Thursday, July 21, 2011

Consumer backlash

This one has nothing to do with the normal host of things posted here, but hit close to home since I've been screwed over by car salesman more times than I can count:
PORTSMOUTH — Unhappy that a Lafayette Road car dealer wouldn't take back the van he bought on Monday, David Cross drove "the lemon" back after the dealer closed on Tuesday and crashed it into six cars parked on the lot for sale.

"I hit the first $25,000 car I could see," Cross told the Herald. "I didn't hit a car under $20,000. Then I moved a van that they wouldn't come down on the price for. I moved it with the lemon they sold me. I just held it to the floor until I couldn't move it anymore. I took out seven vehicles, including my own."
I'm not condoning behaviour like that, as the only thing it solves is the need for short term gratification of one person, but I can feel the guy's pain; car salesman have the potential to be genuine scumbags, and have left people completely hosed over an expensive item.

I've never lost it like that and destroyed property, but one time many years ago my brother and I were bored and broke, and he was wondering out loud about how to finance a car. I had been there and done that before with the scars to prove it, so we swung into a local car dealership and I went through the entire process -- test drive, bartering; right up until the yellow sales sheet was cut. We had been there for about four hours before we walked out. It wasn't the righteous thing to do, but it sure did feel good, and years later my wife and I were screwed over pretty good by the same dealership. . . .twice, so I guess I had it coming.

Very recently my lady and I bought a mini van to better shuttle our growing tribe, and the salesman that we dealt with was brand new on the job, was a Vietnam veteran, and was as honest as the day was long. I told him as much, and that I was thankful to deal with someone who had not acquired the sleazy aura that car salesman often do. Being real has a value all on its own.
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