I saw this article in AOL Patch today and could not believe my eyes. It has been my experience that New Rochelle Honda is absolutely the worst car dealership I have ever dealt with. Both my wife and daughter would second that, probably even triple that. How bad is it? I have bought or leased 4 Hondas in the past three years. I bought the first one at Honda of New Rochelle. For the next three I went to a dealership near Binghamton, NY -- just to get as far away from Honda of New Rochelle as possible. The contrast between Miller Auto in Vestal, NY and Honda of New Rochelle was so vast as to be embarrassing.
Without a byline, Patch has an article that looks like the best sort of self-serving media goodness that only money can buy -- the claim that woman love Honda of New Rochelle.
My daughter went in there to lease a car and left in tears. The salesman was pushy, rude, abrasive. Every time she tried to ask a question he pressured her to sign a lease that, upon reflection, was a terrible deal. I found it was about $100 a month more than she should have paid. How do I know that? Because she got a deal for a $100 a month less plus a few other goodies from Miller Auto in upstate New York.
When my wife talked about her "deal" from Honda of New Rochelle with a salesman at another Honda dealership the guy said "Wow, they really did not want you back as a customer." He ran the numbers and showed my wife they had overcharged her by about $5,000.
In my experience, that is how Honda of New Rochelle treats women -- like marks to be had not customers they expect to see again.
Gripedaddy said it best: "Honda of New Rochelle…you suck…you suck!"
Back to Patch. Is this an actual news article or an infomercial?
The article quotes Honda of New Rochelle General Manager J.R. Buchbinder:
Honda of New Rochelle is proud to be recognized both as a Women’s Choice Award recipient and as a Top Dealership for Outstanding Customer Experience by WomenCertified. In a very competitive New York market, we value every opportunity and are aware that our reputation is a key component to our growth. These awards are a representation of Honda of New Rochelle’s relentless commitment to providing ALL customers with an outstanding sales and service experience.
Wowee. A Women’s Choice Award. Just imagine!
And what is a Women’s Choice Award? Why that is an award from WomenCertified! And who is WomenCertified? It's a web site created by a woman named Delia Passi who lives (or at least lived) over near Irvington, NY. Her bio says she was the publisher of Working Women and Working Mother magazines. Yes, more than 10 years ago. Working Woman magazine folded in September 2001. And so what has she been doing since? Hmmm. She wrote a book and declared herself "the collective voice of the female consumer". I know I for one am glad to hear that one woman from Westchester has organized all those female voices across the country into a collective and she now speaks for them!
OK. So what about these automative awards?
They are based on a WomenCertified Female Customer Satisfaction survey. And who runs that? That would be Delia Passi. And who is paying for all of this surveying and promotion? That would Dealer Communications. And who are they? Their claim to fame is running the Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition which runs an annual conference in Florida for franchised automotive dealers and managers. Funny, right? After all, isn't J.R. Buchbinder a manager of Honda of New Rochelle? And who runs Dealer Communications and their Digital Dealer expo? That would be Mike Roscoe. And who is he? Clicking the link on his name might tell you a lot about Mike Roscoe, if the folks commenting about him are to be believed.
In other words, this amounts largely to the franchised automotive dealers and managers giving awards to themselves with Delia Passi and Dealer Communications serving as the cut outs. Maybe she should change her name to Delia Passthrough.
A good question might be to ask just what sort of dealership would pay money to "win" an award for Outstanding Customer Experience as a "Top Dealership" for women? Perhaps a dealership that has a deserved reputation, at least in my house, as absolutely terrible in how they deal with women.
Another might be what sort of journalistic enterprise would accept money to run a story like this, if that is, in fact, what happened?
All of this aside -- because are you really going to a car dealership because they "won" an award from themselves -- the real question is with Patch and how exactly this WomenCertified award merited news coverage.
Here's a thought. Just maybe the car dealerships, Dealer Communications and WomenCertified have a deal with Patch. I suppose I could be wrong…but I doubt it.