"Not Surprised, Not Delighted, Relieved"
CustomerRating: Premier Kia of Branford
***** Customer Ideal Expectation
-* Up front Disclosure/Fine Print
*** Average Dealer Performance
+* Follow Up (Parts Window)
-* Sales Directed Parts/Service Follow-Up
-* Sales Follow-Up
*** Personal Experience Result
First let me say that no car dealer will ever receive a rating of five from me until they go through every line item of the deal, disclosing the invoice price, what they paid for the vehicle, their fair profit, and the invoice price of any add-ons in order to arrive at what it will cost me to buy. Then I want them to show how they determine what they will give me for my trade in. Fair price of vehicle minus price of trade-in = balance to pay. So simple and honest. But alas, that has yet to be.
I went to Premier Kia, as I was using the Costco car buying service. Although there were other Kia dealers closer to me, at least one of them being a Costco authorized dealer, Costco sent me out of my way. The explanation was that other dealers might not be offering the incentives. Oh, alright. I visited the other dealer, just in case. They were high energy, hail-fellow-well-met types of the old school. I was presented with a 4-square and, as the Internets will tell you, flee the four square. So I did.
I returned to Premier, where the atmosphere was less wired. Seth, the salesman, was fairly new to this dealership, courteous, and taciturn. Jeff, the sales manager; was also courteous, quiet, and diligent in his negotiation duties. It had been 17 years since I bought my trusty Subaru so, through most of this transaction, I was in a frazzled car-purchase haze. It helped that Seth and Jeff were outwardly calm and understated throughout. Seth assured me that I was getting a good price for my Forester trade-in.
I wanted a specific model and trim of 2020 Kia Soul. They got it for me. Seth showed me the car and answered any questions I had about its operation. The car was well washed and shined.
Then I was handed over to Carlos, the finance manager. I was not financing the purchase, although all 3 men had mentioned several times that it would save me over $1,000 in the long run. The final contract had to be redrawn because I objected to being charged for the VIN etching and nitrogen in the tires. I had previously signed a paper foregoing those items so I was not expecting to find them in the contract. Carlos made a great show of tearing up the original agreement. I feel there was more to that “revision” than I realized at the time. Carlos is very good at what he does. Keep your wits about you at all times.
Seth also introduced me to the Service area and a couple of the guys there. There is quite a nice, clean bay to drop your car off. You can also watch your car as it is being worked on. Papers signed, I drove home.
A service diary was mentioned in the Owner’s Manual and a there is a place in the manual where the dealer prep is supposed to be signed off on by Service. There was no sign off and, so far, no delivery of the service diary. I am currently in the process of extricating myself from the bundled service contract/extended warranty. At my age, the distance and stress involved in having to justify service coverage is definitely not worth it for me. Costco has arranged for discounts only good at the dealership so I will find out what that's like. No word yet on the mud flaps that were supposed to be included in the sale. The 30 day WE OWE expires in a little over a week. I plan to call them tomorrow.
UPDATE: November 2, 2019
The mud guards have never shown up. Every time I checked in, Jeff said there was no word yet. In mid October I called KIA. Had to call again because I didn't hear back from the first CSR. (Haven't heard back from the second yet either.) Advised Jeff I had called KIA. Have not heard from him since. I was reimbursed for the service contracts. There was some mention of a deduction for taxes. I asked why I should be paying tax on something I wasn't buying. I'm trying to stay positive here. I love the car, BTW. Oh, also found out that KIA's wiring insulation is soy based so will have to watch for mice in the garage.
UPDATE December 18, 2019
Shortly after my last post, I was told they would get mud guards that were made for another model but would fit on my Soul EX. I waited but heard nothing. Not having heard from them since, I called just after Thanksgiving. They thought the problem had already been handled! Was later contacted at Jeff's behest by Omar for me to make an appointment. Now that the bad winter weather has arrived, I'm gambling that this Friday (December 20, 2019) will be decent enough to get there and back safely. Stay tuned for the outcome.
UPDATE December 20, 2019
Back safe and sound. The worst part for me was driving on 91/95 to get there and back. Service was ready for me. The mud guards were in stock. I was able to watch the installation and my concern about my headlights remaining on during the service were allayed by Greg when he explained that the Bluetooth update required that the system remain on. My Soul was also washed before being returned to me. Despite my self-imposed trepidation, all went very well. Parts/Service, I salute you!
Now all I have to do is figure out the bells and whistles.
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