This is a textbook example for business schools to teach on how not to treat your customers. It is also the story of a Chevrolet dealership franchise which thought time stood still and it was still the seventies and they could screw their customers to their heart’s content. I doubt if customers buying Trabants in communist East Germany were treated this badly.
So here goes ….
A customer in Maryland bought a black Traverse from Priority Chevrolet, had an immediate change of heart and wanted it exchanged for a blue one. The blue one was five grand dearer but the dealership made a mistake and charged the same price for the blue one. They then realized their mistake and tried to get the customer to pay up. But buying a car, in a sense, is a zero sum game. Either you win or the dealership wins – most of the time. If the customer wins, there is no way in hell he is going back and gifting money back to the the dealer.
So here is where it gets bizarre. The dealership filed theft charges against the customer. And the customer had to cool his heels in jail for a couple of hours before he could get a bond lined up. Of course, they police had to release the customer for lack of evidence.
And for those who live in the litigious United States, we know what comes next. Yep, you guessed right – a lawsuit. Despite an public apology by the president of the dealership, there will be legal charges galore keeping lawyers busy … and making their boat payments.
I think GM should sue the dealership too, because even though these are two separate entities, the Chevy brand will end up with a ‘dishonest’ label around its neck too.
If you want to read more about this story, you can read about it here.