Monday, August 9, 2010

It Isn't That Hard

I am in the process of trying to buy a new car. Being as I am a technical person, I am of course attempting to do so in the way that involves the least amount of human contact, especially when those humans are car salesmen. Most dealerships now list their cars on their web sites, and usually have handy "Click for Quote" buttons next to the pretty stock photos.

So I am somewhat amazed when not one but two different dealerships made the same kind of mistake in responding to the "Click for Quote" button. Here is one of the responses with dealership details redacted:

Hello Bill -

Welcome to xxxxxx, where car buying is fun! Get ready for a relaxed, informative and enjoyable online shopping experience.

Below please find my e-commerce price quote for your review:

2011 xxxxx xxxxx, U124906
Exterior color / Interior color .
With automatic manual transmission and the following options/upgrades:
The MSRP on this car is $.
The wholesale invoice on this car is $.
My #DEALERSHIP NAME# discount Internet shopping price is $ + TT&L.

The "xxxxx" parts are the parts I redacted. The other places where information appears to be missing, like the prices and colors - those were left out in the original message.

Now, I'm pretty sure that electronic form letters are not exactly cutting-edge technology. Taking information from one place and sticking in another is pretty much all that computers really do. So for two different auto dealerships, with two different back-end systems, to make this same kind of silly mistake doesn't really inspire a lot of confidence in their ability to do other tasks, like say, help me maintain my car.

Of course, there is also the other dealership that didn't even bother to reply. I guess business is really good for them, they can afford to ignore a customer?

Just amazing. Glad my tax dollars aren't going to bail these guys out.

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