Dealership experience: Lupient Buick Pontiac GMC

Discussion in 'Reviews Galore' started by Workdawg, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Workdawg

    Workdawg NARWHAL

    As many of you know, I like to test drive cars. I've been to 18+ (18 is all I could count, but I could easily have missed a couple) dealerships in the metro area, as well as a couple down in Mankato. Last Saturday, 8/9, I was out and about looking for test drives. I stopped at Lupient Buick Pontiac GMC to take a drive of something. I looked briefly around the lot trying to decide what to drive.

    I decided I wanted to give the Solstice GXP another shot, so I walked inside and was quickly greeted by a salesman named Joel. The encounted started off as any other, I told him I was looking for a test drive and we went out to the lot to see if they had a GXP in stock. They did, it was hail damaged, but that's no big deal for a test drive. He gets the stock number, we go back inside and he takes my license and gets the keys. After wandering around in the dealership for a few minutes, I see him pull the car up outside, so I head out there. He gets out and goes to the passenger side, I jump in the driver's seat. After adjusting all the mirrors and seat, I ask him if he's got any particular route to take. After telling me he does, I ask him if he's got some twisties in there for me, so I can test the handling, and he says there are some, so off we go!

    The drive is like any other for the most part. I take it easy coming out of the dealership, then when we get onto the highway (55) I get on the gas, bring it to about redline and shift; gotta test the acceleration after all. We get up to a stoplight, so I give it a decent launch. I didn't rev it high from the start, I got into first and then gave it the gas. The tires chirped at the shift into second. And I let off as we got to about the speed limit. There's some traffic on the ramp to 100, and on 100 to 394 (the route he had for me was 55 -> 100 -> 394 back to the dealership I guess.) While I was on the highway, I did a couple downshifts to test passing ability and whatnot, but I never was speeding excessively; there was too much traffic. I never missed a shift, never sat at the redline, I never did anything bad for the car; unless you count just driving it hard to be bad. Like I said, there was traffic, so I didn't even get to take the ramps very fast (mind you these are all right side exits, just hardly sweeping corners, no clovers), so I hadn't had a chance to test the handling at all by the time we got back to 394. I did nothing to that car I haven't done, and wouldn't do again to my car.

    We are on 394, getting back to the dealership when things took a twist. The conversation went something like this. Not exact quotes, as it's from memory, but pretty accurate. Note: Up until this point, Joel didn't say much to me at all, and he NEVER said ANYTHING about the way I was driving the car.

    Me: So, are the twisties coming up then? You said there would be some.
    Joel: No, you're done with the drive. Go back to the dealership.
    Me: *pretty much shocked* Uhh. Okay... what do you mean?
    Joel: You've been beating the car up, I think you've had enough fun.
    Me: What do you mean, I'm just taking a test drive.
    Joel: You're doing burnouts (never did a burnout, like I said, the tires chirped shifting to 2nd once, they may have chirped on a launch once, but I never did anything close to a burnout.), scratching 3rd (scratching? wtf) and just beating on the car. How would you like it if I beat up on your piece of shit Mazda? (Yeah, he said that)
    Me: I'm not selling my car. What's that have to do with anything?
    Joel: So what, how would you like it if I drove your car like this.
    Me: I drive my car like this, I'm not doing anything out of the ordinary. I test drive cars all the time and have never had anyone complain about the way I drive their cars.
    Joel: So what, give me your keys and I'll go beat on your car.
    Me: No, if anyone is beating on my car it will be me. I drive my car hard all the time.
    Joel: Are you trading it in? (HAHA, like I'd ever buy a car from you after this)
    Me: No, I'm keeping it. What's that have to do with anything?
    Joel: This is a brand new car and you're beating on it, go back to the dealership.
    Me: There's 140 miles on it, but okay, which exit?
    Joel: It's still new. *Names the exit*

    We exit and head back to the dealership. I drive nice and easy the whole way back. When we near the dealership the conversation continues:

    Me: So, what did I do that you didn't like.
    Joel: You were just beating up on the car. If you've got a problem, you can talk to my manager when we get back.
    Me: Okay.

    Not once did I raise my voice or get excited at all, I was pretty much shocked at this since he never once told me to slow down (I was hardly speeding at all) or go easy on the car. He was using an agressive tone and seemed quite angry. I remained calm and was completely polite to him, even though he was FAR from polite to me.

    We get back to the dealership, I ask him where he wants it, and park it up front like he asks. We get out and I ask to speak with his manager. We head inside, and he stands about 10 feet away from me and is looking at a guy in a corner near the door who is helping some customers. I ask him if that's the manager, to which he replies that it is. I say that I'll just wait for the manager to be done with those customers, and thank him. He wanders off to the middle of the showroom and stands around. Eventually the manager gets up to print off something, and he walks by Joel. Joel points me out, tells the manager I was beating on the Solstice, says something else I couldn't hear, then pats him on the back. I wait a bit longer and the managers customers leave. He signals me to come outside with him, so I do.

    Conversation as follows:

    Me: So you're the manager eh?
    Bryan: Yeah, I'm Bryan, I hear you had a problem on your test drive.
    Me: Yeah, your salesman was very disrespectful to me. What was his name again? He never introduced himself.
    Bryan: Joel, tell me what happened?
    Me: *I tell him a shortened version of above, including the highlights, like him cussing and generally being abusive towards me*
    Bryan: Joel's been selling cars for over 15 years and I've never had him cut a test drive short. I have to side with him on this.
    Me: I totally understand that, you know him, you don't know me. I felt that he was very disrespectful towards me though.
    Bryan: I'm sorry you feel that way, if my salesman felt like he was in danger, he had the right to cut the test drive short.
    Me: Again, I understand that, but he never made any comments about the way I was driving. If he had concerns, he could have at least brought them up to me instead of getting angry and abusive towards me. I've test driven 20-30 cars and NEVER had such a terrible experience. I've driven cars harder than I drove that car and the saleman have never commented about my driving. Most tell me to 'drive it like I stole it.'
    Bryan: I'm sorry you feel that way.

    At about this time, I noticed that he wasn't even looking at me anymore. This pissed me off a bit.

    Me: You could at least look at me and pretend like you care.
    Bryan: And you could take off your sunglasses.

    I had my sunglasses on all day and forgot I was wearing them. Also, they are prescription lenses so I do actually need them to see well.

    Me: They're actually prescription glasses, I need them to see. But I apologize for not removing them.
    Bryan: I wasn't there, so I have to side with my salesman, if he felt like he was in danger, then he had the right to stop the test drive.
    Me: I was never out of control, I wasn't driving any different than I have in 30 other test drives. I chirped the tires one time shifting to second, I wasn't taking turns the the tires squeeling, speeding excessively, or anything else. If he felt concerned about my driving for some reason, then he should have just told me.

    At this point we start to part ways.

    Bryan: Well, I still have to side with him.
    Me: That's fine, I just think he could have handled it better. Instead of just blowing up at me, yelling (maybe he didn't yell, but he was definitely out of line in tone), and swearing at me, he could have just told me to back off the car a little bit. If he was concerned, he could have expressed that when I did something he didn't like instead of just letting me keep doing it.
    Bryan: He never swore at you.
    Me: He called my car of "piece of shit Mazda."
    Bryan: Now we're just splitting hairs. (Apparently swearing about my car, while talking to me, isn't swearing at me)

    At this point he walked off and so did I. I was shaken up from the whole thing, and I had to go back to Jenny's for her dad's birthday, so I didn't go back into the dealership to talk to someone else.

    When I got home I decided to look up the number for the dealership. I had actually forgotten the salesman's name and I figured I could call them up, describe him to the receptionist and get his name. I found their website, and low and behold, it had pictures of the staff on it, starting with the managers and receptionist. Much to my surprise, the person I talked to that was a "manager" wasn't listed as a manager. They have a GM, and a new car manager listed, and the "manager" I talked to was listed as a salesman. Did they tag team me with deception? I don't know, but I'll be calling up to talk to the GM later tonight and find out, maybe he got a promotion and it just isn't reflected on their site.

    This isn't meant to be slanderous at all. I just wanted to share my experience and will be updating it with what I find out from the GM tonight.
  2. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    Lame. Maybe we should all go and test drive a Solstice there, just to beat on it.
  3. mndsm

    mndsm I'M OFFENDED!

    Yeah, I think a load of us out there at once causing a ruckus over "Joel" would get some answers immediately.
  4. ZoomZoom Diva

    ZoomZoom Diva New Member

    Sounds like the salesperson I had at Morrie's Subaru once. Only difference was I told him to shut up or I was stopping the car and he could get out right then and there... then completed the test drive my way.

    Part of owning a dealership is to have models available for test drive that you know are going to get heavy and hard use.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  5. mndsm

    mndsm I'M OFFENDED!

    Yeah, I mean really. He wants to call the Mazda a POS? Shoulda told him to line up his GXP against it and seen what happened.
  6. Workdawg

    Workdawg NARWHAL

    I don't want to cause a commotion, just want let the manager know that his employees treated me like dirt. There were MANY opportunites to prevent and resolve the situation better than it was handled and they failed at every turn.

    1. Tell me to take it easy from the start.
    2. Tell me you don't like the way I'm driving it if I do something "wrong".
    3. If you don't tell me what I do wrong, at least be polite when you tell me you've had enough.
    4. Not say anything about the way I drive and just forget about it.
    5. Manager actually acts like he cares and does his job (which in this case was to just apologize and act sincere, IMO).
  7. mazdamn02

    mazdamn02 Guest

    Wow, that sounds like quite the experience...

    Not that I'm defending their actions in any manner, I don't know if I can understand why someone would make it a hobby to test drive cars just to test drive cars. It seems like a waste of the salesman's time and just not that great of an idea if you're not actually looking to buy a car.

    This guy sounds like a real jerk but he probably became irritated when he realized you're not actually even considering buying a car.
  8. Matt D.

    Matt D. Guest

    You should have done a big smoky burnout when you left.
  9. Workdawg

    Workdawg NARWHAL

    While I agree to an extent that it's a waste of the salesmans time, I wouldn't bother them if they were busy. It was a Saturday, but there were plenty of salespeople standing around not doing anything. Also, I never told him I didn't intend to buy the car.

    While I'm not looking to buy a car right now, you never know what the future holds. Maybe I'll be looking soon, maybe I'll even be so impressed with the car I'll want to buy it. Look what happened when you drove the RX-8. I like to know what's out there.
  10. JustROLLIN

    JustROLLIN Guest

    My thoughts exactly. I dont think the guy was right for treating you like he did, but I also dont think you going around test driving cars is "right." Then again, I used to sell cars so I know how frustrating that can be.
  11. mazdamn02

    mazdamn02 Guest

    I'm sure you didn't because he probably would have told you to get lost.

    Agreed, however I set the expectation upfront that we're wasting his time, but in the end we're seriously considering buring one from him next spring.

    I'm just throwing my opinion out there... to each his own :)
  12. Workdawg

    Workdawg NARWHAL

    Isn't a part of sales networking? If the salesman knew what they were talking about, I'd go straight back to them. I'd also be happy to recommend them to someone else looking to buy a car if they knew what they were talking about. The guy who took me out for the test drive from Walser Buick Pontiac GMC was great. He gave me a sales pitch, he responded to my comments on how the car drove, he even offered to look up if there were any Solstices around with the upgraded suspension package around so I could drive one of them, even though he knew I wasn't going to be buying it. I doubt he remembers me, he didn't take my name or anything like that, but I'd gladly recommend him to anyone looking for one of the cars they sell.
  13. Workdawg

    Workdawg NARWHAL

    You're right, he very well might have told me to get lost. If Jesse had told you to get lost, you wouldn't be buying a car from him.
  14. Workdawg

    Workdawg NARWHAL


    I talked to Rob Stewart, the GM of the dealership. As it turns out, the "manager" I talked to is technically a salesman, however he fills in as a sort of assistant manager when the other managers aren't available. Apparently he was the acting manager at the time, so that makes me feel a little bit better.

    Rob seemed like a really nice guy. I explained the situation to him and he seemed genuinely concerned about how things went down. He said that he currently drives a G8 and it's pretty silly to expect anyone who test drives a performance car to take it easy, the point of the test drive is to see how it performs. He agreed with me that it should have been handled differently and assured me he would discuss what happened with Joel and Bryan. They would "use it as a learning experience".

    Anyways, I feel pretty good about the situation after talking to Rob. He said if I ever wanted to drive something else, I should just talk to him directly, which is pretty nice.
  15. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    Good to hear the GM seems to have a little more realistic expectation about how the test drive of a performance car is often going to go.
  16. mndsm

    mndsm I'M OFFENDED!

    Yeah, at least the head honcho dude made it right as it were.
  17. mazdamn02

    mazdamn02 Guest

    Good deal, interesting twist on the "acting manager"
  18. Matt D.

    Matt D. Guest

    The GM is obviously more of a salesman than the other two clowns ever will be. Customer service is what brings people back.
  19. Workdawg

    Workdawg NARWHAL

    Yeah, for sure Matt. Whether he actually cared or not, the point is that he seemed like he did. I talked to him for 10-15 mins probably and he never gave me the impression that he didn't care.
  20. mndsm

    mndsm I'M OFFENDED!

    And that type of service is actually what got me into the speed 3. There was no BS it was "here's the keys bring it back when you're done". I'd likely have punched that joel clown in the face.

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