Difficult Test drive experience

sockmeister

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Ok, I wasn't going to bring this up, because I thought it was just a weird one-off but I hard a strange experience yesterday. Mustang Mach E's are rarer in Chester County than COVID 19 vaccines. There's one dealer known to have an FCTP vehicle (Fred Bean Ford of West Chester). I stopped by on Saturday afternoon, without making contact in advanced, walked in, chatted with a sales guy and said I was interested in a test drive of their FCTP Mustang Mach E if that would be possible. He said sure, no problem, ducked into an office for a moment, came out, and asked for my license and insurance card. It took me a second to pull my insurance card up on their app (the app updated so I had to reauthenticate and get a new code texted to me). He begins filling out the form with my insurance and license info, then his phone rings. He talks to someone for a few minutes, then ends the call. He then says to me that he's so sorry, but I won't be able to drive the car because it's not available. They had just lent it to one of their "corporate customers until Tuesday because the customer is thinking of purchasing several Mustang Mach Es". But he would be happy to take my number and give me a call on Wednesday when the car is back. So, I gave him my number. Let's see if I ever hear from them again :rolleyes:
For the record, I live in Chester County, and that dealership (who I've worked with for years before with my previous car) reached out and asked if we wanted to test drive their Mach-E, proactively. I think they need to get their information straight...





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EVS

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The only scenarios I can assume are:
a) these were some weird racist discriminatory assholes
b) they’re trying to block reservation holders from driving Mach-E’s fearing they’ll cancel (which seems unlikely since they won’t have a problem marking up and selling for even more)
Sorry to hear about your experience!
Is this the same dealership where your ordered car is coming?
If not, I can see why they weren't interested in spending their employee time giving you a test ride with nothing in it for them. A 3rd scenario if you may.
 

ToddH

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Good dealers and bad dealers. I've been to both. Only once to a bad dealer. Good dealers get repeat business. A good dealer corrects things that go wrong but they don't know you've had a bad experience unless you complain. A bad dealer just makes excuses or is never available to hear your complaint.

When I was looking to buy a hybrid or PHEV several years ago, I went to several dealers. I got to the local Ford dealer's lot, parked, walked around, went into the showroom and was completely ignored. I saw other people arrive and they were immediately contacted. I hung around for about 30 minutes and had seen enough. For whatever reason, they didn't thing I was a buyer.

I went to a Toyota dealer. An unenthusiastic salesman came out and showed me his cars and I test drove one. He didn't expect me to buy anything and said so.

I went to a Honda dealer. I knew more about their offerings than their sales force. I didn't bother with the Chevy dealer or the Chrysler dealer because I already knew their offerings weren't something I might like. That also left out the Subaru and Hyundai dealers (at that time).

I ended up going back to the Toyota dealer and leased a Prius. No one really had the car I wanted and the Prius was the closest I could get on an interim basis. The salesman was shocked when I came back and even more shocked when he saw my credit report. They dangled incentives for me to make sure I didn't change my mind.

Now I'm not sure what made them think that I wasn't a potential buyer. Or that I wouldn't be able to afford a car. But it's very off-putting.

I ran into a similar situation with my current Ford dealer BUT... the GM corrected the poor behavior. I now get pretty good service from my current dealer and am happy to go back.

Admittedly, I don't get dressed to impress when I go car shopping. I'm going to spend some money, and not to apply for a job or to go on a date. But I'm also not a slob. So maybe it's because I arrive without my wife. Just not sure. But it's really bad for their sales and service. I go to a dealer expecting that I'll get good service. Because of the dealership model, I have choices and will exercise my choice where I'm treated well.
 
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Sorry to hear about your experience!
Is this the same dealership where your ordered car is coming?
If not, I can see why they weren't interested in spending their employee time giving you a test ride with nothing in it for them. A 3rd scenario if you may.
This is the same dealer my reservation was set for.
 

zvez

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Any other reservation holders having difficulty being able to test drive Mach-E’s when going to your dealership? I had a very off-putting experience today...
My dealer has been super. Not only did they call me within hours of the demo being off loaded. and letting me test drive, next day they gave it to me to take home for 24 hrs. Very happy as I'd never even seen one prior to this demo
 

zvez

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Ok so I’ll share my experience, I just left a few minutes ago.

I live about 40 miles from the dealership I ended up selecting due to them promising to not do any ridiculous ADM charge ups.

I contact the dealership Friday and confirm that I have a reservation and would like to come in to test drive since my vehicle is scheduled to be built in a few days. The sales rep is friendly,asks me what time I’d like to come in, we set a time, I receive a text confirming.

Today, I arrive on time for my appointment, and the receptionist sends someone over to take my ID. I wait a few minutes after handing over my ID and the rep returns and tells me I won’t be able to do a test drive “because they don’t have any cars available/ the person I spoke to must have been misinformed “. I explain that’s odd, since they confirmed before setting the appointment and clarify I drove 40 MILES today explicitly for this test drive. I remind him I’ve already reserved a car. He apologizes, a bit nonchalant/passively. I grit my teeth and leave.

As I’m heading to my car guess what I see...a couple pulling out in a grey mach-e. I decide to wait and see if they return because “maybe they just purchased theirs and are happily driving theirs home”. While I wait I call another dealership to see if they have any available to test drive and they confirm they do. As I’m getting ready to leave for the other dealership I notice the couple has returned. I stop for a second to chat them up — low and behold they just wrapped up a test drive! We exchange a few pleasantries about our mutual enthusiasm about the car and I head back into the dealership.

A salesman asks as I enter if he can help me with anything l, and I let him know that I’d love to test drive the mach-e out front if there aren’t any other folks on the waiting list. He says sure, comes back with another gentleman who confirms I’m on the list. I chat with this gentleman for a bit, but get the sense he’s sizing me up a bit...which seems odd since I’ve again mentioned in passing I already reserved my model, I’m just interested in test driving before it’s actually delivered. I entertain him a bit, sure why not talk the shape of the EV industry and show just how obsessively I’ve been researching EVs for years.

A few minutes later another guy comes up and gives a whole “I’m sorry no one is available today to assist you with a test drive today” but that I’m welcome to take a look inside. I decline, noting I’m pretty familiar with the interior after poring over photos, reviews and videos for months and made the trip to get a feel for how the car drives and promptly leave. By this point this whole charade has went on almost an hour past when the scheduled test drive. I calmly left, reiterating it’s really bad customer service to deny someone who’s already paid the ability to test drive when you’ve confirmed it (I didn’t even mention letting other people test drive with little to no explanation)

I’d like to not assume anything but for reference the couple who I literally saw leave and return for a test drive during my reserved time was White. I’m a Black man, who honestly is glad my wife wasn’t with me because the entire experience was enraging/humiliating and she likely would have discouraged me from even bothering with Ford at all...and honestly depending on if I can change my reservation to another dealership or have a satisfactory explanation — may just decide to get something else altogether.

The only scenarios I can assume are:
a) these were some weird racist discriminatory assholes
b) they’re trying to block reservation holders from driving Mach-E’s fearing they’ll cancel (which seems unlikely since they won’t have a problem marking up and selling for even more)
NEITHER of the scenarios you cite are acceptable a is just more egregious than b.
 

Darken

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Ok, I wasn't going to bring this up, because I thought it was just a weird one-off but I hard a strange experience yesterday. Mustang Mach E's are rarer in Chester County than COVID 19 vaccines. There's one dealer known to have an FCTP vehicle (Fred Bean Ford of West Chester). I stopped by on Saturday afternoon, without making contact in advanced, walked in, chatted with a sales guy and said I was interested in a test drive of their FCTP Mustang Mach E if that would be possible. He said sure, no problem, ducked into an office for a moment, came out, and asked for my license and insurance card. It took me a second to pull my insurance card up on their app (the app updated so I had to reauthenticate and get a new code texted to me). He begins filling out the form with my insurance and license info, then his phone rings. He talks to someone for a few minutes, then ends the call. He then says to me that he's so sorry, but I won't be able to drive the car because it's not available. They had just lent it to one of their "corporate customers until Tuesday because the customer is thinking of purchasing several Mustang Mach Es". But he would be happy to take my number and give me a call on Wednesday when the car is back. So, I gave him my number. Let's see if I ever hear from them again :rolleyes:
If you don't mind a drive there are two dealers here in Lancaster County with demo cars.. local people I've referred have not had an issue yet with test driving them. I recommend New Holland Ford which would be the closest to you anyway.
 

tmblue

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Yikes, this will be first new American car in many decades :) Audis are our vehicle of choice (minus my classics). But ya i'm not getting a good vide from my Ford dealer either. And i already have my hackles up when I step on a dealer lot.

Mine is still in transit, but based on my experience so far, I doubt the purchasing of my vehicle will be much better, not sure if it's just Ford, giving their dealers too much freedom or what, but def not a great vide.
 

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