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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to share my experience in Boston area. In the past 3
month, I've spoken to at least 2 dozen dealers in greater Boston area
and Southern New Hampshire. Not surprisingly, you experience will vary
from one Honda dealer to another hugely, ranging from "this is a
nightmare, all dealers are crooks and thiefs" to "did I really find
one honest one?!". The truth is, it is a tough business to be in (on
the seller's side), be successful yet maintain your sanity AND
integrity, so my overall lesson -- once you found someone good,
treasure it.

I will give quick remarks on the few places that stuck in memory, then
I will describe my nightmare experience as well as the place I
eventually bought from and highly recommend.

First -- "one line" comments

Bosch Honda in Norwood -- probably the largest Honda retailer in
G.Boston, hence they get large Pilot allocation each month. Your
probably best bet if you can't find what you want on short notice.
The problem with them -- they wouldn't budge on they inflated options
prices. They will however sell the Pilot w/o forced options.

Atomian -- pretty unpleasant first impression. Did not pursue.

Honda Barn -- their allocation is next to nothing and they have
no problems selling it to repeat customers it seems.

Herb Chambers Honda in Burlington -- they seem to be getting their
act together -- they used to NOT take orders, first come first serve,
and I've heard of fist fights on Sundays between the customers.
Problem finding the right sales person. Out of 2 I met, one was
retarded, but the other one -- very nice and experienced guy. First
name is Bob, has been there for a while. Would do business with.

I actually ended up going to South NH dealers to minimize wait time
and install costs. 2 Experiences there.

First one -- Rockingham Honda in Salem NH. The sales guy won me over
-- good old sales skill, confident, respectful and
non-obnoxious. Placed and order with them. A month later confirmed
it. Everything in writing. A week before an estimated pick up, found
out the sales guy is no longer there, and the sales manager can not
guarantee the delivery time -- he is yet to order my truck. What I
think happen -- the moment my sales guy left the place, they
re-allocated my truck to another salesmen w/o checking with me (the
customer). Pretty slimy if you ask me, considering I had a deposit down.
To make the long story short, I was in denial for a while, keeping an
order with them, so they managed to screw me 2 more times by lying on
the next milestone dates (build date, ETA). Finally went elsewhere,
never to come back. If the sales manager has no integrity, what can
you expect from he sales team?!

Finally ended up with AutoFair Honda in Manchester NH. 35 minutes
from my office. The Internet team (Bill) is EXCELLENT. Go through
them and do all the negotiation there -- they will give you an honest
deal (MSRP), and do all the prep work. No forced options. If you do want
to have some options installed however -- small problem: they don't
negotiate their option prices. Just a company policy. You see, they
have a "Low Price Guarantee" on all their vehicle, where they discount
their merchandise and offer no-negotiation deal. Of course in case of
the Pilot, it works against you since you're paying MSRP. The upside
though -- your options will be installed by the best service
department in the area. Scott Guerette is running the Service, and he
is a true Honda enthusiast and a top notch professional. If you need
service and want to go to the right shop -- email him
([email protected]) and mention this web site, you will get the
good treatment. How good is his department you may ask: let me put it
to you this way: I have 3 Honda dealers within 5 mile radius of my
office, but I end up going 35 mile out of the way to have things done
by Scott's guys. Suffice to say that he has 4 or 5 "Gold" class
mechanics working for him, while most dealers are lucky to have 1 and
end up sending "tough" problems to his shop. He also recommended to
me a top notch aftermarket accessory shop that ended up doing my RES
install.

Back to the sales process: once you are done with all the details with
Bill, you still need a salesmen to finish the deal and get the car. He
will also lead you trough the process if the car is ordered, being
built e.t.c. The guy I highly recommend is Jeff Fritz (603) 634-0672.
He is a former Sales Manager of Honda Autofair (he had to quit because
of the hours he had to work), and one of the best sales people
there. I would deal with the guy again anytime -- he is as straight
and honest as a sales person can get with a customer :)

Sorry for a long post. I will try to answer any question in this
thread as much as I can.
 

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Finding Dealers

Kruzo,

I'm trying to find a dealer that may have an EX on the lot -- long shot I know, but you never know . . .

Did you just use the phonebook to find dealers, or is there a web site that organizes all the dealers by location?

And once you have a list of dealers, is it just a matter of calling each one to discuss availability?

Any other ideas out there. I'll go 500 miles away if need be.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You can start with Honda web site -- they
will list the dealers by location.
There was another site that I can't recall
at the momemnt which will even list new cars
on dealers lot (that they've reported). If
I think of it, I will post it.
 
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