The Real Reason Auto Sales Climb At Auto Show Time

January 31, 2008 by Josh · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Customer Service 

This past weekend I had the chance to visit the Toledo Auto Show at the Seagate center and sit in numerous new vehicles. The show was a pleasant experience, I got to sit in numerous cars I cannot afford, met some Jeep enthusiasts. I also had a chance to discuss the fact that Yark Automotive Group in Toledo Ohio sold us an ‘05 Equinox which had a major and potentially fatal safety issue with someone from Chevy corporate. The individual gave us advice on getting the problem resolved. A few things bother me about the setup of the Toledo Auto show but for now I’ll focus on the perception that the shows will increase sales due to .

Every time I have heard mention of the any of the big auto shows the author referred to an increase in sales for all of the local dealers. Many people pin this increase on the dealer incentives which usually increase near the time of local auto shows. I believe that the real reason sales increase post auto show is for a completely different reason! I cannot think of any other environment in which the consumer has such unfettered access to all of these vehicles in a low pressure setting. Good luck showing up on any dealership lot and hoping in and out of every model on the lot without getting a high pressure sales pitch.

In short sales increase not due to incentives or general the excitement of consumers but because consumers can get in and at least partially experience all kinds of makes and models without any pressure.  I’ll be following up later this week with a method for dealers to replicate the low pressure environment and boost car sales, all while having happy and satisfied customers.

My Phantom Cable Box

December 28, 2007 by Josh · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Customer Service 


This evening we received our Time Warner bill which was kindly padded with 3 random DVR and HD charges and a viewing of Transformers.  After 10 minutes on hold a rep “kindly” explained that we had in fact purchased Transformers and watched 2 hours worth of it on November 30th.  the Time Warner “eyeglass” apparently allows them to see the minutia of details regarding movie on demand purchases.  This “eyeglass” allows the rep to see not only when the movie was purchased but also each pause, fast forward, rewind etcetera.  After assuring me that a. I had purchased Transformers and b. she couldn’t refund the charge I switched gears to the multiple DVR and HD tier charges.

After trying to explain that I had a guaranteed package price for another 6 or so months I finally had the rep explain to my why I was being charged for an additional half a month.  After much back and forth we finally determined that Time Warner shows a Phantom 4250 cable box in our house which was assigned in September a a free promo.  Problem is in September we had a tech out to check line strength and when he closed the case our current box was disassociated from the account rendering it useless.  Either the tech or the rep who reneabled the account added the box and a 3 month promo to our account.  If teh tech did it maybe it is sitting in his house ordering movies all day, if it was the rep then my money is on a commission or a required sell rate.  This magical box was also the box that ordered Transformers.

The rep wanted to schedule a visit so that a cable company rep could verify that we weren’t stashing a cable box in the closet.  After Amber volunteered to empty the closets so that Time Warner knew we weren’t hold’n the rep’s second supervisor saw the futility in a visit.  Thankfully they are “looking into it” and will get in touch within a week or as soon as they track down the box’s location in the Time Warner system.   Normally I’d want the issue solved on the first call but it seems out there enough that I’ll give them a week, besides I need to focus on the car dealer who owes us for the repair on a our new vehicle which was sold with a potentially fatal safety issue. An Example in Customer Satisfaction

November 27, 2007 by Josh · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Customer Service 

While talking with my friend who had recently received an order from she told me that she received a call from the webstore to say they were sending her a second shipment of the same item.  Apparently they have had a large number of complaints about shipments arriving broken so they re-shipped any order which may have been affected.  She was especially excited by the promptness of the company.  RedEnvelope also does not appear to be asking for any items which aren’t broken to be returned.

This is an excellent example of a company doing the right thing especially in a holiday season.  Good job Red Envelope, you just gained a place in my places to shop bookmark folder.  To other companies, being proactive and using an actual human rather than a voicemail or email are good steps, please begin to follow suit.