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Steve ASKED THE GUIDE

Holden Astra: Unhappy with dealer process

We read a newspaper article about demo Holden Astras going for $17,990 drive-away, we were pretty impressed with the car and decided to buy a red one for my wife. She got a quote from our local dealer and then on the spur of the moment also contacted the dealer near her office for another opinion, as we were not entirely happy with the price our local guys were offering for the trade. She dropped in to the second dealer after work to test drive the car, said she wanted a red LS and that we were ready to do a deal, and they said she could take the demo overnight. She dropped the demo back at 8.30 am the next day and reiterated that we were ready to do a deal. They didn't get back in touch until nearly lunchtime with a trade-in price and loan repayments. I had to request specific details about the car they were offering, colour, price, compliance dates etc. and then the usual games started such as “unfortunately another rep has just sold the last red one, we can give you a white one for the same price”, so after a few emails to and fro I decided to stick with the original dealer. I sent an email to the second dealer thanking him and advising that we were going to buy from another dealer. The dealer who provided the loan car then became quite nasty towards us after we politely declined their offer and signed off with WOFT at the end of the email. Internet slang is "waste of f****ing time". When my wife returned the loan car she put $10 worth of petrol in it out of courtesy to bring the fuel gauge back up to the level it was when she took the car and despite this, the dealer has now advised us that "We will be sending you a Tax invoice for the fuel that you used by taking our car for a test drive and wasting our time". This seems to be a very spiteful reaction. Is this how car sales people still do business? The Holden brochure says that we have the right to test drive for up to 24 hours with "no pressure and no hard sell". I am extremely disappointed and wish to speak to someone as soon as possible about this. My wife has found this incident very upsetting. I emailed Holden's customer care department yesterday, but have not yet had a response.

I can understand your anger at receiving such a rude response, and your desire to register it with Holden. It's best done through direct contact with the company, and the Holden Customer Care (1800 46 465 336) is the best place to start. Being Christmas it might take a little longer for them to respond.

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