I have an aversion to car salespeople, but the Fowler family is a supporter of the arts in my hometown of Norman, so my wife and I gave them our business. That was a MISTAKE.
To make a long story (fairly) short, we test drove one 2012 CR-V one time with salesman Garth. He was friendly and not high pressure, got us a lease quote quickly, and we left to do our homework. After some research, I determined that the quote was fair. For nearly the same sticker price, I found that we could get the car without the DVD player and instead with factory navigation. The Fowler website showed the exact car we wanted to be in stock, so about 4 days after our first visit, we walked into Fowler and told Garth we would lease the car shown on the website. He drove up an identical CR-V without navigation and asked if they could "order in" the nav system and that the price was "a wash" to substitute nav for the dvd system we were originally quoted. That was fine with us and we signed the lease. Garth's parting words were that he would be in touch soon about getting the navigation installed.
Over a month passed, we loved the CR-V, but wondered where our navigation was. I called Garth to ask, and he acted a little put out and said he would look into it. Another week passed, and we called Garth. Without apology, he said to bring it in the next day for installation. When we got there, we expressed our disappointment at the long delay and lack of communication. Garth apologized, made excuses about personal issues, and said he would get the oil changed and car washed to make it up to us. Three days later, we picked up the car. TO OUR DISMAY, the car had NOT been washed and there was a cheap aftermarket Boyo navigation unit installed that replaced the rear view mirror. NEVER were we told that an aftermarket unit was going to be installed. We took the car, but grew more discontent over the course of the next week. First of all, the installed cost of a Boyo is about $400, but we were charged over $1700. Second, we asked for a CR-V with factory navigation and were led to believe we were getting such a car.
After calls to Honda, unreturned calls to Garth and his immediate supervisor, and a certified letter to Fowler, the general manager (Dallas) got involved. He was very concerned and responsive. With some wrangling, he arranged to have the navigation uninstalled and said he would refund the ~$1700. Well, after the fact, he back-pedaled on that commitment and said he would need to send the $1700 to Honda Financial because they hold the lease. A call to them revealed that the funds would be held as a "security deposit" and either refunded, applied to mileage/damage, or rolled over at lease end.
So the BOTTOM LINE is that we test drove ONE vehicle, DID NOT haggle, and were well qualified for our lease. In return, Fowler misled us into paying the same amount for a lesser car then left us to pay for the car WE DID NOT GET for the next 3 years, at which point we "might" get our money back. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER again will I let this happen. I will purchase my cars online and bypass the opportunity for the dealership weasels to bilk me. I tried to keep my money local and give Garth an easy sale, but got screwed.
In fairness, I understand that Dallas was put in the situation of trying to rectify our concerns without violating the terms of our lease, but this solution is still unfair. And admittedly, while the switch of cars was unethical and sleazy, it was probably not illegal. But why can't people just do what they say they will do? Fowler should have cut us a check for the navigation and worked it out with Honda Financial on their end. That is how customer loyalty is built.