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Interesting Dealer Experience!

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Bob Zambelli, Feb 6, 2021.

  1. Bob Zambelli

    Bob Zambelli F1 Rookie
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    Nov 3, 2003
    3,007
    Manning, SC
    Full Name:
    Robert G. Zambelli
    A few months ago, I was on my way to a model airplane contest in Canton, Georgia. Since my route took me very close to Ferrari of Atlanta, I decided to stop in and look around. I was, of course, driving my 330 GTC. While parked outside making a few phone calls, a fellow came up to the car and we chatted a bit.

    Sidenote: FOA started out as FAF Motorcars in Tucker, Georgia. I bought my GTC from them in November of 1975. It was the first twelve cylinder car they sold.

    Anyhow, I asked the gent if I could go in and look around and he said it would be fine. I spent around fifteen minutes walking around the showroom looking at various newer cars BUT here is where I was a bit disappointed: While looking around, not one person approached me to see in what I was interested or did I have any questions. Nobody! It was not even lunch hour. On the way out, a fellow asked if that was my GTC and I responded. He made a nice comment on the car and walked away.

    I walked out a bit puzzled. I had only been in one other Ferrari showroom (Ferrari of Tampa) since 1975 so I really was not familiar with their protocols. In all honesty, I could have been a potential customer. Arriving in my GTC showed that I was not a “window shopper” but a genuine Ferrari enthusiast.

    As I stated, since I had visited only two Ferrari showrooms in the last 45 years, I couldn’t help wondering if an experience like this is typical.

    For what it’s worth, I have heard nothing but top-rated comments about FOA. Never anything negative.

    Have any of you had similar experiences with other Ferrari dealerships?

    Bob Z.
     
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  3. Drson

    Drson Karting

    Mar 18, 2018
    113
    Southeast
    Full Name:
    John Galt
    I was in Atlanta and had a very similar experience....nice folks but it seems that most Ferrari dealerships sell a lot of their cars online or from previous very loyal customers....they say that they very rarely sell F cars to customers browsing the showroom....

    They have serviced my car and they are definitely top notch....I’ll be taking my car over to them later this year...

    They are also very prompt and courteous when I email the service department...
     
  4. 96redLT4

    96redLT4 Formula Junior

    Feb 20, 2009
    439
    California
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    Jim
    Umm. I think that is the experience most people have with most Ferrari dealerships. It seems hard to even get people to call/email you back. I think the general attitude is you either want the car or you don't....
     
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  5. Nospinzone

    Nospinzone F1 Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    5,695
    Weston, MA
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    Paul
    I think in fairness to the salespeople in a Ferrari dealership, they get more than their fair share of tire kickers. If someone is genuinely interested in buying a Ferrari, they pretty much know which model they want. A customer walking around the sales floor eyeing a Portofino and a Pista obviously has no idea what they want and probably is not a serious buyer at this point.

    Unless you are a regular customer of the dealership, I think it is more appropriate to call ahead and tell a salesperson what model you are interested in seeing. I think if you do that, you will receive their full and undivided attention.
     
  6. Ianjoub

    Ianjoub Formula Junior

    Dec 22, 2019
    724
    Homosassa, FL USA
    Full Name:
    Ian Joubert
    I have been in Ferrari of Tampa Bay several times. I just had my 458 in there for a new windshield. Every time I have been in there, the staff have been friendly, attentive, and helpful. I was quite impressed as a matter of fact. I don't believe anyone there 'knows me' on sight.

    Last time in, to pick up the car:

    They offered us beverages from the lounge.
    My wife needed the restroom. Someone walked her over there, didn't just point to it.
    Although a service rep was 'handling' me, a sales person came over to ask if we needed anything.

    They seemed to pride themselves on customer care.

    P.S. I showed up in a 10 year old F-150 with a dent or 2 in it.
     
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  8. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
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    Jul 1, 2013
    10,065
    Menlo Park, CA
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    Paul Chua
    I've found that this does not bother me. Only when I ask for help and I get sub-par treatment do I feel any umbrage. For the most part, I actually like being left alone strangely enough.
     
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  9. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota F1 Rookie
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    May 29, 2019
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    Hopefully some place nice.
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    A.B
    Feel the same way. If I'm at a new place, I prefer to browse on my own.

    I like the idea that the first I meet ask what I'm there for, but I get turned off when I have three or four guys that linger and keep asking me. I know they are trying to assist me and that they all want the possible sale, but it can easily become a bit much.

    Now at my dealer, I have never experienced anyone not being greeted and asked about if they needed assistance etc. People are always offered something from the bar lounge etc. If someone is there to browse, sometimes they are ket alone, and sometimes it turns into a chat thing.

    But I've yet to see a single person be neglected in any way like this. As,a bare minimum one of the receptionist will greet you as the first thing - and that in itself is usually very nice;)

    Sent from my SM-G930F using FerrariChat.com mobile app
     
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  10. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
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    Jul 1, 2013
    10,065
    Menlo Park, CA
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    Paul Chua
    Good point! At the very least the receptionist has always greeted me. That's enough service for me the time being - considering if I do want to buy, I would be in contact with the rep anyway.
     
  11. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota F1 Rookie
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    May 29, 2019
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    Hopefully some place nice.
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    A.B
    That's the thing. I spend a lot of time at my dealer just stopping by. I usually just see if there's anything new to see and the take a seat in the bar and talk shop. 9 out of 10 times I call my rep on the way just as a heads up. More like a friendly thing I guess.

    If I'm there and want to go for the big browse, I ask as it involves a few security codes to the locked storage areas. But are usually left on my own after getting keyed in.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using FerrariChat.com mobile app
     
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  13. A348W

    A348W Formula 3

    Jun 28, 2017
    1,455
    North Wiltshire, UK
    Similar in the Uk to the above experiences. If I just drop by they will get me a drink etc but tend to leave me to wonder unless I have something specific to chat about in which case they will always take time.

    If I call ahead or I’m in dropping off or picking up one of my cars they are very helpful and will show me around, the new cats, second hand cars, workshops, have a good chat etc etc. Always very helpful and actually just a really pleasant experience.

    In very stark contrast to Audi,mini, Bmw, etc, where 1/2 the time you feel you have stepped into a Only Fools and Horses episode!!!
     
  14. henryr

    henryr F1 World Champ
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    Nov 10, 2003
    18,267
    Atlanta
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    Juan Sánchez Villa-L
    things are not done the way they once were......
     
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  15. Shark01

    Shark01 F1 Rookie

    Jun 25, 2005
    3,975
    Yes, 15 years ago I made a couple Saturday trips to Ferrari of Houston to inquire about new Maseratis and used 360s. I was a buyer (in fact bought a car a few months later)....crickets both times. Then the guys here said you should make an appointment. So I did that, and was stood up two Saturdays in a row.

    That wasn't an acceptable level of service for me so I haven't been back.
     
  16. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    Dec 12, 2005
    12,983
    Atlanta
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    Tom Spiro
    Ferrari Of Atlanta is very professional. If as you stated you spoke with someone and asked if you can go in and look around - most likely the message was noted, and that you are visiting and looking vs. enquiring about a car. I've been at FOA on very busy days and on sleepy days ( I'm known to the dealer ) but have seen everyone addressed as they enter the showroom, and asked if they need help. My guess is if you arrive in a GTC - that makes a considerable statement - and the staff knows a classic Ferrari owner is in the store. If you were just in to make calls, and take a look... that was likely noted as well. had you been interested in something I know the team up there would be happy to help, it would have just required one word to the receptionist.

    The truth be told owners of Classic Ferrari's like yours in today's market -seem to have their own Ferrari "connections" so it would be likely if you wanted a new or newer car the supposition is you would have your own connections to a dealer that may or may not be FOA.

    the GTC is one of my favorite Ferrari's.... you're a lucky guy.
     
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  17. Thecadster

    Thecadster F1 Rookie
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    Apr 27, 2017
    4,129
    For once, I agree with Spirot.
     
  18. Scudmsl

    Scudmsl Formula Junior
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    Aug 12, 2014
    556
    USA
    I have had nothing but positive experiences during my many visits to FoA. They definitely err on the side of giving you space to browse and are never high pressure. It’s definitely part of their culture as they are friendly, unassuming people from top to bottom in their ownership/management, sales, and service organizations. But whenever I have a question or need anything, they are always happy to assist.
     
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  19. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    Dec 12, 2005
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    Tom Spiro
    If you want to feel ignored go to Ferrari Newport beach, or one in Las Vegas... or the dealer in London on Knightsbridge... but I was not going to buy so I did not mind. I will say that Brahman in Miami was one of the nicest dealers ... I went in to check out a Bugatti Chiron... and the manager once he found out I was a car guy - Ferrari owner - invited me into the roped-off Bugatti area ... to get an up-close look sadly the car was sold so I could not sit in it.
     
  20. RedTaxi

    RedTaxi Formula 3
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    Mar 1, 2012
    1,838
    New Zealand
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    Glen
    I've been snubbed 3 times at our sole Ferrari dealership. The first time was during the actual purchase of a 360. Dealer went off to help another customer and left me waiting. I nearly walked but i wanted the car. 2nd and third times were by a different salesman who mid conversation went off to talk to another customer/browser. They are very loyal and attentive to their wealthy repeat customers when they see them. A pleb like me buying a used 360 or my now 430 don't rate very highly. Service department though is much better. I get on great with the techs. Blue collar like me.
     
  21. Rosso328

    Rosso328 F1 Veteran
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    Dec 11, 2006
    6,079
    Central FL
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    Paul
    Pre COVID BS, I used to drop in and visit Ferrari dealers all across the country whenever I happened to be in the area on business and had a few hours to kill. (My Ferrari of Denver hat from 2006 finally bit the dust a while back. I miss that one. It fit perfectly.)

    Maybe 20 years ago, but not since then have I ever been ignored or snubbed. I was routinely greeted at the door and asked how they could help me.

    Being honest, I always said something like “I’m just here window shopping between meetings. But if I have questions, can I ask you?”

    Never had a bad experience.
     
  22. Wikdstrate

    Wikdstrate Karting
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    Mar 25, 2013
    225
    New York
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    Alec
    I have also never had a bad experience at a Ferrari dealer. Spend most of my time at Ferrari of New England but the best experience I've ever had was when I was on vacation with my wife in CA.

    I stopped-in to peruse at Ferrari Westlake. Mind you it was late morning on a Tuesday but I chatted with the manager for over an hour about Ferrari's, the history of Ferrari, and just cars in general. I made it clear that I wasn't necessarily looking to buy a car. The folks at the dealer went out of their way to make me feel welcome even though they knew I wasn't going to buy a car that day.

    If you ever want to feel really ignored or downright insulted, just pop into a Range Rover dealer without an appointment. By far the worst salespeople I've ever encountered!

    When I'm seriously looking to make a purchase, I call ahead to schedule an appointment. I make it clear when I call that I have limited time available, I expect their full attention, and that I don't want to waste time at a dealer with poor customer service.
     
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  23. 3POINT8

    3POINT8 F1 Rookie

    Jan 23, 2014
    2,546
    I think that's a great experience. I love going into dealerships and not being bothered. Plus if you needed help you could have asked for it. You said you wanted to look around they said sure and that was that. You didn't say you were interested in buying anything and it appears you weren't.
     

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