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Twins Talk Discussion of Hinckley Triumph Twin related matters and topics.

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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A tale of two dealers..

Guys, I just experienced this, and I wanted to bounce it off your heads to see what you all think. Here's my story:

I just bought a new 2013 Thruxton- I talked a little bit about the deal I got in a different thread, so I won't go too much into the price of things.. I've wanted a Thruxton since I first saw them in 2005 or so. I sat on one at a dealer (a blue one) and I almost bought it, but I noticed the front brake master cylinder had leaked (maybe sloppy fill?) fluid on to the gas tank. I avoided that bike, but always liked the model. About 2 years ago, I found a deal on a 2006 Bonneville Black used at my local dealer. I was happy with the deal, it had low miles (2200) and the price was right. After a couple of years (loved the bike, but wanted that Thruxton look!) I decided I would trade the 2006 in on a new Thruxton.

I went to my local dealer, same one I bought the 2006 from, and talked to them. They said that they can't hardly get any, but if I wanted one, I could put 100 bucks down, and they'd get one for me in two or three weeks. I asked if something changed, if I'd lose my deposit. I was told "you can probably get it back", so I plunked 100 bucks down. This was in September.

3 weeks came and went, no calls from them, so I call. Was told bike is not in yet, expect it in mid-October. So, mid-October, I call back.. No bike yet, October 19 it was supposed to be on a ship, but it didn't come in..

Meanwhile, an out-of-state dealer, who I had called before I had put money down at my local dealer when I was calling around to see if anyone had them in stock, called almost every week to see if I wanted to buy a 2012 he had on the floor (I didn't, it was red, and I was set on black).. This same out-of-state dealer called, told me he just got a 2013 in Green, knew I was looking for one, and asked if he could text me a picture of it in their showroom. The picture worked on me, and I decided to go with the green.

Out-of-state dealer bought my trade in for a fair price, made me coffee, offered me pizza, took me on a tour of their facility, treated me like their next door neighbor! Could not have been happier with the deal, or the bike- I even got a free t-shirt too! By the way, the whole facility was spotless and well organized, the shop had multiple master techs, had a dyno, etc. etc. etc. Great place!! Rode it back home, and just yesterday got my tags fully switched over from my old bike (tag/title transfer at the MVA- I had a 30 day tag until then)

So, here's where I am getting curious- am I out of line or not: I just last night got an email out of the blue from the local dealer- saying my bike was finally in. I told them I bought the bike elsewhere, that they didn't make their date(s), and that I wanted my 100 dollar deposit back. I was told no, that the bike was special ordered for me, and they would keep my deposit. I just sent them an email back, saying 100 dollars is peanuts compared to the money I've spent in their dealership since I was a kid until now, and if they wanted to lose me as a customer over it, it was their choice, just let me know what they decide.

Am I wrong? I kinda feel like they did a crappy job all around (especially compared to the other dealer) I also feel that, if they missed their date, they should at least have called me instead of either no notice or I call them. What is fair here? Am I out of line wanting my money back? Or should I accept this and forget about it? What would you do?

Sorry this was so long winded! Wanted to vent!!!
Jason
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would want my loot back as well. They did nothing to keep you up to date with any info on the shipment until YOU called THEM. It's not like they won't sell that bike for a good profit so why would they need your $100? I would kindly explain this to them and see what the outcome is. If they don't return it, tell them to pound sand and take your business elsewhere (seems you already have anyway).
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Man, that's a quandary. Personally I would have gotten my 100 bucks back once the ship came in without the bike. At that point I would have communicated to them that I was also dealing with another dealer, and if they found me a bike first, then they'd be getting my business. I would have probably gotten my money back at that point. I'd feel like I was taking a chance on getting that money back after that point. But, you had patience and good faith in them finding you a bike. I highly doubt they special ordered you a bike, and it's highly likely they'll sell it pretty quick. Ask for your money back once they sell it then. Did they TELL you they were going to special order one for you? Did you sign anything stating what the conditions were regarding the deposit. I guess all you can do is read the fine print and see.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't know. If you had called to original dealer first and said you were going elsewhere since they were late, you'd have a right to your $100 back. But he called you and said the bike was in, and you said you didn't want it anymore. That's why they asked for the deposit.

I know they were late, but I think I'd just let the $100 go, and not burn that bridge. They might be the one that has a part you need in stock one day.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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As a (bicycle) dealer, I run into this once in awhile. When I can't meet my promised date -- which does happen once in awhile -- I contact my customer, explain the situation, and ask the customer if he wishes to keep waiting (if it's a custom build -- different story). If he's willing to keep waiting, we go on without change. If he doesn't, I refund his deposit. If the bike comes in and I'm told at that point that he's already bought elsewhere, I have every right to keep his deposit. (I will apply it as a credit to a future purchase). I'll only refund it in very rare cases.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have to agree that you probably don't 'deserve' the deposit back as you bought the other bike without telling them. Yes, they missed the delivery date and they were bad about keeping you in the loop. But from their prospective they ordered a bike and when it came in you said never mind. As others have said, best course of action would have been to call them prior to buying the other bike and tell them they'd missed the schedule and you're going elsewhere - then I would expect the deposit back.

I think Trophy4 has a good idea though. Probably the best thing would be to make nice with them and ask if they'd at least give you the $100 in store credit. That way they get to keep a long-time customer happy, they make a few bucks on a small sale, and you don't loose your $100. I think that would be the best for both parties, but I don't think they're obligated to do so.

<edit>
I see you're in Maryland, so even though the Thruxtons are very popular, it's likely they'll end up sitting on the bike and paying flooring on it until next spring when the season picks up again.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Chumps.
That's what I call cheap as dealers/sellers like that.

Unless you have a signed "Buyers Order", you can get your 'deposit' back.
Contact your local Department of Transportation office- they'll direct you to the division which deals with the fraud.

It's not worth the $100 to them to field the complaint from DOT.
It's you consumer duty to hold them to task- if only to keep them from doing it to someone else.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Even though they may not have been the most communicative, I'm guessing it really did just take longer to get the bike you wanted than they originally figured. You didn't tell them to cancel the "special order" before going elsewhere, and they brought it in on good faith, with the understanding it was sold to you. So, sorry, my impression is that you're in the wrong here, even if it ain't exactly a Cardinal Sin. I'd let the deposit go, particularly if they're the only dealer nearby...and especially since it sounds like you've had a relationship with them for a very long time. And if that's the case, I'd go in there in person, see your salesman, manager, whoever, and discuss the matter, maybe work something out as someone else suggested and get a store credit, maybe not. I'm much more likely to work something out with someone who's just straight with me, especially in person, and will definitely respect them a lot more for making that kind of honest effort.
Either way, I'm feeling that $100 isn't worth, as my dad used to say, "Cutting off your nose to spite your face"...
Best of luck, whatever you do!
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Black Thruxton? Special order? Are they NOT a Triumph dealer? If it's the only black Thruxton in their inventory, I'm sure they've already got it sold. Not sure why they feel it necessary to hold onto your deposit.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Don't think they "special ordered" anything. It's my understanding that Triumph dealers take whatever Triumph sends them. That's they way it was explained to me in '06 when I put a deposit down on the color I wanted at least.

One thing for sure... your local dealer is a cheap POS. I would travel the extra miles to give the out of state dealer all my future business. If your local dealer treats everyone like they treated you they might not be in business much longer anyway.
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