My Local Gravely Dealer Soured Me!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ray & Karen, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. Ray & Karen

    Ray & Karen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    Two years ago I bought a brand new Gravely WB. I did a lot of research before I bought this mower, and found it to be the best value for my needs. Unfortunately the closest dealer was 45 miles away. None the less I bought the Gravely. Well I recently found out that another dealer (25 miles away) started selling Gravely's. Well this made my day. I have nothing against any other brand of mower, I just felt that Gravely met my needs best for the price. I have several dealers of other makes within 5 miles of my house. Well my walkbehind started giving me a bit of fits with the belt coming off the pulley. I didn't have time to fix it, so I dropped it off at the Gravely dealer. He fixed it for me. Said one of the pulleys was bent just a little and he straitened it, and said it was done for free, just took him a few minutes to fix it. As I was loading the mower onto my trailer he asked me if I bought the mower off of him, and I told him no, because he wasn't selling them at the time I purchased mine. He said "Oh, I thought you bought it off of me, but since you didn't, it'll be $12.50 to fix your bent pulley." I paid him, but the more I thought about it, it peeved me. I understand he is in business to make money, but it just seemed he did it like a snake in the grass kind of manuever. The longer I am in business, the more I realize how valuable dealer support is. He may take care of me if I were to buy a mower from him, but I am not willing to roll the dice. Just venting!
  2. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Feel Lucky, 12.50 is nothing, I do think if you do buy from him he will take care of you. I have spent about fifty thousand dollars in about four years with my dealer and he just screwed me to the wall on my last purchase.
    Happy forth!!!!
  3. Ray & Karen

    Ray & Karen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138


    I feel for you, my measly $12.50 was just principle to me. I see the writing on the wall.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    It is amazing the differences that the people who own these dealerships make. I hear a lot of talk about Exmark support this, Scag support that (just examples) but it comes down to the individual dealer. I didn't buy my Dixie from my my current Dixie dealer because he wasn't selling Dixies when I bought mine. But he has bent over backwards to help me. He prodded Kohler to fix my lifter problem for free even though the engine was out of warranty. And just last Monday he spent 2 hours diagnosing why my Kohler was burning so much oil. And he didn't charge me a dime for labor.

    LIBERTY LAWNCARE 2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 84

    John - what dealer was that?

    We try to use the dealer in town unless he doesn't have something that we need.
  6. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,227

    misplaced anger!

    he could have told you it was a bunch of stuff,,,,,"oh son you need a new pulley, bearings, paint and so on,,,,it will cost you $150.00

    seems like he treated you fair and was reasonably priced,,,,no matter if at first you thought it was going to be free!
  7. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Personally I feel that to ask you after the fact is despicable. If he had already performed the work and THEN said that to me I would probably NEVER deal with him again. That is exceedingly unethical. Man, I'm sorry about that, and I hope you can find a dealer that treats you right.
  8. GeeVee

    GeeVee LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 421

    While the lonestarpatriarch is correct in replying about ethics, I agree with Scott. It really could have been a bend over.

    I think you should reconsider being anything more than slightly chapped. If you would, for your own benefit, give the guy another try. Being a dealer is not gravy. Give him a chance to be your new supplier another time. Being this much closer than the other, would be a good thing. Not to mention, you don't really know what kind of service you may have gotten from the other guy.

    I bought fleets of mowers from one GIANT company for years, and Chems. But had no time for consumables or their handheld lines. For those, I supported a local dealer. I drove past a number of Pro shops to get to him, but he knew this. I have a solid relationship to this day. Things I bought from this shop presented good margins for him. I never asked for a free pair of glasses with a purchase, but he would surprise me with great "gifts".

    Once, he mentioned he had to sell a gas hand held tool as part of his required floor plan by one of his lines. He wasn't happy with the product, as it was not as good as a competing line's version. He asked me if I would be intersted in taking it off his hands for his cost.

    I decided it wasn't a big risk, especially at the price. He sold me both, and cut the price a bit more, just so he didn't have to sell it to another patron or two that would be unhappy with the performance, be mad, and then go elsewhere.

    The boys treated the device well, asked it only what it could give, and enjoyed having the tool when the need arose, because it really was a useful tool. It never compromised the bottom line, and I still have both tools in my personal tool crib.

    Any time I get something for free, I acknowlege it with a gift cert or a Pizza delivery to the shop.
  9. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    I say make your next mower purchase with the guy that screwed you because you know he'll treat you fair after the purchase.

  10. Ray & Karen

    Ray & Karen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    Gee Vee,

    I too try to reward those who go out of their way, or provide something for me for free. I always tip the guy who operates the front loader at the dump if he helps me remove debris from my trailer (he remembers me, and alwasys assists). You were also correct when you stated that the dealer could have bent me over and run it, but he didn't. If I had walked into his shop and he told me up front that the bill was $12.50 or even $100.00 I would have paid it. My issue was basic. He went back on what he said. I am a man of my word, and expect to do business with people who can also be held to their word.

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