K2 Auto Group In Minneapolis Uses The "I Hate You, Get Out" Sales Method

Jesse sent us a copy of the letter he recently sent to CarSoup.com about the treatment his mother received at the K2 Auto Group car lot in Bloomington, Minneapolis.The salesmen who “greeted” them employed a novel sales technique whereby you treat the customer like she’s not rich or smart enough to even own a car, much less one of your beauties. Oddly, it didn’t work, and they left without buying anything. Read on for the salesman’s amazing technique in action.

I don’t normally waste my time with registering complaints, but my experience today was so upsetting that I cannot contain myself. My mother is in the process of car shopping to replace her current vehicle. While on CarSoup.com, I found a few cars in her price range that were priced very reasonable. I contacted the K2 Auto Group in Bloomington this morning by phone to see if we could stop by and take a look. I spoke with a very nice gentleman named John. My mother also spoke to John when we were having trouble locating the dealership. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a very rude elderly man who never did provide his name. From the moment we walked into the door, he began speaking down to us.

He asked us what brought us by, and the car I had really hoped to have her look at was sold. The man then asked what she was looking for. My mother, being rather lighthearted simply said, “A Car!” We were asked what our price range was and we told him between $10,000 and $15,000. The elderly man said, “So, what you really mean is you want a $15,000 car for $10,000.” Assuming he was not intentionally being rude, we asked if to look around at their inventory. He simply said, “Yeah, whatever,” as if to completely dismiss us. There were a few cars she liked. After we had looked at the inventory, we proceeded to the front of the dealership again where the man was seated. Not once we were ever asked if we needed help while looking at the cars.

When we got to the door, my mother jokingly said, “So what happens if I want to drive the car in the back? You’d have to move everything!” The man forcefully replied, “Well, if you want to drive something, go to the bank and get a cashier’s check for the amount of the car and we’ll let you drive it.” Feeling a bit insulted and amazed that someone would be speaking to my mother in such a tone, I unfortunately let the conversation continue. He asked her what kind of a car she had in mind. Not having anything specific, she said, “I’m really open to anything that’s not American, but I did like that 2002 Jaguar.” With what must have required some real guts, the man said, “What the hell would YOU want with a Jaguar? Really, what are you doing here?” The man asked what kind of a car she had and she told him she had a 1997 Audi A6 but also liked the A4. He proceeded to arrogantly tell us how much he knew about the Audi and that she would only be happy with an A4 if she could, “Manage to afford one.” This man also said, “You really shouldn’t be making such a production about this. It’s a used car.” He then told us that if we wanted to look at a car, he had a 2004 Volvo outside that was, “A nice enough car for you and it’s only $14,000, why don’t you go take a look at that.” Not only was this car more expensive than the Jaguar she inquired about, the tone which this extremely rude person spoke to her was completely uncalled for.

I highly doubt that this is the correct venue to lodge such a complaint, but having used CarSoup in the past to look at cars and contact sellers, I was extremely disappointed. I know this is not the kind of service or experience that is typical of dealers affiliated with your web site, and I hope to continue using CarSoup.com, although my mother definitely will not. This much I can say, I will NEVER step foot in K2’s “showroom” ever again. Not only that, I will be sure that I inform everyone I know and even those that I don’t that K2 is a terribly place to shop for a car.

(Image: Getty)

Comments

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  1. SkokieGuy says:

    My comments are why not:
    Ask to speak to another salesperson?
    Ask to to speak to the manager or dealership owner?
    Leave?

    There’s absolutely no excuse for this. Potentially you might have an age or gender discrmination lawsuit if you could document that younger people and / or men were treated differently. But this would likely be hard to prove and hard to convince a prosecutor to go after them. Being an asshole is, sadly, not a crime.

    I hope your mother got the car she wants and a place that treated her well.

  2. BoomerFive says:

    I live in Minneapolis, and from the sound of it I won’t be going to K2 either. Unfortunately I have had similar experiences at other dealerships around town. Didn’t realize this was a local trend, I have been driving an hour out of town to a good dealership my father in law knows to buy my last 2 cars.

  3. Next time, ask for Jerry Lundegaard

  4. BigElectricCat says:

    That salesman really sounds like a dick.

    When your mom finally buys the car she wants, why not drop by the rude salesman’s lot and give him a copy of the bill of sale? You know, so he can see how much of a sale he lost out on by being a rude asshole.

  5. humphrmi says:

    @Ash78: As long as you don’t mind getting that TrueCoat.

  6. jasezero says:

    I would have told him to zip it or i’d break his hip =P

    in all seriousness though, next time someone starts to talk to you like that, just leave or talk to someone else…don’t put up with it.

  7. katra says:

    So, did he also send a letter to K2 Auto Group?

  8. TPS Reporter says:

    Not blaming the OP, but am I the only one who would have told that salesman to get bent if he spoke to my mother that way? I hate car shopping because of crap like this. It’s all a game.

  9. DCGaymer says:

    I accompanied my mother to a jewelry store once and the salesman actually said, “You should be ashamed for not buying your mother some gold.” I laughed till I had tears in my eyes while point at him. He turned beet red and went to another counter.

  10. Kajj says:

    @jasezero: It sounded to me like maybe he was the only salesman around? I don’t know – I would have left after that $15,000 car for $10,000 crack. What a jerk.

  11. B says:

    It makes me smile that she wants “Anything that’s not American, but I did like that 2002 Jaguar.” Cause Jaguars are well known for their reliability compared to American cars, plus Jaguar is owned by Ford.

  12. Serpephone says:

    The same type of thing happened to me when I started car-shopping last December. There are so many car dealerships and so much competition, it is very easy to get into your car and go to the next place.

    That’s what I did. I do not regret it. Plus, I found a place that will give me free car washes for life!

  13. AskCars says:

    why didn’t he ask for John who he talked to on the phone?!

  14. Zanorfes says:

    The nerve of that dealer! Unbelieveable!

  15. Mayor McRib says:

    Jesse should have stood up for his mom instead of writing a letter after the fact. People treat you the way you let them. That being said, the salesman sounded like a real prick.

  16. Me - now with more humidity says:

    No car for you! Come back one year!!!

  17. axiomatic says:

    Send kids over to run across his lawn. Then light a bag of poop on fire on his porch.

    Damn kids…

  18. HootieMac says:

    Is “Bloomington, Minneapolis” supposed to say “Bloomington, Minnesota”? Contrary to popular belief, there is an actual state outside of Minneapolis.

    /Bloomington native.

  19. PHX602 says:

    @humphrmi:

    Well, we’ve never done this before. But seeing as it’s special circumstances and all, he says I can knock a hundred dollars off that Trucoat.

  20. attackgypsy says:

    This is why I like the small dealer I always go to.

    They were on me within 30 seconds of me getting to the lot. He helped me pick out a car I liked, and I could afford. They also self-financed, so not alot of bs to go thru. Weekly payments, yes, it can be annoying, but he was very compassionate about it. His exact words were “Hey, I understand things happen. People get sick, cat needs to go to the vet. Things like that. All I ask is a phone call, and we’ll work it out.”

    Turns out I had to miss 2 payments because of a family emergency. My mom got really sick. I called him, and he was like “Go take care of her, we’ll work it out later.” and he sent her flowers at the hospital.

    This is why he’ll always get my business from now on.

  21. forgottenpassword says:

    Hmmm…I have never heard of this technique. Although I think it was used on me when i was younger. I was shopping for a new (used) vehicle and stopped at this one dealership & this salesman came out as I was pulling up & said something like…. “why would you need a fuzzbuster (radar detector) for a piece of shit like that?” (I had an old 78 buick leSabre that was extremely dependable). I was taken aback by the seemingly uncalled for rudeness & just left. And i could easily afford a car back then (still can). Great way to lose a sale!

  22. Crymson_77 says:

    @attackgypsy: God I wish I could find a guy like that to buy a car from! You should send him some flowers too, that is just plain above and beyond!!! Where’s the right up for God’s sake??!?!?!?!

  23. lightaugust says:

    @Ash78: That guy totally screwed me on the rustproofing.

  24. forgottenpassword says:

    after reading the article…. i think the woman was also a victim of the classic bait & switch. SHe said she called first to inquire about a few cars she saw & when she showed up…. it was already sold.

    Long ago when I was shopping for a car at dealerships I ran into this almost every time. Nearly every time I saw a car advertised in the newspaper & went to see it (even afer calling ahead to make sure it was still there for sale)…. when I got there…. it was always sold/missing/gone…whatever. And it was always some “mistake” or “miscommunication”. Such BS! I absolutely hated shopping for a car at dealerships that I basically swore them off for life. I now buy my vehicles from individuals after my mechanic has checked them out first. I plan on buying my next car in cash (well, not actual cash, but paid for all at once ..after checking everything out extremely carefully).

    IMO car salesmen are truely the scum of the earth.

  25. juiceboxonfire says:

    @HootieMac: Section 9 Reject: I was going to say the same thing. Bloomington is it’s own city and a rather fairly sized one at that.

  26. mr.dandy says:

    @humphrmi: The car’s not for our lot ma’am! I’m…I’m not arguin’ here, I’m cooperating. We’re doin’ all we can here, ma’am.

  27. Sam Glover says:

    That wasn’t very passive-aggressive of the salesman at all! Clearly not from Minnesota.

  28. bohemian says:

    The first crack I might have let slide, assuming maybe I took it wrong. The next one I would have left. Why would anyone stand around and let a salesperson verbally abuse them.

    There is no shortage of cars in the US. Go somewhere else.

  29. graymulligan says:

    I’ll fax those v.i.n.’s right over.

    It continues to amaze me that people are unwilling to simply do what they should in those situations, and walk away. If a car dealership treats you badly, simply leave. It is the one way you can punish the dealership. By not giving them your money.

    ON a related note…why does my insurance company always ask for the v.i.n. number? isn’t that redundant?

  30. kjherron says:

    We’ve bought two cars through Carmax and both times were pretty painless. Each car has a fixed price which is posted on the sticker, and you can search their inventory from their web site. The sales staff gets a fixed commission per sale, so they’re not motivated to rip you off.

    The only hint of pressure comes when they try to sell you an extended warranty/service plan. We said no both times, and that was that.

  31. JiminyChristmas says:

    I think I would have just busted out laughing in this situation. Maybe if we were talking about a Bentley showroom I could understand salespeople getting irritated with people they thought were wasting their time. But this guy is a used car salesman.

  32. thalia says:

    I had an issue while shopping with my husband where a salesman jokingly suggested that my husband ‘beat his wife’ if she didn’t like his color choice of hollow plastic tubing. My husband just stared at him dumbfounded and the guy look around and noticed me standing there. “Oh, is this the wife?” he asked, and I said, “Yes.” He laughed and said, “I’m just kidding, I would never tell someone to hit their wife!” and turned beat red.

    I wanted to cuss him out very badly. Lucky for us, his nametag read “Dick”, which I found rather fitting. I grabbed the proper length of tubing, took my husband’s hand, and said “Thanks a lot, dick.” and walked off.

  33. farker says:

    What a rude jerk, almost sounds like something out of Candid Camera, but much meaner.

    Why didn’t the OP ask to speak with the manager, or do something? As bad as this story is, this person didn’t do much proactively at the time of the situation. Hopefully it gets resolved by that employee getting fired.

  34. hypoxia says:

    Hm. Once while in the middle of a test drive on a car I *was* planning on buying, the salesman in the passenger seat whipped off his shirt and started telling me about his nipples and his nipple piercings and asked if I liked them (I’m a girl). I broke every speed limit back to the dealer, left in a hurry, bought a car elsewhere, and went back with the invoice and told the manager alllllllll about it. Manager was properly chagrined.

  35. ChuckECheese says:

    Stories like this remind me of when I lived in Sandy Eggo back in 1991-93. Remember when the state was giving out IOUs instead of paychecks? And the economy was in the pits? And the Resolution Trust Corporation? Those were the days.

    Well, the crappy economy seemed to have a paradoxical effect on salespeople–instead of making even a halfhearted attempt to sell you something, they were unbelievably bitter and rude. I remember it was like this everywhere–Monkey Wards, some random computer store, and at a car dealer. I tried to buy a new car back then, 100% cash, and instead of the easy sale I anticipated, I got chased off the lot by a salesman who was just incredibly hostile. I ended up traveling to Phoenix to buy my car!

    My favorite story from SoCal, 1992, was when Pier 1 mispriced some candles or something, and a French friend of mine went to get the price corrected, and the cashier’s total response was to tell him to “go back to Mexico,” mistaking his French accent for a Mexican one. Hilariously bitter.

  36. pigeonpenelope says:

    @MrBill38: i would have given him a what for on the first offense. i do not stand for people disrespecting my mom (or the rest of my family for that matter).

  37. Something smells.

    I have a feeling that many of these whiny posts are either the doings of a competiting business OR somebody trying to work the business over for a few extra bucks in savings.

    This post seems to be a bit embellished to the point of disbelief.

    Think about it. As described the salesdude was a dick and definitely deserved a punch in the snout. For most people that is exactly what he would gotten … a punch in the snout. Physically a punch, or a loud shout out for his boss type of punch. Either way the salesdude would have gotten what he deserved.

    Ok, may the OP is a real passive whimp, so he might have tucked his tail between his legs and ran away…. but would the OP really waited around for round after round of insults? I know that I would not.

    Like I said, embellished to the point of disbelief.

  38. C’mon, you gotta realize that even if the OP wanted to leave or punch the dude, he’s there with his mom, who sounds like a very sweet woman. She sounds so sweet that I just know that if the OP had said, “C’mon he’s a dick, let’s leave” mom would’ve said something like “Oh it’s ok, let’s not make a fuss…”

    My mom woulda cursed him out and flattened his tires for kicks.

  39. trujunglist says:

    @Kajj:

    I probably would’ve been like “Yeah, well, I was thinking lower than 10, but if you’re willing to hook it up, then OK…”
    See, you have to play their snide ass game and give it right back to them or they will keep doing it to you because you’ve taken the nice guy/victim role. They’re looking for weaknesses. If you only point out their own then they have nothing to work with. Unfortunately that’s just how some people operate.

  40. @alphafemale:

    My mom would have shoved her walker up the saledude’s arse.

  41. Crazytree says:

    this is how business is done in china… I love it.

  42. mariospants says:

    This sounds pretty lame, actually. The salesman was a rude shithead but he wasn’t the only one being snobby: if you’re on a $10-15k budget, a Jaguar is not the car for you. Even the Lincoln and Ford-sourced parts that are in it are going to cost you twice as much to replace as that “American” car you so snobbishly put down. Get off your high horse, “mom”. He potentially did you a favor: nobody on a fixed budget should buy a used European luxury car.

    Now, it’s possible that this woman has money to burn and doesn’t want to pay a premium on a new car but frankly, if she’s shopping for a used Jag or Audi at a place that sells every single make, she’s obviously not discriminating enough to make a good purchase.

  43. humphrmi says:

    @mr.dandy: Oh, for Pete’s sake, he’s fleeing the interview! He’s fleeing the interview!

  44. Juggernaut says:

    And the correct answers are… the salesman was douchey and Jesse is a bit wimpy

  45. spinachdip says:

    @humphrmi: Ma’am, I answered your question. I answered the darned, I’m cooperating here!

  46. Buran says:

    @mariospants: Actually, that attitude in itself is snobby. “Oh, MY luxury car can’t POSSIBLY be sold at such a low price, because then maybe the plebes would be able to buy it.”

    Older Jags may well be available at that price, due to depreciation, especially those that still had electrical issues and drove owners nuts to the point that they got rid of the cars.

  47. QrazyQat says:

    I used to work at a Ferrari dealership in Silicone Valley, and one of the salesmen there was reknowned for using this customer-insulting technique. And it worked.

  48. That picture looks just like the guy I bought my most recent car from. However, this was in Indiana and I bought new. I had a completely pleasant experience, however I qualify for GMS pricing and don’t have to haggle unless trading in a car. They ended up giving me more than we agreed on initially on the trade when all was said and done, which was a nice surprise.

  49. mariospants says:

    @Buran: hmmmm… I agree that luxury cars can depreciate by a huge amount but I don’t buy your argument that it’s snobbish to tell people who are on a fixed budget that buying a used luxury car is not for them. Frankly, a luxury car is made from more expensive materials with more expensive parts and is repaired by people who make more money cleaning their tools than the average family car mechanic makes rebuilding a transmission. It’s called a “L-U-X-U-RY” car for a reason, you know, and they don’t get any cheaper to run as they get older.

    Still, I will say that the most expensive car to repair I’ve ever had was a Ford mini van. Never again.

  50. mariospants says:

    @QrazyQat: “I used to work at a Ferrari dealership in Silicone Valley, and one of the salesmen there was reknowned for using this customer-insulting technique. And it worked.”

    That wouldn’t be Ferarri of Los Gatos: when I lived there they had the nicest staff ever. They greeted practically anyone with a smile and were very eager to show off their cars to kids and families. You never know – in Silicon Valley – who may turn out to be a millionaire.

  51. azntg says:

    @QrazyQat: At getting people out the door and buying one at the Lamborghini dealer?

    Some people are such masochists. I’ll leave it there.

  52. VikingP77 says:

    The salesman needs to be fired. Obviously he doesn’t care about his job enough to treat people with dignity and respect! I would have asked him directly for his supervisor…explained to them what was going on and tell them they are losing a sale for poor customer service and walked out!

  53. baristabrawl says:

    I have to call BULLSHIT on this one. If you stood there past the first insult, then you must be into S&M, because I would have thanked him kindly and told him to have a long walk off a short pier. Who lets someone talk to their mother in this fashion?

    THEN! I would have driven back by a short while later with my new Jaguar and told him he could have sold this to me if he’d only wanted to.

  54. mariospants says:

    @baristabrawl: I dunno, “So, what you really mean is you want a $15,000 car for $10,000″ doesn’t sound like an insult to me. I’d say “yeah, that sounds about right to me” – if I got that kind of deal, I’d say I found a great deal and the salesperson who got me that car would be a great salesperson.

    And regardless of his attitude, I would never wish a used late-model Jag on anyone without bags of money and the OP’s advice to look at the 2004 Volvo was good advice: I’d take a 2004 Volvo over a 2002 Jaguar any day of the week (ironically both Ford-owned so fuck you, miss “no American cars”). It will have less mileage and repair costs will be a third.

  55. coldteadodd says:

    This is the same kind of treatment that I witnessed when I visited New England Auto Sales in Plainville, CT. They never returned my phone call nor emails on a request for a carfax report.

  56. j-yo says:

    I certainly hope Jesse sent a copy of the letter to K2 as well as to his local news stations. After that, I wouldn’t bother wasting any more energy on that salesguy. He sounds like a bitter person and probably a professional loser, so being him is probably punishment enough.

  57. Andr0 says:

    Heh.

    I actually had a very similar situation some 5 years ago, shopping for my first car in States… The salesman mocked my accent, suggested I was a ‘poor immigrant’ and basically verbally flipped me off. Dumbfounded (never had such a retail in good ol’ Europe) I left the lot…

    The friend flipped out when he heard what happened, took me back the next day, we shopped for car, picked a nice ’01 Caddy for close to $20K, went through credit check & financing negotiations – and when all was done, walked out with ‘That guy told me I was a poor-ass polack yesterday’ to the store manager. (Not Polish… that was adding insult to injury, there.)

    So, yea. If a salesman is being a buttplug, make sure he gets hit where it hurts the most.

  58. fever says:

    I’d like to point out that this car dealership exists on the same block as single-family residential homes. That should have been their first clue. Next clue should have been that the repair shop across the street and the repair shop next door seem to have more cars sitting than the dealership.

  59. DCGaymer says:

    You know…if I’d been a little ol Lady….I’d have hauled off and punched him in the nose. His co-workers and the cops would have laughed and laughed.

  60. winstonthorne says:

    Maybe he was just an angry old man who was waiting to have his car serviced, and he wanted to drive potential customers away from the dealership. Did he show you a business card?

  61. tastybytes says:

    when they are doing bait and switch.. call from ur mobile phone while ur AT the dealership. that way when the say the car is here, you can ask them where it is located..

    on another note.. i once started screaming at the top of my lungs because they wanted all my information (SSN included) and i was just looking at a car (not even trying to test drive).. people just started leaving en mass..

  62. Insane. I’m not sure if I believe this story 100%, but I can honestly say I know the older population, especially women, aren’t used to standing up for themselves as much as they SHOULD be. But, her son was a pussy for letting such disrespect happen. If I go anywhere with the ma-in-law, I’ll be the first to point out bullshit service. (Very rare thankfully) but she’ll actually get upset because I very civilly brought up an issue with a manager, and if I don’t get the proper results within a reasonable amount of time I’ll walk out. She’s one of those classic “What will they think of us?” old broads.

    I tell her who the hell cares what they think of US. They’ll never see US again.

  63. S-the-K says:

    A 2002 Jaguar for less than $14,000? I call “shenanigans” on this story!

    As for the rude salesman, I’m skeptical about that. The worst car salesman I’ve personally experienced practically begged me to buy the car. I was turned off by the hard sell and the three card monty style when they started throwing numbers at me.

  64. pandroid says:

    Well, that’s still not as disturbing as the time a used car salesman felt me up with his shoulder under the guise of reaching across the seat to grab something. Ew.

  65. vdragonmpc says:

    Hey its not BS.
    Many moons ago I went to an Autoworld in Petersburg VA. I traded in my High School Ford for a sweet Toyota Supra. I think they were pissed off because I went through pricing as financed and then we ended up paying cash as my grandmother had went with me to cosign but for some reason decided to pay
    cash (more on that later)… After I paid for the car I reminded the salesman the stereo was in no way coming with my trade (I had a big custom system) and he was fine with that. I told him I would be out of town until Wednesday and I would bring him the factory unit Wednesday after work. Again they were fine with it. The car I traded had custom rims and the owner declared that they were all the cars value so I had to leave them on.

    Fast forward to wednesday when I get back from vacation. My mother is pissed as they called EVERY hour all weekend asking about the radio and nagging them to come to the dealership to finalize the transaction… They were no part of it. Then they called monday and tuesday asking for a way to contact me while I was out of town… I was a little upset as mom wasnt wired for that kind of hassle.

    I went down there with some friends and carried the factory am/fm radio that came in the car. The owner kept stating “thats not the factory radio” It had a cd player. uhm in 1982 cars were lucky if you had FM! I told him that was it and it was all I was giving them. He insisted on going to an audio store and buying a new cd player for my trade in and I told him no bottom line the deal was done. You see I had the title since I paid cash and it was all transferred and done. He started yanking off his jacket and yelling we could settle it right then in the lot if that was how I wanted it. I busted out laughing and went outside to leave… He was still shrieking in the office.

    Later I found out why my grandmother was so pissed. He (the owner) was my uncle on the bad side of her family.

  66. pzm436 says:

    Not sure how it works in Minneapolis, but in PA; all dealerships and salespersons must be licensed by the state. If it’s possible I would launch with the state.

    Just remember most used car salespersons work on commission, just leave if they’re disrespectful or rude.

  67. Verdigris says:

    I recently bought a car and had the complete opposite treatment down here in Mankato (just 1 hour south of where this story takes place)

    The guy selling was unbearably nice and wouldn’t stop smiling. Bought the car over a year ago and I still get cards from him on every holiday. It’s annoying…

    I did get a sweet deal on the car though.

  68. wurly says:

    why is every consumerist post now littered with comments telling the poster what he SHOULD have done. The poster didn’t do anything wrong here. Could we possibly limit constructive criticism to posts where the consumer contributed in some way to the terrible experience??

    This site has gone from a positive source of consumer enpowerment to a cluster of know-it-alls. No thanks!

  69. mcnerd85 says:

    Did you never once shove your verbal foot up his ass for talking to your mother like that? No one is rude to my mom but me.

  70. FrankReality says:

    What dealers in the Minneapolis St.Paul area are owned by the K2 group?

    Curious minds want to avoid future hassles.

  71. CrazyRedd says:

    @FrankReality: I’m praying it’s Denny Hecker. I hate that guy, all over the buses and billboards. He creeps me out.

  72. RosalindCoates says:

    I’m pretty sure there’s something illegal or at least unethical going on at
    K2. First off, it’s a dealership in the middle of a suburban area, second,
    they’re an entirely indoor dealership and third, I frequently see their cars
    on Carsoup listed for *far* below their Blue Book value. Not just “priced to
    sell” kind of low… we’re talking $5,000-$7,000 below book value (or more).
    No legitimate dealership lists cars that cheaply. I almost guarantee there
    is something going on there. Either it’s a front for something illegal, or
    the cars are being obtained illegally or unethically and being unloaded as
    quickly as possible.