Doing it Wrong: Beaverton Toyota

Form letters are fine and dandy. No one knows understands the beauty of systems and automation better than I do.

But, more often than not, form letters need to be reviewed and customized before they are transmitted.

Case in point: the email I received from Beaverton Toyota.

  • Hello Cory. The email address I provided to the sales person was And yet the letter is addressed to my husband Cory.
  • I hope you are enjoying your new Prius. This would be a perfectly-fine sentiment to include in a thank-you letter, except for the fact that we hadn’t received our vehicle yet. It was still going through customs at the Port of Portland.
  • I know I mentioned the Toyota survey... No mention was made of said survey.
  • It wouldn’t have hurt to have employed the services of a professional copy editor. (And I thought I was hyphen happy.)

Note to self, the old adage is true: The devil is in the details.

Hello Cory

Just a quick note – again – thank you for your business. I hope you are enjoying your new PRIUS.

Please call me – anytime – if you have any questions or concerns about your new vehicle and don’t forget to tell anyone you know that is in the market for a new or used car to give me a call.

If we are adding any items to your vehicle – and, you have not heard from our Service Dept within 7 days of purchasing, please give me a call.

I know I mentioned the Toyota survey that you will be receiving shortly, if you could take the time to complete it – it would mean a lot to me. If for any reason you feel we did not provide you with an excellent experience, please let me know before you answer the survey – to give me an opportunity to make it right. 

Remember you do get the first 2 years of maintenance free with your purchase (Toyota Care). We have one of the best service centers in town with Wi fi, computers, kids area with movies, snack machines and free coffee and donuts. Here is a link to our service department website – add it to your favorites. When it’s time to schedule that appointment you’ll know where to start.

Enjoy your new Toyota – and, thanks for the opportunity to be of service.

Regards and drive safely,


Beaverton Toyota-Scion


About Mary Rarick

Caffeine-addicted hyphen enthusiast, grammar geek and former editor; lover of shoes, vacuum cleaner tracks and compelling content; enthusiastic, perennial cause adopter; hash tag abuser, connector and social media strategist.
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4 Responses to Doing it Wrong: Beaverton Toyota

  1. I too – use – way too many – hyphens – love them in fact – much easier than a . but I like the … too
    Sadly most do not get the fact that these things can be personalized with a simple mail merge

  2. Mary Rarick says:

    Your hyphens made me smile, Thesa. I think a lot of people use them when they’d naturally pause in conversation.

    You’re right about the use of mail merges. There are so many great tools to help businesses personalize their form letters.

  3. Oh my! Having been on the other side of that email and knowing what systems they use to push out these emails (of which this is far from your last unless you opt-out), I’m reminded of so many of the soapboxes I got on at the dealership I worked for. Really. In this economy we’re not selling enough cars to remotely justify NOT sending a personal email and handwritten thank you card to every purchasing customer. This would take Joe Salesman 10 minutes out of his week to thank the two customers he had that week. (Note: the average salesperson at the largest dealer group in Portland sells 8 cars per month)

    I could rant for a while, Mary. I shouldn’t let this still irk me the way it does, but it SO does!

  4. Mary Rarick says:

    Thank you so much for the comment, Michael, and for the heads-up on my dismal future with the dealership. As soon as I’m done typing this response, I’m going to head over to the Toyota site and opt out of further emails.

    I agree wholeheartedly that a handwritten note would be much more welcome and memorable. So few companies understand customer service. It’s a pity.

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