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Discussion Starter #1
Thx to this Forum, I was able to find a dealer willing to go $1000 off MSRP. The dealer is College Park Honda (CPH) - just inside the DC beltway. But my experience with them...let just say [email protected]$# :3:. Read on to see if you agree.
BS #1: The loud-mouth salesman
After reading about CPH, I called them for a quote. Some loud-mouth salesman said he'll give me an EX for a LX price. WOW! :2: What he doesn't realize is that I live in CT while they're in DC - 300 miles away. I told the salesman to give it to me in writting and obviously he refused. He handed the phone to his "mgr" (which is probably another salesman) and this guy said that their policy is not to give quotes over the phone. Basically, I think they were just trying to get me in the showroom.

Anyway, I got a quote from CPH thru the net and sure enuf, it was $1000 off MSRP like everyone said. :) No dealer in NY, MA and CT would match their price. I had my heart set on a Havasu Blue Pilot but would not get it until March. So I settled for a Sage Grn color which I ordered and can get it w/in a month. A week and a half later, CPH called and said my car came in and to come down to pick it up. :2:
BS #2: The Nightmare Begins
I immediately booked a one-way flight on Sunday from CT to DC. I got up @ 6 a.m. to catch the flight b/c I wanted to drive home from DC on the same day - 6 hrs drive. Everything was going great b/c the salesman was picking me up at the airport. Until...when we went to the lot to inspect the car, IT WAS BLACK!

I was so p...off :3: that words just can't describe it. You just don't do Bait-n-Switch w/ someone who lives 300 miles away! They said Honda corp entered the wrong color in the computer. BS! Thru much yelling, they take off another $1000 off MSRP, total $2000 off, if I take the Black one. Dawn good price at the time. All other Pilots are already taken.
BS #3: The Finance Snafus
OK, we got deal. I told the finance dept that I want both my name and my wife name on the title but she didn't come down w/ me. No problem they said. Sign the current contract w/ me only and then take home a contract w/ both names. "We'll hold on to this one-name contract until we get the other one from you." so they said.

The following Monday I got a better rate outside the dealer. Thus, I hang on the two-names contract. I called them on Wed and asked that my bank sent me a blank check and who should I make it out to? They said they already sent my paperworks to Honda Finance Corp! Holy freeking cow [email protected]#$ :3:

BS #4: The Registration Screw-ups
If the forum like to hear more about this in-ept dealer, I'll post this story.


I feel that I have fallen for the Bait-n-Swith game. It may have been an honest mistake by their part on the order but the subsequent fiasco is no excuse! ***BEWARE*****BEWARE***
 

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It is very unfortunate, but I've found that there are more Honda dealers of the type you've found, than the type that display even a moderate amount of integrity.

I also traveled a bit for my vehicle. Only about 2.5 hours by car, but I had the very same concerns. I did luck out and found a very good dealership that lived to the deal we did over the phone/internet.

After what I went through with an unscrupulous dealer for my '99 Odyssey, I swore I'd never buy another Honda. Luckily, I did find a good dealership.
 

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Hondanomore said:


[ S N I P P E D ]

If the forum like to hear more about this in-ept dealer, I'll post this story.

[ S N I P P E D ]

I'd like to hear more about the inept dealer, aka College Park Honda --> I bought my 1996 Honda Passport from them!!! I only had to drive 30 miles and didn't need airline tickets, though...
 

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Not trying to flame, but why do people buy cars that they don't test drive first? Buying a vehicle is a huge investment, and I don't understand why a person would order it through the internet or telephone from another state. I've always been taught that even if it's a brand new car, you should always take a look at it personally, inspect it, drive it for at least 20 minutes, and compare it to other similar vehicles on the lot. Please enlighten me.

DC!
 

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Hondanomore

The following Monday I got a better rate outside the dealer. Thus, I hang on the two-names contract. I called them on Wed and asked that my bank sent me a blank check and who should I make it out to? They said they already sent my paperworks to Honda Finance Corp! Holy freaking cow [email protected]#$
You could have called Honda Finance and they would have ripped up the contract as long as they have not entered the info in the computer.

My wife and I had the same thing happen to us with Team Honda in Atlanta when we bought her 2002 CRV. The finance manager said he mailed the contract to Honda so we called Honda and they said they would rip up the contract, which they did. The dealerships get kickbacks for finance through Honda so the salesman makes a few points too. The finance manager could have called Honda but had no reason to do so because the deal was already made in their eyes. Not this time!!! So no more business for Team Honda!!!!

For what it's worth - now you know how the game is played. Chalk it up to experience.

By the way when the survey comes in from Honda give the dealership all bad marks and then forget the dealer and enjoy your Pilot!!
 

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myusername, what I and others did was test drove the Pilot at one dealership and bought it at another. Even tho I ended up buying mine only about 45minutes from me by car. I test drove it a a place 15 minutes from me (they didn't have the color I wanted).

I don't know if a dealership would let you drive the actual car you are thinking of buying until after you sign. They wouldn't want to put miles on their cars and have someone not buy it.
 

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PaulV7 said:
I don't know if a dealership would let you drive the actual car you are thinking of buying until after you sign. They wouldn't want to put miles on their cars and have someone not buy it.
I dunno... most of their test drives are probably made by non-buyers. The only time we bought a vehicle that wasn't on the lot, the dealership asked us to drive it (once it arrived) before we took ownership. But that was a Saturn, back when they were really great to deal with.
 

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I would think most of the test drives are made in the 1 pilot that is all decked out for test drives. Not the actual vehicle you buy.

I could see once you are close to signing they may want you to test drive the actual vehicle your looking at. Cause I know if my Pilot had 300 miles on it I would be suspicious and want the warrenty to extend another 300 since I didn't own the car when those miles were put on it.
 

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PaulV7 said:

I don't know if a dealership would let you drive the actual car you are thinking of buying until after you sign. They wouldn't want to put miles on their cars and have someone not buy it.
What I meant was that you should test drive the actual car that you are buying. Most, if not all dealer would let you put a deposit down if they have to get the car from a different dealer because they don't have the color that you want. Once the car arrives, look it over and drive it. If it does not meet the expectations of the original car you test drove (rattling, wrong color, dings, scratches, etc.), then it is possible to back out and get your deposit back.
 

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pilot4me said:
...By the way when the survey comes in from Honda give the dealership all bad marks and then forget the dealer and enjoy your Pilot!!
You might be better off giving medium and low marks so that Honda doesn't discard the "all ones" survey as an error.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Test drive and the story continues

First of all, thx for all of the responses. It's very nice to know I'm not alone in my experience. I hope other can avoid what I've been thru.
Test Drive
I did test drive the Pilot at another dealer near me. But remember, I tried to get dealers in NY, MA and CT to match College Park price but no can do. A 6-hrs drive is worth a $1000 to me. Remember, I live 300 miles away and flew down to DC. I couldn't just go home and wait for the right color Pilot and fly back down to pick it up.

BS #4: The Registration Screw-ups
As you know, I live in CT and CPH was in MD - DC area. Thus, they could not register my Pilot like every dealer normally could. No problem they said (heard this b4?). "We'll mail you all the paperworks, the tax and reg fees back to you so you can do it yourself." No issue w/ me. I waited two weeks and see and heard nothing from them. I called them up and asked where is it. They said they'll FedEx the stuff the next day. Guess what...they stiffed me for the FedEx fee! :3: They were more than willing to eat the FedEx fee b4 the buy but after, nickle and dime baby, nickle and dime.

For the record, my family; sibblings and mom & pop; has been loyal Honda owners. Face it, excellent cars for the value. We own a Civic, Integra, Accord, Odyssey and Pilot. But after my experience, I'm lobbying them hard to change brand for their next purchase. Honda has one of the worst warrantee among Japanese cars. Albeit, their cars last much longer than the 3 yrs 36K miles warrantee. But it's still nice to have a 4 - 5 yrs/48 - 60K miles warrantee.
 

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Just say NO.

I don't see your problem. You were saving $1000 but the color was wrong. You saved another $1000 by taking another color. Your $2000 ahead of the game by buying in Maryland than if you had bought locally and you are upset about A FedEx charge. When they did not have the color you wanted you could have said adios. If it looks too good to be true it usually is. But in this case I'm not sure. If so saved $2000, I'm sure you could sell it and recoup your costs.

What does any of this have to do with switching to another manufacturer, especially if you love Honda's? Car dealers are usually not my favorite people, but I really don't have a problem if they really got the black Pilot erroneously. Just one man's opinion.
 

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PaulV7 said:

I don't know if a dealership would let you drive the actual car you are thinking of buying until after you sign. They wouldn't want to put miles on their cars and have someone not buy it.
I've bought a total of five new cars in my life so far-- four Hondas and one Toyota-- from four different dealers. For what it's worth, this was my experience:

In every case, I was encouraged to test drive the actual vehicle that I ended up buying. Also, I never test drove either vehicle accompanied by the salesman. As for purchasing my Pilot, I ended up buying from a dealer who had the vehicle I wanted on the lot without pre-installed accessories. I think I paid a tad more for this "bird-in-hand" than I would have at another dealership where I had to order my Pilot with delivery 3 months out. But, to me, it was worth it to know in advance that I was satisfied with the car I'd actually be driving. And, immediate gratification ain't bad, either.
:5:
 

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Re: Just say NO.

Originally posted by david combs ...What does any of this have to do with switching to another manufacturer, especially if you love Honda's...
It's probably important to separate the Dealership experience from the vehicle experience no matter what brand you buy...a sleazy salesman is a sleazy salesman no matter where he works, even if the Dealership has a good rep. In fact, I encountered a dishonest salesman several years ago who I recently saw working at a different Dealer selling a competing brand (I walked out, but I felt bad for the customers still there).

Check out this article for an interesting look inside the workings of a car dealership.

The buying process, especially the financing process, is always aggravating (unless you walk in with your own financing). You also shouldn't trust any promises the Dealer makes unless you have it in writing. There is actually a paper you sign at closing which tells you the Dealer doesn't have to honor any verbal agreements.

If you truly like the vehicle, I hope you can enjoy it and not dwell to long on the negative aspects of the buying experience. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re: Just say NO.

david combs said:
I don't see your problem. You were saving $1000 but the color was wrong. You saved another $1000 by taking another color. Your $2000 ahead of the game by buying in Maryland than if you had bought locally and you are upset about A FedEx charge. When they did not have the color you wanted you could have said adios.
The bottom line for my posting is hopefully other buyers can avoid what I've been thru.

Yes, I have looked beyond the nightmare and enjoy my Pilot. It was a done deal when I accepted the Black Pilot w/ the add'l $1000 off. The FedEx fee was not the issue, the issue was that they did not send the registration materials in a timely manner. And when you get on their case, they slap you w/ a fee to make up for their ineptitude. How would you like to wait 2 - 3 weeks to register your car b/c you don't have the paperwork? If Honda Corp condone the poor service from this dealer, then Honda don't deserve any business from me.

And plz remember, I could not just say NO b/c I lived 300 miles away and flew down to DC to pick up my Pilot based upon their word. Also, I have everything in writting incl the order of the Sage Grn Pilot.
 

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Re: Re: Just say NO.

Hondanomore said:


... the issue was that they did not send the registration materials in a timely manner...

I understand your frustration, but it should not have happened that way. This was the most ridiculous thing that I've heard. Shame on that College Park Honda dealer.:3: They could have easily given you the 45 day temporary MD tags and registration. Then once you had the time back at home, you could take care of your official registration. This is what we did when we got the '02 Accord at O'Donnell Honda in Ellicott City, MD (we drove down from PA). We did all of the paper work via express "snail" mail so that when we got to the dealership, all we had to do was pick up the car and drive back home! BTW, it was the lowest price we got via the Internet/email quotes and I went with it. They even threw in free mud guards and wheel locks! Don't knock a great product for some butt-hole dealership!

Nevertheless, Happy Piloting!:2:
 

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Well that's what happens

Hondanomore said:
Thx to this Forum, I was able to find a dealer willing to go $1000 off MSRP. The dealer is College Park Honda (CPH) - just inside the DC beltway. But my experience with them...let just say [email protected]$# :3:. . . . . . . ! ***BEWARE*****BEWARE***
That is why I suggest you look for a FAIR price from a FAIR dealer, rather than the best price!

I am lucky to have a friend who is a Honda Sales Manager.

I recommed his dealership highly, but WILL not even give the name to a bargain hunter!
 

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Re: Well that's what happens

N_Jay said:


That is why I suggest you look for a FAIR price from a FAIR dealer, rather than the best price!

[ S N I P P E D ]

How do you do this? It's kind of hard to walk into a dealership and ask, "Are you fair?" Their answer inevitably will be, "Of course!"
 

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Re: Re: Well that's what happens

kemosabe said:


How do you do this? It's kind of hard to walk into a dealership and ask, "Are you fair?" Their answer inevitably will be, "Of course!"
Start by asking around. Find some one who already bought there and see how there were treated.

Walk in and ask for a fair price.
Ask to speak to the sales manager. Tell him you want a fair deal, and will walk at the first sign of "bait and switch", hidden charges, padded options, or any other games, and ask him which sales person you should work with.
Tell him what you want and what you want to pay and ask him if you are being realistic.
Be ready to do this at a few dealerships with good reputations.
Don't even bother with the ones with bad reputations.
 

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I agree with you N_Jay but sometimes they trick ya!
Bought my Accord from same dealership as Pilot. Accord deal was a pleasure - Pilot deal was a nightmare. I think alot depends on the current personnel. Only one dealer in town here but that didn't mean I couldn't have gone elsewhere. Convenience drove that decision. I made the choice to put up with their *** so really no one to blame but myself. :8:
 
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