When you work at dealership you encounter all kinds of people and sorts of wacky situations. The hours may be long, and getting that commission is no walk in the park, but at least you get some great tales to tell.
IOU...two more cylinders
My dad was in the car business so when I reached adulthood I went into the car business as well. After several years of wholesaling cars and trucks I decided to try a sales job in a dealership. We had a salesman who was a bit of a snake to say the least and during his short time he pulled several stunts. Perhaps the low of the low was a Buick Regal he sold to an elderly lady who had several must haves for her new, used car. It had to have all the features and a V8 engine. Of all the requirements she was most adamant about the V8. The snake salesman found her the perfect car except it was a V6. Hearing her list of must haves when she first entered the dealership I was shocked to see her drive off in the V6 Regal we had for sale. When I asked the salesman about it he just chalked it up to “great salesmanship.” However, a few weeks later she showed up in her new car asking for that same salesmen. When I told her he was out for the rest of the day she wanted an explanation for the delay in the upgrade of her engine. When I inquired further she produced a WE OWE form, which was for items that were not installed at the time of delivery. On the form was the entry “2 additional cylinders for engine.” He had promised the customer two additional cylinders were going to be added to her engine but that they were on back-order.
Needless to say when he showed up the next day for work he was quickly shown the door and the elderly customer was put in a new car that met all of her requirements. Ultimately, a good deal for the customer but a loser for the dealer. Of course ridding ourselves of that salesmen was worth the $3000 loss, especially since it wasn’t coming out of my pocket.
Came in for an oil change, got his weed stolen...
So I work at a dealership as a tech. A guy brings his truck in for service and wants to wait while we change his oil. We tag the vehicle and park it in our lot. A few minutes later the customer go back out to his truck and notices something is missing. He then starts yelling and blaming our lot porter of stealing his weed that was left in the truck. The service manager gets wind of the yelling and pulls they guy in his office so he won’t bother anyone else. The man continues that his bag of weed is missing from his truck and he wants it back or money for it. My boss pauses, then confirms what the guy is saying. “Someone stole your weed and you want it back” correct? “Yup!” The guy says. “I want you to search everyone in this dealership to get it back” my boss picks up the phone and says while dialing “I tell you what drug dogs are much faster at finding this than I am. Let’s get the police down here, I guarantee they can find where it is”. The guy jumps up tells him not to call the cops and then runs out of the building, into his truck and takes off. We had a good laugh about it. He came back the next week and didn’t say a word. I guess he still needed that oil change.
Night mode doesn’t work...
My favorite story out of any of them though, would be the customer who called in complaining that his new vehicle wouldn’t run in night mode. Confused, I re-stated what he had said, assuming I misheard. He insisted again, “When I put it in day mode, there is no problem, I drive forward immediately, but in night mode I can’t get it to move at all. It just sits there. It still turns on the same, and I can hear the engine get louder and louder when I push on the pedal, but it doesn’t move.”
That is when I clicked in. “Sir, are you referring to when you shift and the stick is next to the “N” symbol? That’s when you have the problem?” He immediately confirmed, “Yes! Like I said before, in night mode this piece of shit doesn’t work. I can never drive at night!” I couldn’t find the words to politely tell this gentlemen that D and N meant Drive and Neutral, not Day and Night. I had to have the assistant manager take over for me because I couldn’t hold back from laughing. Now I realize that it is actually a terrifying story, because that guy is actually somewhere out in the world driving.
This guy has seen some shit...
1) In 1989 I worked at a very large dealership with 100+ employees. Conversion vans were still very popular back then and we had several to choose from in inventory. one day a top salesman was having his birthday that week. Many of us chipped in some cash to buy him a hooker to give him a BJ in the back of a van for a birthday gift. It was a Tuesday & fairly slow around 7pm, he was on the back lot getting his gift we had bought for him. Two other salesmen thought it would be funny to surprise him & interrupt him in the middle of everything. They sprang open the side doors & totally killed the moment. The next day the story made it’s way to the owner of the dealership, and he proceeded to call all 3 men up to his office. He went through the story to make sure all the facts were as the story was told. When they all agreed that is was he then told the two salesmen that interrupted the birthday BJ to pack their shit and leave because they were both fired on the spot. He told them “you can’t fuck with another man’s nut, your both gone!”
2) In 1992 I was working at a BHPH (buy here, pay here) dealership as the collection/finance manager. It was January in the Midwest & probably close to 5 degrees outside. The repo company we were using had repo’d 3 vehicles overnight & taken them to the holding lot which was located in the far back of our property. By law we have to hold a vehicle for 10 days & give a customer a chance to redeem before we can start getting the vehicle ready for auction. # day 3 days after this specific car was repo’d the local police showed up asking if we had repo’d a gold Camaro from “John Smith”. I told them we had, they wanted to know if anyone had inspected the vehicle since the repo date. I said we hadn’t as the 10 days had not passed yet. they needed to inspect the vehicle for evidence related to a possible crime. I gave them the keys (we kept an extra set for every car we sold) and showed the where the car was. About 30 minutes later the came walking back up to their patrol cars with 2 evidence bags. The had the car towed to their CSI for further evidence collection. We got the car back about 3 weeks later & the detective in charge told my the evidence collected the 1st day from our repo lot was the ex-girlfriends severed head the suspect put in the trunk of his car.
3) In the summer of 1994 I was still the collection/finance manager at the same BHPH dealership in the Midwest. One Saturday morning the repo man came in with his invoices from the prior night for 5 vehicles he picked up. I notices the side of his repo truck had about 8 bullet holes I hadn’t noticed before. I said “Man Charlie, you must of had a crazy repo with one of these accounts!” His response, “No, me and my old lady just got into it last night & she tried to kill me!”
So that explains the dead battery...
I was working in an Audi service department. One of the other advisers had a customer bring in her daughter’s car, complaining that it would kill the battery every couple of days. They had only noticed it after the daughter went to school. So he writes it up, and gets it into the shop. I was in the shop a little later talking to one of the other techs when from the other end of the shop I hear “Are you kidding me?” pretty loud from the lead techs bay, as he stands up with a dildo in his , thankfully gloved hand. Turns out the daughter had had it wired into the seat motor wiring, which stays live all the time instead of shutting off with the key. The best parts were when the technician marched up front and dropped it on the advisers desk, and when the mother had to come in and sheepishly pay for the repair. I’m still not quite sure how the adviser kept a straight face as he handed the ziploc bag with the dildo in it back to the customer.
Sadly, that isn’t the only dildo story, but it’s by far the best one.
Do you work, or have you worked, at a dealership and have a great story to tell? Send it to AutomatchConsulting@gmail.com with the subject line “Dealer Horror Stories.”