Friday, February 08, 2008

Does Infiniti mean Forever or Never?

I've been thinking about getting a new car and some of my buddies have recommended the Infiniti G35. So I eagerly checked out the specifications, determined what I wanted, and decided to do some price shopping. Logical, right? Easy, right? Uh-huh.

I went to their website www.infiniti.com and ran through it and came up with a couple of close by dealers: Winner Infiniti in Newark, DE and JBA near Baltimore, MD. Since my belief is that it's a good idea to get a feel for the marketplace before making a purchase of this size, I sent the specification to both dealers and asked for quotes last week. Neither car dealer has provided me pricing yet. Winner won't even respond to emails or phone calls. Three JBA salespeople have called me, but none will provide me a price. Rachel at JBA told me she would get me a price, but could not get the color I wanted, since they didn't have it on the lot. I asked, "Does that mean you can't order it? People used to be able to order cars with different features?" According to Rachel I am unable to order a car from the factory that I would like. If we don't have it right here, you can't have it, is their motto, I guess. By the way she has not sent me a price yet either.

What happened to customer service? Why can't I order a car I want from Infiniti? What is so difficult about providing a price? We hear all the time from customers who are amazed at how quickly Zerowait comes back with a quote for them. They tell us it can take two weeks sometimes to get pricing out of other storage vendors. Has the inability to price items become passe`? Is Zerowait so unique? Is business so good that vendors can afford to just diss their customer quote requests?

I wonder why dealers can't provide a price quote immediately--for cars or storage. Right now, I wonder what the street price of a G35 is. Can you imagine if NetApp made it this hard to order a filer or parts. Wait-- they do! I wonder if Infiniti and NetApp have the same programming team working on their "Quoter" tools.

2 comments:

easel said...

I've heard the way to make this happen is to fax blast an exact list of your specifications to the sales manager's at all your local dealers, indicating what you're willing to pay. Typically, invoice +a small amount as per edmunds.com is a good way to make an offer. I know people claim to have bought BMW's successfully following this method.

If only there was enough market to pull that off with IT hardware =P

Anonymous said...

I'd recommend the invoice + little method for a new car, if you can get the invoice price. In shopping for a used sports sedan now, I've found it's a more nebulous game, but most of the BMW dealers post their prices online, and I've been comparing those with what Kelly Blue Book (KBB.com)says should be expected for a dealer-offered/private sale/ trade-in price. I've found it to be helpful. I was thinking of looking at a G35 as a non-BMW option, but it doesn't sound like that fun an experience.