We initially contacted this dealership as a way to get competing pricing for the Highlander we were looking at. This quickly changed to 'a dealership who would actually deal with us via e-mail, and be completely transparent with all fees/pricing.'
Funny how hard that is to find in the car business... well, we found it here! (Hence the 'unicorn' in the room.)
Debbie Daidone was the first person that we spoke to. She helped break all pricing down, was game for our multiple back-and-forth emails regarding pricing and fees, and would even answer us off-hours! (She included a 'hehe' in one of our last e-mails- this might have cemented the deal for me...) Debbie (and her 'hehe') is the reason why we walked through the door of Johnston.
We were a bit apprehensive about coming to the actual dealership and having to work through a bait-and-switch, or wade through the 'cut-throat' behaviors and slightly simmering animosity that we felt from various salespeople when visiting other dealerships. Instead, we were treated to a chorus of 'hellos' and genuine smiles, all within the first 2 minutes of us entering! Maybe it's an Orange County thing.... but that alone made us feel much better about our decision to shop at Johnston. Clearly Debbie's character in her e-mails was indicative of the larger work culture being cultivated here.
We met with Tom Kiernan, who is possibly the most laid back salesperson we have ever encountered. The media lied! Car salesmen are supposed to be sleazy and sneaky! Tom? He was someone we'd definitely grab a beer with, if I wasn't pregnant, that is.
Tom quickly went over some of the fees that Debbie missed in the e-mail exchange so that we would not be blindsided. I appreciated the up-front honesty, which gave us time to walk away if we were not ok with the change. Yes, we were ok with the extra fees- tire surcharge, fuel, documentation fee- all of these items were expected from our research, and were reasonably priced.
The test drive was great, and Tom was fantastic at showing us all the latest and greatest gadgets featured in the Highlander. His enthusiasm and hilarious stories made the experience 10 times better.
At this point we met Lynn Desmond, who explained our additional warranty options, the wisdom of investing in it, tire protection, and more. We ended up declining, but I'll admit that his sales pitch was so relaxed and matter-of-fact that he had us hard-lining 'no extended warranty ever' individuals actually consider it. We ESPECIALLY appreciated Lynn's approach in speaking with us- no hard sales, no pitting us against each other, and no talking down to us despite our age and/or race.
We came back the following day, and found everything to be ready for us to go. We were in and out in 1.5 hours, and that includes the post-signature 20 minute conversation we had with Lynn about our options to pay back the loan (among other topics), and the 30 minutes that Tom gave to us for setting up the car. I didn't know that car purchases involved such a personal touch!
Also, I counted:
6 individuals (on Thursday) and 7 individuals (on Friday) smiled, spoke, or cracked jokes at us. These numbers do not included the 3 that we worked with. What is this place?? Land of the unicorn... or an Orange County thing... (I teach in Orange county, I love bragging about this place.)
(For perspective- at another dealership we visited a week ago, 5-10 different Toyota salesmen walked right past us. No hellos, no eye contact, and no- I would not want to grab a beer or non-alcoholic beverage with any of them.)
Side note: kudos on that fantastic website! The web designers and maintenance is clean, modern and is what I expect from a 2016 car transaction; we were appalled at the state of some of the other dealership websites in the area.... they're something out of the 1990's GeoCities era.
That website was like an extension of your showroom- spacious, clean, colorful, and very neatly laid out. Might need the contact info of whoever does the spatial reasoning on your team.
So to sum it up-
Johnston Toyota is the unicorn in the room. The only dealership that we've ever dealt with that had genuinely happy and calm people involved, from beginning to end. The only dealership that was willing to print prices on e-mail, negotiate online, and stick with the agreed upon numbers. And everyone smiles!! Yes, you are a mythical creature in the world of car transactions.
I Recommend This Dealer:
Dan Rosenblum secured the interest rate for us, Paul Blazeski personally came and checked in on both days- thanks!
Did you find this review helpful?