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I had a bit of interest in trading my wonderful ’17 Ridgeline RTL-E for a similar ’21 model.
I saw one with the colors I liked on Hill Country Honda’s website (San Antonio, TX) and gave them a call. I spoke with a wonderful young lady who took several minutes to confirm with sales management that the vehicle was “real” and had arrived on-site. I told her I would come down after lunch and asked her to give me a call if the vehicle sold before I got there.

On arrival, she met me and then sent me on to another salesman to look at the truck. The salesman went to get the keys and was gone for quite some time. When he returned, he told me that it looked like the truck was from a dealer trade and that it hadn’t arrived. I explained that I had been told that it was confirmed to be on-site and sent him back to re-check.

A few minutes later he came back with the Sales Manager in-tow. At first the manager wasn’t sure what vehicle we were discussing and then told me rather nonchalantly that the car was supposed to be from a dealer trade, but it never showed up.

Yep, folks. This vehicle had been on their website for at least a couple of days. It hadn’t been sold, it was never theirs to sell in the first place! They advertised it, but never had it and never would. They told me that it was in stock, but it wasn’t. I traveled more than an hour (each way) for absolutely no reason.

The manager was very matter of fact that they didn’t have the vehicle. He never seemed the least apologetic and never admitted their mistake. It seemed that it was my fault for wanting a vehicle that they advertised, but never had. He did, of course, suggest that they had other vehicles that I might like….

Had he sincerely apologized, maybe even offered me a Honda hat or a tank of gas for my 2 hours of driving, I wouldn’t be happy, but I might have understood. Evidently customers are an expendable commodity at this dealership.

Had it gone well, they could have sold me the new truck and had a ’17 in great condition to flip and sell.

At best these people are incompetent in managing the few cars that they have in their inventory. At worst, they knew that they didn’t have the truck and were baiting me to get me into the dealership so they could switch me to another vehicle. In any case I won’t ever be back and suggest that others use caution in any dealings with them.

My apologies to anyone who may have been within earshot, when their sales prevention team told me that they didn’t have the truck.
 

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Sorry about your experience. I have to wonder if the new vehicle supply issues are having an impact on the mental state of car sales staff. Either way, having a dealership confirm that a car is on site, only for it to not be, is certainly incompetence, plain an simple.

I'm curious about management and hiring practices at some dealerships...
 

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Been shopping RAV4 Hybrids. Went to express buying they email be back saying that the vehicle is on the lot and I can test drive. I said not necessary, I'll put a deposit down and come with a check on Tuesday. They call me back and say the vehicle was sold. This has happened twice now. On the second one I knew it wasn't there as drove to the dealer early Sunday morning. These folks know exactly what they're doing. They just want to get your contact info so you will order a vehicle. For gas RAV4's a dealership 30 miles away listed 16 of them. I put in an offer and they call be back to say they don't have any. Also, I'm getting a little annoyed of the chip shortage excuse. Did the shortage impact the price the dealer paid for the vehicle, no. It might have an impact on future inventory and then price is determine by supply and demand but when you have 30 or 40 of the same model on a lot, a lot of BS IMO. It affects some brands a lot more than others. It's very convenient sales tactic. IMO best deal right now is on Honda Passports, there is 1250 on the hood before negotiation.

 

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It's a tactic. I bet you would be surprised how many people go through the same thing and end up buying another vehicle or putting a deposit on a new "order". Once you get them in the door, you have a chance even if you pissed them off. Some will do anything to get that batter in the box.

Honda and Toyota dealers (overall) are absolutely the worst, most obnoxious dealers I have ever dealt with. For obvious reasons.
 

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...and BTW, it's not Honda's management who did this. It was the dealer who is an independent franchise holder.

One could argue that Honda's corporate policies allow (perhaps encourage) BS like this and I would agree.

I've received a customer satisfaction survey from the manufacturer of every brand-new car I have ever purchased going back to Nissan in 1996 - with two exceptions. An Acura TL in 2003 and my Ridgeline this year. Two Hondas, no survey. Hell, I've received the survey from GM, Ford and Chrysler when taking delivery of corporate fleet cars that were not even in my name.

Not saying I think these surveys are terribly useful, but what does their absence say about how much Honda cares about my experience? Why should they be? There is no shortage of Honda buyers. If I'm not happy, someone else will be tickled to buy the next one.
 

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The chip shortage IS very real. While returning home after a road trip, we passed Ky Speedway, all of the parking lots were full of Ford Super Duty pick-ups!!! Thousands of them, if you look at the left side of one of the pictures, you can see the grandstands. I really hate to think how much money is in that parking lot!!!!! Plus this is just about 1/3 of the actual lot, the rest of them are behind trees.
 

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Hee hee, our Honda buying experience? Early 2019 a co-worker caught my curiosity with the Ridgeline while he was looking for a new truck, where the "under $30,000" was an attention-getter, (as well as the in-bed trunk!) Being bored I started looking up Ridgelines at dealers within a 200 mile radius, finding out the "under $30,000" vehicles were, by all practical purposes, non-existent, so bounced up to pricing Sports. On a Saturday on the way to do our grocery shopping I took a detour and pulled on to the local Honda lot with our 2001 VW Jetta, our previous vehicle we had purchased new. I wanted to just place an eyeball on a Ridgeline, (kind of ignoring the dirty looks I was getting from my wife.) They had only two RTL's on the lot, but what the hey, we took the Obsidian Blue Ridgeline for a ride, (I still am kinda kicking myself for not choosing the green one!) Anyways, getting back to the lot I thanked the salesperson explaining we were not interested in paying for an RTL,(making the decision easy), and we started heading for our car. That was when the Salesman quoted us a price on the RTL that we just finished test driving which was under what the other dealers were quoting me on their Sports. My wife said that we would take it, (with me now casting the disbelieving looks!)

So an hour later or so later my wife took home our brand new Ridgeline.

Kind of a boring story, huh? :)

Bill
 

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Hee hee, our Honda buying experience? Early 2019 a co-worker caught my curiosity with the Ridgeline while he was looking for a new truck, where the "under $30,000" was an attention-getter, (as well as the in-bed trunk!) Being bored I started looking up Ridgelines at dealers within a 200 mile radius, finding out the "under $30,000" vehicles were, by all practical purposes, non-existent, so bounced up to pricing Sports. On a Saturday on the way to do our grocery shopping I took a detour and pulled on to the local Honda lot with our 2001 VW Jetta, our previous vehicle we had purchased new. I wanted to just place an eyeball on a Ridgeline, (kind of ignoring the dirty looks I was getting from my wife.) They had only two RTL's on the lot, but what the hey, we took the Obsidian Blue Ridgeline for a ride, (I still am kinda kicking myself for not choosing the green one!) Anyways, getting back to the lot I thanked the salesperson explaining we were not interested in paying for an RTL,(making the decision easy), and we started heading for our car. That was when the Salesman quoted us a price on the RTL that we just finished test driving which was under what the other dealers were quoting me on their Sports. My wife said that we would take it, (with me now casting the disbelieving looks!)

So an hour later or so later my wife took home our brand new Ridgeline.

Kind of a boring story, huh? :)

Bill
Good story!! What dealership? I am in Oregon as well.
 

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Good story!! What dealership? I am in Oregon as well.
Jim Sigel in Grants Pass, though it's hard to believe that they want nearly $8,000 more than what we paid for our RTL two years ago for the current RTL they have on their lot. :(
Bill
 

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With regard to the OP, the tactic is called “bait and switch”, it’s as old as the hills. It’s illegal, but good luck proving it.
 
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Jim Sigel in Grants Pass, though it's hard to believe that they want nearly $8,000 more than what we paid for our RTL two years ago for the current RTL they have on their lot. :(
Bill
I bought my 17 Accord from them. Ridgelines seem to have gotten expensive. Plus, it is hard to tell from the website which accessories might be on the truck. I will be looking soon although there is no rush. Might be better to wait until the end of the year. Who knows? Maybe I will stumble across a deal like you got.
 

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i had this same problem when i bought mine before the chip shortage got bad. Went to look at a RTL-E that was said to be instock. Drove an hour. Got there and they said the truck hasnt even arrived yet. They said that their internet department doesn't talk to sales on current inventory.... i was beyond pissed. At the time they had a RTL in stock and said what the hell let me go see it since i drove so far. I was seriously impressed by all the features the RTL had, haven test drove a BE at another dealer (was not impressed with the BE and cost). It took me time to make up my mind, but 2 days later the RTL was mine. I'm shocked that it didn't sell. Even got it for about 4k under MSRP. Moral of the story... dealers will do anything to get you thru the door. I just got lucky and was willing to settle.
 

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@ScooterS Sorry to hear about your experience with a crappy dealership. I had a similar experience with a dealership where I had previously been treated extremely well and purchased two new Accords.

On my our first visit to the nearest Honda dealership in Tupelo, MS we worked with an AWESOME salesperson who knew the Honda cars inside and out. I told him I wanted a 1990 Accord EX-5-speed, he located one at a dealership in another state and excitedly told me the Vin number indicated it was a Japanese, not Ohio built sedan. (At that time Japan build sedans were becoming a rarity as the Ohio plant ramped up production.) We agreed upon a price, I left a deposit and picked up the car a few days later. It was a flawless car for the 8-years I owned it.

When it was time to replace the wife's Camry, she decided she really wanted a Corolla so we headed to the Oxford, MS Toyota dealership. We negotiated a deal on a new Corolla that was in stock at a nearby dealership and paid a $500 deposit, we couldn't work out a good trade on our Camry, so I was going to sell it myself. The next day they told us the Corolla we wanted was in transit from another dealership, so I sold our Camry. The next day we were expecting a call to come get our new car. Every day for a week the salesman said the car was on the way. We went to the dealership and the salesman and sales manager finally admitted that they had never worked out a trade with the other dealership, there were no 93' Corollas to be found anywhere, but the don't worry, the 94' models were on the way and they would gladly sell me a 94' for more money once they arrived. WTF?!

On the way home from the Toyota dealership I called the Tupelo Honda salesman who was so good to us on the Accord deal and told him we wanted to buy another Honda. He said he could put us in a 93' Accord Tenth Anniversary Edition (basically an Ex without sunroof) for the same price as the Corolla we tried to buy. All I had to do was choose a color; the Anniversary Editions came in white, black or green. I said we'd prefer white and a short time later we were driving home in our new Accord with a full tank of gas.

Around 2012 or so I started to get the itch to buy a Ridgeline, so we went to the same Tupelo Honda dealership where we bought our Accords. We got our of our car and a salesman gleefully jogged across the parking lot and greeted us with a big smile and handed me his business card. I asked for the salesman we worked with previously and he said 'he retired'... ok, fine. I said I 'd like to look at a Ridgeline and the salesman's mood immediately soured and he said 'don't have any, don't know when we'll get any' and he turned around and walked away. WTF?

We drove to a Honda dealership an hour away and bought a 2012 Ridgeline RTL. On the way home with the new truck we stopped at the Tupelo dealership and I showed the salesman our new truck and gave him his business card back since we no longer needed it.

The dealership you contacted probably has lots of cars on their website that they will never have on their lot and the salespeople are probably instructed to tell anyone who calls that they have the car of their dreams on the lot so they can get you there in person and try to sell you a car they actually do have instead. The good news is that you only lost a couple of hours of time and now you know not to ever work with that dealership again. I've learned that buying a new vehicle can be fun or a gut wrenching experience, depending on the dealership. Walk away from any salesperson or dealership you don't like, and find another salesperson or dealership that will treat you right.
 
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It isn't just Honda. I had to get after a Mazda dealer last week. My daughter has a Mazda 3 and took it in for an oil change. The service person came back and said the mechanic said the valve cover gasket was leaking. My daughter told them to call me. I said that's part of the engine and it is covered by the powertrain warranty right? He said no. So I pulled out the warranty booklet and sure enough in black and white print it said the valve cover gasket is covered by the 5 year 50k powertrain warranty. I told him again it was covered and I was looking right at the warranty book and he said no, it's 3 years 36k miles warranty. I told my daughter to pay for the oil change and come home.

I ended up calling Mazda corporate and asked them to explain why their dealer wouldn't honor their warranty. I confirmed the purchase date, mileage, and page numbers in the warranty book. A few minutes later the service manager from the dealer was on the phone tripping over himself to apologize. He said it was a training issue with his employee and he would act to correct it. I said training issue or not, you tried to get $250 out of me for a warranty repair and got caught. Not sure if it was just stupidity or if they were trying to pull something on a 16 year old girl.
 

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Right now I'm still trying to work a RAV4 deal. The sales guy tells me he has 4 gas and 2 hybrid "on the ground." I see zero on their website. I say" I don't see them on your website can you send me the VIN#'s so I can check out the option packages on the Toyota site." Silence......... If it changes I'll update.
 

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I had a bit of interest in trading my wonderful ’17 Ridgeline RTL-E for a similar ’21 model.
I saw one with the colors I liked on Hill Country Honda’s website (San Antonio, TX) and gave them a call. I spoke with a wonderful young lady who took several minutes to confirm with sales management that the vehicle was “real” and had arrived on-site. I told her I would come down after lunch and asked her to give me a call if the vehicle sold before I got there.

On arrival, she met me and then sent me on to another salesman to look at the truck. The salesman went to get the keys and was gone for quite some time. When he returned, he told me that it looked like the truck was from a dealer trade and that it hadn’t arrived. I explained that I had been told that it was confirmed to be on-site and sent him back to re-check.

A few minutes later he came back with the Sales Manager in-tow. At first the manager wasn’t sure what vehicle we were discussing and then told me rather nonchalantly that the car was supposed to be from a dealer trade, but it never showed up.

Yep, folks. This vehicle had been on their website for at least a couple of days. It hadn’t been sold, it was never theirs to sell in the first place! They advertised it, but never had it and never would. They told me that it was in stock, but it wasn’t. I traveled more than an hour (each way) for absolutely no reason.

The manager was very matter of fact that they didn’t have the vehicle. He never seemed the least apologetic and never admitted their mistake. It seemed that it was my fault for wanting a vehicle that they advertised, but never had. He did, of course, suggest that they had other vehicles that I might like….

Had he sincerely apologized, maybe even offered me a Honda hat or a tank of gas for my 2 hours of driving, I wouldn’t be happy, but I might have understood. Evidently customers are an expendable commodity at this dealership.

Had it gone well, they could have sold me the new truck and had a ’17 in great condition to flip and sell.

At best these people are incompetent in managing the few cars that they have in their inventory. At worst, they knew that they didn’t have the truck and were baiting me to get me into the dealership so they could switch me to another vehicle. In any case I won’t ever be back and suggest that others use caution in any dealings with them.

My apologies to anyone who may have been within earshot, when their sales prevention team told me that they didn’t have the truck.
As someone who has bought 25 cars in my life (mostly brand new), I can tell you this. Do not trust what a dealer tells you in any way at any time ever... They are all liars and con-persons. For example, I just bought a 2013 Z4 YESTERDAY from Carmax (2013 Z4 35i M-Sport). I had to pay $900 to have it shipped from Vegas. Before it shipped we asked them a few questions. One of the was "does the car have any wheel rash", the answer came back "no"... ok so lets ship it (no refund on shipping). It arrives yesterday and guess what, the entire passenger side wheel in rashed to hell including a little on the front passenger side. The local Carmax lady is going to have it fixed mostly because I said "I paid to have this shipped after you guys told me NO WHEEL RASH".

Never... ever... ever... trust anything they tell you at any time, remote or in their face. Always verify yourself and read everything they put in front of you. I still see versions of the worst games being played... 4 square, hide the trade in keys, put a microphone in that "phone" you think is sitting there in the back room while you wait and abnormally long amount of time for the salesperson to come back form "talking to his manager" (which is complete BS, the salesmen is around the corner smoking and they are waiting to hear what you have to say to your wife for leverage). They still throw on ridiculous things at of the air at the end without asking (and you must force them to remove it) like extended warrentees (on a new car), window "etching for $500 (cost them $20), Rust protection for $500 (they spray it with a $5 can of rust spray), etc...etc...etc...etc...

I posted a story trying to buy a 2016 Z4 from Carvana a week ago (view it in the active Carvana thread near the top of the list right now), the thing showed up with a front bumper that looked like it had been in an offroad rally and 2 new tires on the left side of the car matched to 2 bad ones on the right.

The point being, ALL car sales are corrupt, probably the worst industry there is.

Buyer beware. If you are new to car buying, always take someone experienced in with you.


I worked for our local State police as an intern for a summer (in the 90's). Their job is to inspect all cars going up for sale with busted titles. The number of stories they had about these conmen selling cars back then mostly to unsuspecting women was shocking. They would find a car wrecked on the front, another wrecked on the rear, bust both in half, weld them together and sell them to people who had no idea what to look for.
 

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I've received a customer satisfaction survey from the manufacturer of every brand-new car I have ever purchased going back to Nissan in 1996 - with two exceptions. An Acura TL in 2003 and my Ridgeline this year. Two Hondas, no survey. Hell, I've received the survey from GM, Ford and Chrysler when taking delivery of corporate fleet cars that were not even in my name.
My local Honda dealer whom Ive bought about 10 cars from used to give me a full tank of gas to hand over to them the survey to fill out for me. They stopped about 10 years ago.
 
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Right now I'm still trying to work a RAV4 deal. The sales guy tells me he has 4 gas and 2 hybrid "on the ground." I see zero on their website. I say" I don't see them on your website can you send me the VIN#'s so I can check out the option packages on the Toyota site." Silence......... If it changes I'll update.
VIN number means nothing. I had a signed purchase agreement with a VIN after spending 2 hours negotiating. They could not produce the vehicle. "Oopsie! We sold that one this morning. Don't worry, we can trade for another one.". Note; the sold vehicle remained on their website for over a week after this. I even called several days later for laughs and was told it was available for a test drive.

Normally I would have walked then (probably before then) but I had a very unique situation at the end of February that financially incentivised me to give them up to 10 days to produce the vehicle. After several false "it will be here tomorrow, I promise," calls it finally arrived 7 days later. In another 3 days I would have kept my VW as the extra funds from my employer would have disappeared.
 

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My local Honda dealer whom Ive bought about 10 cars from used to give me a full tank of gas to hand over to them the survey to fill out for me. They stopped about 10 years ago.
Nissan promised me 2 free oil changes for my 96 Maxima to do the same. I declined.

That was a hell of a car!
 
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