Edited By Ceridwyn

The Car Shop From Hell

The Adventures of 007.5 By James Bond, Mystery Shop Forum Member.

Cettie isn’t the only one here to have “interesting” adventures on mystery shops. I can recall a BMW shop earlier this year that was anything but routine…

It had all appearances of being a routine day, a loop of six shops from the Grand Strand to Columbia, SC and back. It was a nice assortment of shops also, three car dealers, a motorcycle, a truck stop, and a sandwich shop for dinner on the way home.

South Carolina is a single party consent state, so I audio record all my shops. I still have the recording of this shop, and I still get chills listening to it. Things went fine until the last car shop of the day. It was my second BMW shop that day. The salesman didn’t really strike me as “odd”, and the first inkling that something might not be right didn’t happen until about 17 minutes into the shop when the salesman, in describing the difference between the 325 and 350 said, “The 350 is for people who don’t mind getting tickets.” I replied, “I’m past the age of wanting to go fast.”

21:58 [Salesman] “How much time do you have? [for a test drive]

[Me] “I’d like to beat the rush hour out of here.” [It was about 1:30 in the afternoon so I was politely saying I wanted to be on the road by 3:30-4:00]. At this point the salesman started reviewing the features of the car.

27:58 [Salesman] “I’ll drive it first off the lot and then we’ll switch. Did you have lunch today?”

[Me] “Ok. I skipped lunch today.”

33:33 [Salesman–getting ready to leave dealership] “Everything’s here…so now let’s see if I can make you puke.”

[Me] Nervous laugh …

The salesman mentioned that he used to sell Chrysler products as he drives off the lot.

39:58-40:10 [Salesman] “This is my favorite part.” Car accelerates on cloverleaf, you can hear the rear wheels squealing. He says, “That’s like 50.” I looked at speedometer and it was over 60. At this point he accelerated to 100+ mph. Talked about the safety features and how he would never have done that with a Chrysler product.

At this point I seriously wanted to abort the rest of the test drive but I was seriously concerned about how the salesman would react, my cell phone was in my car and I was in fear for my safety.

Let me say at this point that speed doesn’t bother me. I had the opportunity some years ago to drive a Crown Vic Police Interceptor on a closed course. I took it on a cloverleaf at 75, and a slalom course between 125 and 130. The difference is there was just myself and the officer riding shotgun. Had this occurred on a closed course, I probably would have found it to be thrilling instead of terrifying.

We made it back to the dealership. Part of me wanted to just walk out at that point, but I had almost an hour invested in the shop, so I decided to stick it out. I managed to complete the shop without telling the sales manager what a jerk the salesman was.

I emailed the scheduler when I got home, explaining the situation. We spoke on the phone the next day and I was told where in the report to put the transcription. I did have to provide a copy of the recording, but I did get paid for the shop.

Two months later I was back in Columbia doing a series of bank shops. It was nearing lunch time so I pulled into a burger joint [non-shop]. I walked inside and saw a familiar face at the grill. I turned around and walked out. I called the dealer and was told the salesman left about 1½ months ago.

Sometimes justice happens.

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