"Too Large to Care "
- Al Caceres
So I accompanied my recently retired aunts to this dealership seeking for a new lease to replace their 2015 Honda Pilot EX with 24,000 miles on it. We explained that these were potentially third time Honda Pilot lease customers, that the trade-in situation was quite favorable, and that their credit scores were above 800 points. In good faith, we also explained that given their retirement, budget was of the essence, and so they were looking to maintain or lower their monthly lease payment for a 2017 Pilot. The initial salesman, Adrian Pielea, failing to even show us the vehicle, shrugged us off and sent in Mr. Brett Gringhaus to take over the conversation. Again, I explained the situation to Mr. Gringhaus, and I explained that at that point, we had not even seen the vehicle. Brett's reply? What is the point if we cannot come to terms on the numbers? No one just settles for a Pilot. People pay $400 and above for a Pilot lease, and I do not mind giving the car away, but we cannot lose so much money on the car. I said okay, but mind you I just took them to the Kia and Hyundai dealerships down the street, and those dealers can certainly keep their current lease payment for a Sorento or a Santa Fe, but we desired to give Honda a chance, given their history and circumstances. Brett's reply was, it makes more sense for them to go there. I said, so you would prefer to let go qualified, loyal Honda customer vs running the numbers to see what you can do for them? Brett's reply, "I'll shed a tear for them, but it makes more sense for them to go there." I should also add that the conversation was frequently interrupted by cell phone calls to Brett's phone, which he took, leaving us waiting. With the "tear" comment, I thought this was such an amazing human being representing Norm Reeves that we could no longer bask in his glow light. So, I decided to stop the conversation, and we parted ways, cordially, and moved on.
Well, we then went to another Honda dealer. What a difference!!! Despite the above circumstances, they never hesitated to show my aunts the 2017 Pilot, their sales manager listened to what we had to say, and he quickly resolved to find them the vehicle that they wanted for the price they wanted. We got it!! A 2017 Pilot at a lower monthly lease payment than the current one with a very reasonable down payment. Why? Because numbers work differently at this dealer?? NO! Because they took the time to listen and evaluate the situation. The key was the trade-in. The resale value was higher than the amount owed, so the amount of $ left over could be applied towards the down payment, thus lowering the monthly payment to below what my aunts had been paying (thus tending to their primary concern, monthly payments). The dealer even threw in a 2 year service contract in appreciation for their loyalty and business. Now this was genuine customer care and concern! These really were helpful Honda people!
The kicker?? The new dealership did not have the 2017 Pilot in the color my aunts wanted, so they searched for it. The dealer found it, at Norm Reeves Honda! So the same vehicle Mr. Brett Gringhaus believed would waste his earthly time showing us, ended up being sold by the new dealer at the terms my aunts had requested. We quickly and summarily removed the Norm Reeves paper plate holder and proudly put in the new dealer's in its place.
My impression of Norm Reeves? Too large to care. We were wasting their time with our sob story, and they let us know it. Time is money, and we weren't it. Apparently little do they (or Mr. Gringhaus) understand that business does not just grow on the one deal, but on the referrals and the repeat business, including service! Mr. Grighaus, almost single-handed, destroyed not only this deal, but any and all others, including mine, as I too could have been interested in a purchase for my family. Never setting foot on this dealer's floor again.