I wanted to share email communication I have had between TOD's sales associate Wade Skurlock and the response I received from their GM, David Kelley. Here's a rundown of what transpired.
I went to TOD on MLK day this past Monday. 1/19/09. I met with Wade who told me the car I wanted to buy had been sold. I advised Wade that I planned on buying a car flat out because I could not afford full coverage insurance. He showed me a car which I liked, and I told him I would call him back about it because I wanted to research how much full coverage would cost me on the vehicle. Within 2 hours of leaving the dealership I started recieving calls which I didn't answer because I didn't have the insurance info.
TOD had 3 different email addys from me which they had gathered over the last year I had spoken with them. For 4 days, I received emails to all three of my accounts at least twice a day. (a total of 6 emails per day.) I also received an average of 4 calls per day. (none I answered because I hadn't made my mind up yet)
Finally yesterday, I started receiving calls every hour from 9:30am till 2:30pm when I finally answered the phone and asked them to please quit calling me, I was at work" I thought everything was sorted and then I received an email from Wade Skurlock calling me rude. He sent this to ALL of my email accounts including my work email. Here is the email he sent:
I was just trying to follow up with you. You said you would call me and you did not. All you had to do was answer and tell me you decided against it. Instead you ignore me and when you do answer you are rude about it....Why?
Test Drive your Vehicle in January and automatically be entered into our drawing for a New Yaris- see website for details"
Upset about the rude email sent to my work email address, I forwarded this email to Toyota of NA PR team as well as GM David Kelley. This is the response I received from the GM David Kelley.
I do apologize if Wade was following up too much, it certainly sounds as if he was. In Wade's defense we do teach the salespeople to not leave messages but to keep calling until they reach a live person. In the world of sales follow up is the key to success. However, we do not teach them to call every hour.
I know Wade to be a very respectful person, who is always polite and has tremendously high customer satisfaction scores. Wade must have believed that you were highly interested in the vehicle and wanted to be contacted. After all you did give him more than one number and several email addresses. To me that would tell me to contact you on one of the following numbers and that you wanted to be contacted. I also understand getting personal email to your business address however I usually do not give out my business email address for personal business. So I am sure there is a disconnect if you did not want to be contacted at that number or email address.
I did read Wade's email and I do not think he made any character assessments, you yourself said that you were irritated. He simply asked why you treated him rudely. I think after spending 2 hours with Wade a simple answered call or returned email would have avoided this situation. As far as what your work associates may say, that again is your issue because you gave him the email address to be contacted at.
I am sorry again for the bad experience and I will take this as a training opportunity. I however am not going to contact you. I will delete you from our follow up system and ask Wade to stop any contact with you.
General Manager / Partner"
What kind of response is this??? Pissed off, I finally replied back to Mr Kelley and his PR team and have yet to receive their response.
"Toyota PR Team:
Please review the email response I received from the GM of Toyota of Dallas David Kelley. Is this the kind of response I should expect from someone in his position? Is this the kind of response I should expect from every person that is employed at Toyota? With car sales down for EVERY automaker, I am surprised that this is the kind of action that is taken to make a bad experience better. Please read his email and my follow-up. This isn't an apology from Kelley.
All this contains is rhetoric masked with an "I apologize." This would have easily been rectified with an apology with a little sincerity. I don't need a lesson on sales 101, nor did I ask for a patronizing response. Your team at TOD has customer service all wrong. As I've stated in my email, I will continue to make sure that every person I come into contact with know EXACTLY how terrible Toyota treats their potential customers. I will make certain to help that "F" customer satisfaction rating by the BBB continues to be an "F".
I have been a Toyota customer since I was able to drive. I've owned several Toyota's because you make great cars... however.. your customer service skills have left such a bitter taste in my mouth, that those days are now behind me. PR is the foundation of any corporation. This is not the type of PR that one would expect from a huge company like Toyota, nor the way my company handles PR issues. I assure you however, I will continue to spread this experience to any and all outlets I can. Whether it be my next door neighbor, WFAA, or any other media outlet; the way Toyota treats their customers will be heard. Negative publicity, no matter how large, is a bad thing for a company.
My Email Reply To David Kelley:
This was not the response I was expecting. I agree Wade seemed to be very nice, however you are wrong about me giving him 3 email address because I did not. I even mentioned to him that he had an old home address for me on a paper he brought over. Maybe you guys keep records from past contacts with your company. I also did not give him more than one number so I'm not really sure where you're getting that information.
To tell me how sales work is to preach to the choir, so to speak. I have not only worked in sales for 5 years, I've also managed 3 call centers focused on sales. The policy you guys are implementing is not sales... Its harrassment and borderline stalking. After writing my email, I took some thought and was indeed going to contact you stating that I believe Wade was having a bad day and made a mistake, however after receiving your email, I realize the problem lies not only with how Wade handled it, but how even GMs handle their customers.
Mr Kelley, your email is neither apologetic or understanding. All it was is condescending. To tell me, that I basically invited your staff to constantly harrass me over the phone with calls is both ignorant and ill-minded. I came to TOD to but a car and put money in your pockets. If I choose to not answer my phone that rings over and over... That's my choice. If I feel you cross the line with excessive contact, its also my choice to ask you to stop... I did not ask for an email to be sent to me calling me rude.
Your dealership has an "F" rating with the BBB, at what point do you realize the problem isn't with the customer, it's the way you handle your business. I was not looking for a handout, nor a deal.. I was looking ONLY for an apology and reassurance this would not happen again. After receiving this email from you, I Swear to you, that I will make every effort possible to let people know how terrible even the GM of the dealership treats their prospective buyers. Thanks, but no thanks for your patronizing attempt at what you call an apology.
You've seen that I've contacted everyone in Toyota's PR... That only took 5 minutes of research.. I will continue looking for "higher-ups" in corporate and Legal and will copy your response to them as well, seeing as you must have "mistakenlyz" left them off this distro..
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
TOD and the TOYOTA PR team do not take your privacy seriously. They believe its my fault that Wade Skurlock wrote me a rude email to my work email. They teach their people to continue to harrass their potential customers. When they don't get what they want, TOD allows their sales reps to degrade the customer's even on their business emails. TOD is by far the worst dealership to do business with. I will continue my crusade daily to let everone know how terrible their customer care is.
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