We made the decision to trade in our 06 Impala for a minivan or SUV, because I've been having back problems getting our 8 month old in and out of the car. Also, we got screwed on the interest rate on the car loan, so we decided to just trade it in and get a new one.
I did research at Consumer Reports and Edmunds, and test drove various vehicles at various lots. Whenever I went to test drive a car, I emailed their Internet Sales rep first and scheduled a time to do it (I never just walked in - I preferred to have appointments).
At this particular Honda dealer's website, I looked at their used inventory and saw a couple of used Odysseys. I made an appointment with the sales rep, went in and test drove the car, and liked it.
Later that week, I saw an ad on TV for leasing an 08 Odyssey for 0.9% interest and $209/month. That was a good payment price - we were looking to keep the price under $250 for a lease - and the Odyssey was the model I'd decided on after doing all of my internet research.
So I emailed the Honda dealer back and asked if they had the LX model in stock, which is the model that they were having the sale on. He said no, they didn't. I asked when they would be getting them in. He said that once I decided which one I wanted, he could order it for me.
At this point, I told him my first, second, and third choices for color. I'd already done all of my homework and at this point, I just wanted to fill out the paperwork and pick up the vehicle on Saturday.
He responded that he was unable to order an LX model unless I came in, filled out paperwork, and put down a down payment.
At that point, I'd had it with going back and forth with him. He certainly didn't seem to want my business. A far cry from when I leased my Civic there in '02.
I told him never mind, I would go to the Honda dealership in the next town, because they had several LX's in stock (I checked their website and called them to confirm) and there was a salesman available to lease me a vehicle on Saturday.
After that email, I got a form email from the "sales manager" at the dealership, wanting to know if there was anything he could do to assist me. I didn't even bother to reply.
We went to the other dealership on Saturday and left a couple of hours later with a brand-new minivan that I adore and love and totally don't go out into the driveway to hug.
The guy at the first dealership just emailed me this morning to ask if I was still interested in the used Odyssey that I test drove 2 weeks ago. I emailed him back "No thanks, we got an 08 Odyssey from (other dealership) on Saturday."
So ... is it bad service to refuse to order a model to the lot that is currently on sale nationwide?
TL;DR - dealership refused to order me a model of car that was on a nationwide advertised sale, unless I plunked down money first.