Life Motoring

Friday 29 August 2014

One-man band took wind from our sails

Published 21/11/2012 | 05:00

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RATINGS Location/access 9.7 Customer parking 9.8 Signage 9.8 Showrooms 8.9 Customer facilities 6.0 Customer service 7.0 Models on display 7.2 Deals offered 6.0We liked . . . The size of the site and premises, presentation of used cars. Signage. We disliked . . . Finding only a one-man band within such a large garage and the pressure that this can cause. overall impression . . . We know from past experience of this company's capabilities and professionalism. We feel it was a poor day at the office.

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western motors ltd. volkswagen dealers, ballybrit, galway

RATINGS Location/access 9.7 Customer parking 9.8 Signage 9.8 Showrooms 8.9 Customer facilities 6.0 Customer service 7.0 Models on display 7.2 Deals offered 6.0We liked . . . The size of the site and premises, presentation of used cars. Signage. We disliked . . . Finding only a one-man band within such a large garage and the pressure that this can cause. overall impression . . . We know from past experience of this company's capabilities and professionalism. We feel it was a poor day at the office.

Yellow signage on the showroom windows says: "We want your Trade-In." We visited Western Motors and came away with the opinion that they wanted anything but our fresh Skoda Superb.

After visiting Monaghan and Sons (Skoda dealers) and Hogan's (Hyundai dealer), we drove down the road to Western Motors.

This is a fine-looking garage. It was a quiet day by the look of things.

We parked up in one of the numerous customer parking bays at the back. Signage here was good.

There was a good selection of used Audis and VWs etc. Information and pricing were visible on the cars' side windows and all were well presented.

Inside, we were met by Pat Keane, who went out to see our car after we told him of our interest in a new Passat.

He asked us had we been with anyone else. We told him we priced our car at Monaghan's against a new Skoda Rapid.

He asked what we were offered and we reluctantly told him €5,750. I would have thought more in the region of €7,000-€8,000, said he. Our hearts almost missed a beat.

Back inside we noticed a large used-car showroom with just a few models within. We admired the old VW Beetle on display and saw a Garage Watch report dating back to August 20, 2004 on the wall.

Before we sat down at Pat's desk we noted there was no receptionist and checked out the three toilets. All were well maintained.

It was noticeable on the morning of our visit (bank holiday Saturday) that Pat Keane was running a one-man show at that juncture as he excused himself to answer the phone several times.

As he played the keyboard of his computer, things took a turn for the worse. He turned the computer screen in our direction and said the price we had been given was spot-on. Look, he said, there are only 12 2007 Skoda Superbs for sale in the country and that's more or less the figure they are priced at. We are sure he could see the wind leaving our sails.

He had a 12-registered Passat for sale and he'd allow us €6,000. Pointing to the silver one outside, he said it would cost us €21,000.

A new model would cost another €2,000 or so.

As we were taking all this in Pat asked if we were down for the weekend, where we were staying and what we planned for the rest of the day.

"We will go back into the city have a few pints and back a few horses," we told him.

We left without any written details or a brochure and with only a business card, which we asked for.

We failed to find a used-car list on the wall-mounted holders and noted that the new-car showroom would have taken another display car or two.

Outside, we viewed the Passat and walked to our car in the sunlight of the beautiful autumn morning.

We then visited another garage that rekindled our spirits by offering us €1,000 more, plus a €500 reward and free mats and wind deflectors. See next week's Garage Watch.

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