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Re: Tampa Bay dealers (archive)

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Posted by North Florida on September 15, 2001 at 23:59:44:

In Reply to: Tampa Bay dealers posted by Eric on September 15, 2001 at 13:43:24:

Here is a letter I wrote to Mr. Ferman, with no response of course !

James L Ferman Jr. &
Russell M. Zaralban
c/o Sunshine Chevrolet-Oldsmobile Of Tarpon Springs, Inc.
d/b/a Ferman BMW of Palm Harbor
1307 West Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33606

Mr. Ferman,

I had an experience at your Ferman BMW car dealership in Palm Harbor, Florida on Sunday, February 8th, 1999 at about 1200 noon that I feel compelled to bring to your attention.

I had been shopping for a used 1997 BMW M3 for over two weeks and had test driven so many of them, I no longer needed to drive one any further, as I wanted to purchase one immediately. I had been shopping all across North and Central Florida for an M3, looking at numerous dealerships and answering advertisements in newspapers.

Then, on Saturday night, February 7th, 1999, I was spending the night at a friends house in Palm Harbor. At about midnight we took a stroll through your BMW dealership's parking lot. I saw a '97 white M3 that I just about fell in love with and quickly determined that I would be first at the dealership when it opened the next morning at twelve noon.

Well, Sunday morning at about 11:45 A.M. I arrived at the dealership and was met at the door by one of your sales staff only known to me as Fred, Last Name Refused. Fred immediately displayed an arrogant and unprofessional attitude towards me for reasons I am still unable to determine.

Fred told me many untruths, which is basically a nice way to say he lied to me several times. Shortly afterward, I was introduced to your Finance and Business Manager named Russ. Russ displayed a very business like demeanor and I appreciated his level of professionalism. Russ and I came close to an agreement on a price to purchase this BMW and he suggested that I work out the difference with Fred.

Fred and I then went into his office and came to an agreement on a price to purchase this BMW. While completing the written contract to purchase, Fred got mad at me when I caught him in another lie. Fred abruptly got up and told me that he was going to report me to Russ. Fred then said that he had a 540i customer in another office and left me alone in a sales cubicle. I never saw Fred again since then. No business card, no hand shake, no thank you, not even a goodbye.

Ferman BMW of Palm Harbor
Page 2 of 2

After waiting an extended period of time, I walked into the display floor area and told another sales staff person that I was extremely surprised at the level of unprofessional behavior Fred displayed and I did not understand how to purchase a car at this dealership. This person left and went into a back office.

Within minutes, Russ came out to the display showroom and met with me to discuss the closing on the BMW. I told Russ that I was disappointed in the manner in which Fred had treated me as a customer. Russ, in an attempt to strike a balance between loyalty to his employee and pleasing a customer, told me that Fred really did have a customer who wanted to purchase a 540i. I asked Russ "I guess I'm not a customer who wants to purchase a M3 ?"

Upon further discussion with Russ and an agreement on the price for the BMW, I told Russ that I just could not walk out of this dealership right now and feel good with myself about purchasing this BMW under these conditions. I explained that my decision was based solely upon the way I have been treated as a customer at Ferman BMW. I told Russ under that under the current circumstances, I felt it was prudent for me to sleep on this purchase decision for a single night. I left Ferman BMW of Palm Harbor and that afternoon drove back to Gainesville.

On Monday, February 9th, 1999, I went into Direct Imports BMW dealership of Gainesville and was treated with the level of professionalism that any BMW owner would expect. Within one hour, I purchased a '97 BMW M3 from Direct Imports (see attached sales invoice.)

Prior to delivery of my M3, I was offered an opportunity to purchase the keyless remote option from Direct Imports and have it installed. Prior to selecting this purchase decision, I wanted to check other BMW dealerships to verify the price of this option was equal to current market value from other BMW dealerships in North and Central Florida.

I called several BMW dealerships as I had a pocket full of BMW business cards. I then called Ferman BMW of Palm Harbor and asked for the service department when the receptionist answered. I was told "They are too busy to talk to you now !" I then asked the receptionist if she could provide me the telephone number for the BMW dealership located in St. Pete. I was told "No, I can't do that !"

Well, I hung up the telephone and wondered if the receptionist was related to Fred.

Just thought you ought to know,

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