Car dealerships are trash. I’ll say until the end of time. Being both a customer and a former salesperson, I can attest both to the tactics used on customers and why they are used.
The factor that poisons the customer service experience is the same thing that poisons everything: money. It’s not important that sales people care about the product, the brand, your lifestyle or why a given customer might need the vehicle. None of that matters. All that matters is selling the next car.
The late ’90s were a good time for my mom. Being a single mother, she took pride in things like having a good job, providing for me and my sister and being able to buy a home all on her own. She had been working hard and wanted to reward herself with a car she actually wanted. Since her high school days in the late ’80s her dream car had been a Nissan 300ZX Turbo. But with two kids, that was obviously out of the question. Her more realistic goal became a Chrysler Sebring. How she went from a 300ZX to a Sebring, I’ll never know, but it’s what she wanted. This was the first-generation Sebring, when it was available as a coupe or convertible. She wanted a red Sebring coupe with a tan interior and a sunroof. And she found that exact car at the local Chrysler dealer.
She went in to buy it and the transaction went smoothly. There was the usual back-and-forth bullshit with the manager but they were able to reach an agreement. She used my grandma’s car as a trade-in.
One thing that irked the salespeople was that my mom literally read every single word of the contract. She says she remembers the finance person and general manager attempting to get her to stop reading it by calling it “legal mumbo jumbo you don’t need to concern yourself with.” She ignored them and continued reading while asking questions. You could see the annoyance on their faces.
Other than that, it was a normal transaction. Or so we thought. The trouble started with a call my mom received 11 days later. As you will find out later, these 11 days are important.
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