In looking at car pricing online after work on 10/20/2014, I ran across Grapevine Ford's website showing the following car for sale: A 2014 Ford Focus 4-door Sedan with a 2.0L I-4 cyl engine, 6-Speed Auto-Shift transmission, Tuxedo Black exterior, Charcoal Black interior, VIN # 1FADP3E20EL406154, Model Code P3E, Stock # EL406154, showing an MSRP of $18,730.00, but a "Grapevine Price" of $13,528.00. I called the listed phone # (877-413-8184) and spoke with Kris Weatherspoon, who checked and confirmed that the vehicle was available and that the price of $13,528.00 was correct, that the car was new, and that it had been on the lot for a total of 24 days. I scheduled an appointment for approximately 30-minutes to one-hour later, allowing for driving time from Fort Worth to Grapevine, and set out for Grapevine Ford. On arriving, I spoke with the receptionist, who paged Kris several times. When he didn't show immediately, I wandered around the showroom looking over display cars. Some thirty minutes later, Kris came onto the floor, introduced himself as a manager, and immediately handed me off to a salesman (whose name I've forgotten,) who would "take care of" me. After my wife joined me, the salesman took down our information and took the key to my trade-in 2009 Kia Rio, so its trade-in value could be determined, while he set up the paperwork for the sale. Then everything started going downhill. The staff couldn't find the key for the advertised vehicle...or the advertised vehicle. Kris stepped in at one point to say that "probably" meant the vehicle had not been prepped for sale yet, and that he would have it the following day... At that point, the salesman began "looking for alternate vehicles" in the same price range...coming up with another Ford Focus in the $15,000.00+ range, and a couple of other vehicles in the $17,000.00+ range. When those didn't work, the salesman brought out a 2012 Ford sedan in the $13,000.00+ category... As soon as the salesman started looking for other options, all pretense at having the original vehicle offered seemingly evaporated, as we never heard another word about it... Finally, after getting us to tentatively consider a vehicle in the $15,000.00+ range, and having fished for information on trade-ins offered by other dealerships (to which my wife told him that Moritz Kia had offered $9,000.00 and CarMax had offered $8,000.00,) and after determining the pay-off on the trade-in (approximately $200.00,) the salesman came back with the trade-in offer of $1,000.00!!! I immediately told him we were walking. The salesman indicated that was an initial offer only, and that he realized it was "insulting." He asked that we wait while he worked with the office to see what he could come up with as a subsequent offer...and then proceeded to work on us to see what sort of down payment we could offer in addition to the trade-in, and began working us through payment amounts based on the total down payment, during which he several times "forgot" that we had a trade-in to consider in determining the potential loan balance and payment size. After another 45 minutes of that, he went back to the office, and came back telling us that "they" simply wouldn't offer more than the initial amount of $1,000.00 for the trade-in. I told my wife we were leaving. As we were going out the door, another man came out of the office, and, without identifying himself, stated that he understood we didn't like the offer, and suggested that we return to CarMax and sell them the car for the $8,000.00 offered, if the "offer was still good," and then return to purchase whatever vehicle we wanted from Grapevine Ford.
I have never seen such a flagrant display of the old "bait-and-switch" tactic, and have never been low-balled by any dealership like this. Bottom line: No one can pay me enough to return to Grapevine Ford -- even if they were to "find" the bait vehicle offered in the ad. Feel free to contact me for my take on this.
Final note: I don't normally complain about pricing and sales -- in fact this is the only company that I have ever complained about using social media and/or complaint sites. In this case, I think it entirely appropriate, and I feel strongly enough about this experience to file complaints.
Reason of review: Bait-and-Switch Advertising.
Preferred solution: Inform potential buyers and get the company to change its sales tactics for others. I'm not interested in buying anything from this company..
I didn't like: Bait-and-switch advertising, Poor customer service, Low-balling on trade-in value, Upselling, Being handed off to someone else, Lack of punctuality.