't seem rife with egregious errors anyway, more the work of someone in a hurry rather than wholly illiterate. You might run the risk of the manager & owner thinking, "I write worse than that myself" and getting their hackles up as well.

I'll bet that throwing the grammar lesson in there made you look like a crackpot who would waste a lot of his time as opposed to being a serious buyer.
Of course I'm an elitist. Look around you.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:14 PM   #11
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I agree that I wouldn't have corrected the grammer, but the reply was way out of bounds.
Don't give up on the internet and/or email sales option. Last year I saved $1500.00 below what I had initially negotiated, simply because I got 2 dealers bidding against each other.

Edit: this was on a new car purchase.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by summerkid
That particular email doesn't seem rife with egregious errors anyway, more the work of someone in a hurry rather than wholly illiterate.
Holy Illiterate Batman! To the Bambimobile!

Sorry. Bored typing at work.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:21 PM   #13
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While I agree about the grammar lesson (shouldn't have done it), I will say that I would have liked to have conducted business with a local dealer. I had a choice of two and it only took one encounter with each to cross each one off of my list. One treated us like a used car dealer and the other actually was a used car dealer just getting into Airstreams on the side.

We talked to three other dealers in other states before we purchased from a dealer more than 200 miles away in another state. We couldn't have done business with nicer people, and I have referred others to them. The bottom line is that there are other dealers and whether you wish to do business with this particular dealer or not is up to you, but I think you have closed the door on this one as much as he/she has closed the door on you.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:21 PM   #14
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Internet Sales is just another desk...

I'd certainly second the comment on the grammar correction.. Share it with family, laugh out loud, don't put it in e-mail to someone in position to do you a favor...

More importantly, "Internet sales" for an Airstream Dealer is likely to just mean someone who has a pc and is willing to respond to e-mails from potential customers. It is not like the car business, where dealers might actually provide a competitive purchase quote by e-mail.. Most good negotiators could beat the e-mail quote with some work in person, but dealers rely on fact that buyers wanting to purchase without face to face contact will take the deal offered by e-mail.

With a finite quantity available (fewer than 40 remaining in US and Canada?), and most dealers believing they serve a confined geographic area, I'd be surprised if any would put out a low bid for a 75th by e-mail.. Even if you wandered onto lot, their sales model (trained by Airstream..) is to consider matching an offer you received elsewhere, NOT tossing out a low-ball offer for you to use on another dealer.. Sorry, but their business is to get you into discussion at their facility so they can explain why a purchase from them at a "fair" price is a good value to you.. You're welcome to decline to play, but it's a waste to criticize or expect them to change... It is also a waste to pretend or lie about another dealer offering price. They know what their competition is selling for...

There is a "technique" to help you create some competition.. You know (or should..) that dealer cost is roughly 76% of MSRP, plus a delivery charge. NO dealer is likely to give away a 75th for less than a few points of margin, so make one semi-remote dealer a credible offer at 80% of MSRP. See what they say. Eventually, they'll have to make a counter-offer... Take it, thank them, and leave.. Now you have a firm price (say 16% below MSRP) and you can go back to Mr. "Won't lose on price" and exlain confidently that you have a firm offer at list less 16%, but would consider buying from him at list less 18% or 20%... Yes it's more work, and can't be done via computer...

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:28 PM   #15
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I had a very negative experience with my Airstream dealership. A "bait & switch" sceam by the GM. Funny they used that "Wan't to earn your buisiness" jive on me too. Won't do buisiness with them again. Perhaps it's the same dealer.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:52 PM   #16
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What I am truly puzzled about is the grammar correction. What was the purpose in doing that? Without reading the actual e-mail the OP sent, I can only imagine what it must have contained in order to riffle the feathers of this sales person to the point of walking away from a potential sale.

If the OP had thrown out some preposterous number, the salesman would have probably not responded or merely replied that they normally are able to beat most legitimate offers, but this is one they cannot and let it go at that. For the sales person to have been so enraged as to reply with this much anger, the OP's e-mail must have been truly insulting.
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:25 PM   #17
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It probably was useless to challenge the dealer on his grammar. I was a teacher also. When kids saw no point in learning effective communication skills, I would tell them that it could have a big impact on how others view them. It can mean a lost job opportunity or lost business. I actually put on a skit in which I committed a number of presentation gaffes to the point of absurdity. After a good laugh, they got my point.

Don't take it too hard. The dealer lost the sale. I am not surprised that he didn't want to give you a quote by email. I don't imagine a car dealer would either. It's just not the way they do business.
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:26 PM   #18
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It very much could be that that price you initially got was a low ball and in some cases would be adjusted by other charges once you get to the dealership.

I think we have had threads where some dealers charge a "prep fee", others do little in the aspect of familiarizing purchasers with their new trailer. Some dealers have a minimal service department. It's a dangerous situation where you consider price as the only factor, and it doesn't surprise me that some dealers just don't want to get involved in Internet bidding with the knowledge that in many cases you probably will buy from the closest dealer.

My dealer spent 2 hours with me going over my trailer. They gave me a full hookup site at the dealership to spend the first night....and I wasn't asked to sign any paperwork the next day, until everything in that trailer was to my satisfaction. Yeah I found a dealer 450 miles away that was $300 lower. As far as I was concerned that additional $300 was money well spent.

One other aspect to note, and I have posted this in other threads. Dealers know who their customers are and I can tell you for a fact that when it comes to service appointments or other extras, a dealer will give preference to his customer who bought from him. No doubt about it. Understand that when you bring your vehicle in for warranty work or other service issues. I'm not stating that you will get poor service, it just might be you will be quoted an appointment date in two weeks and I can get one tomorrow if necessary.

I remember initially attempting to bargain on my first Airstream back in 2001. One dealer about 250 miles west of me specifically only quoted me list price saying he would rather me deal with my local dealer. So like anything else there is always someone who will sell something for less. Just remember to keep a proper balance regarding what value a closer dealer can give you.

BTW, I do agree that pointing out grammatical errors tad amounts to a finger in the eye treatment. It's sort of a win the battle but lose the war. My feeling is that as a dealer, it would be my responsibility to present my best face. An email used in a business sense, that presents grammatical issues tells me that person doesn't quite have attention to detail, or feels he doesn't need to have it. That in my translation is a mark against that person and that dealership. For chit chat who cares, in business matters it says a lot.

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Old 11-14-2006, 03:35 PM   #19
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They would gladly stiff you with an extra few 1000$$$ and smile.
I would thank God to recieve an email like that back from a sellsman...
Would be a treasure to know 'I' insulted one.

I typed this the way I wanted...and don't care if captilizing God offeneds you.
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:42 PM   #20
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Okay, I will admit I've wasted Salesmans time before at an Airstream dealership. However last time I visited my States' lone Airstream franchise it had perhaps $6,000,000 in full size coach (bus) RVs splayed inbetween their lot and the showroom, and dozens of manly 5th Wheel trailers radiating outward from the buses. Before one got inside it was obvious this dealership is mercenary about following the money.

In the showroom were a 19' 75th Bambi ($69K) & a Base Camp open for inspection, plus eight or so 2006 AS's in their lot inventory. I shudder at imagining the pressure on a prospective customer that wasn't hard-wired from the cocktail-circuit or some other nod from the money people to get near their best price. Very clear social pecking order, and no one I saw on the property looked like they had ever been hungry.

The only interaction I had that day with any employee was commenting to the receptionist how good my 35 year old Airstream looked after spending some time there. If I was in anyway demeaned or insulted it was my own doing...

However *IF* you have patently offensive written e-mail correspondence, print out the entire routing header along with the text from the complete set of emails then use whatever State-this-is-in Licensing / Revenue entity to obtain the true principle officers of the company and send them copies along with a curt and buisnesswoman-like response informing them they have a problem. Likely they will agree poor buisness writing skills convey a lack of respect worse than the actual insulting language that follwed. That is all you can do since no money was involved, going through the paces will likely excise most of the toxins of that tainted interaction...
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