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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My girlfriend and I just purchased two fully loaded Outbacks a few days apart from the same salesman. We were told to expect a survey and that these were VERY important and that they hope they have earned perfect scores. My salesman was great. If not, we wouldn't have come back to him and buy the second car. We even bought a lot of the extra warranties thus making these highly profitable sales for the dealership.

A few weeks later, my survey from Subaru of America arrives. There are only 4 or 5 questions that relate to the salesman himself. I give scores of 9 or 10. Other questions referred to the financing, transaction time, condition of dealership, etc. All of these things are out of the salesman's control.

If you live in CA, you know that filling out all the state mandated forms and disclosures can take an hour assuming no errors were made in data entry on the first go around. In other states that car buying process is much faster. This is not the fault of the dealer but it impacts the score I will give when the survey asks for my thoughts on the transaction time. Overall my survey score was an 8 out of 10. In my book that is pretty darned good.

Apparently not for Subaru of America. They come down on the dealership and then the manager threatens the salesperson job! I was incensed and wrote a letter to the manager expressing my thoughts. The salesman's job is once again safe but I find it interesting that the manager never replied to me.

Subaru of Americas use of this survey is totally ridiculous in my book. if only perfect scores are acceptable, it says to me that Subaru of America is not interested in learning how to improve themselves. They only want to feel good about themselves and justify not making any changes. Maybe they use the surveys as "actual" data for some marketing campaign. Shame on them.

If SoA really cared about their reputation, they should ask about their product. I would love to tell them what I think of their outdated map database (I have the 2018 map).

Have others seen the pressure the salespersons are over these stupid surveys? This really irks me. I may still write directly to Subaru of America about this but I don't know who to contact. Anyone know?
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,382 Posts

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Premium Member
2020 Outback Limited w/ option package 34
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478 Posts
I e-mailed this to the owner of my dealership a couple of weeks ago:

"I can't fill the surveys out like that, with nothing but 10s. No honest person can. The dealer, and Subaru, are asking us to lie ... for leverage, for marketing, or whatever. It's a shitty system, and even shittier to put sales people and customers in that kind of position — of having to ask, and of being asked to comply, respectively. I very much like your dealership, and Subarus in general; and Kelly [saleswoman] has been unfailingly good to very good with all of the three Outbacks I've bought from her, but this is just a counterproductive way of doing business. If everything is a 10 (coerced under some pressure, I might add), you, as a guardian of the brand and of your dealership, learn nothing about potential problems.

Subaru learns nothing, either. It's hare-brained.

Just being strongly asked to give nothing but 10s is itself a reason to give less than a 10. :)

And of course, the scale is ridiculous. We all know that 6 is average, 7 is quite good, 8 is very good, 9 is outstanding, and 10 is perfect. That Subaru and other manufacturers have decided to call a 9 a fail and a 10 a pass is not conducive to anything but fraudulent, empty statistics. And it makes regular people distrust the numbers that car makers use (even more). Do consumers ostensibly give the new Subateslayota Limited XT their very highest recommendation? Do they just love their local dealership? It means nothing ... because the manufacturers have stacked the deck.

I run a small business and gently solicit feedback from every client. You'd better believe that I prick up my ears if they mention a problem, especially one that I can fix. It makes me better able to make future customers happy. If I insisted on nothing but super-positive feedback, I'd (a) piss off my clients, (b) would be in the dark about things that went off the rails, and (c) would become known as someone who can't handle real-world feedback and has to resort to deceit and manipulation to pump up his approval rating.

I know that, to your credit, you agree with much of this and there's isn't a lot you can do.

On my end, I can only be honest and give 7s, 8s, 9s, and maybe one or two 10s as I see fit. In principle, would you want me to do that? Or, in that case, am I better off just not filling out the survey at all?"

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He responded:

"This email is like you are preaching to the choir and I’m singing Amen to that!!!!!

I couldn’t agree more and wouldn’t have been able to say it as eloquently. I’m going to borrow some of the language in your email for next (there have been dozens) conversation with the folks at Subaru that control this.

As to your question about filling out the survey, as long as you are comfortable giving us your feedback directly or through email I would ask you to keep doing that. I would never ask someone to lie or do something they are not comfortable with, and I would be lying to you if I told you that anything other than a 10 was used as leverage against us. The most important thing to me is we hear from our guests and use their feedback to improve."
 

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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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I won't answer a survey like that. The all 10's stuff is crap no transaction is that great. Last one I got I just threw it out. The response from the dealer at the above post is reality.

If I have an issue with something I find it best to talk directly to the people directly involved to understand my side and to learn from theirs.
 

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'17 Outback Limited 3.6R in Venetian Red.
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I never even filled it out because of how insistent they were. No such thing as 10-10 at a car dealership anyways lol
 
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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2021 Outback Limited 2.5L - 🍦The Ice Cream Man🍦
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Another week, another survey thread. Here's the last one: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/138-gen-5-2015-present/442793-post-sale-dealer-survey-sham.html

I also encourage people to search the website because we already have a plethora of threads on this subject:

#1 - http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...348250-what-s-story-behind-these-surveys.html

#2 - http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/61-general-discussions/392554-dealer-surveys.html

#3 - http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums.../354962-how-soon-before-i-receive-survey.html

To @roncron the survey from Subaru is NOT graded in the same way your college surveys are graded. It is a pass or fail scale with 1-9 being failing scores and 10 being the only passing score. There are two parties that can benefit from the survey:

Party A - Subaru can benefit from not having to compensate dealerships and dealership staff.

Party B - Dealerships, their staff, and they customers can benefit from receiving benefits as a result of good survey scores. Subaru has rigged the system to where a customer has to force their hand by way of the survey having a cumulative score average of at least 9.4 in order for benefits to be received.
 
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