Saturday, February 9, 2013

spam, car dealerships and cutting ties

originally posted on the posterous site. january 15, 2011 01:40:00pm

it’s been a long time since i have posted, so first off, happy new year to those that read this blog and then i do have some more blog entries in the pipeline, one that is professional in nature, and then some other personal experience ones. i’ll work on being better about them this year. for today’s post, i wanted to relay the “personal struggle” i have had with the dealership who sold me my car, a 2008 mini cooper convertible. that’s right, i bought the car almost 3 years ago now, and this battle still continues to this day. i have taken it to the internet though – facebook, twitter, this blog…so enjoy the back story. i will preface this with the fact that i first tried to enjoy…my break-up letter:

attention fans and friends of mini of sterling: this dealership is beyond deplorable. i purchased a 2008 mini from them, and ahmed shaker was my representative. ahmed and i exchanged several (and i mean like 25+) emails when i ordered "kirby", telling him that i wanted the car alarm, that i wanted racing stripes and that under no circumstance was there to be a mini of sterling logo on my car unless they wanted to pay me an annual fee for advertising their dealership. he understood my concerns and said it was all taken care of. the day i went to pick up kirby, there was no alarm, no racing stripes and guess what, a big fat logo on the back of the car for the dealership on the car. ahmed shaker went home sick before my appointment to pick up my car, he didn't call me to tell me that he was doing so, nor did he tell anyone in the dealership that i was coming to pick up the car. reluctant to take the car, I did so anyway...the financing person called ahmed shaker at home and told him my issues. he then got on the phone with me, and told me that he would take care of it and that by the end of the week all would be fixed with the car, of course the slimy car salesperson in him then said to me "you are gonna give me all 5's on the survey right?"

more than a week goes by, and nothing is done to fix my car. mini sends me the survey and i fill it out, giving him less than 5's. two days after the survey is submitted, i get a call from ahmed shaker, and I am told that all of the "parts are now in" and that he wants to come get the car so that he can deliver it properly. great!

ahmed shaker brings a loaner car to me, rolling up into the parking lot of my office, gets out of his car and greets me with "you f*cking cost me my commission, you cost me three-f*cking thousand dollers, what the f*ck man?” (i don't know about you, but when someone "f*cks me" they generally say hello first...) he cussed me out. this guy literally came to my office and cussed me out because i didn't rate him as an excellent sales person. this is the stuff of a seinfield episode.

i called the management of the dealership, and ahmed was supposedly put on suspension for a few days while they decided if they were going to keep him or not -- because he was the number 2 salesperson in the country. i was also told that to make up for it, they would deliver the car properly and would give me a dinner at morton's. the dinner never happened, but i did get the car delivered to me the way it was ordered, though they did scrape up the leather wrapped steering wheel, which had to be repaired.

when kirby went in it’s first service, i asked about the dinner, and was told that the certificate had been issued and mailed to me and that they would call morton's to see if it had been redeemed. apparently it never had been, probably lost in the mail somewhere and they said that they would just give me a "we're really sorry gift" – an american express gift card. well that never happened either.

i called them and told them at that point to forget it and to not contact me again, that passport mini of alexandria was opening soon and that i would take my business to them (which i have and the dealership its simply amazing, i've never been cussed out and i “proudly” display a license plate frame with their name on it – being good marketing people, they simply put it on my car while it was in for it’s first service).

the communication from mini of sterling stopped, and about 9 months ago, mini of sterling/bmw of sterling began spamming me - i have never bought a bmw, and i have no business relationship with them -- other than them being the parent company of mini of sterling.

they (bmw of sterling) used a third party email provider (like constant contact) to mass email people. i unsubscribed from the list and also sent an email to the company and told them this story and that i should have never been put on their mailing list. apparently, they dropped mini/bmw of sterling and the dealership took their list to a new email provider, i know this because i got another email from them! i contacted that company and told them the same story and i contacted mini/bmw of sterling's isp and told them the story too.

to this day I still get email from them – just not from the third party vendors -- and I have repeatedly told them to not contact me. last week i got a mailer (snailmail), and this morning, i got an email from a sales person: "dear kirk: i wanted to follow up with you to see if we can set up a time to meet and test drive the cooper. do you have some time to stop by today for a visit?"... seriously follow up on what? it’s clear that I hate these people and they simply don’t know how to break up with someone.

so if you want to run the risk of bad customer service, horrible people that won't keep their promises and make good on their "peace offerings" that will forever taint the way you feel about your otherwise new car, then by all means, purchase a car from mini of sterling. my recommendation is to motor clear of them, go over to passport mini of alexandria and enjoy a true dealership with trained professionals and a group of fun, professionals!

and now, the break-up letter...

dear mini of sterling:

I am not a sadistic person, I know when a relationship is not healthy, and i know when its time to cut the knot that binds us. you on the other hand don’t. please consider the above story of our relationship our restraining order. i am sorry that it has come to his, but your yelling at me so many months ago and your repeated attempts to make things right never came to pass and i simply can not hold onto some shred of hope that you’ll leave me alone. i simply do not have it in me anymore to shrug off the contact and the mail (if beyonce Knowles was writing this letter she would use the words “burning my phone up like a collector”)…you need help and i really hope you get it. don’t worry, the kid is fine and well taken care of and when it comes time to send him off to college (be traded-in) he’ll go to a respectable dealership – not yours.

again once and for all, do not contact me again, if you do then i will have to find the the guy in california that now makes a living suing entities who spam. thanks a lot fot he months of laughs and the years of driving a good car, but i’m really sorry to tell you this, you’re a f*cking a$$hole and it’s over.
*edited to comply with the “branding guidelines” of ‘lostinthedin’, to remove language, but emphasis added through use of bold