Hardly confidence inspiring

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by brucec32, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I checked out Walker's webpage and found one of their units interesting. But I don't know where a dealer is. Their web page makes you write them an email to get the info. Not impressed.

    I get an email reply today from them directing me to call some company (doesn't say it, but must be the area distributor). They will then probably look it up on a sheet of paper and tell me to call yet another number and then try to get directions to the dealership. I will have to trust that the person at the distributorship who answers the phone will know where my address is relative to the dealers so he gives me the right ones.

    I can get a map and directions to any business in the yellow pages online, yet Walker and other companies can't manage to get a list of their own dealerships put up on their website with a map so I can get a visual idea of which ones are close by? Instead, I will have to make multiple calls, get addresses, look up each on a map to see where the heck "industrial ivy place" or whatever is. I just KNOW that when I do get hold of the nearest dealer, he won't have what I want to demo in stock, and even if he did, he can't let me take it out because it'll be the only one he has.

    What is with these companies that can't get with the 21st century? Software is plentiful that allows zip code searches to find store locations. It's almost as if they don't really want your business.

    Toss in the fact that no MSRP's are mentioned, and it is doubtful that I am going to get a guy at one of these mysterious dealerships to quote me a price on the phone, and it just adds up to a lot of wasted time shopping, since the mower may well not even be in a price range I would consider. In an age when I can buy a CAR with a few mouse clicks online, that doesn't cut it.

    I also wonder if they hesitate to list dealers online because they are constantly losing and gaining them. That would indicate a level of instability that I would be wary of before spending $6 grand or more.

    I think some of these companies have grown beyond the level where their engineer owners can manage them. The skills of an engineer are not those of a businessman. Often they are completely incompatible.

    I see marketing flaws that are glaringly obvious. The worst thing I see out there is a half-arsed dealer network from so many brands. Who wants to buy a mower that you can't even demo, because each dealer carries 3-4 lines and only has a few of that brand in stock, and not the one you want? Forget taking a mower out to demo it, they aren't letting their 1 unit in stock out of the store at these puny dealerships.

    The first company to emulate Exmark/Scag and have good sized dealers with plenty of stock, even it that means floorplanning inventory for free, will gain marketshare. The rest will fade and perhaps fail. Would you go buy a truck from a Chevy dealer who had 2 trucks in stock, one V6 manual stripper regular cab and one heavy duty long bed crew cab? One who couldn't afford to stock more? No, because you know he'll probably be out of business by the time you need service and because you know he has to charge a high price because he's so low volume. And good luck finding a knowledgeable mechanic at a place that carries 3-4 lines. The guy probably doesn't see enough of these niche' brands to know much about them.

    I will probably just buy another Exmark from a local big dealership at their pro day. I don't have the patience to play games with these other guys.
     
  2. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Just for fun, I called the number I was given by Walker, after putting in a request at their website. The lady on the phone didn't know where the dealers were, didn't even know where the city I gave her (pop 75,000) was, gave me yet ANOTHER phone number to call, of the rep. for the Atlanta area.

    So, 3 contacts into it and still no information. Contact 4 will be the rep, IF I can catch him w/o leaving voice mail, who will then give me contact 5, the dealership, I assume.

    A competent company would find ME the dealerships and send the info to me, not just direct me to various phone numbers down a distribution chain.

    "Yes sir, we want you to drop $7,000 on a mower, but we can't be bothered to actually look up what dealer is close to you and tell you. We're busy here!"

    They should design mowers for the DMV. They have a similar "can do" attitude. This is BEFORE they have my money and while they presumedly want it. Imagine how they'll hop to once they have my money and I have a problem.
     
  3. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Bruce, I hate dealing with companies I cant get a straight answer from, does not give me a warm cozy feeling about their product. We have a walker dealer here who also carries DC and yazoo kees. I have never seen more than one walker in their shop ever but dozens of DC. Like I said though, Walkers are still popular in my area. I can give you the number of the dealer here but I dont know how far you are from Waycross. Good luck.
     
  4. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    I can't believe that you had such a bad experience with the walker company. when I sent them an E-mail, I recieved a a phone call from my closest dealer asking if their was anything that he could do and what machines would I like prices on. I also recieved a information packet with some CD's showing the manufacturing process and pictures of the machine working.

    the response may be a sign of how good the dealer is. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Updog

    Updog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 80

    I had a great experience with Walker they called me asked what address I would like to have a demo delivered to. Rep showed up answered all my questions left me with the mower for a few hours. When he came back I told him what I wanted he called the dealer they set up every thing just how I wanted it. I love my mower and get great service even a free zine every now and then.
     
  6. R&R LawnService

    R&R LawnService LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Sorry but was is a zine?
     
  7. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    Bruce:
    Check for a Hustler dealer in your area. Exmark is an excellent mower but so is Hustler. I've had them both and as far as durability is concerned Hustler has them all beat hands down. Cut quality of the Hustler Z is as good or better than a Lazer in my opinion. I mulch exclusively and nothing compares to the Hustler where mulching is concerned.
    If price is another concern, I think you'll also find that Hustler will come in at a lower price than a similar Exmark. The dealers just seem to want your business more than the big red dealers.
    I not trying to sell Hustler products, but I haven't found a competitor of Hustler that is better overall and priced similar to Hustler. Good luck.
     

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