Can You Feel the Love? A Customer Tale

Imagine the excitement of chasing down the perfect car for months, locating it at last, and making a fun day trip to bring it home – to Manhattan. Now imagine getting 99% of the way there only to wind up in a freak blizzard. You manage to get to the dealership, just as they’re locking up early because they’ve lost power. The wind is howling, and there’s over a foot of snow covering all the cars on the lot. Your dream car is buried under there…somewhere!

Beautiful, even by flashlight in a blizzard.

This happened to Aleksas Hauser, a new Hoffman customer on a mission to bring that new Audi home to New York City. So in honor of Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d write about how we helped him “feel the love” from Hoffman. “I will never forget the sales people at Hoffman Audi, they truly made my experience purchasing a new car exceptional,” says Mr. Hauser. It’s doubtful that Nate Pekala, brand specialist at Hoffman Audi in East Hartford, will ever forget Mr. Hauser, either! Here’s his account of the evening:

The news was reporting major power outages throughout New England. The lights at the dealership were flickering on and off. When the announcement came that the dealership was closing and all staff was being sent home, I knew I still had a rough ride home to Massachusetts ahead of me. I finished up my work at 5 PM, just as we lost all power to the facility. Frank Daly, general sales manager, and I were the only sales staff still there.

Nate Pekala describes a sale he'll never forget!

As I was preparing to leave, a young man came up to me out of the darkness and asked if we were closed. I explained that unfortunately we were closing early because of the freak blizzard. He explained that he and his girlfriend had just driven 5 hours from Manhattan to see a particular 2012 Audi A5 2.0t he was considering buying. I hesitated at first – I wasn’t exactly dressed to go searching for the specific A5 in my leather loafers, with that wind, trudging through massive heavy snow! To boot, all of the keys were locked in our electric safe.

Frank and I managed to find the spare key and make our way through the blizzard to the car, which was way in the back of the lot. We pushed well over a foot of snow off the car and scraped the ice that it had become encased in. We drove the car directly into the dark showroom where Mr. Hauser could view it by flashlight. Much to our frozen dismay, we had the wrong midnight blue A5!

Frank Daly, Nate's partner in search and recovery!

Back to the far corner of the lot we went. We were soaked and freezing – but we found the right midnight blue A5 and uncovered it from even more snow and ice. Back in the showroom, as Mr. Hauser inspected the car, I explained to him that we are usually more prepared and professional but under the circumstances we would need to come to an agreement on the vehicle fairly quickly. Mr. Hauser decided it was the vehicle he wanted and we negotiated a fair deal while standing around the now unthawing Audi sports coupe. Mr. Hauser signed a purchase order and left a deposit under the glow of my cell phone!

Mr. Hauser wanted to pick up his gorgeous new car the following Saturday. We shook hands, wished each other a safe journey home, and planned to speak again on Monday. The following week our whole community was a FEMA disaster area in the wake of Storm Alfred. Still, Mr. Hauser was able to take delivery of his 2012 Audi A5 2.0t the following Saturday. He absolutely adores his new car, which is the first new vehicle he’d ever purchased. It’s definitely going to be his most memorable car buying experience – and I’m happy to have been a part of it!  Mr. Hauser gave us a perfect 1000 out of 1000 on our Audi customer satisfaction survey and this is what he had to say: “Despite arriving during a severe snowstorm, they were more than willing to assist me in looking and making a decision about my new Audi. They went above and beyond making me comfortable, even when the power went out!”