Monday, January 05, 2009

Stop and Go

Speaking of Buick Enclaves (which I was, honest--just read the prior post!), I heard from the salesperson at Carl Black Buick this afternoon. You may recall that was the first dealership I visited. The first day I went there, I couldn't get a test drive; the second, they couldn't find the keys for the vehicle that I wanted, nor could they find the keys to move the other vehicles that had that one blocked in the lot--nor did they have anyone look at my trade-in, in spite of my having asked three times that they take a look.

On Friday, the salesperson called and said that he had received a shipment of two Enclaves that had the features I wanted, including cooled front seats and second-row bench seats (they fold flat, which makes 'em much handier for me when it comes to picking up books). He ran through the vehicles' features, but said nothing about the entertainment systems. "Do they have Entertainment Package #4?" I asked (this is the package that includes a 5.1 DVD-Audio-capable surround system, which is what I wanted). Long delay as he read through the list of features.

"It doesn't say," he finally replied. That seemed odd, but I took his word for it.

"Can you find out and call me back?" I asked.

"Just come on by and take a look," he said. I explained that my schedule didn't allow for another pointless trip, and asked again that he find out and call me back with the info. He said he would.

Today, three days later, he calls back. "What did you decide on that Enclave?" he asked.

I reminded him that I wasn't supposed to have decided anything until he called back to give me the information I needed, and he hadn't done so. Apparently, this totally confounded him. "Don't you want this car?" he asked. I explained that I had no idea if I wanted that car or not, since he had yet to tell me what features that car had.

"You're just going to have to give up something if we're going to make this deal," he countered. I explained that actually, I wasn't going to have to give up anything; if he didn't have the vehicle I wanted, then I had a perfectly adequate vehicle with only 10,700 miles on it, and I could just keep driving that. "So why don't you find out what sound system is in these cars and call me back?"

"These cooled front seats are the real problem," he replied. I reminded him that three days before, he had explained that he had two cars that had cooled seats. Ignoring that, he went back to his line, "You're not going to get everything you want--you have to be willing to give something up."

I told him again to call me back with the information, and we'd talk about it. I suggested he call me in 15 minutes.

It's been 3 hours, and I've yet to hear back from him. I suspect that, in two or three days, I'll get another call akin to the one I received today, and I'll be no closer to knowing what features they have in the vehicles on the lot, or what trade-in value they might offer on my 2008 Sienna. And I suspect I'll be no closer to owning an American car.

Is this the way all these guys do business? One dealer tries to take advantage of customers on trade-in, the other tries to make the deal as difficult as possible... I guess I've been spoiled after 32 years of dealing with Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Acura, and Toyota...

1 comment:

Sven said...

A BUICK..A BUICK..! Cliff we're getting old but not that OLD. Thats like an Oldsmobile, don't see those around any more. The Buick will suffer the same fate soon. First GM has to restructure and dump some more of the dead wood.
Their trying to sell the Hummer brand with no luck, who would want a brand that consists of a box on wheels and a Jeep whanbe.
Saab will soon follow, though it has never been a stellar performer in the States it has a chance to survive.
Saturn could be spun off, and that would be the best bet for it's survival. Then you look at Pontiac and there is nothing unique.
That reduces GM to it's core, Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC, that's what I think will be left when all is said and done.

As for the attitude of the dealers, they know the days are numbered. You have to give up something we're not going to making these anymore, so please buy what I have, I don't want to get stuck with it.

Good Luck!