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Discussion Starter #1
How I spent my day, yesterday:
1.Started out by calling the good guy salesman at the little car dealer on the southern edge of town that had verbally promised to sell me a Solstice at MSRP a month ago. He was the "Internet Sales Manager" and, because he had never heard of the Early Order Program, knew they were not enrolled. Problem was he'd need authorisation from someone above him to spend the $295. Hed get back to me.
2. Waited a couple of hours and called another dealer, this time on the eastern edge of town, and found out, they were enrolled and I'd be second on their list. Said I'd try else where but might get back to them.
3. Called three other dealers, each time only talking to salesmen, none had heard of the Early Order Program, but would call me back when they found out if their dealership was enrolled. None called back.
4. Called the Monster dealer near me (where I had wasted an hour or so at previously only to find out they wanted more than MSRP). The salesman called me back in a few minutes to say they were enrolled but there were two people ahead of me.
5. At 2:00PM, called back number 1. Was told his boss wouldn't be back till 3:00 and he'd call me back when he had permission to enroll.
6. At 4:00, (not hearing back from any of the above) called number 2 and said second on the list was better than nothing.

Got to the dealer (35 miles of rush hour traffic) with hard copies of the Program Summary and the 12 page RPO list. Good thing, as none of the people on the floor had heard of it. As I didn't know how to go to their GM website, showed them SolsticeForum.com (something none of them had heard of) and the files I had I had copied. All were amazed that they'd have to sell at MSRP. Marked up the RPO list with what I wanted (color:Sly, interior:Steel/Sand, all options except polished wheels, Onstar, XM and 6 disc changer).

Now the real fun begins:
Then the salesman just wrote on the bottom of the RPO list, "I have reviewed and double checked all the options above. I agree that this is the vehicle I want ordered." I was to sign that and that would be all I had to hold him. No ather paper work. Explained to him, repeatedly, that there was nothing that prevented him from ordering the car from his normal allotment and chargeing me $5000 over MSRP. After much persuasion, got him to let me add, "All attempts will be made to order this car during 2006 Solstice Early Order Program, one of the rules is not to exceed MSRP." I would, and wish, I had written more but I also was under pressure.
Then he hit me with the $1000 minumum deposit. Explained that I had expected to pay $500 and his reponse was he didn't want to get stuck with a car he couldn't sell!!!
I was just getting over that "fight or flee" adrenaline rush when the "General Sales Manager" came out of his throne room to shake my hand and clearly said, "We've already got a couple of people who want to buy a couple of those cars but I'm sure we'll get you one." I hit the roof. Said loudly as I was walking for the door, "I had been repeatedly told, I'd get the second one and didn't want to be third or fifth on their list." At the door, realized I'd be blowing what might be my only chance to get a first 1000 and they had all the cards. Apologized to the Sales Manager for my display of emotion, wrote them a check for $1000 and left.
Wasn't till I was having a beer to calm down at my daughters house near by that I realised I had not even been offered a receipt for the $1000.

Wish me luck as I've thrown myself at the mercy of the wolves. :willy:
 

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Dave, wow a bad day in deed. I'm surprised so many dealers are still out of the loop.

Sounds like the sales managers may know the most about this car and might be keeping a private little stash of customers? On the paperwork side I got very little myself. I got a small credit card receipt and the sales guys has been writing some basic stuff (name/address, basic options, etc) on that big multi-part sheet but I don't have a copy of that either. I guess as long as it's in the computer it's all good.

Even though people are ahead of you don't let that bug you. If you are there at 2pm on 4/15 and they are not I think you are in. Dealers may still be under the misconception that they have control over who gets what in the early order thing and I have the feeling they don't. A warm body there on 4/15 trumps all I say (no pun intended).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, or 1 PM Central. Know what you mean about "ya gets what we ship." But figure if I ask for a car most like what they showed at 2004 in Detroit, I might have a better chance of not being disappointed. Sounds like your leaning towards the 2005 car.
 

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mceb said:
Dave, wow a bad day in deed. I'm surprised so many dealers are still out of the loop.

Sounds like the sales managers may know the most about this car and might be keeping a private little stash of customers? On the paperwork side I got very little myself. I got a small credit card receipt and the sales guys has been writing some basic stuff (name/address, basic options, etc) on that big multi-part sheet but I don't have a copy of that either. I guess as long as it's in the computer it's all good.

Even though people are ahead of you don't let that bug you. If you are there at 2pm on 4/15 and they are not I think you are in. Dealers may still be under the misconception that they have control over who gets what in the early order thing and I have the feeling they don't. A warm body there on 4/15 trumps all I say (no pun intended).

I'm surprised they took a credit card for a down payment. All the dealerships of all makes around here have posted signs in the sales departments that state credit cards can't be used for down payments. Only cash or check. Here is why. Once you walk out of the dealership you can so easily cancel the credit transaction. If the credit transaction doesn't get 'settled' before you exceed your limit they don't get paid. If they are going to just "hold" your deposit then they lose some legal standing with an unprocessed credit transaction. Even if they don't cash the $500 check and hand it back to you either at delivery or if deal falls through their standing is better.
 

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Help for Dave

If you're still a little upset, schedule a meeting with the GM, coy the rules that explain the early order program, and when you get to him, explain that you were a little upset by a shark not handing you over to a more kowledgable sale consultant (that's what they call us.)

I'm going on a with this, so everyone PLEASE be careful with this...check out the attachment Dave, It wil give you a lt ov leverage if youstill have concerns, and IF they are enrolled. I find it hard to believe the salesman never hit the desk before before writing you up, though.

Gather your ammo, and wear a jacket, and ask for 3 things. 1. Proof that they are in the Early Order Program. 2. That they will honor the first come, first serve rule, (if that is the case, we still are a little unsure.) 3. That he issues a receipt & that it is refundable if you are not on the first order.

Then, maybe try calling a smaller dealership an hour or so out, and try to work something over the phone with the Sales Mgr. Explain what you wnat to happen, and on your terms. They may fax you an RPO sheet, fill it out, sign and send back. Just as a backup plan. Now if you feel more comfortable with a guy over, and you probably will, (we spend a lot of time on phone techniques,) If both both deposits are refundable at this point, buy the car from the guy you trust most. Check out the attachment.
 

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Maybe its only a Pennsylvania thing. One thing to consider though is if they take a credit card for $1000 it just cost them anywhere from $125-$300 to process the funds. By the way, brentil, like the new avatar. Now you just need to get the hood and trunk in motion. :cool:
 

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Oh, the joy of dealerships! I know its not fair to characterize all dealerships as bad, but it seems there are more dealerships that are difficult to deal with than there are dealerships that are pleasant to deal with. At least you have your place in line.

Wow. These stories make me wonder if it just wouldn't be easier to get a Saturn Sky in the end. They probably won't have a ton of information or knowledge until after production is running either, but at least their no haggle pricing and dealer practices are much easier to deal with than the typical GM franchise.
 

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Interesting...I made a $500 (refundable) deposit by credit card. They also told me I was the second one to put a deposit down. The sales/finance manager re-affirmed to me that they would sell the car to me at MSRP. The way I look at it is this....at 2pm on April 15th....even if there's someone else first on the deposit list...it's whosever order gets entered first. I'll be the first order entered by the dealer if I have my way....the only question is whether I can get one of those Apprentice ids.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
conejo148 said:
If you're still a little upset, schedule a meeting with the GM, copy the rules that explain the early order program, and when you get to him, explain that you were a little upset by a shark not handing you over to a more knowledgable sale consultant (that's what they call us.)

...ask for 3 things. 1. Proof that they are in the Early Order Program. 2. That they will honor the first come, first serve rule, (if that is the case, we still are a little unsure.) 3. That he issues a receipt & that it is refundable if you are not on the first order.
Thanks conejo148! I plan to do just that, tonight.
 

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general said:
Interesting...I made a $500 (refundable) deposit by credit card. They also told me I was the second one to put a deposit down. The sales/finance manager re-affirmed to me that they would sell the car to me at MSRP. The way I look at it is this....at 2pm on April 15th....even if there's someone else first on the deposit list...it's whosever order gets entered first. I'll be the first order entered by the dealer if I have my way....the only question is whether I can get one of those Apprentice ids.
Yup that's the way I read it too (first come first serve). The Apprentice IDs should be easy until the website has issues. You'll have from 9pm on 14th until 2pm on the 15th so get one. Of course the program is open until the 24th but I'm assuming you'll want a quick turnaround.

conejo148, thanks for the doc, answers a lot of questions that people have been having. I've also converted the Word do to PDF in case anyone doesn't have Word.
 

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Glad it helps. Just trying to help out the industry. I didn't even think to use acrobat, I'm on dial-up. Another point of interest, make sure you guys deal with a sales consultant who has viewed the GM Solstice broadcast on 23 MAR. It looks the early, inside track on how to maximize the campaign. I have have already blocked out my schedule, and plan on packing lunch that day. Yeah, a meal at work!!
 
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