"If you leave a deposit, ensure the manager is made aware"
I was in the market to downsize our large 7 seat SUV to a wagon or smaller SUV when I came across a used Volvo Wagon at Auto Gallery Subaru. My father was through Regina on business, so he dropped in to see Leander McLean and took the vehicle for a test drive, letting them know I was interested and would be in touch. The vehicle seemed to be in great condition and my wife and I were excited at the possibility. We called Auto Gallery and talked with Leander. The situation was thoroughly explained. We were serious buyers, but were leaving on Vacation the next day and couldn't make it down to Regina to purchase the vehicle until we returned.
I suggested we start processing the paperwork for the trade in right away, mark the vehicle as sold, and we would drive to Regina in the SUV to make the trade a few days after returning from vacation. Leander said it was not necessary to start paperwork, that it could be done when we drove to Regina to purchase the car. He suggested that we put a deposit down on the vehicle to hold it, he also told me that it was very low risk as they would remove the vehicle from the lot, could hold the vehicle for 3 days maximum with the deposit, and would give me right of first refusal on the vehicle. He passed me on to the finance department to get my information.
This is where I should have talked to the manager, to make sure Leander upheld his end of this verbal contract. But instead, I gave my deposit and went on vacation. I even upgraded my phone plan so that I could be contacted by the dealership if there was some interest on the vehicle. There was no reason why Leander couldn't have contacted me. I spent the week away, monitoring my phone, and there was no call. I assumed the vehicle was still waiting for me, booked a day off work, arranged for a baby sitter, and cleaned out my vehicle...getting it ready for trade.
I called Leander the day after we got back, it was a Monday, about mid-day. When I asked how things were going, I joked "I hope you still have that vehicle waiting around for me"...that's when he told me that it had been sold. Turns out shortly after I had given them my credit card information for the deposit, they had sold my vehicle. I had entered into a verbal contract with Auto Gallery Subaru, with exchange of value and defined conditions (3 days held, off the lot, right of first refusal) and they had broken our agreement almost immediately. Not only that, they didn't bother to call me and inform me of their mistake, I had to call them.
Unreal. Leander, this is not the way to conduct business big guy. You're allowed to make mistakes, but buddy, you are in customer service...that's your job and why you make commission...to serve the customer. The SECOND that vehicle was sold, you had an obligation to me, a paying customer, to at a bare minimum give me a call and explain yourself. After our phone call, you should have communicated to your team that the vehicle was conditionally sold. You should have removed it from the lot as you said you would. You should have ensured that the deposit was processed. You should have contacted your manager to let them know the deal you just entered into as a representative of Subaru Auto Gallery. By all accounts, it appears that you didn't do any of this. My business is more than just a commission for you Leander, it's positive press for your employer, its your chance to actually help a family out and put them in a vehicle they will love...have some pride in your job and make it more than just a commission.
So, why 3 stars? why not 1 star? Well after protesting on the phone to Leander, I asked to speak to his manager. Josh Jors stepped in and did his best to mitigate the situation. Josh handled himself well, was apologetic, and made a good effort to find me another vehicle on their lot that would work. Unfortunately nothing interested us enough to make the trip out to Regina. Had it not been for Josh's intervention, the rating would have been 1 star.
The lessons learned here: if you make a deal with a salesman at Auto Gallery, ask to speak to the manager and make sure they are aware. Assuming Leander is the typical employee of Auto Gallery, the Salesman only sees you as a commission, but the manager has a vested interest in making the customer happy. Protect your deal and get the managers endorsement right away.