Monday, July 28, 2008

Another One Bites The Dust

Everything I own is breaking and I don’t know why. On Friday, our beloved Infiniti J30 bit the dust. If you can call several repairs in the hundreds of dollars “nickel and diming”, that’s exactly what it’s been doing to us lately.

No big surprise, I guess. It was 11 years old. It doesn’t get driven that much. Maybe that’s part of the problem. We’ve had that car for 8 years and only put 14,000 miles on it.

On top of developing some fuel injection issue a few days ago, it started making some clunking noise in the rear of the car. I don’t know what that was, but before I could even get it in to our mechanic for repairs, the transmission went. RIP Infiniti. It’s over.

If I could have picked it up I would have put it in my family room/broken thing graveyard next to my beautiful big screen TV that started on fire and melted. We were going to buy a new one this weekend. Not going to happen now.

After JW and I were done weeping, we decided to buy another car. We both liked the Infiniti, but the reason we put so few miles on it was because it was too small for our family. Since we are usually accompanied by not only our four kids, but often times several of their friends or an entire cheerleading squad, we decided to go with a larger SUV for the replacement.

I know...gas guzzlers. We don’t drive the second vehicle all that much, so that really doesn’t matter, but now we could if we needed to do so. For us, it works.

I am the car buyer in the family. I don’t know why. That’s just how JW and I roll.

I went to a nearby dealership to look at a used Jeep they had listed online. I had never been to this dealership before, but it looked like a good deal for us. If there were a “How To Be A Sleazy Car Salesman Handbook”, this dealership followed it to the letter.

When I buy a car prefer what I call, the no nonsense approach. Don’t yammer at me. Let me drive the car in silence. Tell me the real price you’ll let this car go at off the bat and get me the heck out.

I’m a Payless shoes kind of gal. I don’t need help, I just want to buy what I want and go. I don't need someone telling me how nice my toes look in the shoes.

I tried to sneak into the dealership, but Salesman Dean spotted me before I even found the Jeep I was seeking.

Blah. Blah. Blah. It took him 20 minutes of yammering despite my pleas that he just go get the keys. Had I been seeking a new vehicle, I would have walked right out of there. You can’t be so impatient when buying used, though.

I drove the Jeep and Dean would not shut up. I asked him to please be quiet so I could hear the car. I guess this violates sleazy car salesman handbook because he wouldn’t do it.

I wasn’t that crazy about that Jeep, so I drove a couple of other SUVs and decided I really liked a 2000 Dodge Durango they had on the lot.

When I asked how much, Dean talked for another half hour about how he used to be a cop,( just like my hubby!) until he had a stroke and how his wife drives this same exact Durango. What a coincidence, right?

Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.

The Rock Chick was losing her patience. “Dean, please stop talking. The next thing out of your mouth better be the rock bottom price of this car or I’m leaving.”

I think he believed I was serious because we went back inside. He, of course, had to check with his manager to get me the price. You know, the internet price and then the “cop price” and “this is a gas guzzler and nobody else will buy this” price.

I really should just shop at Carmax.

That took almost an hour. He peeked in on me now and then and some other salesman came over to chitchat.

I got up to leave but Dean stopped me at the door. Sorry, the manager was busy. More blah blah blah.

He gave me a price that, to be honest, I thought was fair. I had come to look at a Jeep and wasn’t armed with all the info on the Durango, but it did seem reasonable and I figured if I counter offered, I'd be there until Thursday.

OK, Dean, you have a deal. Write it up and get me out of here.

Dean pulled out a stack of forms by the dozen. “Don’t you have a computer that does all that?” I asked. For once he didn’t have an answer, but I’m guessing it was no because he proceeded to handwrite all these forms. They must be old school.

He looked up every once in a while to tell me how beautiful I was, how well I drive for a woman, that my husband is a lucky man, how amazing that it is I have four teenagers and how savvy of a car buyer I am.

Yes, Dean, I AM FREAKING FABULOUS. I know. Just keep writing.

If I tell you it took Dean four hours of screwing around to finish the paperwork, would you believe me? I went to Burger King and Walgreen’s to distract myself while he wrote because I was really getting tempted to reach over and grab him by the neck.

Minivan mom goes berserk at auto dealer and twists salesman’s head off. Details at 10.

Ok, it would have to be the next morning’s newscast because it was already well after 10 and I got there at 5 PM.

After Dean gave me the names of every cop he knows at every department in the area (do you know him? do you know him? yes. no. nod.) Finally, the paperwork was done. I paid for the car and I thought I could go.

No so fast, Rock Chick. I still had to see Rocco The Sales Manager, who wanted to thank me for my business (uh huh) and the one vehicle processor they had working, Pito, was still a little behind washing my new ride and attaching the temporary plates.

I told Dean to tell both Pito and Rocco to get a move on. I’m beyond irritated.

Waiting. Waiting. More Waiting.

Dean told me all of his cop stories and which cops he knows at what nearby departments. He even called one of them that we both knew to say “hey, and guess who I am selling a car to right now!”.

Some other salesman wanted to buy me a pizza.

I put my foot down. I yelled loud enough that Rocco came out of the hole he called an office.

“Dean, I paid you for this car. Cash. It’s mine now. I’m holding all the paperwork. Pull it around dirty and without plates, I don’t care. I have a sponge and a screwdriver at home.”

Rocco gave me the “Pito’s almost done” and thanked me for my business, complimented me on my orange purse and tried to sell me some insane extended warranty that cost almost as much as the Dodge Durango itself. It was super duper and covered things like auto theft, car rental if I were in an accident and emergency road service reimbursement. You know, the stuff that my auto insurance already covers.

Rocco was what I call a “lounge lizard”. Over jewelried, over slicked and one smarmy thing after another coming out of his mouth.

“Forget it, Rocco. I’m not going to buy it.”

He tried again with a different approach about how I just made an investment in that Durango and I don’t want to protect it?

A car is an investment? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA! Perhaps Rocco needs a dictionary. I reminded him that what he’s trying to sell me, my auto insurance already covers.

He starts to tell me that’s not true until I remind him that not only do I know what my auto insurance covers, I actually sell auto insurance.

Ok, he said, but say my car is stolen, I could collect from my insurance company and this “other company”. I could get double! Like an insurance lottery or something.

You know, I’m no insurance fraud investigator, but something in my gut tells me that my insurance company would take issue with that.

“Rocco, it was very nice to meet you, but tell Pito to move his butt and drive my car to the front. I’m leaving.”

Rocco got very pissy all of a sudden. He told me that he stayed late just to thank me for my business and he’s just trying to get me to protect my investment and I won’t even listen to him. Yeah, ok, Rocco. Kiss my ass. We’re done. Catboots on.

Amazingly, Pito had just finished screwing on the temporary plates and within moments had my new to me SUV at the front doors.

I had a headache and was glad to go home after 6 and half hours at a dealer for a cash deal. Ridiculous, but I was super happy with the SUV.

JW and I drove it, checked it all out and I don’t know what possessed me, but I went to the dealer's website to look at the car I just bought.

Online, the price was $1,000 less than I paid for it. I checked Vehix and the same price was listed there, too. Really, I thought what I paid was fair and that’s the only reason I sat there so long. Now I was livid.

So, dressed in my Catboots, I went back the next morning to see Dean and Rocco. I have to say, when I walked in the door, they were a little surprised to see me.

Honestly, I didn’t really expect them to do anything about the price because the deal was already done, but it was worth a shot. It was $1,000!

In Dean’s attempts to make friends with me, he gave away too much information about the cops he knows who refer him business. I sell things for a living, too.

I showed Dean the printout off his website and he turned a little pale.

“Dean, you told me yesterday that the price you gave me was the internet price. You played the cop card and even called an acquaintance of mine to tell him I was buying a car. Imagine how slow your “cop referrals” are going to be when I tell all those mutual cops we know how you ripped me off.”

Shit. I’ll tell cops I don’t even know. What do I care?

Some woman who at first appeared to be a customer at the next table got up and walked into Rocco’s office.

Rocco came out all sweet and lounge lizardy. This is a mistake on our website. More blah, blah, blah.

I handed him the Vehix listing, as well. Is this a mistake, too?

They went to talk to Rocco’s manager for like thirty minutes and then came back. I have to admit, I was shocked that they were going to refund me the difference.

Call the police, this woman is trying to steal this car! BWAHAHAHAHA! Funny, Rocco. Do they teach you that stuff in smileball school?

Catboots one. Lounge

It only took me 8 hours to pay cash for the car, but after the $1,000 back, it was totally worth it.

Although, I’d never go there again and I still will tell everyone I know not to go there, either :)


Jessica Morris said...


what a story. that's ridiculous - I cannot believe they tried to cheat you!

Jessica Morris said...

oh - check to see if they're listed online - there's a site (or many!) that local business can list with and people leave reviews. I checked out several used car lots before we bought our car - this info could really help out other ppl!

Crystal said...

Wow, that's crazy!

I'm not fond of the guy who sold us our Tribute last month. He was your typical car salesman with an obvious issue with women. Dustin looked at the car first then I went later on to test drive it with him. The guy met us outside and asked if we were ready to buy a car, and Dustin said he brought me to look at it. The guy said, "what, do we need to paint it pink for her?"

Had I not been on the phone at the time and not heard him (Dustin told me this later) he would have gotten a kick in the groin instead of a car sale. But we really liked the car.

Dustin said...

If I ever find myself just anxious to drive to Illinois to buy a car, I'll make sure to stay away from that place!

Ok, seriously, what crap! I hate when salesmen act like that. We were in the market for a car a few years ago and we went to this one place that the guy we dealt with - stereotypical used car salesman. It was as if I was watching it on TV! AND I told the guy up front what our price range was and that we would not be financing the car. He tried to show me a car that I KNEW was out of my price range. He said "If I can get it in your price range will you buy it?" I said "I doubt you will, so sure!"

We went in and he did the sales offer stuff and came back with a price that was more than DOUBLE what I said I was willing to pay and a finance plan. When I said "it's either what we talked about or we walk out right now" he said "come on, you gotta work with me here." I said "No thanks" and we left.

As Crystal mentioned, our most recent experience wasn't great either, but the guy wasn't a slimeball. He just had a lot of stereotypes about women and wanted to tell us all about them. Only soccer moms drive vans, so women hate vans. Now women drive SUVs because they're not vans. Women hate SUVs because they're the new soccer mom van. Most women don't like SUVs because they drive like trucks....on and on he went. Crystal said...we liked the vehicle...we still like the vehicle.