My Review Of Howdy Honda:
On Saturday, 6/9/2012, I purchased a new red 2012 Honda Civic EX. I chose Howdy Honda because it is across Ben White where I work and I wanted the convenience of being able to just drive over after work if I had problems or needed anything done to my car. Steve was my salesperson. Nobody appeared to notice me as I initially walked the lot looking at cars. I wanted a white one, but I did not want the navigation. I went inside looking for Jeff because 5 years ago he was the salesperson who let me test drive two cars, an Accord and a Civic. He wasn't available so I just sat at one of the tables waiting for someone to help me. Finally, Steve saw me. He paused, stepped away as if he didn't have time, then he changed his mind and said "come on over". He was concerned about some other customers that were supposedly waiting. I didn't see anyone else there waiting for a salesperson.
I told him I preferred a white one and he said that the sales manager, Jon, said that he would like to sell that red one to me. They had me thinking I was going to get a good deal. I had a 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 to trade and I had sold my 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan Voyager the same day to Wood's Fun Center. Steve asked me how much I wanted for the bike. I told him that I wasn't sure. I immediately lost his attention and he gave me his card and told me to come see him when I found out. I started talking on the phone to the same buyer at Wood's Fun Center and he started talking about how "I work on commission" like I was wasting his time. He tried to be nice by retracting it. As I got a price and we began doing the paperwork, he told me that he has a place to be and how he had to get out of there. He said it more than once. That is when I should have run out of there.
I tried getting him to throw in some wheel locks but his sales manager Jon Fitzpatrick refused. I did not realize what a bad deal I was getting either. After the deal was finalized, the only thing he helped me with on the car is the Bluetooth connection to my Android phone. That was it. I drove home not realizing how much wax was all over the vehicle and I found a small paint chip on the right fender when I was wiping it all off. Before buying the car, I found that it had a crooked glove box that stuck out on one side. He assured me it would be taken care of.
A week later they touched up the paint chip area and made the glove box "better". It was more sunk in on the left side, but it did look better. Otherwise, the car was just okay. I did my research backwards on the Civic. Right now it is in the garage and I have not driven it in a week. They sold this car to me for $20,287. I found out that Round Rock Honda would have sold it to me for around $19,400. Edmund's True Market Value right now is $19,741. Texas Honda would have sold it to me somewhere between $19,400 and $19,741. My car has window tint and it wasn't the best job either. The $20,287 included the tint. It was my fault that I let my guard down. I did too much that day by selling/trading two motorcycles and purchasing a car in the same day. This was an expensive lesson well learned.
Honda already gets 2% holdback money and you never see it in the MSRP. It isn't negotiable most of the time. I found out, after the fact, that Honda gives dealers $500 in "dealer cash". Texas Honda and Round Rock Honda pass that on to the buyer. Howdy Honda does not. When I brought this up to Jon in an email, he dodged the subject and said "You paid 6.25% sales tax, but I bet you're not emailing your congressman". This is when I realized what a mistake I had made in purchasing this vehicle from Howdy Honda. They sold me this car at a premium price. The MSRP when I bought it was $21,275. Honda raised it to $21,445 around the time I bought the car, but mine still had $21,275 on it. You should never pay MSRP for a car. Window tint is cheap. Even if you count the $299 they included in the $20,287 price, I paid AT LEAST $600 more for the car than I should have. Jon told me that I got a great deal on the car. Yeah, right.
I found out later from another Howdy Honda employee that they lost 2 people recently. This person said that the new car sales department was short staffed. I found out that these two people now work for Round Rock Honda. He apologized to me for what they put me through. I never heard a word yet from my salesperson or the sales manager. I also emailed the general manager and he didn't reply either. A few days ago I called Honda in Los Angeles and told them the whole story. I did the survey from Honda via email. I also did the phone survey from the third party that Howdy uses for their surveys. I've asked for call backs but 3 weeks later, nothing. Someone at Round Rock Honda told me that Howdy Honda has lost 3 sales people in 18 months due to the management at Howdy Honda.
In another email from Jon on 6/21/12, he had this to say about Edmunds:
"I am truly sorry you have so many concerns about this new vehicle. Once again, I think you are putting way too much faith in what these third party companies like Edmunds.com are saying. The way their business is modeled throws actual selling prices out the window. If they consistently show the lowest prices, then they get more internet traffic. When they get more traffic, then they get more advertising dollars. Hondas have a total mark-up of about 9%. There is very little margin when buying or selling them. I don’t know first hand how your car purchase was arranged, but I seriously doubt you paid above what the manufacturer, Honda, suggests unless there were additional accessories involved. I will look into the matter further, and if I see anything out of the ordinary I will contact you.
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7/18/2012 10:17:04 AM
Hi, Thanks for bringing this up to our attention. Per our conversation this morning, I made sure to inform the proper people about your situation. As I had mentioned, I want you to know that this is not the way we are used to conduct business; we aim to provide exceptional customer service throughout our whole organization, from the purchasing process to service. I apologize for the inconvenience this caused you and we will make sure to improve based on your valuable feedback. Again, please feel free to reach out to me at any moment. Enjoy your days off from work, Iris Claudio – Marketing, Howdy Honda