I am very dissatisfied with my purchase experience and certainly would never consider buying another vehicle from Balise Subaru.
As discussed at length with sales manager, I feel that there was willfull misrepresentation made as to the details of what I was buying.
Specifically, when ordering the various add-on options for my new vehicle, I specified to the salesperson that I wanted the all-weather package, the all weather floor mats, splash guards, rear bumper cover and last but not least the bluetooth connectivity kit. I had the Subaru 2011 Outback brochure in my hands and was reading from the page that lists the various options the are available in the base, premium, and limited models. I had already reviewed these options at the SUBARU web site using the "Build Your Outback" tool.
I even asked that these options be listed in writing on the agreement -- and they were, handwritten on the
Rear bumper cover
I was told that it would take a few days to get the car and have the items installed.
The morning after I took possession of the vehicle, I went to pair my phone with the bluetooth system and noticed that the bluetooth kit that had been installed was not the Subaru Bluetooth Connectivity option but an aftermarket option! Not only that, but this aftermarket option was installed on the passenger side of the center console, not within clear reach of the driver, and looked like something that one would get from some third rate 'back-alley' garage! Certainly not what one expects to see in a brand new vehicle!
That evening I stopped by the sales department and spoke with the sales manager.
I explained to him that I was very annoyed with the installed aftermarket bluetooth kit, that it was not the SUBARU kit I had expected and that I wanted an explanation.
The sales manager stated that as I had not specified that I wanted the Subaru OEM Bluetooth Connectivity Kit, they had instead installed an aftermarket kit and that this was their standard practice.
I stated that :
1) I had not specified that I wanted the Subaru OEM rear bumper cover, splash guards or all weather mats either but
that these were installed using the SUBARU OEM items.
2) It should be clear that when someone
- is purchasing a NEW vehicle from a SUBARU dealer and
- is discussing available accessories & options with the salesperson and
- is reading from the SUBARU sales brochure of available options and
- is told that yes, the vehicle can be outfitted with the discussed options
there is an expectation and reasonable assumption is that one is going to receive SUBARU OEM accessories, NOT aftermarket options.
The sales manager took the position that it was unreasonable for me to make such an assumption: "You assumed wrong".
He then stated that he would not discuss this any further until he had a chance to speak with my sales person the next day and that I would receive a return call by 12:00pm.
I did not receive such a call and called back several times between 2 and 4 pm; each time being told that neither my sales person nor the sales manager were available.
I finally did get in touch with the sales manager that afternoon and he reiterated his position that as I had not specified OEM accessories I should not, indeed could not, have expected OEM parts be used.
He also stated that I had "negotiated a price so low that he was going to make very little if anything off this sale"; that included giving me the options I had asked for 'at cost'. He stated that when during the negotiations, the salesperson came back to him to say that I wanted a better deal, the only way he could do that was to use the non-OEM bluetooth option. Clearly, therefore the original price offer, even in the sales manager mind, was based on the OEM part.
Neither he nor the salesperson ever stated that lowering the price even further was contingent on substituting the SUBARU OEM Bluetooth kit with an aftermarket kit!
After much discussion, some of it heated, the sales manager stated that he would give me 2 options:
1) if I wanted the SUBARU OEM bluetooth kit, he would have it installed, but it would cost an additional $200 or
2) he would have the aftermarket bluetooth button 'moved to anywhere I wanted it moved'.
I stated that I was not willing to pay extra for something I believe I should have received in the first place, and that I wanted to think it over; I was not happy with either option.
A few days later, I called back and spoke with the salesperson. I asked him to find out whether, when moving the button, the console plate to which it was mounted would also be replaced or whether that would leave a hole. He stated he did not know but would find out and call me back. He called back and said that the plate would not be replaced and moving the button would leave a hole, this would be filled in somehow, but would probably be visible. This of course is simply not a reasonable option on a brand new vehicle.
So, in the end, I am left with the choice of paying again for something that I should have received with the new car, spending time/money on a lawyer to go after them, or leaving the status quo.
I chose the latter. I now have a daily reminder, every time I get into my car, when I see that Bluetooth button, to never do business with Balise Subaru again and to relay this experience to others as a warning:
When doing business with Balise Subaru, let the buyer beware!