Sunday, November 06, 2005

To buy a car

Yesterday we went on a mission to buy a new car. We have waited long enough and it was time to replace the smashed Cav. We still had not come to any particular agreement for a make and model. Keith has been favoring the Toyota Camry. I was leaning Honda, but really either one is good.

Keith lunged out of bed this morning to pick up a paper. Based on the newspaper ad we traveled to a far away Toyota dealer. A 2006 Camry SE was going for $18,893. Impressive. We scheduled the test drive online and were looking forward to getting this car for the amazing price. We arrived and were greeted by a salesman. I got a bad vibe right away, sensed this place was bad. I told Keith about my feeling and he gave me the look, the one all husbands give wives when they think 'she's nuts'. Except I wasn't crazy.

I didn't like this place for these reasons as demonstrated by the sales staff:
1.) I got a bad vibe immediately, seemed like some sort of macho male dominated place.
2.) The gentleman that was corresponding with us shook Keith's hand but left my hand holding air.
3.) He was too busy to work with us so we were passed to another man.
4.) The car we were after was brought around and the salesman focused all of his attention on the man, my husband, I was left standing on the curb wondering if this jerk would notice me.
5.) Customer service was terrible. Keith went on a test drive, and the salesman (after I declined, too much work getting the car seats, kids...) told me to just go and sit at his desk. His careless hand pointing to the direction of his desk was enough for me to feel insulted. Geez why don't 'cha send me to the corner?

I was left wondering what the heck this hell-hole dealership considered customer service. This is not a Home Depot twenty dollar purchase. We came to buy a car and I expect a certain level of service and treatment. I sat at the salesman's desk, in awful chairs with whiny children and waited for them to return. No one asked me if I needed/wanted anything. Because it must be fine for a strange woman with children to be left sitting at a sales desk. The other loser salesmen sat across from me and bitched about their crappy jobs and terrible clients. Now I understand. Apathy. How are these morons going to sell cars if they can't behave themselves around customers?

Keith returned and was happy. Yet I was (surprise) upset. He really wanted the car, it had all the good stuff and the price was excellent. I was not impressed. In fact I was not willing to pay this dealership one penny. The car was perfect and service was worse than terrible. I was not treated as a participant in the process, because you know, like women, don't have money or anything. That vexed me. I told Keith that I cannot be a part of buying a car from this place. We left. Never to return.

Off to another dealership we went. Keith was set on the Toyota. We arrived at the dealership and were greeted by an extremely friendly and nice man. He immediately shook my hand asked me how I was, he was starting off right. We began looking at the cars. Our salesman searched for what we described and located one in their overflow lot. We had to wait for the car to be located and during that time we discussed price. We did well. Not as well as we would have at the previous dealership but we were, or at least I was, treated well. We bought the car and paid more than we would have at the other place. Overall this dealership was better. Our service and attention was exceptional. Mr. Salesman played hide and seek with the girls brought us drinks and offered snacks. He ensured our children were tended to while we discussed the final aspects. We even got a car flag; Mr. Salesman promised Leah that if she behaved that she could take home the car window flag from the display car. Whereas the other dealership had a better price they had no idea how to provide decent customer service. I'll take a decent, respectful treatment over price any day.

No comments :