If you want a Honda in the Houston area, I encourage you to avoid John Eagle Honda. I highly recommend contacting Ali Fard at Russell & Smith Honda, or almost any other dealer. Ali gave us the most competitive quote right away, worked quickly and never surprised us.
John Eagle has been using the typical slippery sales tactics for well over a decade. They offer seemingly good prices via email, then tack on $2,000 or so of non-optional options (yes, that’s what I meant) such as paint sealant (aka wax), fabric protection, etc.
They use the tactic of deliberately making you wait to see how eager you are to buy the car. Don’t let any dealer get away with that. Let them know that your time is valuable.
John Eagle will continually remind you about their service department and how allegedly swell it is, but that ignores a few very important things:
- When buying a car, you are dealing with the sales department, not the service department. Different departments with different levels of customer satisfaction.
- Believe it or not, if you buy a Honda at another dealership the John Eagle Service Department will service your vehicle if you give them money in exchange. I am not making this up. Therefore, you don’t have to buy the car there to get their service.
- Their service department may have good ratings, but they are way over-priced. I can typically get the same services in less time and at less cost (sometimes as much as 2/3 less) at Christian Brothers Automotive.
Read their reviews at DealerRater.com to see what I mean. Here’s a good example:
Being a savvy shopper, I asked for pricing quotes for a new Honda from all the major dealers in the Houston area. I received an Internet quote from Terry, who is the Internet Sales Manager.
Upon my arrival at John Eagle, Terry was unaware of the number of the vehicles he had in stock of the model I wanted. Second, he was unfamiliar with their location around the small John Eagle lot. He was amiable during our test drive, but when we arrived back in a cubicle to negotiate, I discovered a very traditional car salesman with many years of experience.
Every tactic to pad the sale in favor of the dealership was used. The very classic model of trying to fudge numbers by making the deal seem like it was all tied to a monthly payment amount was the goal. When they low-balled my trade appraisal and I balked, he went back to “ask” the sales manager. Obviously all along everyone knew the numbers. This waiting game is sadly common in some dealerships. After 15 minutes, Terry happily came back to offer an additional $2,000 on my trade. Of course he could offer that much–the dealership was planning to make up for the money with non-optional options they’ve tacked on.
These “options” are things such as paint sealant (aka wax), fabric protectant (aka Scotchguard), Nitrogen-filled tires ($199 for air…hmm), data dots, and the list goes on. None of these items could be removed. All told, the extras inflated the pricing by nearly $2,000. When I informed Terry I was late for a meeting, he again disappeared for a few seconds and reappeared with a “closer”: Peggy. What a sad, worn-out sales gimmick. Then, when I finally was allowed to leave, both Terry and Peggy tried desperately to get me to commit to a time I would return that evening. Terry went so far as to offer a car to drive–all so I would come back ASAP before I talked with other dealers or did more research.
Another gimmick utilized was the phrase “up to”. If you haven’t researched this, I highly recommend Googling. Any time the customer gives a number, the salesman replies with “Up to?” in order to subliminally make the customer feel that they may need to offer more. Psychologically, it works very well, but it is a dishonest way to do business.
I happily purchased a new Honda from another Houston dealership that does not pressure their clients nor add extras to their vehicles to swindle customers. I feel badly for those who do not do homework and fall prey to the old-school, dishonest tactics used by John Eagle Honda.