Unlike many people in the automobile business, I buy a car or two every now and then. It is amazing how curious everyone is about my purchase and how it was handled.
First, I get a questionnaire that asks about the transaction. That is where the cookies come in. I've never received my box of cookies, but I understand why a dealer would want to send them to me.
When I've had my new car for a few weeks, along comes an eight-page questionnaire about the dealership. Technically, it's not a dealership survey, but every question has to do with how I liked buying my car at XYZ dealership.
Of course dealers know how important those questionnaires are. We always get an inquiry from them asking whether everything is OK just before the questionnaire arrives.
Sometimes we get another questionnaire later asking whether we've had any problems with the vehicle and if so whether the dealership took care of them without any difficulty.
Then a bit later, we in the US get J.D. Power's questionnaire. By then, it has been a while since the purchase. We have lost the romance with our not-so-new vehicle, and Power wants to know everything bad about it.
We know what will happen to our favorite car company if we treat it badly. So I've been waiting for the manufacturer to send along a box of chocolate chip cookies. But I've yet to get any.
Then if you take your car in for service, you'll get a call or a questionnaire from the dealership asking how it went.
It's a good thing all those questionnaires have stamped return envelopes, or we'd be hit hard in the pocketbook.
And Power isn't the only one curious about how you like your new car. There are others with questions, and they hope you'll favor them with a response.
Those questions and answers, if used properly, do have something to do with improving the breed.
I'm still waiting for the North American dealers association to send me a questionnaire about factories so the dealers can get even with the factories.
Meanwhile, here in the US we're in the middle of a presidential election campaign. But I have yet to get a questionnaire or phone call asking me my preferences about the upcoming election.
That's too bad. I'd be glad to give them a piece of my mind, and I don't mean about my cars.