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Category: cars

04/28/12 07:27 - ID#56389

Maybe It's Me

I just took my son to the movies and we're coming out and this woman is parking her car very snuggly up to mine, so I basically can't leave. I, of course, raise an eyebrow. She gets out and says "I didn't hit your car." I reply "Well, you didn't buy it dinner either, could you please back up so we can leave and you can horde both space?" She attempts the stink eye but does give me the room to at least leave the parking space without the aid of rubber gloves.

Pulling up Main and Goddell, the Doubletree Hotel van driver weaves a tapestry of obscenity at me when I chose to stop at the red light. Apparently, I should have gone through to the light and taken my chances with the traffic coming off the 33.

Maybe it's me. I was running some saturday morning errands earlier and it did seem like idiosyncreasies amuck on the roads today. Apparently, if you are going to eat at Pano's, you have to park in their parking lot and road rage when you try to leave it. It seemed to be a theme. And watching the same site get replayed at the Co-op was kind of hilarious.

(Folks, just take a space on the street, it's the weekend and it would do your fat ass good to walk more than 10 feet to each establishment)

Maybe it's me.

I took in the Auction benefitting Give for Greatness (the arts group) over on Amherst Street this morning and had to drive around the shapnel of a fairly fresh accident at Delaware and Amherst, and nearly got pegged by somebody making a left, from Amherst, who was so semi-circling it, he was mostly in our lane.

My eldest daughter is learning to drive and doing really well. And funny enough, it's not her I'm worried about.

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Category: cars

02/25/12 03:48 - ID#56131

Farther On Up the Road

Continuing my car-ma theme from a couple of blogs ago, I did find a nice one. It's in the journal below, but it's acquisition was in an interesting tale as I don't think I want to buy that way ever again. But if I didn’t really like and I do, I might have walked away again. I went to recent used car warehouse sale at Eastern Hills Mall, largely to just see what parked out there behind the food court. There were some vehicles parked in the mall, but I took a “what the hey” stroll to see what was out and about. Now, it should be said, that volume used car shopping is bound to be a little bleah, beige, exciting as watching paint dry, etc. And going to one of these sales is something I don’t intend to repeat.

Anyway, nestled among some overpriced SUVs, Rav4, and other oversized trucksters, I found the Corolla. It looked great, inside and out. You knew it would be worth taking a swing at, so I flagged down a Sales rep to talk more. I had him go get the key after hearing his platitudes. He returned after disappearing to an “office” the dealership set up in an empty store front. I railed at him about all the stuff I wrote about in the “carma” blog two entries ago, so why surprise him with being a jerk later, might as well let him know where I stand from the get go.

We did a couple of laps of the mall and the car and I bonded. This is where the fun stops. I tell my new best friend, Tim, that this car and I are a good match. Let’s go talk to those who need talked to

We journey into the mall “office” where more sales reps, credit people are strewn across a network of card tables and water bottles. We start the ball rolling where an hour of waiting, while furious typing breaks out buying out the rest of my existing loan, evaluating the grand am that I was driving, and the dealership deciding where they will meet me on price. Where I screwed up was telling them to give me the best you can do from the start. Forgot to check on that, but learn from me dear reader. Tim reappears and advises me to follow down Transit Road to his actual office where we will get the papers signed, he’ll get the car inspected, detailed, and ready to go.

I get to meet the finance woman. Prior to arriving, I called my dad who was the wingman on my older sister’s recent lease from the same firm. I wanted to check when his finely honed b.s. detector went off. It was at this conversation. The finance “Expert” showed my deal. Then, the “genius” revealed all these other options available for my protection to further protect my car and my investment, since “Toyotas are complicated and foreign.” That sadly is an exact quote. This car was built in the exotic foreign land of…..Kentucky (thank you Car Fax). I managed to hide my contempt for this financial whiz kid, didn’t even ask her if when her boyfriend blows in her ear, does she remember to thank him for the refill. If she was the first person I met, this wouldn’t have happened.

With most of the staff at the mall, it seemed forever to get the paperwork done, a mere four hours after I stopped by, automotively six years and 40,000 miles younger. Not a perfect transaction, customers shouldn’t have to be on guard and reps shouldn’t be like vultures, and more importantly, the dealer’s staff shouldn’t have such contempt for clients that they barely mask their misinformation to get a deal done. Positives outweigh the negatives, but there shouldn’t be negatives.

Is that so wrong?
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Category: cars

02/06/12 11:20 - ID#56032

Fresh Hoopty

Picked up a new car on Saturday after spending some afterwork time looking at new used hooptys. After getting the run around at one sale on Thursday night, I found the 06 Carolla in the photo by chance. I'm laughing a little as the Rep from Thursday called Friday wanting to know if they could get in my price range would I come back. My thinking was if that could be done, why wasn't it the first time?

image

Found this one and kept a straight face while telling the Thursday Rep why we are done.

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Category: cars

02/04/12 11:39 - ID#56023

My carma ran over my dogma

While cursing how the office’s enewsletter client decided to fail me, I was distracted again by a car salesman.

I’ve started shopping. While as a friend pointed out, a new ride is an absolute blast, new thrills and all. What wrecks that for me is the crap you have to wade through to get to the thrill point. Thursday night, I met up with a rep who I purchased my last car from at a “Warehouse” sale out at the Fairgrounds. Four years ago, I didn’t give a style or make in mind, just a dollar amount. I didn’t have to have “the car” just four wheels that weren’t trying to kill me.

So, four years later, I’m employing the same methodology as I’ve started to think about the next vehicle. I’ve been looking online for awhile and the danger about that is a simple inquiry gets you lots and LOTS of follow up. So, off to the ag center I trudged, looking for adequate doesn’t exactly get you all a flutter.

I tried out a Vue, a Monte Carlo, a PT Cruiser, a Nissan, Kia Diamonti, an Ion, a Sportage and finally a Camry. There was an Escape in there too, but I got serious about a Camry. Figuring that you can rarely go wrong, we filled out some papers and it could be done at a rate higher than I cared to pay monthly. So, after almost three hours of mucking about, I got up and walked. Crazy, right? Sales rep lets me sit in an Alero and I think I’m done and head for the door. Suddenly, the finance manager wants to talk some more.

And I tell him that the Camry is a nice car, but they want too much for it. I’m sure they can get from some guy, but it isn’t going to be this guy. I set a budget for car payments and that wasn’t a ballpark figure and bid them goodnight. I go about my business today, including layout out a newsletter whose software lopped it in half, subscribers of which will be receive by-weekly since the damn thing apparently can’t handle too much data. Repairing to a local tavern to hear a favorite band and have a beverage, my phone rings. It’s the sales rep wanting to know my thoughts, what do I think, and what if we can get you to those numbers, etc

This is why people do not like buying cars, do not trust car dealers, enter into purchases trying to minimalize their screwing…..

It shouldn’t come to that. Customer should be able to say and have their thoughts taken seriously the first time around. It shouldn’t take all the dickering around, the parades to the “Finance Guy,” the convos with the Sales Manager, as it is all bullshit. That is the part of the car industry is messed up. Sure, it is great at selling cars, but twisted at customers, fine at acquistion, shitastic at retention.

If we can give me more for my trade, then DO IT!!!

See, delete the crapfest of dealer shenanigans, and people become regular customers.

Maybe if the customers weren’t rogered, or have to be brace themselves, the gaggle of sales reps would seem less vulture like. Maybe an atmosphere of all cards on the table on both sides FROM THE START would be good for less grief for customers and less angst from commission hungry sales folks.

Maybe that wasn’t a pig flying by my window……
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Category: cars

10/25/07 09:09 - ID#41789

A Unneeded Scare

Distracted drivers are one of my biggest pet peeves. If you are on the road, pay attention dammit. Hell, if you are in a car at all pay attention. Coming out of my apartment building, there is a long driveway that spills out onto Delaware Ave. This morning, I drove to the end of it and stopped, waiting the space that you can cruise onto Delaware. When this Lexus IN THE FUCKING DRIVEWAY!?!?! decides to back up without looking and side swipes us. I say us because my kids have been with me this week and two off them were in the car.

That ups my inner crazy level more. The impact wasn't that big a deal. On my car, you really can't tell anything was wrong, but it was enough to wake you up. She manages to trap me in my door with the back half of her car on Delaware. I crawl out of my passenger side and direct her to just pull forward without adjusting the steering wheel so the two vehicles were free. We were able to both inspect and it was largely much ado over nothing. She was classy enough to apologize to my kids, promising to look, etc.

We exchanged info, but I can't really find anything wrong that I can't fix with a paintbrush (and a small one at that). Kids have a helluva story to start the day at school. I guess this journal is one of the few I've written to get it out of my head so I can be productive today. I drove to work and everything seems fine.

After getting a look at my kids faces and the lack of anything substantive on the car, I'm letting it go. But Holy Shit am I awake now.
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