Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Baby You Can Drive My Car

Time to give props to the folks at Ed Voyles Automotive Group, who have demonstrated perhaps the most impressive act of customer service I've ever witnessed or experienced.

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned the problems that have left me dissatisfied with my 2004 Accord. Well, I took the car to Ed Voyles Honda and they checked things out; afterwards, they told me very frankly that anything they did to ameliorate the problem had an equally good chance of exacerbating it. It seems that Honda has cheapened the manufacturing process, replacing meticulously-fitting metal parts with greater-variance plastic parts, and that's where the noise comes from.

So I called Honda's national customer service, and a CS manager named Jeff McCaughin confirmed what the Honda tech at Ed Voyles told me. How bad is it? Well, the customer service manager himself had to buy an Acura because of incorrectable problems with his Honda. If this guy couldn't get his car fixed, there was no chance for me...

I felt like I should at least let Ed Voyles know what was going on. I've bought a total of 16 Honda or Acura cars for me or for family members in the past twenty-nine years, but that relationship seemed to be coming to an unhappy end. Ed Voyles Honda manager Pete Richards wasn't willing to let it end there, though...

Mr. Richards called me back, expressed concern regarding the problem, and then said, "What can I do?" I thought it over for a day, and then asked him to see what he might be able to work out with Ed Voyles Acura for trade-in on an Acura instead.

Within an hour, I had a phone call from Bill Stout, manager of Ed Voyles Acura. He took down the info, did some juggling, and called me back with an amazing offer. Basically, through discounts on the car and generous allowances on the trade-in, I could get a new Acura RL for less than list price--and he'd substract the equivalent of the full value I paid for the 2004 Honda from that price! In effect, his action said, "Bad car? We'll give you your money back if you want to buy this one instead!"

I'm taken aback by the offer, to be honest. I hadn't originally considered an Acura, but now I'm thinking about it very seriously. It doesn't have the rear-view monitor that I liked in the Infiniti and the Lexus, but it does have real-time traffic on the nav system, and it does have a DVD-Audio 5.1 surround sound system. No ventilated seats, alas--that's the feature I most hate to give up--but the deal is so good I have to seriously consider it.

And as if that offer wasn't enough, Mr. Stout went one step further. "Why don't you come by one day this week and take an RL home for a day and see what you think of the car? You can bring it back the next day." Talk about an offer you can't refuse!...

Ed Voyles, I salute you. Pete Richards and Bill Stout are a credit to your business!

4 comments:

Doug said...

Wow. I'm amazed that a dealership stepped up to the plate and put their bottom line on the back burner. I'm considering trading in the truck for a Civic and I'll probably go talk to the folks at Ed Voyles because of this testimonial.

cliff said...

I'm pretty amazed myself--and I was the one they made the offer to! I'm still not sure that I'l settle on the Acura RL over the Lexus ES 350, but I do know that I'll definitely keep Acura on my list for future purchases, even if I don't buy this vehicle. This remains the most generous action I've ever experienced from any auto dealer.

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