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I never used to much either. Always bought American vehicles I had confidence in and got rid of em under warrantee or shortly thereafter. OR in the case of my work truck ... I've been driving it six years (Cummins diesel) and plan to keep it forever.

Now, however, I'm looking at a whole new world. I've never owned a Honda or any import. I feel pretty confident about Honda in general BUT the Ridgeline is a new concept and a totally new design for Honda as we all know. It is a hard and fast rule for prudent people that one should never be an 'early adopter' regarding totally new type vehicles and the Rigeline is that in spades.

BUT ... it's a Honda. I am willing to take a chance. I don't feel comfortable shopping for 'price alone'. I'd like to find a good dealer I can trust.

I don't find anybody on this board talking about this aspect of car buying. it seems to all be about cost alone and 'who gives a fig' about which dealer you wind up with.

What do you all plan to do in dealing with this aspect of car ownership?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Regards,
Scott
 

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The dealer I went to, bent over backwards to help me. I went to them with a good deal for the both of us, and they were happy to deal with me. I went back the next day, because the little cap on the steering column was missing. I expected them to say "We will order you one tommorrow" but no, they acutally went to another car in the back lot, and gave me a cap from there. I am very happy with them. They treat their customers very good.
 

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I too have purchased 3 vehicles from the same Honda dealer. They have consistently treated me before and after each sale like they really care about me as a customer. And that comes from the sales as well as the service department. Oh, and matching internet prices like from H & A from the parts department.
 

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I am also a three timer with the same dealer. I shopped around. I ended up pay about $1000 to deal with my home town dealership who has always been first class. If you look through the posts I think you'll find that many of the people who have had problems with their dealer have been purchasing by price alone. With a first model year vehicle I didn't want to risk that. Sometimes the lowest price is not the best deal.
 

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In my experience, dealer sales staff and service department staff operate pretty independently. I dount that either has a clue as to what the other is like. I try to find a good service rep and go to a convenient place. Not that hard to do.

rlguy
 

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The dealer I purchased my Ridgeline from is not the one I give my service to since they were very rude, incompetent and unprofesional. As a result, I have no confidence in their service. I have since dealt with another Honda Dealer which I am very happy in their attitude, friendleness and professionalism. Treat me with respect and the proper attitude and I'll return every time.
 

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I certainly do care. The integrity of the dealer and their demonstrated ability to provide excellent service after the sale outweighs shopping out of town if only to save a possible few hundred dollars.
The following is my comments from a post from an earlier thread. That thread is on a related subject and may be worth reading as reference for this thread.

The post is: http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1049&page=6&pp=10&highlight=Dix+Honda

Well, we all know that they are out there. The good, the bad and the ugly! I, too, have run into all of them. I do not think that it is fair to call ALL car salesmen and women liars - or worse. My experience with the Honda dealer that I deal with has been a pleasure. I believe that they are a traditonal dealership with salespeople on commission. Since I discovered them, on average, over the past five years I have purchased one Honda per year from them. They do all of the service as well. When I go to purchase a vehicle, I know what my trade is worth if I am trading. They know that they get to make one offer to me, accepted or rejected, there is no second offer and I do not try to haggle a lower price. If they tried a second offer or the key trick even once, I would never go back. They offer a reasonable discount on ordered accessories. I am fair and honest with them about what I know about the condition of my trade. I expect them to make a profit on our transaction as much as I expect them to be there when I go back for another vehicle or for service. Could I have purchased the vehicles at a lower price? Maybe yes, maybe not. Making a purchase of a vehicle is, at least to me, not only about the purchase price. They go out of their way to take care of customers that purchase vehicles from them. Our relationship is based on mutual respect and trust. They earned it by being honest and doing what they say they are going to do. They have earned several national awards from Honda for their exceptional performance.

Three other points:
1) From what I hear from friends and other customers in the showroom or on the street, I am not being treated in any special way or any differently than they have.
2) The dealerships name is Dix Honda in State College, Pennsylvania. My salesperson is Bill Elder.
3) I have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Dix Honda other than as any other very satisfied customer.

I have a good friend that owns a Ford dealership. He runs his business the same way as Dix Honda does and I could say many if the same things about him. He, too, is the exception to the generally perceived rule. The last vehicle that I purchased from him was a new Eddie Bauer Explorer. The vehicle turned out to be such and incredible piece of sh#! that it will be a long time before I consider another Ford product. He did everything that he could but it was so far out of his control the we both gave up and I sold it to a mechanic - real cheap - as-is. It was very well maintained, garage kept and no towing. It had two head gasket failures, one transmission failure, every piece of the AC system one at a time fail, body rust through in several locations multiple times while still under warranty, interior falling appart - I could go on and on. My problem was with how Ford handled the problems not in how the dealer handled them. Ford blew me off completely. They have received zero business from me since. Four out of four Explorers in our neighorhood had essentially the same problems.
Sorry about the rant - somebody hit a nerve again!
 

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I left two dealership because the guys were jerks. The dealership I ended up buying from have serviced other vehicles of mine and have always been very accomodating. They are also five time president's award winners.
 

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Well I'm one that doesn't care where I buy the vehicle. Vehicles are commodity items and I go where the best price is.

Car dealerships are set up with various profit centers... and in many cases the new sales, service, f & i, used sales, parts, and body shops are actually different companies.

Each profit center has a manager and is responsible for the profit of that center. The service manager doesn't work for the sales department and is not interested in where you bought the vehicle... he / she wants to make a profit on your vehicle. Warranty service has become one of the major profit centers of a new car dealership.

When you buy a new vehicle and have a trade-in you have two different profit centers working. The new vehicle sales department has already calculated their selling price, and they ask the used vehicle sales department to give them a number on your trade-in. The new car sales has nothing to do with that figure. They can make the numbers look various different ways to you, but there are really only two numbers involved.

The F & I department needs to turn a profit too. They need to either make a percentage or get a kickback on your loan. They need to sell you paint sealer, fabric protector, rustproofing, VIN etching, extended warranties, etc. These are all big profit items. If they get the opportunity to sell you a lease they see big $$$$ in their eyes. This is often when you get to find out about the DOC fees (and should walk out at that point).

In any case you've dealt with many different departments and probably companies. They all need to turn a profit or answer to the general manager or owner. None are allowed to sponge off the others.

So in reality the service manager will not ask or worry about where you bought the vehicle. Your warranty work is $$$$ in his / her pocket. That's all that matters. If the dealer has a policy that they give rental cars to "their" customers during warranty work you can get it too... just ask is all it takes.

My opinion... buy the vehicle where you get the best price and have it serviced where you get the best service. That dealer won't sell you a new vehicle one dollar cheaper than they would a first time customer.... they want you to think they would, but reality is that it doesn't work that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you for that Joe,

A very informative reply. I had not gotten that perpsective before. I'm chewing on it.

The big question then is how does one go about ascertaining what dealership has the best service dept. in their area?

I guess I was thinking that if the folks that sold me my car were decent then I had a better chance with the service dept.

I know I've always hated taking any vehicle back to the dealer. Just about total distrust. I had a service manager key my car once. Could not prove it as it was sitting in their lot overnight. I had insisted that he return to me a defective part on a repair that was out of warranty. Guess I pissed him off.

Any clues you could give us as to finding the good service depts.?

Thanks,
Scott
 

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For the second time I had typed a very long answer and when I hit submit it freezes up. Wonder if I'm the only one this is happening to.

Too aggrivated to retype the long answer again... bottom line is communications.
 

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I have had similar problems in the past. I thought that it was just one of my old Windows 98 PCs that I sometimes use. I have learned to copy long posts to MS word to work on them. The spelll ckekkkr helpps tu.

Csimo, I find it interesting that we have exactly the opposite approach to vehicle purchases but yet I think we actually help each other. Your approach rewards dealers that offer the lowest price. My approach rewards more conventional dealers that offer excellent service. Since the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, together we help to keep dealers working hard for our business. Quality dealers with integrity are becoming increasingly difficult for me to find so when I do find one I tend to stay with them. Traditional dealers that lack integrity are everywhere but are eventually going to put themselves out of business. Dealers that have adapted and have figured out how to compete in the 21st century by offering low prices without tricks and gimmicks will be successful. When you have a hands-on dealership owner that has the vision to make sure that each department not only makes a profit but keeps the customer happy so that they become repeat customers, you will have found the rare hybrid of the two competing philosophies. I believe that the key is having a hands-on owner that empowers his employees to make decisions but yet maintains closeness to the employees and, most importantly, the customers.

 

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sfleming said:
I never used to much either. Always bought American vehicles I had confidence in and got rid of em under warrantee or shortly thereafter. OR in the case of my work truck ... I've been driving it six years (Cummins diesel) and plan to keep it forever.

Now, however, I'm looking at a whole new world. I've never owned a Honda or any import. I feel pretty confident about Honda in general BUT the Ridgeline is a new concept and a totally new design for Honda as we all know. It is a hard and fast rule for prudent people that one should never be an 'early adopter' regarding totally new type vehicles and the Rigeline is that in spades.

BUT ... it's a Honda. I am willing to take a chance. I don't feel comfortable shopping for 'price alone'. I'd like to find a good dealer I can trust.

I don't find anybody on this board talking about this aspect of car buying. it seems to all be about cost alone and 'who gives a fig' about which dealer you wind up with.

What do you all plan to do in dealing with this aspect of car ownership?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Regards,
Scott
sfleming- What part of the country to you live in? The reason I ask is because I work for Honda and if you are in the Washington state area I would be glad to assist you. Let me know if I can help.
 

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Well good luck with your purchase. Should you want any help just PM me and I will be glad to get you any info to help you out.
 

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csimo said:
For the second time I had typed a very long answer and when I hit submit it freezes up. Wonder if I'm the only one this is happening to.

Too aggrivated to retype the long answer again... bottom line is communications.
I haven't seen this problem here, but I think I may be lower on the post chain than you so perhaps it is just I haven't hit the problem yet. It could be a browser problem. But like Ultra-HOG said, best to keep a copy of large posts just in case.

I originally had a deal worked out with a dealer for a Ridgeline but then tried the dealership where I bought the hybrid and they offered a better price. I told the other dealership and they said they would call me back, well they called the dealership I bought from to check if they could get the same price on the car, luckily the internet guy knew it was a dealership and gave him MSRP instead. That ended their chances. Given my first experience with their sales department 3 years ago, I should have known better than to try again, but they are so much closer than the other dealership that I keep going back. So I work on finding honest dealerships, or at least ones that are transparent in their dishonesty.
 
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