I'm not one to typically trash an establishment of any kind, but when the lying is this blatant, I need to vent.
Last night, my wife and I went car shopping. We went to one dealership first. The salesman was nice enough. Not a lot of glad-handing or innane babble ... just some general ideas of what's on the lot and asked us some need-to-know questions to get us to the cars we were interested in. We ended up test-driving a nice 2005 Toyota Corolla. Lovely car.
Not wanting to rush into the first car we test drive, we told the salesman that we'd need to test drive some other vehicles, and that we would definitely let him know what the scoop is--one way or the other. He was that nice. So we went across the street, and immediately tumbled down all 7 levels and across the river Styx to the 3rd inner ring of car salesman hell.
This kid comes bumbling over to us, and I already didn't like him. He just had this air of arrogance and stupidity about him that irked me from the get-go. "OHhhh ... so you're looking for a car, eh? WHat kind?"
"Well, our budget is XX.XX. What do you have for that or under?"
"Hmmm ... not a lot. But we have this fabulous (insert whatever make and model here) for about YY.YY!! How about we get you behind the wheel and take a test drive?! HUH? HUH!?!?!?"
At that point, we should have turned around and left. We didn't. We did, however, test drive a lovely 2006 Honda Civic. I'm convinced that that will be our next car, but not from that place.
The Civic didn't have a sticker price on it. Or chalk price. Or paint price. No price whatsoever. Now, I told Jr. what our budget was. After he tried showing us these other pricey cars, I reminded him of what our budget is. "Oh, alright. Let's take a look at this Civic." So we did. Drove it, loved it. Still no idea what the price is. "Find out what the price is and TELL ME."
"Okay, but let me ask you this. If I can make the numbers work, would I be able to earn your business today?"
"Ummmm ... what?"
"If I can get the numbers to work for you, would I be able to earn your business today?"
What a stupid question. "Of course. Why wouldn't I buy it if the numbers work for us?"
So we go in. Instead of crunching numbers, he hands us a credit application.
"Hey. What does this have to do with the price of the car?"
"Oh, well ... nothing, but while I'm figuring out what I can do for you, let's start filling out the application. Just in case!"
Wow. I really wanted to take this kid and tie him to a barbed wire fence and throw tomatoes at him. I didn't though. Know why? Cuz at my core, I'm actually quite nice. :)
He comes back. "Okay, so, like we discussed (which we never did), you might need to consider a bump. You said you would (no I didn't). Right now, I can get you into this car for (double what we told Jr. our budget is)."
"I hate to point this out to you, but that's not a bump. That's a sink hole. And I'm not jumping in."
"Well, I told you what the range would be; you knew that ..."
"Look. you told me nothing about the price of that car. I asked you repeatedly if you had found out anything about it, and you always said 'no.' The car is our of our range, and I'm not buying it. Period."
"but you said if I could make the numbers work, I could earn your business."
"And you could have ... IF the price were IN OUR BUDGET. Remember that figure I gave you when we came on the lot and have been constantly reminding you of what our budget is? That IS WHAT IT IS."
"Well, what if I could keep the montly payment under, say, $250?"
"I don't care what the montly payment is. I'm interested in THE BUDGET."
"So, if you have a $XXXX car and your payment is $500, you're okay with that?"
"Yes, because it's about the budget--not the monthly payment. We'll have the car paid for within a matter of months--not years. You have no early pay-off penalties, so it doesn't make sense for me to draw out the payments over 3, 4 or even 5 years if I can pay it off in 5-6 months, now does it?"
"Well, I showed you what we have in your budget. Those are the cars we have."
"Yah. And you also showed us a bunch of cars that weren't in our budget, and basically wasted our time."
No lie--all told we were there for 3 hours. My wife and I left feeling dirty, clogged and royally pissed off. We decided that we didn't care of that Civic dropped to $50; we're not buying a single thing from that dealership.
Ironically, I came home and did some Kelly Blue Book number crunching of my own. According to their site, the dealership was over-selling the car by about $7000. No lie. I'm sorely tempted to print off this report, march over to the dealership, call out the sales manager, and throw that in his face. But I won't. Cuz I'm a nice guy. Just don't piss me off. :)