While I live and hour and a half away from Johnson Ford, my experience with the dealership was extremely positive, until sometime later.
For starters, I found a certified pre-owned Ford Edge on cars.com and had inquired about the car via e-mail with sales manager Jim Russell. He answered my questions quickly and professionally to the point that I was comfortable with the car, sight unseen, to drive the hour and a half to Pittsfield to take a test drive and ultimately purchase the car. Once we got to the dealership, we were greeted by our sales consultant, Chris Brown. Chris was great – very personable and comfortable to work with. He did a great job showing us the car and explaining all the features.
The first hiccup came when we began to negotiate the deal. I’m not going to knock them too hard for this, as I feel we got an ok deal on the car and value for my trade; granted it was like pulling teeth to come to an agreement. My wife and I almost left without purchasing. A word of advice for the sales management team – when you show the customer the KBB fair market value for the car you are selling and the trade it, make sure the numbers make sense. When presented with the fair market value for the Edge, the price they wanted me to pay for the car, even after ‘discounts’ was a few hundred dollars outside of this range. Then, when presented with the fair market value for my trade in, the price they were going to give me was a few hundred dollars LESS, even after they made a big deal about how much they wanted it and how good of a condition it was in. It was also a little disheartening to see my trade in go up for sale on their website for twice as much as they gave me, granted I know this is the name of the game.
Once we agreed on a price, everything else went pretty smoothly, aside from an issue with the bank (their fax machine was broken?). Again, not Johnson Ford’s fault. Working with the Business Manager, Michael Cloherty, at this time, was very easy, if rushed. We even decided to purchase the extended warranty, which, turns out, is not a Ford factory-backed warranty. Here’s to hoping it works as they describe if we ever need to use it!
My main issue came a month after all of this. When going over my paperwork, I realized that I OVERPAID Johnson Ford for my registration and DMV fees. I realize that the business manager needs to estimate these at the time of sale, especially since we were not registering this car in MA. Other dealers that I have bought cars from have So I decided to run this by Michael Cloherty. I first sent him an e-mail, with documentation showing what fees I paid the dealership and which fees were paid to the DMV. The difference was only about $185. When this e-mail went unanswered after a week, I called Michael directly and left a voicemail. Unreturned again, I sent another e-mail. He responded then that he would look into it. A week and a half later, I sent another e-mail and left another voicemail following up on the matter. The answer I got was that the fee that I paid went to the registration fees and inspection, as well as “hiring the runners” who delivered the vehicle to me – which, by the way 1) no body at Johnson Ford told me that I would need to pay to have the vehicle delivered – I made it VERY clear that I was willing to take delivery of the car at the dealership and 2) I was the one who had to wait at the DMV to register the car (yes, the runners were there, but they were dealing with other business as well. I have a background in the automotive sales space, and I have NEVER heard of making a customer pay for “runners” – they are already employees of the dealership and should be paid like any other non-sales dealership employee. After this, I send another e-mail to both the business manager, as well as Chris Johnson himself, both of which went unanswered.
For a dealership that touts their customer relationships and how they were nominated “Dealer of the Year” from Time Magazine, I’m not seeing it – they are just another stereotypical, dishonest car dealership that only cares about the sale and sucking as much money as possible from buyers. I tend to support businesses, no matter their location, that treat me (a paying customer) well – and unfortunately because of this experience, I will not be a returning customer, nor can I recommend Johnson Ford Lincoln to prospective customers.