Their Business Will Soon (Truck) Stop

, , , | Working | July 7, 2018

(I am a 26-year-old woman. The majority of vehicles I’ve owned have been trucks, and I’m fairly familiar with service requirements and when they are due. I’ve just bought a brand-new truck, and I know it’s overdue for service but not really by much. This exchange happens at the dealership where I purchased it when I bring it in for service.)

Service Manager: “So, I see here that it is overdue.”

Me: “Yes, I’m aware. It’s not that bad, and the mileage over the recommended oil change is essentially pure highway — long clean running.”

Service Manager: “Regardless, we give these kilometer milestones for a reason.”

Me: “I’m aware of that.”

(Keep in mind the dealership-recommended milestone is significantly lower than the manufacturer milestone, which I know.)

Service Manager: “Well, since you said you were driving it up and down the highway, the brake pads are probably caked with dust. We can do a quick blow-off while the oil change is being done. We can also do a flush on some of the fluid systems while it’s up.”

Me: “Is that covered by my service plan?”

Service Manager: *looks me up and down* “If you need to call your boyfriend or husband or whatever to ask him what to do with his truck, it’s okay. I can wait.”

Me: *shocked and irritated* “Thanks for that, but this is actually my vehicle. I’m okay with you doing those extra things, as long as they are covered by my service plan.”

Service Manager: “Sure, we’ll make it work. You know, when you own trucks, it’s really important to take care of these things on time.”

Me: *getting increasingly more frustrated* “This is actually the third truck I’ve owned; I’m well aware of the service schedule. I work out of town, and it is not always convenient for me to bring it in. So, can you please tell me how long it will be before I can come pick it up?”

Service Manager: “Oh, I figure about four hours.”

Me: *knowing there is no way it should take that long, but done arguing* “Fine. I’ll be back then.”

(I come back four and a half hours later.)

Me: “Hi, I’m here to pick up my truck.”

Receptionist: “Did someone call you?”

Me: “No, but they said it would be done in four hours; I’ve actually given you an extra half hour.”

Receptionist: “I can check, but if no one called I can’t guarantee anything.”

(It turns out they are still not done. I wait another forty-five minutes before being able to take the truck and leave. And, after the very rude behavior of the service manager, he has still charged me for the other items. I am able to get a refund later, but what a pain. Fast forward a year, and the same dealership calls me.)

Receptionist: “Hi, this is [Dealership]. Our system indicates that your vehicle is due for a service. When can I schedule you in?”

Me: “Hello. No, I won’t be using your service department for future appointments.”

Receptionist: “Like, ever again?”

Me: “No. Never. Please remove me from your client list.”

Receptionist: *heavy sigh* “Okay.” *mumbles* “There goes another one…” *click*

(Condescending men are why women are often hesitant in these situations. Give us a little credit, silly boys; trucks are for girls!)

Tow-tally Assuming

, , , , | Working | July 6, 2018

(I’m looking for a tow vehicle, just to pull my horse trailer to shows. I write an email to a used car dealership with my budget and my towing capacity needs, saying I need to seat four and that I either need a cab on a truck or a heavy-duty SUV. I get a reply back saying they have something that would suit my needs. I get there and shake hands with the salesperson, and I’m lead out to a surprisingly small SUV. Before I can even look at it, the salesperson insists I get in, and he turns on the radio.)

Salesperson: “You hear that?! This has an amazing sound system!”

Me: “Okay… I really don’t care about that.”

Salesperson: “And plenty of room for car seats in the back!”

Me: “I don’t have kids.”

(At this point, I walk around and realize the SUV doesn’t have a towing hitch at all.)

Me: “You know I can’t tow with this?”

Salesperson: “Oh, you don’t need that! You need to learn to treat you, not what your husband wants. Here, listen to this sound system.”

(I turned on my heels and left, and ranted to my brother that night. The next day he went to the same dealership with my list and was shown several tow-ready trucks and SUVs. I ended up writing a bad review on their Facebook page and got a call back. The salesperson was initially apologetic on the phone, but then said he knew I wasn’t buying that day until I ran it by my husband. I replied that I wasn’t married, but my brother was, and HIS husband would never control him like that. The salesperson hung up on me.)

(Ab)Used Car

, , , , | Working | July 3, 2018

(I’m 18 and I have just been medically discharged from the military. I have nothing to fall back on. I decide that the first thing I need to do is get a car. I have enough money saved up to buy a decent used car outright. My aunt, who works HR for a car dealership, tells me to browse their website and see if I find anything I like. I manage to find a car within my price range, but it is in Las Vegas. She puts me in touch with her “best” used car salesman to see if he can help me out.)

Salesman: *on the phone* “I see you are looking at a car in Las Vegas; is that right?”

Me: “Yes, would it be possible to bring it here?”

Salesman: “Yes, we can do that, but I’m a little concerned about the car because the dealership didn’t do the mechanic report; it was done by an outside source. But I did just get a 2007 Toyota Corolla in with only 63,000 miles on it. What were you looking to spend?”

Me: “Well I’m paying cash, so $3,500-$4,000 max.”

Salesman: *mumbles something about $4,000* “…but I can work with you because of who your aunt is. We were going to replace the tires, but I can not do that to save on cost, if you prefer.”

Me: “That sounds great! I can replace the tires myself. Can I come see it this weekend?”

Salesman: “Absolutely! See you then!”

(My boyfriend and I drove from San Diego to Los Angeles to see the car, and met my aunt at the dealership. When we arrived, I did an initial inspection of the car and everything looked great, so we went inside to finalize the deal. When we sat down, the salesman showed us a quote that was around $6,400, which was WAY out of my budget. I began to believe I wasn’t going to leave with this car. My aunt was livid, tearing into the salesman, asking him if that’s how they treat all of their customers, and if so, they needed to have a serious chat. Turns out they bought the car from the previous owner for $4,000 and there were all sorts of fees they had to charge to resell it. The salesman believed he could get the young girl buying her first car to finance and make more money. His manager got involved and, to save the situation they sold it to me for the $4,000 they bought it for, plus $540 in DMV fees they couldn’t waive. They took a HUGE hit on the car, and I walked away both scared and impressed by my aunt. The kicker? The tires were fine.)


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It’s A Long Drive For An Oil Change

, , , , , | | Right | May 25, 2018

(I work in the call center of a major dealership in Sanford, North Carolina. There is also a dealership in Sanford, Florida, and it is not uncommon for us to get calls intended for them.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Dealership] of Sanford. This is [My Name] in sales. How may I help you?”

Caller: “My name is [Caller] and I’m calling to see if my car is ready.”

(I assume that he has purchased a car and is waiting on delivery, but I cannot find a customer file on him.)

Me: “Sir, spell your name for me? Who did you buy the car from? I cannot find your customer file in the system.”

Caller: “Well, I was just there! You better not have lost my car. It was just an oil change!”

Me: “Oh! Your car is in service?! Sorry about that; I don’t know how you got to sales. Who was your adviser?”

Caller: “Freddy! From what he told me they should be done! I have an appointment to be in in Orlando in two hours, and I need him to hurry up!”

Me: “OH! Actually, you do have the wrong dealership. You called Sanford, North Carolina, not Sanford Florida. Happens all the time.”

Caller: “Nooooo! I called [Dealership] of Sanford! This is the number on Google!”

Me: “Right! And this is [Dealership] of Sanford, North Carolina.”

Caller: “This is ridiculous! I am very busy and you all are wasting my time! I don’t even understand why you would advertise that you are in Sanford when you are not… It’s confusing!”

Me: “So sorry about that, sir! The dealership you are trying to reach is not actually called [Dealership] of Sanford; they have a different name, so unless you include the state in your search, you will get our number, instead, because that’s our name.”

Caller: “But why would your name be [Dealership] of Sanford when you are not located in Sanford? You are causing confusion to your customers by pretending to be something you are not!”

Me: “We are a dealership located in a town called Sanford.”

(A few more rounds of trying to explain geography versus search engine optimization, and I just look up the number for him while he demeans me. After ending the call I realize my entire department is staring at me.)

Me: “Apparently, it’s my fault he doesn’t know how to use Google.”

A Colorful Sale

, , , , , | | Related | May 25, 2018

It’s a tradition in my family that when a child graduates from high school, their parents get them a nice used car to replace the hand-me-down they drove once they got their license. The complication happened when my sister and I graduated high school: because we are twins and my family was going through move, my parents didn’t get us a car. My sister and I were going to the same college, so we just kept using the same old Jeep. It was a typical first car; the air conditioning sucked and it was pretty old, but it got us from point A to point B so we didn’t complain. My father, though, felt guilty that he wasn’t able to keep up the tradition with us, especially since six years earlier he’d gotten my brother his own car.

We went through college with this Jeep, and every year my father promised that “this will be the year you get your own car.” It didn’t happen, so we kind of just ignored it; the Jeep worked well enough. Still, he constantly tried to figure out the kind of cars we would want, and the color.

My sister and I went to a famous SEC school that had a huge football team in the 90s. Their school colors are orange and white, and I’m his football child. So, when he asked me what color car I wanted, I said, “Believe it or not, I really like that kind of dark orange color.” My dad laughed and said, “Trust me, I’ll never find one in that color.” I laughed, agreed, and said I’d be happy with any color or even just keeping the Jeep. I didn’t care that much.

My sister and I were in our last year of college and I was preparing to apply to masters programs. My father was determined to get us the promised cars, but we honestly didn’t believe him. He had a make and model that he thought I would like, and was looking through used car listings when he saw a picture of one and couldn’t believe it. It was the exact car he wanted to get me in the same dark orange color I’d wanted but didn’t think anyone would find.

He went straight to that dealership, determined to get that very car. He started talking to the salesman and he brought up the color, noting that it probably wasn’t a very popular color, especially in Georgia, where my father was.

The dealer agreed and kept talking about how it was possible to get it repainted, trying to make the color not that big of a deal. My dad kept saying things like, “I really like it; I just don’t know about this color. Orange? In Georgia? I don’t know.”

He wound up getting the sales guy to lower the price a bit more. My dad signed on the dotted line, got into the car, and was ready to drive off. But he couldn’t resist.

He lowered the window to talk to the salesman one last time. “By the way, the car is for my daughter. She goes to [University]. She’s going to love this color.”

He drove away laughing; the sales guy laughed, too. He knew he’d been out negotiated in the funniest way.

I still drive that orange car every day; I love it to death. Thanks, Dad!

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