Thursday, May 26, 2016

Not a Thing to do With Photography

I hate buying a new car. Some years ago I drove a 1982 Ford F150 for seventeen years, mainly because I didn’t want to look for a new car. However, one day I made a decision to purchase a new smaller Ford Ranger. Janet and I drove over to a nearby Ford dealership, checked out what was available and picked out a really good looking hunter green model that I thought I could possibly afford. Inside, with the salesman, he kept running off to ‘consult’ with his manager on the very best deal he could make me. Each time he would be gone for fifteen minutes or more while we sit there twiddling our thumbs. We finally got past that little charade and moved on to the finance person. We set there several minutes while he plugged in number after number into his computer and finally came up with a monthly payment figure. I inquired as to what the annual percentage was on the financing. Actually I was considering paying cash but I had heard an ad for their low financing rate and wanted to see if that was what I would be quoted. If it was I would consider financing. I got a run around answer but not a percentage so I asked again and got more gobbly gook. It was clear that I was not going to get a straight answer so I said thank you, stood up and left the room followed by the finance man who was joined by the salesman, the manager and possibly more. It was like a parade with the only person that had offered to spend money there in a week. At that point I would not have purchased a lunch bag of used floor sweep. I received phone calls for the next several days. I simply explained that when I asked what should be a simple question, I expected a simple answer and was no longer interested in doing business with that dealership.

I paid cash and bought a used Buick which made Janet happier anyway.

A few years ago I needed to replace the Buick and even though I was told that Carmax was overpriced I liked the idea of a no hassle price and gave them a try. I picked out the vehicle I was interested in on the website; drove out; got a salesman; took a test drive and handed over a check. It was a pleasant experience.
When the Escape was left to swim in Cypress Creek, the insurance company decided that it was beyond repair. I had mixed emotions. I really didn’t want to buy a new car. Again, I went to the web, picked out a few vehicles that I was interested in and drove over to Carmax. The night I showed up to look at the vehicles it was threatening a thunderstorm and I didn’t want to test drive in a storm even if they had decided it was okay. I asked that they hold one of the vehicles, which they did. I returned the next morning; got a salesman; did a test drive and made a decision to purchase.
I cannot tell you how pleasant the experience was from the beginning to the end. Every question I had was promptly answered by the person I asked. Every person I encountered was extremely pleasant.
There was no owner’s manual in the glove department so they said to go to the nearby Honda dealer, purchase one and they would reimburse me. Well, I could save $25 by ordering on line so I did. Received the manual and invoice so I drove out to check on the license plates. Got a person I had never spoken to before. She went on to her computer system and quickly answered my inquiry about when they would have the license plates. I mentioned the manual and she immediately gave me a full refund including the shipping charges. When Alcy inquired about the name of the finance officer, she had that answer. A few key strokes and she had all the information about my purchase available. So different from the dealers I had dealt with in the past. Maybe I paid more than I could have purchased it elsewhere. Somehow I doubt that. I didn’t have to deal with a sleazy manipulating salesperson or play silly games. Very straight forward from start to finish.

Haraldo, my salesman, drove us over to Chase to get the cashier’s check. He originally chose a Benz but I asked to go in something cheaper (didn't need the temptation to upgrade) so we went in the Eqquus. The people were pleasant, questions were quickly and courteously answered. I hope to never ever buy another car but if I have to do I can assure you it will be at Carmax.
My new vehicle, a 2014 Honda CRV, does not have the macho charisma of the Escape (which looked a lot like my beloved '82 F150). The Honda does look a lot like the 2012 Escape that I almost died laughing when I first saw it. Told Alcy yesterday it looked much too much like a 'chick car' but so far I was pleased with the choice so I guess it is okay. Maybe I can get a crewcut and an U S Marine tattoo to make up for it.

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