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List of car buyer lies

Now and then, a mechanic or sales guy writes to complain that our "dealer lies" page only presents one side of the story. Each time, we have sent down the same challenge: provide us with the other side. Guy Oakes, from Australia, is the first to take us up on it. Let's give him a hand for his courage and initiative!

by Guy Oakes

I've been enjoying your site for many years now, it's really comprehensive.

I have been a Mopar nut forever and have a dream job. I am the sales manager at one of Australia's largest Chrysler-Jeep (CJ) dealers - not really a big deal when you consider that we sell maybe 25 cars a month ! CJ are certainly not the big player in this market like they once were - but we're working on it !

The reason for my letter comes from reading the very entertaining "dealer lies" articles. I don't doubt for a moment that these anecdotes are all true - I've even heard my own staff telling some whoppers. There is simply no excuse for this kind of behaviour, whether it's someone covering themselves for forgetting to order a part or something worse like blatantly ripping some poor sod off.

To be fair, when it comes to the sales process, the shoe is definitely on the other foot. As a salesman, you cannot lie and get away with it. Product information is so accessible these days and there are very strong consumer protection laws and sytems in place (Americans, remember - he's in Australia). It's a good thing.

I suggest that Allpar add a "customer lies" page. It might just put things in perspective and provide some entertainment for those who have not been in sales.

And here's his starter list. Anyone care to add to it?

  • I'm here to buy a car.
  • I'll buy from the dealer who gives me the best price.
  • I'll buy now if you give me the best price.
  • I am the decision-maker.
  • I need to ask my wife/accountant/boss/astrologist/priest/dog.
    [Bob Tillman wrote, When I look at vehicles without my wife, if she doesn't like the vehicle (or the price), I don't get the car/truck. So, yes, I do "have to ask my wife." It makes living with her a lot easier."]
  • I've had a better price somewhere else.
  • I'll post [mail] you the deposit cheque.
  • My company will send the purchase order.
  • The other dealer gave me much more for my old car
  • I bought my old car brand-new
  • My old car has never been in a crash
  • My old car has a full service history

Carl Payne wrote up some other customer lies in his "the other side" article, including:

  • I've had customers who were mad as hell that the driver's side floor mat didn't fit the way the other side did. Moving the driver's side mat over one inch cured the problem and they went away smiling, but that kind of stupidity abounds when there's a warranty on something new in their life; that customer went straight to the general manager, he got me, I fixed the problem, but they thought a bad product was being pawned off on them.
  • A guy came in wanting wheel covers for his Reliant. While getting the parts book, he went on to explain to me how another CP dealer tried to "stick him" with a $700 brake job. He volunteered that his car was still under warranty, and that he shouldn't have to pay a nickel for anything, including brakes. He also volunteered that the CP dealer he came from "tried to tell me some hogwash about the wrong brake fluid," and that set of an alarm in my head. I explained to him that there was, indeed, a serious possibility of goofing brakes completely, especially if using power steering fluid, which swells rubber, forcing the calipers and wheel cylinders to lock and self-destruct. He told me "That's all I did: add power steering fluid!"

Add to the list!

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