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 Post subject: Re: A tale of two Toyota dealerships
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 6:00 am
Posts: 60
Location: San Diego, CA
SeanSanDiego,
Although I don't know how their service department is like, but last year a buddy and I from work went to Carlsbad Toyota to buy 2 x 2012 Rav 4EV's .. To make a long story short, I heard every snake oil salesman lie from their sales guy, and sales manager known to man kind, and we basically walked out of there, promising ourselves we will never deal with that dealership ever gain ..

The sad part of it is that their service department might be great, but I would never go there because of the scum sales people that I had to deal with...
This is clearly a reflection of Carlsbad Toyota management, and maybe that's what the owner of the dealership is promoting .... Who knows ....

But they did lose on selling 6 of these Rav4's, because my colleagues at work and I ended up buying 6 of them in total within 2 to 3 weeks of each other! .. And none from Carlsbad Toyota.

I purchased mine from Tustin Toyota (awesome folks)
Another colleague went to Tustin as well.
3 other ones came from Carson Toyota
And the last one came from Mossy Toyota...

So, don't feel bad ... Carlsbad by now has a pretty bad reputation ....


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 Post subject: Re: A tale of two Toyota dealerships
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:29 pm 
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Posts: 5
Hi Manny & Ray Ray:

The entire experience with Toyota Carlsbad left me in a state of disbelief and regret. As I mentioned in an earlier post - until this incident, I never posted a single negative comment about any merchant or vendor (and don't intend to ever again - I hope). I kept thinking (and hoping) I would get over it quickly - but I was still reeling from the shock of the potentially dangerous and definitely ridiculous situation that Toyota Carlsbad put me in. In addition to posting on this forum - I also posted a negative Yelp review and made a complaint to Toyota Customer Care over the next couple of days.

The Toyota Customer Care representative was shocked when I told her the story and gave me some sort of complaint reference number (whatever that means). In response to my Yelp review, a "social media ambassador/manager" from Toyota Carlsbad contacted me (it may have even been Vanessa from an earlier post above). She too seemed surprised and promised to look into it further. She also "encouraged me" to call her directly for my future service needs. She was pleasant enough and seemed to get it - but I can only think she was more concerned about posting a "public response" than actually changing that dealership's policy or addressing the poor judgment of the sales manager. I asked her to have the general manager contact me but not surprisingly, as of today he has not. I have not heard back from Toyota customer care either. Every car manufacturer and dealer has complaints and I'm sure some of those are probably unwarranted or trumped up. It's a tough business for sure and I guess I should keep that in mind.

I really can't express strongly enough that I understand and appreciate the fact that a dealer's on-site charging station is its private property and accordingly, the dealer has the right to deny use of it by the general public. I also understand the potential liability issue that could arise out of allowing the public to access automobile repair service bays. However, in this incident, Toyota Carlsbad is a "certified EV dealer" and consequently, I can only assume that either: (i) it has a charger near the showroom (where presumably EV buyers take delivery) or (ii) if no such charger is available other than in the service bay, then a sales person could have driven my RAV into the service bay and plugged it in for me. Instead, a smug and dismissive sales manager exercised poor and thoughtless judgment and simply forced me (and my son) into an even more dangerous situation. Again, I was on my very 1st drive after the taking delivery of the car the evening before (when I arrived at Toyota Carlsbad - it had only 95 miles on the odometer). The bottom line is that the actions of Toyota Carlsbad that day are inexcusable. The fact that I ended up on the side of a freeway awaiting a flat bed truck to take me back to Toyota Carlsbad is a joke. Thankfully, I was able to get special dispensation to have the car delivered to my home - but it cost me 4 hours of time and a lot inconvenience. I have been driving an EV for more than 2 years and NOTHING like this ever happened. I am ALWAYS happy to pay for a charge and I never take advantage of the kindness folks or "game" any EV programs.

I have now had the car for a couple of weeks and I am enjoying it. The range is good and the size is better for my family.

In the spirit of Karma, I took the time to write a favorable review of Dianne Whitmire and my buying experience at Carson Toyota. I can only hope that Toyota Carlsbad feels some heat over this whole thing so that it will at least sensitize its staff to at least render reasonable assistance Toyota customers. I also called the general manager of the Chevy dealer across the street from Toyota Carlsbad and gave thanks for that dealership's assistance. Obviously at this point, I have put way too much energy into this and this will officially be my last post on the matter. Thanks for all the kind words and your empathy - this experience sucked but it's time to get over it.

Now let's get back to driving gas free!
:)


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 Post subject: Re: A tale of two Toyota dealerships
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:34 pm
Posts: 170
Location: Santa Barabra, CA
Thanks for the update. I can certainly appreciate your wanting to drop this matter. The important thing is that we took action. There is no power like the power in numbers. Enjoy your car. I certainly have thus far. Every time I drive it I compare it to the Leaf. At the end of the day I have about as much range left as the Leaf fully charged. It feels great. We took the car over to the Balboa Ferry and crossed to the Newport Peninsula. We had 4 people and two small dogs in the front and read seats and the our Great Pyrenees in the rear of the Rav4EV. Was a lot of fun. While waiting for the Ferry a guy and his female companion walked by and said "Hey that is a great car, but I love our Tesla better" I shouted back that hey our car is a Tesla in Toyota skin. He just laughed.
Manny

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 Post subject: Re: A tale of two Toyota dealerships
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:09 am
Posts: 165
SeanSanDiego wrote:
I understand and appreciate the fact that a dealer's on-site charging station is its private property and accordingly, the dealer has the right to deny use of it by the general public. I also understand the potential liability issue that could arise out of allowing the public to access automobile repair service bays.
No two ways about - Carson Toyota wants to sell cars and have repeat customers, while Carlsbad Toyota apparently doesn't. It's not a question of private vs. public or concerns about liability; it's whether you want a reputation as a 5-star business or a disreputable dive that should be avoided.

The Chevrolet dealer that let you charge your Toyota Rav4 EV probably has a lot of loyal customers, and deservedly so. Carlsbad could learn a thing or two about that kind of courteous, loyalty-building service.

When we were looking for a Rav4 EV, we had a choice of three dealerships within 60 miles. The one that wouldn't give me an extended test drive lost a sale. The one that complained about me parking my Chevrolet Volt in a prominent parking spot lost a sale. But Hamer Toyota in Mission Hills worked out a 24-hour test drive rental (about $99) for us, and Hamer got the sale.

If a dealership wants good customers and lots of business, it has to act like it. Because with the Internet today, bad service can't hide from the spotlight of social media. As Carlsbad Toyota found out, one bad post can cost them a lot of sales. What complete morons!


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 Post subject: Re: A tale of two Toyota dealerships
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:27 pm 
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Location: Santa Barabra, CA
You bring up some great points. I ended up purchasing my car from our local Toyota Dealership in Tustin. They sold us our last Prius and were more than willing to meeting any competitive pricing that I had. It was more a convenience issue for us. I would have easily gone the distance to Diane as she has supported the Toyota community for some time. I have also dealt with their Parts Department when I purchased TRD parts for a Lexus that I had. Always nice and always willing to do what they could.

I teach Customer Service for Cal State Fullerton and I know that most of the time it is a leadership issue rather than a individual employee. Organizations develop silos where people from different functional areas don't talk to each other. I recall once when I had just purchased a Acura NSX back in 1992 from Gold Coast Acura in Ventura. I had come in for an performance issue. They were having trouble figuring out what the issue was. The car was still new and few problems had arisen. They had their corporate people out trying to figure out what to do. They eventually decided on a course of action and ordered some parts after about 3 days. I asked how long it would take and was directed to the parts department. There I was told it would take three days to ship and receive the part. I was shocked and asked why so long. I was told it was coming ground. I said no it was not, it was going to get expedited. They agreed when I got the general manager involved. When I inquired as to why they did not ship it out ASAP as a car is just sitting there, I was told that the Parts department was a separate profit center so that they had to do stuff to make sure they made money. I asked doesn't the customer count in this issue? Why does a small organization do dysfunctional things effecting the external customer. Go figure. It is how the leadership decided to organize the business. I leaned a long time ago that every decision you make is a marketing decision. They can and do come back to bite you. If you are in business to satisfy the customer and insure that they become loyal then you had better think about what you do and how it will effect the customer. Probably most of the time they get away with it. But when they get caught a lot of people find out because we tell all our friends.
Manny

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 Post subject: Re: A tale of two Toyota dealerships
PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:09 am
Posts: 165
I totally agree. For example, we know that the O.P. has a new Rav4 EV, so he's not about to turn around and grab a Chevrolet next month. But what if he has a friend who is interested in a Volt? I'm pretty sure SeanSanDiego is going to tell that friend to buy from Weseloh Chevrolet! And if anyone asks Sean where to buy a Toyota, he's going to say something to the effect of "anywhere but Carlsbad Toyota!" A business that provides excellent customer service — even to people who aren't customers — is going to thrive.

I remember as a kid my parents always took me to this one local restaurant all the time. Later, when I was an adult, I asked my parents why we went there so much. They told me, "When you were a baby, we needed to change you and get some water for your formula. But none of the restaurants on the street would let us use their bathroom or give us free tap water...except for Patterson's Ristorante, which gladly gave us the employee bathroom key and a couple glasses of water - no charge, and no expectation that we'd buy anything. The next week, we went there for lunch to try it out, and the food was excellent. We've eaten there at least once per week ever since. And we never again ate at the restaurants that turned us away, even though we liked the food they served."


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 Post subject: Re: A tale of two Toyota dealerships
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:19 pm
Posts: 279
Apparently Carlsbad Toyota is not the only dealership refusing EV charging!

I had a similar experience yesterday!

Again the hero was Carson Toyota. I took my EV in for the 10000 mile checkup, and as a result of several mishaps on the way down there, I arrived 2 hours late. Eddie, the Service Consultant, was very helpful and managed to get the service done including updating the Tesla firmware during the afternoon. Dianne, the fleet sales manager, took me under her wing, kept me company with interesting conversation for over an hour, and even offered me the use of her personal car while mine was charging. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a complete charge, but I drove to a mall, charge up, and arrive home at 1:30 am with only one bar and 13 miles left on the GOM.

The villain was Frontier Toyota of Valencia, but more about them later.

I left home with an extended charge and drove to the Flying J station in Frazier Park. Unfortunately my 16’ cable was too short for use at that station (they provide 14-30 plugs for trucks, but I have a portable L2 charger that can plug in).

I next drove to Nissan of Valencia and the service people let me charge for an hour, until 9am. The sales manager came at 9 and demanded that I remove the Toyota.

I drove down the block to Frontier Toyota and was politely told to GET LOST. It is apparently their policy to not allow anyone to use their charger. I explained that I had to drive to Carson the service the car, but they couldn’t care less.

I crossed the street to a Chevy dealer, but they refused to allow a non-GM car to use their chargers. Apparently they didn’t want me to take a look at their cars while I was charging.

Finally I drove to Northridge Fashion Mall where they have three L2 chargers, a Clipper Creek and two Voltas. After a 1.5 hour charge I drove on to Carson Toyota. Carson has four chargers, including one out front. In the evening, they even moved a PiP so that I could use the charger.

Carson Toyota epitomizes what an excellent Toyota dealer should be. Frontier is the opposite, and their actions would prevent me from ever coming back to them should I be looking to buy another car.


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 Post subject: Re: A tale of two Toyota dealerships
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:45 am
Posts: 15
Sean, I am so sorry to hear of the inexcusable actions of Toyota of Carlsbad. I am incredibly sorry to tell you your experience is all too common. That is a total shame! Those of us who believe in preserving our environment while still enjoying a high-performance ride sometimes forget how many people act like scum. I am so glad you took the time to share your experience. I for one, would not set foot on Toyota of Carlsbad's lot if they were giving cars away.

Here is what happened to me. These are my notes from a dealership that rivals Toyota of Carlsbad for worst of the worst. On 1/1/2014 I drove to Manhattan Beach Toyota (MBT) to top off charge my RAV4 EV because my house (and EVSE) in El Segundo experienced a power outage (hundreds of customers lost power) starting at approx 2:40 a.m. A worker at Manhattan Beach Toyota, Carlos, told me that the manager said that I could not charge my EV at Manhattan Beach Toyota because I did not buy it at Manhattan Beach Toyota. I asked to see the manager, but Carlos said the manager was busy (the manager was in the bathroom). I entered the Manhattan Beach Toyota showroom and a very helpful salesperson showed me the EV charger. Even though the charger appeared to be locked, it was not locked. The helpful salesperson assisted me in connecting my EV to the charger. I waited a while, and then again entered the showroom, and requested to see the manager. The manager, Noel, appeared and I asked Noel if he, in fact, had told Carlos that since I did not purchase my RAV4EV at Manhattan Beach Toyota, I was not allowed to charge at Manhattan Beach Toyota. Noel said yes, he told Carlos that. And Noel said it is the policy of Manhattan Beach Toyota that only Manhattan Beach Toyota purchased vehicles are allowed to charge at Manhattan Beach Toyota. I disconnected my RAV4 EV and left after documenting the interaction.

Foolishly, on my part, I thought that since Toyota dealers had to be specially trained and approved to sell the RAV4EV, there would be a helpful and caring attitude toward Toyota EV owners--WRONG! I checked with Toyota Corporate to see if the way I was treated at Manhattan Beach Toyota was consistent with Manhattan Beach Toyota being a certified Toyota EV dealer. Here are my notes from that conversation: "Casey at Toyota Corp case#1401021795 - dealer can do what they want."

Here is the real story. There are wonderful supportive dealers like Carson Toyota or Marina Del Rey Toyota that welcome us with open arms. They go out of their way to be ambassadors of good will. These are the dealers I will support. When it comes to Manhattan Beach Toyota, I tell everyone who will listen, exactly what happened to me by their MANAGER, Noel. Fortunately for me, they had a sales person, who didn't get the memo that I was some sort of leper to be shunned. I am not a person who wishes ill-will on anyone, but I would shed no tears if Manhattan Beach Toyota folded tomorrow because of their lack of compassion for people in need.

I have purchased no less than, 12 new Toyotas over the years. Thank goodness none of them were purchased from Manhattan Beach Toyota and, in my opinion, their worse-than-worthless, "manager" Noel.

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 Post subject: Re: A tale of two Toyota dealerships
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:36 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area, CA
ekcanzano wrote:
Foolishly, on my part, I thought that since Toyota dealers had to be specially trained and approved to sell the RAV4EV, there would be a helpful and caring attitude toward Toyota EV owners--WRONG! I checked with Toyota Corporate to see if the way I was treated at Manhattan Beach Toyota was consistent with Manhattan Beach Toyota being a certified Toyota EV dealer. Here are my notes from that conversation: "Casey at Toyota Corp case#1401021795 - dealer can do what they want."

Sorry to hear about your bad experienecs.

Re: the bolded part, yeah, unfortunately, that's pretty much true. Due to state franchise laws, automakers can't own dealerships. So, they automakers only have so much control... Good that you let Toyota corporate know and that they have a documented case on record.

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 Post subject: Re: A tale of two Toyota dealerships
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:01 am 
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Location: Corona del Mar, Ca.
Try to contact John Elway since he's the owner or a partner of the dealership, I betcha he wouldn't be to happy about the whole ordeal.....

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