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My brother and I recently purchased Honda Elements on 4/19 from Holler Honda in Winter Haven. Everyone at the dealership was wonderful, and so were the prices. I got a SOP 4WD EX for $500 under MSRP, and he purchased a NBP DX with AC and alloys added on.
The following Monday I went to my local Honda dealership. (2.5 hours away from Holler Honda) I was showing a close friend of mine the Element since I hadn't received mine yet because of insurance issues. Within a few minutes of exiting his vehicle a salesperson approached us and asked if he could help us out with anything. I had informed him that I had recently purchased an Element and that this was my closest dealer. He inquired about the location of my purchase, and I explained the situation regarding my brother and the group-buy. He was impressed with the deal that I received on my Element; it was much lower than their sticker prices there (dealership mark-up of $2500)
He left for a few minutes, and I continue to show my friend all of the neat features Honda offers on the Element. The General Manager than comes outside to speak with us. He asked me "Why are you looking at that if you already bought one?" At first I was under the impression that he was joking around in an attempt to make conversation and become acquainted with me since this was where my Element would be serviced. This is where the visit began to turn for the worse. He told me if I wasn't going to purchase cars from his dealership, than not to bother looking at them there. I was offended but tried to stay calm and collective. I explained to him that between my brother and I we've owned 7 Hondas including our Elements, and that I do plenty of business with him, and was hoping to have them service my Element when needed. He informed me that I should look elsewhere for service on my Honda Element.
By this time I was extremely upset with the situation at hand, and was hoping to resolve it in a peaceful adult manner. He then questioned my place of employment. I replied that I was an Assistant Manager at a Discount Auto Parts close by. "Well I'm the General Manager and that's the last time I'll every by a damn part from you guys."
At this point I returned to my friend's vehicle and sat in the passenger seat. While we were exiting the parking lot the General Manager continued to use profane language and insult my friend and I. The friend I was with has a short fuse and stopped the car to exchange a few words with the manager. This ended rather shortly and we both left the dealership in his Honda Accord, embarrassed to be driving a car that the manager was suppose to represent.
This occurred in front of 10 or 15 employees that were outside during the event. I pray this guy was having a bad day and that we were the only ones to see this certain side of him. I hope to resolve this conflict without fear of retaliation. The 2nd closest Honda dealership is 40 minutes away from my house, and the extra 25-minute drive would be quite an inconvenience if I were forced to go elsewhere.
What are you dealers opinions on this, and what's the best way to handle this situation?
-Adam Bourne
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