I went to Parker Johnstone's Wilsonville Honda yesterday to hopefully order a long list of parts for my 3 Honda vehicles. I am a Honda enthusiast and have been driving (and modifying) my Hondas for 10+ years. That being said, I came to the parts department ready with specific part numbers and published Honda list prices for the parts that I was hoping to buy. Two of the three cars that I own have engine swaps and therefore require parts from numerous other Honda models so I try to make it easy on the folks at the parts counter by having part numbers ready.
I also consider myself to be a savvy shopper, and while I have no problem paying more for the OE quality of genuine Honda parts, I also do not like to overpay for these parts. Before coming in, I checked Honda list MSRP as well as discount pricing offered by numerous reputable online stores for Honda dealerships. These dealerships, I assume, are able to offer discounts from published MSRP due to their larger sales volume. Make no mistake though, they are selling OEM genuine parts. These are not OEM reproduction parts or eBay specials. They are parts departments operated by physical Honda dealerships. One of these in particular is also a winner of Honda's prestigious President's Award.
With this information, I made my way to Wilsonville Honda because in the past their parts department has been kind to me and worked with me on the price. My interaction yesterday however, was wholly negative. Susan Crocker, the parts manager, was at the counter and my interaction with her immediately got off on the wrong foot. She asked what car I was looking for parts for and when I asked her to search by part number instead of make/model she became flustered and demanded a model or a VIN. This set the tone for the rest of my visit.
She was eventually able to find the part I was looking for by part number (an oil pan for a 2000 Civic Si) and I was appalled when she told me that their price on it was over $185. The Honda published list price was $165 and the discounted price that I had found at numerous online dealership portals was $115. This means that their parts were marked up an additional 10% over Honda list price! I mentioned the high price to her and the fact that I had been able to find it cheaper through another dealer and she immediately became combative and outright rude.
She aggressively insisted that whatever parts that I had found "must be fake" and that I was "being duped" by online sales. As mentioned before, these parts had been quoted out by physical Honda dealerships. I prefer to give my business to local establishments rather than buying from larger internet sales divisions and I do not expect the local dealership to necessarily directly match the online price due to volume, overhead, etc, but I hope that they can work with me on price to earn my business. After being lectured for another several minutes about fake parts online, however, she told me that the lowest that she could go was $165 which is, in fact, Honda's own list MSRP. I decided to pass on this part and the same story played out for the next several parts I asked her to look up. All of them were marked up over Honda MSRP and she continued to be obstinate that I was wrong and that no Honda dealership could sell at the prices that I was quoted. She later let slip, however, that on the oil pan gasket (a $25 part) "she would only be making $3 on it" when she had insisted before that she would be selling below her cost.
At this point, I gave up on purchasing any parts from Wilsonville Honda and moved on to just getting a few quarts of Honda MTF as this was the only thing that I needed immediately. I asked if she could look up the transmission capacity for the same 2000 Civic Si that she had already looked up an oil pan for and she once again became flustered and angry with me insisting "Well there is no Si model in 2000, it's not on my spec sheet". As an enthusiast this lack of knowledge about the her own dealership's brand is astonishing. Honda did in fact make an Si model in 2000 (http://www.edmunds.com/honda/civic/2000/si/), and it is one of the most iconic Honda cars to come out of the late 90's/early 2000s. I eventually walked out with 3 quarts, just to make sure I had enough to change the fluid in my car. This will be the last purchase that I make with Wilsonville Honda.
Never in my life have I been treated with such disrespect, mocking, and open insulting behavior in a customer service environment. I was hoping to give a local establishment my business, but due to the behavior of Susan, I made my order with another dealership online at much better pricing.
Thank you for reading,
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