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This is not right…European Delivery

Old 07-23-2012, 02:23 PM
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Default This is not right…European Delivery

Hi folks, apologize for the long post but I have to get this off of my chest. I am not a Porsche owner yet, but recently placed an order with a dealer here in the U.S. Here's my story…

Two of my neighbors and I are buying Porsches (2 Cayennes and a Boxster S). To get a better deal, we all agreed to buy them together and then take European Delivery in October. We had read up on the new European Delivery program and knew that it was offered at no additional charge to the customer (see press release here ). What we found during our negotiations with every dealer is that the $2995 fee is seen as a bottom line cost to the dealer. The only way we could get Euro Delivery 'free' is if we agreed to take a higher price on the car. Because we negotiated a really sweet deal, the dealer actually refused to let us take European delivery (unless we paid more for the car to offset the price).

Does that sound right to you?!

Keep in mind, this wasn't one dealer, this was many dealers as we contacted EVERY DEALER IN THE US (even Alaska & Hawaii).

Every one of them continued to explain to us that it was a cost to them and ultimately that cost in one way or another is passed to us, the purchaser of the vehicle. In fact, because our deal would have put the cars under invoice with European Delivery thrown in, we were refused that delivery option.

I contacted a European Delivery Specialist at Porsche USA via email and this is an excerpt of her response:

Thank you for your interest in the Porsche European Delivery Program. The configurator is correct, it is a no cost option for the customer. The
dealership will instead pay the costs associated with the program, but we
have added an incentive for the dealerships to cover that cost so it should
not be passed onto to the customer.
Porsche USA clearly has the position that I should not have to pay for it however I don't think they anticipated our ability to negotiate to the point that the program became a loss for the dealer.

I wasn't satisfied with Porsche's answer on this especially given the dealer would not let us take Euro Delivery and emailed the specialist to get a contact in customer service:

After I hung up the phone with you, I looked over the press release from Porsche regarding the European Delivery. Our interpretation has always been that European delivery is free due to the highlighted excerpt below, but our experience with the dealers has proven out that it is simply another cost passed onto the consumer as part of the overall deal negotiated. As you mentioned over the phone, because our deal was at or near invoice we were therefore ineligible for this free perk. To reiterate, the dealer had no incentive to absorb the $2,995 fee charged by Porsche USA...thus passing this charge to us.

What we are trying to understand is at what point is European Delivery no longer available to the consumer 'at no additional charge'? We assume based on our real scenario that this threshold is invoice + the European delivery fee ($2,995). Is that accurate? In effect, we believe this program is penalizing us as customers simply because we negotiated well. This deviates in both spirit and wording from what is stated in the press release as I cannot find anything indicating the consumer has to pay the fee. We recommend at a minimum that the verbiage surrounding this program be altered to remove any doubt that this is in fact a cost passed to the consumer, albeit one that can either be paid for in cash or financed as part of the deal.

I'd like to escalate this with Porsche; can you provide an appropriate contact?
I was directed to a General Manager, Customer Relations for Porsche North America. I emailed them and they stated very simply that the program was supposed to be paid by the dealer, listened to the fact that we were refused Euro Delivery and simply said that is how the program works. No real resolution and 3 guys are still wondering how they are going to get 'free' European Delivery.

At this point, I am really frustrated and thought I'd relay my experience here on the web to get your reaction. I feel that we are right and are getting selectively denied something that is being advertised by Porsche as free. Isn't that a violation of FTC rules? Bait and switch?

Check this out:

(g) Negotiated sales. If a product or service usually is sold at a price arrived at through bargaining, rather than at a regular price, it is improper to represent that another product or service is being offered ``Free'' with the sale. The same representation is also improper where there may be a regular price, but where other material factors such as quantity, quality, or size are arrived at through bargaining.

(i) Similar terms. Offers of ``Free'' merchandise or services which may be deceptive for failure to meet the provisions of this section may not be corrected by the substitution of such similar words and terms as ``gift'', ``given without charge'', ``bonus'', or other words or terms which tend to convey the impression to the consuming public that an article of merchandise or service is ``Free''.

Am I off base? All I want to do is drive my Porsche in Europe and Porsche says 'no'.

That sucks.
Old 07-25-2012, 12:25 PM
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