Internet Defense League

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wasted dollars

Sometime last month, I took the kids to the Motor Trend International Auto Show - Baltimore where we had a pretty good time. Not the best car show as there were no major releases happening there. However, Ford had a nifty display set up. They had a computerized electronic racing game there. And it broke as the prior to me got off. To make matters worse, the guy running it was not equipped to reset the system. He had to call a technician in. To essentially reboot a computer. Riiiight.

Anyway, as a part of the display, Ford had their Shift into $50 program running. The premise is that they get my email address, verify that it's accurate, and I take a printed sheet to my local Ford dealership to test drive a car. Following the test drive, the dealer would fill out information on my printed sheet and I would enter the info into a website in return for a $50 gift card.

Well, that's not such a bad deal. I can give them any one my email address (how about freestuff@br...com) and never have to deal with the onslaught of craptastic messages. In return, they get me behind the wheel of one of their cars and try to seduce me into buying one. Now is not a bad time for us as our Mazda is nearly seven years old, about to flip 100,000 miles, and is showing its age -- ignore the sequestration as a deterrent.

Ford is relying on dealers to sell these cars. And this is where it all begins to break down. As soon as the salesman saw me come in with the printed sheet, he immediately brought the sheet to the manager, they filled it out and sent me on my way. I didn't have the opportunity to talk to anyone nor go for a test drive. Was I going to purchase a car today? No, but I might be in the market in three to six months. I now have no intent to go back to that dealer. I feel as if there is no interest in building a relationship with potential customers -- only with those that they are guaranteed to get a dollar from.

Is this my loss? Perhaps, since Ford has a lot of nice offerings out there. However, there are other Ford dealers within 20 miles of here. And there are other brands with just as good or better offerings. Oh well, such is life.

And that brings to a close this moment of preaching on my soapbox.
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