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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Default Stokes Brown in Bluffton does not know specs for Prius

I called Stokes Brown Toyota in Bluffton, SC and spoke with the manager, Bill Bowler. I told him I wanted a 2008 Prius 1220 that is exactly like my 2006 Prius only in the very dark blue. I have been having my 2006 serviced there since they opened. He said okay. I said the only option on the 2006 was side air bags. He said he would get one with the side air bag option.

I took delivery 7/2 and discovered no cruise, and side air bags were standard. I told him I had to have cruise and he said he had no idea what was standard on a 2006, I should have known.

Shouldn't a sales person/manager be expected to know his product?

He told my husband he could order another and would take the 2008 on trade for $16,000! Note, I paid $23,000 in cash plus the $500 deposit I put down on 2/26.

I suggest that this dealership needs to loose its Prius allocation permanently since they are not interested in the product.

Yolanda Poff
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Stokes Brown in Bluffton does not know specs for Prius

Oh, Yolanda,

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)
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Default Re: Stokes Brown in Bluffton does not know specs for Prius

Thank you for your comments. I may not have mentioned that this is the dealer from whom I purchased the 2006. Also, I sold Mercedes Benz in the early 80's, and I knew each of my models and their options very thoroughly. I have the 2006 serviced there, and so it would have been but a moment's work to find the options on the 2006.

I indeed have sold the car for a break even amount and still am driving the 2006. If I should be so stupid to allow such a thing to happen again, I will drive the car to DC and sell it for a tidy profit.

Also, FYI, this is neither the first nor the only problem I have had with these people. We are geographically hostage to them, as the closest other dealers are 90 to 120 minutes away.

Thanks for your input, and I will certainly take to heart that there are good reasons for stereotypes, and the one that car sales people are crooks is well justified.

Yolanda Poff
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Stokes Brown in Bluffton does not know specs for Prius

Hi again, Yolanda,

Thanks for not taking my criticism too much at heart. I did apologize at the end of my post for sound'g so high & mighty. You did indeed mention that this dealer is the one you bought your 2006 from, but they're in the business of sell'g cars & not usually trying to analize which options a car has or doesn't have. And sometimes based on that chart from one of these chat rooms, as I said earlier, the same pkg # from one year to another may have some option added or some other one removed & it may be hard to catch every one of the options unless you do have the previous sales brochures still around (or that chart I mentioned). The person who set up the chart tried to keep it so that the equivalent options were still in line with each other even if the option# or code letters chg'd. It's easy for us to remember which options we have because we only have one or 2 cars, but the dealer is dealing with hundreds of cars both on the sales side as well as the maintenance side, so I wouldn't expect him to remember what options you or I have. Yes, he can probably look up on your sales record what pkg# you have, but for the reasons I just stated above, that won't necessarily tell him which options are in your pkg#.

I am SO glad you broke even on your sale of the 2008 model 1220 & that you didn't have to take that huge loss. Good for you guys!!

Ken (in Bolton,Ct) 2005 Pkg #4 (AM)
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: Stokes Brown in Bluffton does not know specs for Prius

This lady seemed to want to replace her "Base" model 2006 with the same in the 2008 model. It would appear that what was "base" model in 2006 is now actually Package #1.

Between a consumer and a factory authorized dealer, which is in a better position to have known that???

While a Prius owner, I recently also ordered a MINI Cooper. By comparison, there, although I knew what I wanted, the Dealer still sat me down at her desk and went over a full checklist of options, some of which (honestly) I had not even considered and she was forthright in telling me that some basic things (like cruise and also, oddly, a center console) were NOT standard and needed to be ordered as options. I was a little miffed that something like a center console (between the two front seats) cost extra, but much better to learn this at the ORDERING stage of the deal, rather than the DELIVERY stage of the deal.

By the way....think there is a long wait for a Prius?? I ordered the MINI about June 17th, and maybe it will arrive (no promises) late September "or so". I am yet to get a firm date.

"Last laugh" could still be on Stokes Brown...if the 1220 is a rare as Ken indicates, it could actually, in an inverse way, be worth MORE!

Craig
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 10:54 AM
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Default Stokes Brown in Bluffton does not know specs for Prius

Heres an update about this place.
My brother checked this place out. They ordered their AWD dyno and it should be coming in soon. It is a very nice small place and they have a Eclipse GS race car. I havent seen it yet. But it costs around 75 for 2 runs.
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