I’m the proud owner of a new Chevy Volt, and I’m thinking of ordering a license plate that says Shocked.
You see, I thought I’d buy a Nissan Leaf.
After multiple visits to the Leaf website, reading reviews and watching videos of the owner experience, their marketing connected with me. I decided the quirky all electric vehicle might be just the car to finally free me from the shackles of the gas pump.
So, I went to a local Nissan dealer and took one for a spin. It drove well, and decided I’d find out if they’d honor Nissan’s lease deal. That’s when the fun began.
In the classic ‘good cop’ ‘bad cop’ game, the first salesperson went to his manager, and then returned with a quote that was $190/month higher than the advertised price–per month. When I pushed back, he brought out his Sales Manager, but really, let’s call him “Salesperson 2″ since that’s what he’s there to do.
After I got past his fake smile and insincere attempt to become my son’s best friend, I asked why they wouldn’t honor the deal advertised on the Nissan website.
He claimed the car Nissan was promoting was a 2011.
Nope. It was a 2012.
Then he said it was a lower end model.
Nope. I was sure it was he top model.
Then he said he didn’t know what our credit rating was.
I responded it’s perfect and even if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t increase the payment $190/month.
We went back and forth for awhile, and finally he said, “Listen, we aren’t Nissan – we’re a franchise.”
I asked does that mean they won’t honor Nissan’s deal – yes or no? He said, “it’s supply and demand – we deserve a profit.”
Of course, they deserve a profit. But when I asked the Sales Manager from another Nissan dealer if they’d honor the lease deal, he said, “Of course. Won’t everybody?”
This was the slimiest experience I’ve ever had buying a car, and it opened the door for the Chevy Volt — a fantastic vehicle, but more expensive than the Leaf.
We drove it. Loved it. And bought it the next day.
The sales process was seamless. The sales people were fair and after 30 years of owning pretty much nothing but Hondas, Toyotas, BMWs, Mercedes and a Lexus — we bought a new Chevy.
So, I’m shocked.
I’m just a little shocked (and a lot happy) that I bought a new Volt.
But I’m even more shocked that Nissan will tolerate this type of type of sales nonsense. They invested millions to get buyers like me interested in their product, then stumbled mightily at the finish line. Since they won’t enforce the pricing on their website, would you consider this deceptive marketing? Bait and switch?
I’m not sure, but one thing is clear: Nissan needs to consider the customer experience and all their contact points from A-Z. Not A-Y.
What do you think?