We spent a day gathering pricing info from different dealers via phone calls and internet contacts. Via phone and e-mail, we were given the best price from Concordville Subaru. I made an appointment with Chris Franklin, their internet coordinator (whom I thought we'd be dealing with), for the next day to sign the papers. When we got there, the games began.
We were handed off to a salesman on the floor who didn't introduce himself, and he started trying to "qualify us" for a car. He walked us outside to show us vehicles and features on the Outback. I questioned him about what we doing, and he said "I'm showing you folks the features on the Outbacks".
I then told him we had gone through all of this with Chris Franklin both via phone and e-mail, & I didn't think it necessary to repeat things from the start. I thought we were going to sign papers to buy a car. I had been told the day before that the car I'd been quoted a price on had been sold, but they would get us an identical car, but it might take a few days. I was fine with that.
The "sales guy", who I found out later was Justin Brock, went to get "more information" from the manager, even though he had the sheet with all the features in his hand. That's an old game, taught in dealership school. He came back a few minutes later to review the features we wanted on the car. I told him at the time that we were going to respect each other enough that the deal was either good, or it wasn't. He then excused himself again.
When he returned, he informed us that because the vehicle wasn't in stock, there would be a $300 "fee" to transfer the vehicle to their store. When I told him they knew the vehicle wasn't at their store when I was quoted a price, he had no answer. I had a really bad vibe when I walked into their store, and it was confirmed when they started trying to jerk us around. At the point the "transfer fee" was brought up, I said "We're done." and walked out.
This was the worst dealership experience I've ever had, and makes the "sleazy car salesman" stereotype seem kind. I expected to deal with one person, was "handed off" to another, the dealership would not honor their word (or their written e-mail quote) and there was a complete lack of professionalism and respect.
I am glad I recognized the sleazy games they were trying to play with us. We walked out of this disrespectful experience, made one phone call, drove south to another dealership and went home that night with a new Outback. For less than Concordville's price when you add the "fees". Oh, the dealership we bought from? Completely different vibe-- professional, completely straightforward, and absolutely true to their word. They actually wanted our business.
If you don't want to be jerked around and have games played with you, don't deal with these people. If they'd worn white patent leather shoes and polyester suits, I'd have sworn I was in a bad movie.