Saturday, July 28, 2007

Doing Everything It Takes To Earn My Business?

I don't THINK so.

The title of this post is the slogan of a local Toyota dealership. The event I'm about to relate takes place in the not so distant past. May of 2006, to be exact. I thought I'd lost this gem out in the vast cosmos of internet fora, but lucky for YOU, I found it. On with the story:

Car buying blows. Yes indeedy. Went to the local Toyota dealership to look for a new (not new to us but NEW) 7 passenger vehicle. SUV, van, whatever. Just show me everything you have in a 7 passenger vehicle. I'm easy like that.

We dismount from the PT Cruiser. So far so good. It's grand opening day at said toyota dealership. We expect lots of bells and whistles, etc.

(Please note that we didn't even score a lousy fridge magnet from this, I might add)

Salesman: So what are you looking for today?

Us: Something in 7 passengers - SUV maybe.

Salesman: Oh you don't want that. The third row isn't big enough for people really. You want a van.

Interior monlogue: I do? I HATE vans. But oooooookay....

Us: Well, let's see what you have.

Interior monologue: This is going to beinside a showroom, right?

Salesman: So what car do you drive now?

Us: PT Cruiser. [We didn't mention the sportscar: Acura GSR because we figured that it was a nunya: None Ya Damn Business]

Salesman: What year?

Us: '02

Salesman: It still runs?


Salesman: I'm just kidding.

Interior monologue: Yeah right,
. Your tone of voice wasn't kidding.

Saslesman: Let's walk over here (across a HOT parking lot with baby in bucket seat) and check out these Sienna vans...

Us: So why should we buy a Sienna as opposed to a Honda Odyssey?

Salesman: No reason.

Interior Monologue: Then why am I here?

Salesman: Well, here's the base model - that's what you want right?

Us: Actually no. We'd like something with leather seats and a little more in the bells and whistles department.

[ASIDE: We've been looking at cars in the 45K+ range (Acura MDX, Subaru B9 Tribeca and so on) up to this point, so a 27K minivan would be "slumming it" as it were]

Internal Monologue: Do we look like we can't afford more than that? Or do you just NOT want to make a sale?

Us: Does this car come in red?

[I have this THING for red cars. My Mustang Convertible was red. My PT Cruiser is red. I rest my case.]

Salesman: Let's see if there are any here in red.

Interior monologue: I didn't ask if there were any on the LOT in red. I wanted to know if the bleeping car is *available* in red.


We peer in windows unable to see much we spy the top o' the line Sienna XLE Limited - MSRP 37K+/-. It's a pretty green color.

Us: This one is pretty nice.

Salesman: Well.... This one is the XLE *LIMITED* blahblahblah

Interior monologue: There you go AGAIN. Stop ASSuming buddy...

Us: Do you have any brochures on this vehicle?

[Price list, pretty slick magazine thingy to drool over later? ACURA has them. HONDA has them. Even frelling FORD has them. But Noooooooooooooooooooooooo]

Salesman: No we don't. We don't have any brochures at all.

Interior monologue: You don't? Even Yu-frigging-go had brochures. Gimme a break here buddy.

[Time to walk back to main building in insane heat]

Salesman: This is my manager, let me see if they can print up something for you. (He walks off)

Manager gives us the "nice to meet you" speech. Asks what we are looking for/what we do for a living, etc. The Prince Consort told him he was a software engineer. When we tell him "7 passenger SUV", he asks if we've seen the new Sequoia. Told him the salesman wouldn't even SHOW it to us.

[CUE shocked look on Manager Guy's face and even MORE crickets]

The Prince Consort went so far as to tell the manager he didn't like the salesman's attitude. Classic.

As we were leaving the manager took the salesman aside. I can only imagine the speech he got. We were ready to possibly make a deal but they blew it. Helllloooooo Honda. I hear that Mister Opportunity is knocking again...

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