I am transplanted to SW Ohio from Tokyo and one who prefers being on-foot in a city or unhindered otherwise – anything but trapped in traffic. Near Thanksgiving I began researching a new car for 2013. By December, I had a 2012 Prius C from Walker Toyota (“C” for “City,” new as the 2013’s are not out yet). After one month of combined city + highway driving in cold weather, I finally filled-up. It was January. It got just short of 50 MPG by pencil-and-paper calculation on a 1st tank that was on Walker. The 2nd+ is too – it’s a generous dealership. I love – love! – the car. At work, I park so I can see it; at home, I open the garage door and look at it. And it’s perfect for me: while stuck in traffic, it turns itself off.
I would not buy any hybrid but a Toyota. In Japan, where the quality of goods and services is measured from the top down and hybrids and plug-ins are ubiquitous, Toyota is the biggest share is why. I would not buy from any Toyota dealership but Walker. The Sales Staff clearly cares is why, before and after a sale, works together during it, and is empowered to make a call and cut a best-possible deal also is why. Service and Sales are professional, w/o pressure, and seamless. Customer service – one knows it when sees it – Walker meets it.
A difference in my experience compared to others’ may be in terms of assistance. I had, in order, over a few short days starting with an oil change and M.J. in Service, all Sales Staff listed in the header. After the oil change, I returned for follow-on consult to begin “car research” for the following year, I thought. In no way was I settled on this car or that, much less hybrid or not; not even on Toyota as the next or not. Certainly, I was nowhere near guessing I’d be semi-signing for a car, sight-unseen, that night. I was just off work and an hour+ into a big block of expiring end-of-year leave, having not taken any all year yet – next to none. Mine is an overtly extroverted staff support role in an environment mismatched to my nature (not a secret). It’s a german shepherd that can do email. An effect is that, after work, I can be blank – depleted, nothing left. I went to Walker that way but worse, not so much after a long day as year, not so much with a ready plan as lack of creativity for one – like a 2-state device, a switch, set to “off.” Walker maybe deemed me a pain case for which extraordinary measures were in order to please, or not, and get rid-of either way. (I should come with instructions like one of those bracelets where mine would read, “If blank or no display, to restore administer ‘Foo Fighters’ or Grunge, LOUD.” Sorry – never grew-up.) I would not recommend this no-personality approach to tentative other customers; no, I would be very nice to these people instead. Because, while there and accommodated, yes, when I did share “what it would take” on decision points via Wes and Will, the result was direct and beyond what I could have come-up with – a deal devised and offered under Bret that left little else to be decided: A solution… a candidate car would be brought-in from elsewhere, for convenience, for me to see, at no cost and no strings attached, I would get a fair trade on the old, and a best-possible deal plus 0%-APR on the new. Beat that! And no year-end close-out skepticism, please! – not what happened here. And (please!) I am so not into the industry and its people being under fire for anything else either!
Now, car stuff should be fun and w/o worry, as staffs today are trained and certified, etc. – this was that and more. Moving back to the States after maybe being away too long, I’ve come to expect ordeals at every turn, of every category, followed as swiftly by file of Attorney Generals’ office claims. Rare is the pleasant surprise. My attitude is re-baselining a bit now.
Walker has earned and deserves my business, but it won’t be me needing a car anytime soon – my extended warrantee reads ridiculous. But based on my experience, which I hope merits consideration: If a customer, serious one, at a dealership somewhere, is not sensing an interaction towards earning one’s business and satisfaction, then something is wrong there. I may be a little biased, but when my concerns and reservations were clearly communicated, each was cleanly met at Walker. That simple – that is what happened.
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Wes Ostrander, Will Kress, Bret Crowell, Danny Engle, Jeff Popejoy, and Mr. Hadi Imam.