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Just a rant

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Hey guys,

MIL just picked up her CT200h at Chatswood today. I'm partially to blame for it. Have been quite the advocate for Lexus in the family with my car and all.

Anyway, everything is fine, except I had a slightly unpleasant experience at the dealers today. Something that actually made me quite angry, in fact. It's almost 2am, and I'm still quite upset over it, so I need to vent to get this off my chest and hopefully sleep. I don't exactly want to send a formal complaint to Lexus as I don't want the guy losing his job over it, so I'm hoping to just bury this here...

So I did not accompany my MIL when she made the purchase or went for the test drive. Everything seemed fine, and from what she and my wife tells me, the service was excellent. Today when picking up the vehicle, there was the usual process of a salesperson inducting you to your car, showing you all the features, and answering whatever question you may have.

Now the person assigned is not the person who sold the car. He explains that the original person was off sick that day and he was there as a substitute at late notice - no problems there. He showed many features diligently, however the atmosphere he created wasn't the most pleasant. It felt rushed and I personally detected some impatience. Again, that's no problem. I asked him what the "B" mode for, to which his response was more or less "you don't need to know about it. It just stands for Battery, which your car automatically charges". When asked then why the car has this special mode and a lever specifically selectable to this "B" position to the end user, his response was still evasive. Again, no fuss there - thought I might just ask you guys about it here.

So then we were presented with a feedback form, which my wife filled out. She (being the cheeky and upfront person that she is), put down a 9/10 for the first item (which was the quality of the presentation/introduction to the car or whatever), and 10/10 for the rest. 9/10 isn't a bad score. In fact, it is quite good. But what made it not-so-good was this guy taking it personally and kept pushing why we gave them that score. My wife response is simply "well I feel that this is the correct and fair score". So the next 2 minutes was him pressuring my wife to change it to a 10, which he eventually succeeded. I jumped in and said "you know, if you keep pushing, she will probably change it to an 8". Judging by his hostile glare at my remark, I think he did not like that.

Without mentioning his impatience, I explained to him that I was unsatisfied with his response on my question. He insisted at that point that the "B" mode doesn't do anything and that the car will automatically set it. I pushed on further to point out that my question was asking what it did and when the user would select it. His response was still "it charges the battery which your car already does" and "the user doesn't need to push that button".

Eventually, I explained to him that as a design engineer, I do not make an obviously accessible feature with the intention that the user doesn't touch. I mean, why would you put it there if you don't want the end user having anything to do with it, right? It would be a redundant thing to have, and create unnecessary confusion. Eventually, I just went with something along the lines of "Look, how about I ask it in this way: What the hell happens when I select B? This is what I have been asking time and time again, and all you say is that I don't need to worry about it, which is NOT answering my question! You've basically failed to answer my question and you are trying to palm it off"

His response was remarkable, and it was something along the lines of "In that case, I'm sorry. I don't know the answer. This is something that you'll have to ask Lexus."

I just lost it in my head. I said very sternly "Excuse me? Where do you think I am right now? I'm at Lexus. You are REPRESENTING LEXUS AT THIS VERY MOMENT and I AM ASKING YOU."

Let me get this straight. I'm not asking him to know the product back to front. It's okay not to know everything! I don't know 100% the product I am selling myself either, as I'm not the one who designed every single aspect of the product. It's impossible to know it all sometimes, and that's perfectly OK!! But in that situation, you do NOT sell your customer bull*BLEEP* information. You do NOT try to evade answering their question! You DO offer immediately that you don't know the answer to the question without wasting time trying to pretend you know the question and you DO offer to go and research a suitable answer and get back to the customer! 

Least to say, you do NOT pressure your customer from filling out a feedback form in an honest manner. Honestly, this one made me want to put down a 5. That's not what "Pursuit of Perfection" means. Although ironically, what he's done is quite the literal form of it.

/end rant


PS: The business manager was very impressive. Guy's name is Uwe (don't know how to pronounce that), and he demonstrates quite a bit of technical knowledge of the cars quite well. He explained the "B" function (which apparently stood for Brake, not Battery) exceptionally well, and contradicted that first guy quite a bit. I'm glad SOMEONE answered my question. I was pleasantly surprised at the level of knowledge that he displayed, especially for a business manager. I was VERY impressed.


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  • 2 weeks later...

lovely good to see UWE still on the ball

its actually pronounced OOVEEY 

he used to be my sales rep but left for another industry but came back not long ago as a business manager

iv been finding alot of unpleasant reps in that dealer recently and im actually thinking about changing my prefered dealer

and im a long time customer who buys 100K plus car every year

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