How difficult should it be to buy a car?

Porsche Macan More difficult than you might think. Earlier this week Liz and I went to look for a replacement for her Ford S Max. The S Max has been a good car but it’s time for a change and Liz had in mind the Audi Q5.

So off we went to the local Audi garage to peruse the Audi Q5. However, we were disappointed to find they didn’t have one in the showroom. The salesman was very apologetic and explained they were a very popular car and how he could have one available to look at in a day or two. He gave us a business card and asked that we contact him if we wanted more information.

Next stop was the BMW garage which was nearby. This time we’re wanting to look at the X3, but guess what? Once again they didn’t have one in the showroom. However, the salesmen were somewhat different, in that two of them ignored us completely and the third said he had some used ones outside. He escorted us to the used X3’s pointed them out to us and then disappeared back into the showroom. We started to have a look only to find both were locked and we couldn’t get inside to have a proper look. Now, I have to say this is the third such experience (arrogance personified) that I’ve had from BMW dealers, so it will come as no surprise that I will never buy one.

What next, two of the so called prestige car manufacturers have nothing to look at in their showrooms… a bit of an oxymoron to call their premises showrooms when they have nothing to show, but there you go. Anyway, over to the Ford showroom to look at the Ford Kuga.

A much better experience here, for starters they had one in and the salesman was very polite and helpful. We had a good look round the car and left with brochures and all the information we needed.

We’re all out of options for Liz and as its close by (cough!) I suggest we drop into the local Porsche dealership as I’ve been hankering after a Cayenne. Comparing the Porsche dealer to the others, they had a Cayenne in (tick) and we were greeted by a very helpful salesman who showed us the car, answered lots of questions and supplied us with the relevant collateral. What’s more when we mentioned that we were looking for a car for Liz and the Audi Q5 was the benchmark, he informed us of the Porsche Macan which is due for release later this year. The Macan is smaller version of the Cayenne, and just as the Cayenne shares a chassis with the Audi Q7 the Macan is built on the Q5 platform and therefore the same size… albeit Porsche claim it’s the other way around and that Audi use Porsche chassis.

This story is almost finished other than to say that Liz went to a different Audi dealership the next day and they didn’t have a Q5 in either. How can anyone expect to sell cars if they don’t have any in the showroom?

In summary then, we’ll be giving BMW a wide berth, Audi have nothing for us to see, Ford were solid, but the winner hands down was the Porsche dealer and I fear that Liz may be the first Porsche owner in the Lynn household.

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Scottish Power – A story of Excellent Customer Experience

If you read my blog you’ll know I’m a great believer in shouting about great service when I come across it and this time I’d like to shout out Scottish Power.

We’ve been a customer of Scottish Power for a few years now and we’ve generally been happy with their service. However a few weeks back during our normal process of reading the meter and entering the readings into the website we hit a problem when the website wouldn’t accept the figures and advised we call them up.

We rang up Scottish Power and spoke to a chap called Adam Heywood. Adam advised that there was a problem with our reading and because it was so far away from our normal usage pattern the website wouldn’t accept it.

Adam suggested there may be a problem with the meter and advised us to send him a photo of the meter (iphone is ever so handy for this), wait one more week, read the meter again and he would ring us back at a predetermined time to compare the new figures with our normal usage profile.

At the predetermined time, not a minute later, Adam rang and we gave him the new reading. He said he’d have to speak to a colleague and he’d get back to us, and he did within a couple of minutes, to tell us that it was indeed the meter and we needed a new one.

He arranged a convenient time for us to have the replacement fitted and that’s where the story ends.

So what’s excellent about this?

Adam got back to us exactly when he said he would, how many times does that happen?

Whilst Adam had to seek advice from someone else in the company he didn’t pass us over to someone else and forget about us, he took ownership of our problem until it was resolved.

Throughout the engagement we felt like Adam was working for us and not against us.

So, thank you Adam and well done Scottish Power for this excellent experience. I hope all your agents share the same customer care mind set as Adam.