Buying your first car. It is something you dreamed about as a teenager. It should be a dream experience. You walk onto that car lot, see the shiny BRAND NEW cars under the heavenly glow of the lot lights, and envision yourself driving off the lot down an open road, cranking up your favorite song, and putting the pedal to the metal. But, it just doesn’t always work out that way does it?
My wife and I just bought our first car together. Now I gotta say we had a GREAT salesman. He did not try to “sell” us the car. He just gave us the keys to the cars we wanted to test and let us “sell” ourselves. That is the type of buying process we both like. Let us make our own decision. But when we started to talk to the finance guy… that’s when the deal got shady. And, since pricing is part of the sale, it changed my opinion of how well this situation was being handled.
I will get to how we are different from slick car salesmen, but if you don’t mind, I need to vent a little about this finance guy. He was trying to sell us all the “after sales” products. The extended warranty, ding damage protection, under body frame protection (We live in Illinois. In the winter they use a crazy salt solution that will corrode your frame.), gap insurance, and finally… data dots. Who’s ever heard of “data dots”? They’re basically a little jar of mayonnaise with some sort of encoded dots that they schmear… yes schmear… on the bottom of your car. If it ever gets stolen, the police have a “magic” wand they can wave over the invisible schmear and voilà! They can verify it’s your car. Whatever.
My wife and I lived in Chicago before we moved to Champaign. Never had a problem or had known anyone who had a car stolen. We talked about it and decided “No thanks.” When the finance guy started to add in the “after sales” products that we chose, he started tapping away on his keyboard, snickers, and says, “Don’t worry. This is working out in your favor.” I am thinking, “Yeah, right….” He then tells us that he re-figured our monthly payment and was able to make it cheaper by $5. Okay… And then he says, “You know? It’s late; it’s almost Christmas; I’ll go ahead and throw in the dots for free.” My wife and I were like, “Well, okay, I guess if they are ‘free’….” They next morning while going over all of our documentation, I saw that we were charged $256 for the dots.
Needless to say, I was livid. This guy just bold-faced lied to us. I called and left a message. No surprise he did not return my call that day. I called the next day, and went into the dealership to meet with my dealer to discuss the features of our car, and then talked to a “business manager” about my issue. He was even a little cloak and dagger about the issue. He would not give me specific answers about what might have happened, but did suggest that the finance guy cut the cost of my warranty and then charged me for the dots, essentially giving them to me for free. HA! Sorry buddy, charging me for something you said you were giving me for free is not “free.” The business manager said he would pass the note along to the guy and have him call me to explain. And then you know what happened? You guessed it… the guy never called.
Finally a week later, after 4 messages to the guy, giving him a chance to explain himself, I spoke with his boss. He acted like he was on my side, but I am sure the finance guy will not be reprimanded. I did get his boss to admit that the finance guy gets a $10 commission for selling the dots to customers. The boss said he is mailing me a check for the $256 dots. We’ll see if that happens.
The point is, I will never treat you or anyone that walks through our virtual doors like that. I do not like to be lied to. Therefore I will not do that to you. I know how it feels to have been slighted. That will never happen when you work with us. It really defines why we do business the way we do. We offer you a fixed price for a fixed scope of work. You know upfront what you will pay for the services that we will provide for you. And you know what? If you feel we did not provide the value of the deliverable at or above your expectations, we offer a money-back guarantee. We really do. We put it in writing on every one of our proposals.
You see, we like to be fair and want you to know that if you choose to work with us, we are committed to excellence and a wonderful partnership. And all you have to do is go through an experience like my wife and I did, to know you want to work with someone who understands and cares about your best interests. We go into every relationship with the thought of, “How can we make this beneficial for both of us?” I am not going to sneakily sell you something so I can get an extra $10 in my pocket. We are going to make sure that you are the one with the extra $$. So whadaya say? Give me a call and let’s talk about getting you what YOU need.
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