First off - I purchased my first Outback from Wayne Subaru in February 2000. They have always been a great dealership.
I have been researching a new Outback for months, and keeping track of the on-line inventory of North Jersey dealerships for about 5 weeks now. When I was finally ready to buy I was intent on trying to utilize the CostCo Advantage program to get a discount.
I went through the car builder exercise at costcoauto (dot) com and clicked on the "locate dealer" link for a 2012 Outback 2.5i CVT.
I shortly received a response that Paul Miller Subaru in Parsippany was the designated dealer. I was familiar with them when they had been Loman Subaru. Loman had tried to rip me off on an exhaust system some years ago and I never went back to the location.
I went to the Paul Miller website, which I had observed various times over the previous weeks, and looked at their inventory. They had a used 2011 Outback Limited (20k miles) and a new 2012 Outback 2.5i CVT advertised for approx. $23k and $25k respectively. These cars had been listed for at least 2 weeks previously; I was familiar with both. In fact, they are both listed there right now because I didn't buy either one.
I clicked the more information links, and received various canned auto-responses. However, I also received personalized responses from 2 salespeople and the sales manager.
Specifically, I received an email from the sales manager...Ron Sheffield...stating a price of $18,487 for the "2012" Outback I had inquired about. Now, the email indicated that the Outback in question had been "fully serviced" etc, so I assumed that the "2012" was a typo and that he meant the used 2011. Why would a new car require servicing? No big deal to me, really.
The email and phone call exchanges occurred on Saturday 12/29, during a snow storm. I scheduled an appointment to test drive the 2011 and 2012 on Monday 12/31. We (“we” is my wife and I) showed up prepared to buy one of the vehicles, assuming that the $18,487 was for the 2011 and that the sales manager would try to convince us to buy the 2012 for more.
Upon arrival we dealt with Sharon Coppola…she was very nice, and I test drove both vehicles. She is the Internet Sales Manager. When we started talking price…she had been copied on the email with the $18,487 value…she indicated it was probably a typo, and we agreed. She went to Mr. Sheffield to confirm and he entered the negotiation.
He explained that the 2012 he had referenced in his email had unfortunately been sold Saturday afternoon and was no longer available. He was willing to go $21k on the used 2011.
At this point we interrupted. We pointed out that we realized that the email had a typo, and that we were prepared to explore purchasing the used 2011 but only at $18,487. He stated that there was no typo…there had been another 2012 that he was referencing that sold Saturday.
This, to us, was ridiculous. And we let him know that. I knew very well that there was no other 2012 available because I had been checking the site for weeks. So either they sold some other new 2012 Outback that had for some reason not been advertised on their website, during a snow storm, which he was inexplicably willing to sell for $2000 less than a used 2011...or he was lying.
We offered to forget all that, water under the bridge, we understood he was trying to cover his ass…if he would admit the typo and we could move on from there.
He was unwilling to admit that. He expected us to believe his story.
So we walked out.
We drove to Wayne Subaru. I knew that Wayne Subaru’s only 2012 was a Legacy. So I test drove a 2013 Outback 2.5i CVT and a Forester 2.5X Premium.
And we purchased the 2013 2.5i CVT for $24,999. I’ll pick it up tonight.
Wayne Subaru has a customer for life :29: Nick Gigantes took care of us, and the remaining players at Wayne Subaru were all professional, honest, and genuinely appreciative of our business. There was no pushiness and no phony haggling. I recommend Wayne Subaru to anyone within driving distance. They took care of me 13 years ago, and this experience was no different. Also, incredibly, when I went to pick the vehicle up it was 8pm at night by the time I left and there were still mechanics working in the service bay!
On the other hand, Paul Miller Subaru is going to get badmouthed to anyone willing to listen, and I will write letter to corporate too. I’ve already let CostCo know what I think of them.