Address: 1120 Shelby Lane, Austin TX 78745
So I decided I wanted to buy a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. I have been eyeing the car for a long time and since next year is going to be the last year they make it, now seems as good as time as any to get one. It’s a little beast of a car! All wheel drive, 4 cylinder, turbo-charged engine that makes driving this thing an awful lot of fun!
- They are both listed as Lancer Evolution but the second is GSR and the first one is not. I know for a fact that there are only two models of this car. One is GSR and the other is MR.
- They are listed at $41,980 and $38,180 but the base MSRP (from the Mitsubishi web site) is $34,995, so I assume they must have some extras but I cannot find anything in the listing except the default features and stock photos.
So I email the dealer and get a response from Debbie Morgan. She includes a copy of the sticker for each car and I can now clearly see the difference between the two cars. The cheaper ($38,180) car has the navigation package (MSRP $2375) on top of the base $34,995 + $810 destination fee, bringing the total to $38,180. However in her email she also tells me that the special sale price can not be combined with the special APR program that is currently running. I have no idea why that would be when the program on the Mitsubishi web site clearly does not exclude the Evolution.
Next step, I schedule a time to come-in and look at the car for Wednesday night (09/17/2014) at 7pm. I get a message from Rick King to confirm my appointment which I do promptly and show at the appointment at 7pm.
I get to the dealership, Rick walks out and without as much as a “Hi”, starts treating me like he has known me for years, but in fact we just met. He lets me look inside the car, and lets me start it but tells me I cannot take it for a test drive. At this point, I am starting to wonder how I am expected to spend $40K without test driving the car. He explains that some guy dropped the clutch at a previous test drive, and now the dealer does not let that car be test driven. Sounds unreasonable to me but I go along.
He takes me inside the dealership and we start talking about the numbers and what color I want. Rick seems to know very little about the car, and the available options. He leaves me alone to sit there for a while, talking to his manager I presume, without as much as offering some water or coffee. I am not happy with the poor customer service, but I put it with it. After maybe half an hour and some talk with his manager about prices and payments, I am now allowed to take the car on a test drive. I am guessing they didn’t think I was serious about buying it. I take the car on a 15 minute drive and I love it, but I am very careful how I drive it and we don’t go past 80 (even though I want to see what it can do). We get back, we talk about the color of the car, and that I want the black one from another dealer in San Antonio, and I also want several extra packages. Rick has no idea what is included in the packages I am talking about, he says he will look and get back to me. We finish the conversation with him saying he’ll find out about the packages, and me saying I have to sleep on it. I have not committed to buying the car at this point.
I get a text message from Rick that he is picking my car up today. I am surprised because I have not yet committing to buying the car, and he has not gotten back to me about the packages I wanted. The packages I want are:
- Exterior Package ($1500) - FRONT, SIDE, AND REAR AIRDAMS, BRAKE AIR GUIDES, REAR SPOILER EXTENSION
- Interior Package ($425) - ALUMINUM 5MT SHIFT KNOB, ALUMINUM / LEATHER BRAKE GRIP
- Led Illumination Package ($335) - FLOOR ILLUMINATION (BLUE LED), INTERIOR LIGHTS
- Rear Park Assist Sensors ($295)
Package total MSRP is $2555.
Everything from here on happens over text messages, as I am at work. Rick does try to call me but I cannot talk on the phone.
I ask him about the packages and he gets back to me in a few hours with a price tag of $3999, and tells me that is just for parts, and that installation will be extra. I don’t know what to say. I send him to the Mitsubishi web site where the prices are listed (despite that they are the MSRP). He apologizes and tells me that I am smarter than their parts department. He then sends me another price of $1490 for installation. I tell him to find a way to drop the installation price and we’ll have a deal. I know this is possible since I have gotten it done at another dealer with my last car, and I was paying half of what the Evolution price tag is.
Eventually he gets back to me, and drops the installation price to $996 and $500 off the car price. Also tells me he has gotten me a $300 race track pass for the day – nice gesture without a doubt. However, that is still more than I want to spend, especially after the poor customer service and the several lies I caught them into. I tell them exactly what I want again, and that is to drop the installation fee and we’ll have a deal. Rick does not budge and tells me that his manager will be putting the car back on the lot in the morning. No love lost for me, I thank him for his time and consider the deal not happening.
What happens next is very unprofessional and makes me want to buy the car from Rick even less. He goes off on me about the 3 days he has spent on this, tries to guilt me into buying the car because he already got it from the other dealer, and also tells me that he has done everything I have asked for. On top of that, he tells me this has never happened to him in the past 8 years. I tell him that I love the car and I would love to have it, but I don’t have to buy it from him, and I don’t have to buy it today. I say that he has done very little to motivate me to buy it from him. I iterate one more time what I want and he keeps going about how it makes no business sense and how nobody will do that. I guess we are done. He sends me a few more angry messages, and I try to be as polite as possible.
I would have bought the car, I was 99% there. What it came down to was paying MSRP for the car, extra for the parts and still getting charged for installation. The poor customer service, the lack of knowledge about the car and packages, and the several things that turned out to be a lie, was what killed the deal. Roger Beasley Mitsubishi South, you failed to get my business, but what is worse than that is that I cannot recommend your dealership to anyone.