Jul 20, 2009

You know, no matter how you slice it, buying a car sucks. Having a new car is good, but buying a new car sucks. Longtime readers know that Merle Wayne Sneed has been driving the Sneed Family Junkster for coming up on nine years. It has served me well, but frankly, I'm sick of it. At least at the moment, I feel like I'm sick of it. You might recall that a few weeks ago I was toying with the idea of buying a Miata convertible. They sold it while I dawdled, so that is off the table. Especially since I refuse to shell out for a brand new one. One of my fallback positions is to buy myself a Honda Fit. The Fit is stylish in a quirky way, it gets good mileage and it has the Honda reliability. I even sent a email to a guy asking him to give me a no bullshit price for a Fit. I haven't heard back yet. Had I said give me your best total bullshit offer, he would have probably responded by now. Over the weekend I noticed a 2008 Honda CRV at the place where we bought Mrs. Sneed's Honda in 2005. It looked real nice, so this morning I popped over there to have a look see. This is where things always begin to suck. You meet the salesman. As I looked int he window of the CRV, a salesman came over to greet me. The first question out of his mouth was, "Are you here to see anyone?" He meant was I meeting any other salesman. I said no. At this car lot, they seem to have the attitude that once you have purchased a car from a salesman, you are his customer for life. For example, when I first saw the Miata I called the place and asked about it. The guy who answered the phone chatted me up a bit, asking among other things if I had bought there before? I told him I had some years before from a guy named Pat. Later that afternoon, Pat called me at home wanting me to come in for a test drive of the Miata. I told him I was thinking it over and might come in. The other guy must have turned my show-of-interest over to Pat. Today, I guess I was supposed to say, "Why yes, is Pat, the guy who sold me a car 4 years ago, around?" Instead I said I was not there to see anyone in particular. Maybe I'm not being fair to old Pat, but I don't feel obligated to do a whole dance over who waits on me or ultimately sells me a car. If the salesmen call dibs on me for life, that's not my problem, it's theirs. Anyway, this guy Keith takes me into his office and we chat for awhile. No pressure, just talking through the possibilities. Keith realized pretty quickly that I am a cheapskate and slow to action. Not exactly a salesman's dream. Keith has a line on a one-owner Honda Accord that he is supposed to call me about tomorrow. The other guy Pat came into Keith's office while I was there, but he didn't seem to recognize me. After all, it has been over four years. I did finally mention to Keith that I bought a car from old Pat years ago and asked him if he was okay with that? He said that he had no choice but to be okay with it since he had devoted an hour to me already. I could tell he was a bit conflicted. What do you think? Am I bound by some kind of code to deal with Pat now and forever? Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

8 comments:

Megan said...

I'm starting to suspect my dealership of a secret paging system. Every time I bring my Focus in for service, the guy who sold it to me somehow ends up in the service area, remembering my name and everything. It's almost six years, now...

Kurt said...

Seriously? Do you think Pat gives rat's ass about you?

Get the Fit.

Bella Rum said...

I hate buying a new car. We keep our cars until they leave us stranded in a ditch somewhere in Armpit USA. I rate buying a new car right up there with the suckiness child birth and that lovely exam you have to have for almost nine months.

Julia said...

Absolutely not.

I have limited experience with dealerships because I've only attempted to buy a car from them once. My salesman refused to give me the total price of the car, and would only talk about how much monthly payment I could afford.

Steve said...

Isn't it weird how buying a car is such an ordeal??

I don't see how you have any obligation to deal with ol' Pat. You concluded that transaction. Keith is your b*tch now.

Barbara said...

You're right. Buying a car does suck big time. You basically have to go in knowing what you want and what you are willing to pay for it and not listen to any of their jabber because it will only detract you.

Aren't you glad you don't have lifetime customers in the hardware business? Some other poor sucker of an employee needs the joy of waiting on many of the ones you describe.

Barbara said...

Hmm... make that "distract"

Reya Mellicker said...

I don't believe you should have to abide by hierarchical bickering amongst car salespeople.

It's bad enough trying to figure out what a fair price is for a car, let alone getting involved in their political infighting. For heaven's sake.