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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've spent the past two days buying a Volt in Southern California. Here's my story.

What I wanted: A non-black Volt LT with comfort package.

I Googled SoCal Chevy dealers and came up with a list of 14 dealers within about a 30-mile radius. They had consumer satisfaction ratings ranging from 3.3 (those nearest to me) to 4.3 (further away).

I wrote up a Word document saying that I wanted to buy a 2017 Volt, non-black, with comfort package, that I would be paying cash (no lease, no loan), and asking for a quote. I copied the doc and pasted it into the internet inquiry forms of 10 of the dealers. I eliminated 4 because of low ratings, because they required a phone number on their inquiry form, or because I just got a bad feeling from their website.

I also applied through the Costco Automobile Program, even though they required a phone number. They said that they had a "pre-negotiated price" through certain dealers.

Out of 10 inquiries, I received these responses:

2 wanted a phone number, no quote
1 wanted me to come in for a test drive, no quote
1 wanted email verification, which I sent, then no other response
1 gave no response after two inquiries
5 responded with quotes

One of the quotes was for a black Volt, which was the only color I DIDN'T want. I replied that he seemed to misunderstand, he replied that he had, and that he had Volts in other colors for the same price.

The Costo-sponsored dealer called. It was one of the lowest-rated dealers. The salesman wanted to know what price I had in mind. "I thought the price was pre-negotiated" I said. She said something or the other and I said, "Under $30,000" since none of the quotes I'd received up to that time was for less than $30,000. She said they would call back. They never did.

One quote did come in with $2500 in GM rebates and a dealer discount of $3200, coming in under my $30K wish, before sales tax, registration, etc., the best quote I received. It was from Rydell Chevrolet in Northridge, about 26 miles away from me. I emailed their internet rep a few times to determine pricing and selection, then she asked for my phone number. At that point I was ready to give it. "Chris" called me shortly thereafter to give me an "out the door" price that was entirely consistent with the price the internet rep gave me. He also did some additional searching of the inventory for me narrowing down color vs. features. I made an appointment to see him the next day, Sunday.

My wife and I drove to Northridge and, due to thin traffic, we arrived about 30 minutes early. Chris wasn't on site yet but another rep (Joe) called him and verified that he'd be in, said that I acknowledged that I was early, and showed us to the lot so that we could compare colors on Volts.

We ambled freely around the lot, looking at Volts, comparing colors and interiors, opened a couple of cars up and sat in them and discussed options, and then Chris arrived. We talked Volts (Chris was knowledgeable), decided on a car, and I drove a Volt to a lot a short distance away where "our" Volt was parked. My wife took it on a test spin. (I'd test driven a Volt before and was mainly listening for rattles and such.)

I said "We'll take it!" As we headed to Chris's cubicle to do paperwork I asked if I could plug in my LEAF. You see, although I get 85+ miles of range in the LEAF, driving basically uphill at 80 or so for 26 miles with air conditioning had used up half the charge. I could probably make it home, but I'd feel better if I could add some charge.

Chris said, "Sure" and led me to a bank of about 18 L2 chargers they'd installed when they began to carry Bolts. I plugged in my LEAF and we proceeded to do paperwork, talk with "the finance guy," and move $32,000 (after sales tax, registration, $80 document fee) from my pocket to Rydell's.

My wife and I walked a short distance to lunch while the LEAF and the new Volt charged up. After lunch we returned and Chris ran us through the basic features of the Volt, paired my phone, went through the OnStar orientation, etc. My wife drove home, I drove home, and here we are.

All in all, dealing with Rydell's was the most pleasant car-buying experience I've had in several decades of buying cars. As for the dealers who didn't bother to respond, who wouldn't provide a quote, who insisted on a phone number or personal visit before giving me a number... you stumbled right out of the gate. To those who gave quotes that didn't quite measure up, thanks so much for the responses and best wishes. I've replied to everyone who responded thanking them for their replies.

Now it's on to the fun part... driving my new Volt!
 

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Congrats on the car and thanks for the report. Glad you got a Volt at a good price with a good buying experience.
 

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Sounds like a very easy transaction. As for the other dealerships, of course having "lost" the sale sucks for them, I'm sure part of their fishing for additional information is their way of trying to weed out those who are not exactly as serious about buying as you were. I've actually heard really good things about Rydell, so it seems your experience has been consistent with what I've observed. Glad to hear you got what you were looking for at what sounds like a very reasonable price.
 

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I have bought two Volts from them. Good upfront prices (right on their web site), great selection, non commissioned sales staff and no add ons such as paint protection etc to negotiate over. Very stress free.
 

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Awesome. I bought my Bolt from Rydell.....over text message basically. Great to hear they gave the same great service to another forum member!
 

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Thanks for the nice, detailed report (minus dealer names, would be interesting to know the other dealers you would rate positively, say which dealers you felt came in "2nd" and "3rd" place based on price quote, responsiveness, gut feel, etc. I can understand not wanting to name the poor performing dealers.

The dealers in So Cal that I had good experiences with are Weseloh and Selman. One or two others in the OC area not so much. I've read many good reports on Rydell so that's always good to know.

Your process was very good IMHO, well thought out and seeking to minimize wasted time (guarding phone number) and get it done via email. Bro's story about buying via text message is awesome, that's how to get it done easily. I'm always wary of dealers who post limited offers, be it by time or by stock. They probably have their fair reasons, for me I'm not so much a fan of that model.

Congrats on your new Volt and thanks for sharing the positive experience with Rydell.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the nice, detailed report (minus dealer names, would be interesting to know the other dealers you would rate positively, say which dealers you felt came in "2nd" and "3rd" place based on price quote, responsiveness, gut feel, etc. I can understand not wanting to name the poor performing dealers.
I received prompt quotes from Community, Martin, George, and Harbor Chevrolet. Harbor was probably the runner-up, but Rydell offered a larger discount.

I was disappointed in the two dealers nearest me, Hooman and Felix.

I didn't inquire with Hooman initially because the reviews on Google gave them the lowest customer satisfaction rating. I skipped two dealers for this reason. However, they turned out to be the Costco "preferred dealer" and they called me. I still don't know why they wanted to know my price range if the price was pre-negotiated with Costco, but then they never called back so that was that.

The salesman from Felix had no LTs in stock but said he could get them, said he had never heard of the "comfort package," and wanted me to call him, didn't offer a quote.

Car buying is so different in the internet age!
 

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It's amazing how much difference customer service can shape our experience, both positively and negatively.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
By the way, I bought a Volt now in penance. You see, I joined the Farm Bureau in order to get the $500 discount, thereby jinxing a long tradition and causing Chevrolet and the FB to part ways.

I felt that the least I could do for those waiting for the 20% Volt discount was to buy now, practically ensuring that the discount goes into effect next week.

You're welcome.
 

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By the way, I bought a Volt now in penance. You see, I joined the Farm Bureau in order to get the $500 discount, thereby jinxing a long tradition and causing Chevrolet and the FB to part ways.

I felt that the least I could do for those waiting for the 20% Volt discount was to buy now, practically ensuring that the discount goes into effect next week.

You're welcome.
Congrats on your new Volt. What year? After all the discussion on buying a Volt in this thread, I assume you put the information to good use and got a satisfactory deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Congrats on your new Volt. What year? After all the discussion on buying a Volt in this thread, I assume you put the information to good use and got a satisfactory deal.
2017. I'm fairly sure that as the 2018's roll out, the price will drop on the 2017's, but I'm satisfied with my deal. And I love the car! I drove it up the coast into Malibu yesterday and got 60.4 miles range.
 
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