Rolex Authorised Dealers (lack of) new customer service?

I'm a recent collector with only relatively budget purchases so far. But that doesn't stop me dreaming of buying something higher end in the future.

I can tell you now that my future expensive or grail watch will NOT be a Rolex.

That's not to say I don't admire some of their watches and very much respect their history as any watch enthusiast really should.

However I have had such shockingly poor customer service at three seperate Rolex outlets in London that I have lost any will to purchase one of their watches.

I'm aware that as a new customer you can't purchase a new watch in their stores. I have tried to buy a submariner, a datejust and an explorer. These were displayed but not available.

At two of the stores I was not even allowed to try one on or have a closer look!

At my last visit the sales team member did not even leave his seat to properly engage with me and was completely disinterested. I was with my wife on that occasion and she was flabbergasted by the unfriendliness of staff.

I'm a middle aged articulate and reasonably smart bloke so I would have thought I warranted at least a modicum of interest as a potential purchaser.

At one of the dealers my details were placed on the " non waiting list" which is really a register of interest and is a pretty pointless exercise. Two of my friends have been on such registers for several years and still don't own a Rolex.

I do understand that Rolex are concerned with punters flipping watches as soon as they are purchased.

1Zepolkcir published a really interesting article on this subject on watchcrunch for those interested and that opened my eyes to flipping watches for reasons other than making fast cash.

I also understand that if you are an existing customer with history you may be able to buy a new Rolex this side of the armagedon or that if you are really fortunate you can buy a less popular "ladies" model as a route in BUT as a prospective new customer really Rolex??

There is an actual waiting list for Porsche, Audi , BMW, Range Rover etc due to the chip shortage. But you get given an expected delivery date and you are regularly updated by the dealership. Imagine that Rolex?

My friend is an Omega person by way of comparison and I have been with him at a dealership where we were treated in a friendly manner by enthusiastic staff who actually SOLD him the watch he was after! Just imagine that.

I believe most brands use that business model and it seems to work .

I'm not a Rolex hater as previously stated but their new customer service is truly awful.

Frankly what is the point of a Rolex Shop for any body except existing customers (those fortunate few)?

I realise this post may ruffle a few feathers amongst existing Rolex owners but I feel it needs to be said and Rolex are failing and therefore losing a large number of potential customers.

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So sorry to hear about that, but I must say that I’m always treated very well by local ADs in Florida.  The watches are not easy to get, but I just bought a new DJ41 and I was told I could get a new GMT BLNR in the next year or so.  
 

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I'm glad you had a positive experience! I visited three over a period of months to see if my experience was specific to one location. As a now existing customer you then seem to have a much easier journey to obtain another?

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Guvnor64

I'm glad you had a positive experience! I visited three over a period of months to see if my experience was specific to one location. As a now existing customer you then seem to have a much easier journey to obtain another?

I bought my Submariner when I was still living in Pennsylvania, so technically I was a brand new customer at this local AD.  I really don't know what the secret sauce is.  My wife and I walked into the shop.  I said I wanted a DJ41.  I gave the exact specifications I wanted (silver dial, fluted bezel, jubilee bracelet) and they said I should be able to get it anywhere from 3 months to 1 year.  It took about 5 months.   I was wearing my Submariner on my wrist though...Not sure if that had any influence over things...

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Interesting! I do think that the fact you were wearing the sub meant you were effectively displaying your membership? Like there are no tables in the restaurant but the maitre d recognises you and manages to fit you in! If you had not been wearing the sub I suspect it may have been a different outcome?

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Guvnor64

Interesting! I do think that the fact you were wearing the sub meant you were effectively displaying your membership? Like there are no tables in the restaurant but the maitre d recognises you and manages to fit you in! If you had not been wearing the sub I suspect it may have been a different outcome?

You could be right.  Of course, we have no way of knowing for sure, but if I was wearing my Apple Watch, then things could have turned out differently.

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Jeez Louise that is not acceptable. Id say complain to Rolex but you can't even find an email address! I've given up dreaming of a brand new Sub as a grail and have focused on preowned. They will never get a penny off me

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That is actually a really good idea! I do have a thing ( whisper it) for the Explorer so that may be a potential future purchase as used BUT won't it cost a lot more than retail?

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Minor correction here, but for some Porsches, most Ferraris, all Birkin bags, supply chain issues have nothing to do with it. An off the street customer has never had a shot at a GT3 for example.

Regarding your experience, that stinks, and I hope it is specific to the ADs you visited. I find the large chains (IE Tourneau) put in much less effort when helping new clients off the street with Rolex. One also has to understand, there is a stream of wannabe flippers walking in every day because they see it as a get rich quick scheme. At this point many sales agents have stopped trying to decipher who is legit or not.

Find a smaller AD, and go back and read previous threads about building credibility. We can argue all day about “why should I?” and I can understand that, but for those who put in the effort to establish a relationship, it usually pays off.

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I have a big thing for Porsche and lots of experience of their dealerships . One of the reasons I love them apart from their excellent cars is their tremendous sales staff who live and breathe their product. I was expecting something similar with Rolex. I do agree that if I were to return to the least bad of the three Rolex Shops I have been to I would likely be able to cultivate a better and more personable relationship with the sales team. However should the onus be on me? Surely Rolex sales staff should reflect their products in the same way that they do in top marques of cars or indeed similar watch brands such as Omega where feedback is almost always very positive?

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Feel free to correct me but my understanding is that the closest a none Rolex owner can to a fast track is through introduction (and the better the introduction, the less friction on said track, if you catch my drift).

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That's also interesting! Two of my friends are Rolex owners but I hadn't considered that route. To be honest as I'm not busting to get a Rolex and my experiences have been so poor I won't be rushing back!

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It will be quite difficult (but not impossible)  to get a stainless steel sport model from a Rolex AD. Poor customer service is poor customer service but Rolex (the company / foundation) can’t be blamed for poor behavior ADs. At least not entirely. It’s not Rolex that refuse to talk to you, it’s the dealers.

It does seem that everything I’ve read and seen online indicates Rolex ADs in the UK are now known for very poor service and Rolex may be stripping some of them of their AD status. Shame.

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martini

I bought my Submariner when I was still living in Pennsylvania, so technically I was a brand new customer at this local AD.  I really don't know what the secret sauce is.  My wife and I walked into the shop.  I said I wanted a DJ41.  I gave the exact specifications I wanted (silver dial, fluted bezel, jubilee bracelet) and they said I should be able to get it anywhere from 3 months to 1 year.  It took about 5 months.   I was wearing my Submariner on my wrist though...Not sure if that had any influence over things...

Wearing the one you already own is 100% influential to Rolex AD's. 

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Honestly, I‘ve never been into a Rolex shop, and I don’t ever plan on it. While there are several of their watches I’d love to own, I’ll get them online or not at all. I’m offended by their business model and lack of concern for new customers, and I have no wish to allow some salesperson to visit that distain upon me. **** them. 

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UnholiestJedi

Wearing the one you already own is 100% influential to Rolex AD's. 

Yeah, if I were going to make an attempt, I’d wear my Datejust, but I doubt they’d be impressed. It’s just part of the model. Letting regular people know they aren’t important lets the people they care about understand how lucky they are.