Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Bolton, Connecticut
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Re: Stokes Brown in Bluffton does not know specs for Prius
Where to begin. In a perfect world, YES, it would great if a sales person knew their product. But over the years I have found that many do not, & that's true with other kinds of products & NOT just cars. Many times we consumers know more about what we want than the sales people do, but we just need clarification on a few things usually. In this day & age, it's buyer beware.
That said, I think you & your husband should have done your homework a little better. You wanted a model 1220 Prius [which is a base unit intended for municipal fleets & rental car companies (& is not even available to the general public in many places) & they don't usually want to spend any extra money on any frills]. For this reason, the 1220 has some items left off that are normally on the standard model 1224 or the touring model 1226. Apparently the cruise control (that you didn't originally tell them you had to have) is one of the omitted items. Also the trim rings are left off of the wheels on a 1220 & I believe your 1220 wheels are steel & not alloys like on the other Prius models. The problem is I have never seen any specs on the 1220 & I don't think many have, so I wouldn't hold your sales person or manager accountable. You told him you wanted a 1220 & I think it only comes one way, period. On the other hand, the specs for the standard 1224 model & the touring 1226 model are in the sales brochures, so you (& your dealer's people) should be able to clearly see what option items are contained in each option pkg level. I think it should have been you & your husband's duty to pick from those charts [for the only models that are usually available to the general public (that's why the 1220 specs aren't in the brochures)] the exact combinations of options to tell your sales people which pkg # to order for you.
From year to year some things are added as standard equipment that were only available previously by moving up to a higher option pkg level. Unless the dealer keeps previous years' sales brochures (for the 1224 & 1226 models), he may not know exactly how your 2 year old car was equiped [which options were in your car's pkg # (for your dealer there may be an official Toyota chart somewhere that compares one year's option pkg equipment to another year's---somebody made one up here or over at PriusChat for the 2004 through the 2006 models only)]. But remember, you did ask them to order you a 1220 [base unit with some items deleted---you're lucky it had the side air bags (or does it really?)]. They just did what you asked (without knowledge of what was not on it). If you had checked more closely when the car came in for any features you wanted but weren't on the car, you could have refused it then (before any paperwork was completed & sent to the motor vehicle dept) & you wouldn't be out the $7,000 the dealer wants you to lose for your mistakes. In theory, it depreciated a fair amount the minute you drove it off the lot, but we know better (the way the markups are on both new & used) that the dealer isn't going to lose much on a re-sale of your car. Yes, it has been registered & newly re-titled, so he can't re-sell it as new any more[even if YOU have only put 20 miles on it (which you might think he could explain away as the car being used only for test drives)]. He would have to re-sell it as used (which might even let him ask a higher price since it's available immediately for the next buyer). However, now I'm on your side on this that your dealer is trying to rape you guys by only offer'g $16,000 credit on your car towards your replacement order. My gosh, it's only been 6 days so far & that shouldn't be worth a $7,000+ gain for him or loss for you. He'll sell that car the minute it comes back on his lot & probably for more than you paid for it. Come to think of it, why not just sell it yourself. You won't lose as much that way & may even break even [although it looks like you guys might have overpaid for it in the 1st place ($23,500 for a 1220 base unit?) unless some of that was taxes, title, doc fees, etc. that made that your out-the-door price].
Sorry to come down on you like this in your time of disappointment, but it realy is "buyer beware!" nowadays (with all the cons going on out there in general, let alone the dirty tricks of some sleezy dealers). Sorry also to be so critical. You just need to be a little more savvy & careful with your next order. With the long waits now for a newly-ordered Prius, do you have another car to get you by if you decide to immediately unload your disappoint'g Prius for the highest $$ recovery while the market for them is still so strong?
Ken (in Bolton,Ct) 2005 Pkg #4 (AM)