Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Would you buy a car from this man?

Perusing the UAE Community blog, I went off and looked at AutoGuy's post, which reminded me of when I tried to buy a new car in the UAE.

I had a good look round the new and nearly new, I took a load of advice, and eventually decided that a Chevrolet TrailBlazer was the way forward. A full five-seater 4x4 with a monstrously powerful motor. I was a bit concerned about the ground clearance, but there are after-market workarounds to deal with that.

Anyway, the fiction soon started. The GMC salesman told me that although the Envoy and the TrailBlazer are virtually identical, the Envoy is Dh20,000 more expensive because it's not assembled in Mexico. The vehicle VIN shows this to be a less than accurate statement; both are made in the USA. The Chevrolet salesman was keen to tell me that the engine had a timing belt (ugh!), which is a downright lie. It's got a timing chain (Huzzah!). Still, these guys are salesmen, not technicians.

So having arranged funds from my bank, I went unto Liberty Automobiles in Sharjah and sat down in front of the salesman with a big wad of cash, and indicated that I wished to arrange purchase of a TrailBlazer. He was talking on his mobile phone, so I waited. And waited.

Three mobile phone calls later, and it seemed that I had turned into the Invisible Goat. Eventually I was forced to interrupt the salesman's dialling to advise him that if he wasn't interested in my money I would be taking it elsewhere. I left the showroom, pausing only to advise incoming potential customers that the sales staff apparently regarded social phone calls as higher priority than taking the clients' money.

Al Futtaim got my money instead. I'm very pleased with my Prado.


Rick said...

Not surprising. In my recent search for cars I have found that new car salesmen tend to ignore you and could care less if they made a sale. Used car dealers are a little better, but even there I am sometimes ignored. Since these people are paid on commission, I wonder how they expect to earn a living. In the West I am chased by salespeople as if I was horsemeat in a shark tank. I don't get it.

Mme Cyn said...

Rick -- Go buy a Jeep from the guy in Deira. As Mr. Goat will tell you, I had great service from Jeep when I bought mu Wrangler nearly two years ago. They still call me and/or send me reminders when they think my next service must be due. It's a little thing, I know, but good customer service ( and post-customer service) seems so rare in this town, that I think we ought to encourage it by recommending them. Go Jeep!


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