Colbournes Audi, Basingstoke - my girlfriend's experience (she was looking to replace her 2002 A3 1.8T Sport with a TT 2.0 Roadster) sums them up.
First, she wanted to trade in the A3 last summer for a new TT. Went into the dealer to discuss options (at that time, I was also considering sourcing the S5 from them so they were looking at close to £75K's worth of business from us that year if they sharpened their pencil). Her A3 was sourced new from them, was serviced by them, had done only about 30K gentle miles in its 5 years and was almost in showroom condition - they said they'd quite happily retail it off their forecourt, unusual for a car that age.
We talked numbers and the saleman (who shall remain nameless) after a bit of haggling, made her a reasonable offer for her car. Not being one to rush things (completely the opposite to me...) she said she'd take a few days to think about it and come in the following week to place her order if she decided to go ahead. The salesman pointed out that he'd be on hols but asked her to contact a colleague in his absence.
A week later, we went back in, sat down with said colleague (who looked about 12) and told him she wanted to order her car. Then, when talking trade-in, they suddenly produced a figure some £250 less than quoted the week before. We said it was unacceptable and wanted the original figure and there then ensued a process of this little boy scurrying over to some Fat Bloke sat in an office in the corner (Mr. Finance), engagng in a huddle, then returning time and time again to say that he wasn't allowed to increase the offer. Thoroughly p*ssed-off, I asked why said Fat Bloke didn't get off his *rse and come out of his office and speak to us directly. Oh no, Fat Bloke's job is just to sit there and say no to his salesmen, not to engage with customers. Eventually, we lost patience and left. For the small matter of £250, they lost the sale, my girlfriend resolving to wait a further year before getting the car. At that point, I also decided I wouldn't be using them to supply the S5
When original salesman returned for hols the following week, he was aghast to learn that the deal had gone away but she was adamant that she'd wait.....
Fast-forward to Feb 2008. By this time, the S5 is on my driveway and she decides that she's now going to get the TT. She's considering a possible used version and sees one on this dealers website (silver Roadster, July 07, reasonable spec). Makes an appointment and we go in to see the original salesman, having agreed that she's be Good Cop, I Bad. She mentions that she's considering a used example and describes the car she'd seen on the website. "Ah, that's gone Madam. Not aware of any others to the specification you're after. Shall we work out a deal on a new one?" We start talking numbers and all of a sudden it's groundhog day, quibbling over £250 or so with, you've guessed it, the usual process of scurrying over to Fat Bloke's office. I start to get a bit irate and ask him why it's so difficult to actually buy a car from him and why Fat Bloke doesn't get off his *rse and come over to talk to us - you get the picture. Things get a bit tense, I tell him that if he can't give us a discount on the TT and an additional £250 on the A3, we're not f*cking interested. Got up and walked out to cool down, leaving the Missus sat there whilst salesman sucrried back to converse with Fat Bloke.
Walking round the lot outside, I was taking deep breaths and looking at the various vehicles when all of a sudden, what did I see lurking in the corner? Yup, the 'missing' July 07 TT Silver Roadster. Hmmmm. Trurn around and start walking back to the showroom just as salesman and Missus come out. She looks happy and starts to tell me that she's got the discount and the additional trade-in value. I stand there and point at the TT. Saleman's face drops.
Saleasman: "Ahem, errr, I though it had been sold".
Me: "Ok, so it's not. Can we see it?"
Salesman: "It's an auto. She ('She' has walked over to the car and is peering through the window) wants a manual."
She: "I may be blonde but it's got a gearstick"
Salesman: "Ahem, err, oh is it? I, err, it's been sold, yes, that's it, sold yesterday, haven't had time to take it off the lot yet.
Me: Silent stare.
Me: "Ok. I think we're done here".
Next day, she calls in, cancels her order and places it with Chandlers Ford Audi who match the price, offer pleasant, efficient service and through in a touch of honesty for good measure. Car arrives next month.....