Word of mouth advertising. Nothing beats it. If you have a good experience, you tell your friends. If you have a bad experience, you tell your friends.
If you have a really sucky experience with your £50,000 ($82,143) Range Rover, you list all the problems in vinyl letters and park it outside the dealership that sold you the car.
That's what an unnamed owner did with his Range Rover HSE at the Lookers Land Rover dealership Colchester, Essex.
He was not happy with the quality of his car, and even more unhappy with the dealership's efforts in fixing his numerous problems. So he listed his complaints on his windows, and parked the lemon in front of the dealership.
The beauty of it all? It's a public road, so the dealer can't have it moved.
You've got to love freedom of speech.
The owner plastered "If you want trouble free motoring do not buy one of these!!!" on the Rover in large yellow letters, and then on the side and rear windows, he listed the problems he had: "6 front ball joints, 4 front arm bushes, new seat base, front and rear n/s (nearside) struts, full n/s suspension unit, anti-roll bar bushes, air con."
Several people thought it was a manager's sale special, listing all the features. Until you got a closer look.
One bystander told the London Daily Mail, "It looks really realistic until you actually read what the words say. Then it’s obvious someone has put it there to have a dig at the dealership. It’s a brilliant idea."
Mark Foster of Jaguar Land Rover told the Daily Mail, "All necessary repairs to this vehicle over 42,000 miles have been carried out under warranty. However, we are disappointed this customer’s experience has been unfortunate and as such we have made a goodwill offer towards helping him into a new vehicle."
My guess is this goodwill offer was in the form of a discount on a new car. If Jaguar Land Rover were smart, they would do their very best to fix this problem, because now it's not just making national news in England, it's making worldwide news.
Costs for a global PR campaign can get into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the costs for overcoming a negative PR campaign can get into the millions and still never succeed. If Jaguar Land Rover were smart, they would just fix this guy's problems for free, possibly even giving him a free car, just to make the pain go away.
Otherwise, visitors to the Lookers Land Rover dealership will be greeted with this for weeks and weeks. And weeks.
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