Monday, April 9, 2007

It doesn't have to be this hard.

Saturday the we went and bought the wife a new (different) car. She hated her old one, and it was about to be due for some expensive upkeep, so it was time. I'll spare you the long sordid tale, but I'll sum up with it took us 5 hours and we turned down no less than 6 offers. We heard them fleece a lady in the haggling cube next to us. The dealership didn't listen to what we were saying, they tried to misdirect, mislead, and bully us into paying more for the car. It was genuinely a terrible experience, AND all this was with us knowing the family that owns the dealership. I can't imagine what it's like for normal folks. It was horrible. I have been involved in the buying of 3 vehicles now. My parents bought a Saturn in '93. Great experience. No haggle, no hassle, and my folks paid cash. Doesn't get any easier than that.
In '02 with my aunt working for Ford, I got in on the X plan. It's an employee pricing deal. Also no haggle. It costs what it costs and that's it. Should have been a slam dunk. I knew what I wanted, and would settle for nothing less. I went to 3 dealerships who kept trying to wedge me into trucks I didn't want because it was what they had on the lot. Finally the folks at Sunset Ford took great care of me. I sat down, filled out a sheet and they ordered the truck I wanted. Six weeks later, it was mine, and 5+ years later I still drive that same truck. They were great. If I didn't live 3000 miles away, I'd buy my next vehicle from them.
Needless to say this final experience was horrible when compared to those, I was irritated at the sales folks for thinking I was dumb enough to fall for their tricks, and they were irritated at me because I'm not biting, and let's be honest after hour 3 I wasn't very nice. It was no fun, but finally I feel like we got a fair shake and they must have made some money or they wouldn't have done the deal. So the wife has her new Jeep, we pushed our financing out 2 years, but lowered our interest rate, and thus our payment and total cost (and let someone else replace the clutch) for a newer vehicle. I guess that’s worth 5 hours of my time, but there’s got to be a better way. How great would it be if you could buy a car like you buy a computer. Go to the website, pick the bits you want, and sign on the dotted line. Your financing comes back instantly you say yeah or nay, and the computer arrives via UPS. No haggling no problem. Dell makes money and Ford doesn’t, is that a coincidence? Yet car companies still do business like Bedouin traders. It makes no sense. Bah, they can all get stuffed.

Oh btw Happy Easter.

We had some friends over for French toast, and played some Bocce in the park. A good time was had by all.. almost not. We were playing when all these little kids rush out of the Sunday school on an Easter egg hunt. And one sprints towards where we are playing to grab the Jack (sometimes called Pallino it’s the target ball when you’re playing bocce) We’re all yelling “NO, NO, IT’S NOT AN EASTER EGG.” Perhaps bocce in a public park on Easter Sunday isn’t such a great idea.

No comments: