A Swindon-born multimillionaire claims he was ignored by staff at a Ferrari showroom because he was wearing a tracksuit – a mistake that cost the business more than £400,000.
43-year-old Matt Fiddes, who is known for being Michael Jackson’s former bodyguard, was prepared to blow up to half-a-million pounds on two supercars on Saturday (18 February).
But, whilst attending Dick Lovett in Swindon, the entrepreneur – worth £120 million – said he was wandering around for 20 minutes while sale staff ignored him – before his wife Moniqe, 29, got fed up and asked for help.
Matt said he could have bought every car in the showroom but left empty-handed. He said once staff recognised him they were ‘all over him like a rash’ but he had already made up his mind to buy elsewhere.
Matt, who lives in Tiverton, previously bought a Ferrari 360 Spider from the garage when he was 29 and went in again after taking an event in Swindon that weekend.
But claims staff might have assumed he was a time waster because he was wearing a tracksuit. He warned salespeople should never prejudge and said the dealership lost out on a huge sale because of it.
Matt, who made his millions with a string of martial arts schools, said: “I wanted to treat myself to a new supercar and I thought I would get my wife one too.
“I went in because I was in the area and I have had cars from them before – I bought a 360 Spider from the garage when I was in 29. I walked in right past everyone and was ignored.
“We wandered around for about 20 minutes before my wife said this is ridiculous and went over to one of the salespeople and said my husband wants to buy a car.
“Then two sale people were all over me like a rash but by that point I was already thinking I would buy one elsewhere.
“I don’t dress up a lot, I’m in tracksuits 99.9 per cent of the time because I am a fitness guy, that’s who I am. To be fair to them they probably have a lot of time wasters who just turn up, take a few pictures in the cars and then leave.
“I think they saw me in the tracksuit and probably assumed that’s what I was doing. I could have understood if they had been busy, but we were the only ones in there.
“If I have turned up in a suit and tie or been 20 years older it probably would have been a different story or if I had walked in with Michael Jackson back in the day.
“I was prepared to blow between £400,000 and £500,000 on two cars.
“It’s a lesson in why you shouldn’t prejudge people because they lost the sale of two cars. I could have bought all the cars in the showroom.
“It’s human nature to prejudge people but salespeople should know better and be trained not to do that, you never know what someone has in their bank account.
“In sales you should be taught to treat everyone the same.”
Adrian Burke, experience manager at Dick Lovett, said: “I can confirm that Mr Fiddes visited our dealership on Saturday.
“Upon arrival, Mr Fiddes was initially greeted by our Showroom Host, and following a brief delay due to high levels of showroom traffic, one of our Sales Team spoke to him about a selection of our Ferrari Approved range of cars.
“Dick Lovett prides itself on maintaining a consistently high level of customer service for anyone who visits our showroom, regardless of their appearance or clothing.”
Click here to join our WhatsApp Channel and get breaking news sent directly to your mobile – don’t forget to turn on notifications by clicking the bell icon.
Click a topic to read more stories like this: