Saturday, April 12, 2014

It was even worse than I anticipated

I made good on my promise to try to make it by the two dealerships I had been emailing with today.

It was an absolutely frustrating, depressing, infuriating experience.

After Peyton's three back-to-back-to-back games, I took Paige to meet her friends at the mall and helped her buy softball cleats. I made a quick detour through Hobby Lobby where I found fabric to make cushion covers for my bench - you're going to love it when I show you pictures. Except I don't know who I'm going to be able to pay to make them for me yet. I don't think I can pull off sewing this tapestry fabric, but it's really cool and matches the other stuff I have around the bench already.

At the Jeep dealership, I finally got to see the color blue I thought I was interested in. I don't know that I'm not interested in it now, but I thought the interior was going to be lighter. The guy I had been emailing was busy, so I got a back-up guy. We went on a test drive, I filled out some information, then I just wasn't feeling right about how the guy kept wondering around back and forth while getting my trade-in appraised and such. And I was really, really thirsty from being wind-blown and sunburned at the softball games. I just wasn't comfortable with the whole thing.

I considered it a sign from the Almighty when the electricity went out. I really did. It gave me an escape that they didn't have computers available to run numbers and try to talk me into anything. I told them they could email me with more information. Thankfully, I only gave them my home phone number. I'll get back to that in a minute.

From there, I went on to the Hyundai dealership that Dad and I stopped at the week before. As I pulled up, there had to be at least 7 salesmen out front, and the one woman came up to me. Once I got inside and said I had emailed the sales manager about my trade-in, they actually pulled in the salesman I had spoken to the week before as well. I got tagged teamed with the man and woman.

When I first arrived, I told them what I wanted to test drive. I wanted a sport turbo or a V6. Not the 4 cylinder. My mom has a 4, and that's the one major thing I don't like about her Santa Fe. My Jeep is a V6 and I don't want to go down unless it is the turbo boost.

It seemed like it took forever to put me in the computer and get my query sheet together. They went off to get my trade-in appraisal - which I tell everyone straight up is major factor in the whole deal. Finally, when I get to drive a car, they put me in the 4 that I already told them I didn't want.

I much preferred the turbo sport, but the only thing was... the car was white and after 10 years, I don't want white again regardless of the fact this white has sparkles in it. Regardless of how much resale value it has. I do not know what color I actually want I tell them because I cannot tell what color blue their blue is by the printed tiny color chip. However, this is a major speed bump for me.

Anyway, when I first get started, I tell them (this is the third time I've gone through this) what I want my payment to be. What I want to get in trade. This is where I need to be. These are my numbers.

They come back out at least $50 more a month than I say, and it's a big deal because I thought my number was pretty high as it was. Defeated, I just stare at it. They tell me what a great deal it is. I tell them, it's not happening.

So, they go back and forth, and like last week, we play this game three or four times. They give you a pen. You write down and initial your terms this time. You write the dreaded word TODAY so that the bosses will know you are serious and it isn't just the salesman making it up.

No matter how many times you tell them it won't happen today, they try to wear you down. And down. And down. This time, they got the numbers close and proclaim they aren't making anything - in fact, they are losing money. Like I believe that. I ask what I'd be getting if I got that "end of the month" deal they were pushing on me on March 31. On the last day of the month I heard talk of taking $5000 off of sticker price. That sure as heck isn't what I'm seeing today.

After wearing the two salesmen down, they bring out the "big dog." Recall, I went through this last weekend. This is how I know this is just a big, fat, ridiculous skit they go through training to learn. A fact that infuriates me all the more. Instead of the sales manager that's been wondering around the whole time who was actually nice last week and met my dad and gave me the quote in email, they send out another sales manager. This is the big, intimidating, burly guy.

This guy is convinced he can make me say yes. He all but literally twisted my sunburned arm. I'm told that my paid for car could fall apart last week. Instead of being jovial and friendly, it's the intimidation factor.

I don't really know who this works on. This has to make people mad. This has to send people out the door. The sales manager went as far as to tell the sales woman to go get the car cleaned up because he KNEW he was going to make me submit.

There was a point in time in my life, maybe not even that long ago that I caved to the pressure of others, but a series of events has led me to not let myself be run over any more. I finally told the guy I wanted to make a phone call.

A person should never go to a car dealership alone because everyone should have moral support. I didn't need my dad to help me make a decision, but I did need a word of encouragement to more forcefully say no because he knows me well enough to get me wound up and to know what I'm thinking. The big bully should have stood further away in my opinion. He lurked way too close. Even he gave up. Having done some online calculators, I knew something wasn't adding up. I asked what interest rate they were even offering because this was ridiculous.

My sales people came back, bless their hearts. They finally realized I was really conflicted and had been pushed to the point I was not committing. I had mentioned having called Dad since he had met my Dad. He wanted me to call again when he got prices down one more time to see what he thought. I told them my Dad didn't know my budget for that to make a difference - I called because he could tell where I was in my resolve.

The salesman had to even give me a hug when I left. He appreciated my humor up until the point he could tell I was beyond frustrated. I'm thankfully for my sunburned face or he might have been able to tell I was ready to break into tears.

I spent at least two hours there, and walked out ready to walk when my transmission and everything else the sales manager prophesied happening to my current vehicle happens.

When I got home, I had a message from the Jeep dealership that they still hadn't gotten their electricity back up. Then, they had called again. A little later, I had an email that they were able to meet my numbers and that they could bring my car to me that night.

WHAT IS IT WITH PEOPLE? I don't want these stalkers coming to my home. I spent the rest of the evening jumping at every slam of a car door in the neighborhood convinced they were coming to my house to torture me with mentions of TODAY and NOW.

Words can not describe how maddening this whole experience has been for me. Sales people should not be so shady on something that is such a commitment for a person. I don't HAVE to buy. I'm not in a desperate situation. This is an option for me. I haven't had a payment in years. I do good to drive anywhere 4 days a week. That's a big reason I'm not so eager to commitment. They should play nice.

Maybe that's just me.

MONDAY UPDATE TO THE SATURDAY POST:

The first salesman who asked about my "boo" is hot on my trail again. He's wanting to know if I will buy from him now that he has gotten the approval on almost doubling the original trade-in amount I was quoted there. That's further proof I was getting screwed on the original deal. He still wants to bring the car to my house. I'm screening my phone calls (he tried to call twice today), but letting him email me.

The guy at the second Jeep place (the one that was busy) called. I answered, and he tells me they have the numbers where I want them and can I come up today. I told him I was working, but what I really should have asked was, "it was just hailing! Why on earth would I come up to buy a new car during a hailstorm?!?!" I also told him to email me the numbers. He too was offering to bring the car and paperwork to my house.

In a case of deja vu, the numbers were considerably more than what I told them I wanted. I may have him off my back after telling him I am going to wait and save more money since the numbers were not what I said I wanted.

No wonder car salesmen have a bad reputation. In any other context they would be considered harassing stalkers. 

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