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New Car! Again!

Posted by james on Jan. 13, 2006

I finally decided on a 95 Eagle Talon TSI. 200hp? Nice. Pictures? <a href="pictures.php">Pictures.</a> It almost got named "Panda", because of the black on white scheme. But due to a cell-phone related typo, it's now the Rat.

Figures. That black and white is probably going to be painted over someday anyway.


Posted by james on Jan. 6, 2006

A surprise today... hint: It's black and white, has wheels, and is not stolen. Yet, anyway.


Car Dealerships

Posted by james on Jan. 4, 2006

<style type="text/css"> .me { color:red; } .them { color:blue; } .them2 { color:green; } </style> I just don't trust car dealerships. When I was in RI, I found that every (every) dealership I went to, the salesman would lie to me at least once. That really puts me off. Even if they had the car I wanted, now I would be giving money to some guy that is kept in business by cheating people. In my everlasting search for a car here in Hawaii, I ended up calling a dealership to see if they had a car I wanted. Here's some excerpts:

Call 1:
<span class="me">Me:</span> Hey, I saw the ad for the 2000 Eclipse, do you still have that?
<span class="them">Dealership Guy #1:</span> No, that's sold.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Do you have any others like that?
<span class="them">Dealership Guy #1:</span> We don't have any here, I can drive to our other dealerships and see what they have.
<i>(drive to each one? huh?)</i>
<span class="me">Me:</span> Great. I'm looking for stick shift cars only, 2000+
<span class="them">Dealership Guy #1:</span> I'll give you a call back and let you know what we have.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Ok, thanks.

They never called back. I called them back and asked another guy the same thing, and got the same promises. This time he did call back:

Call 2:
<span class="them2">Dealership Guy #2:</span> Hey, I found the car you were looking for, a 2000 Eclipse.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Great! It's stick-shift, right?
<span class="them2">Dealership Guy #2:</span> No, it's an automatic.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Oh, sorry, I'm only looking for manual cars.
<span class="them2">Dealership Guy #2:</span> Oh, ok, I'll see if we have any of those.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Thanks.

Then, 2 hours later:

Call 3:
<span class="them2">Dealership Guy #2:</span> Hey, I know you're not looking for automatics, but I think we can reach a price that will make you overlook that fact.
<i>(This is funny... he sounds like he's reading from a notecard, "Situation #73: Automatic Cars")</i>
<span class="me">Me:</span> Nope. I'm not interested in any automatics whatsoever. Thanks though.
<span class="them2">Dealership Guy #2:</span> Oh, ok.

Got a message a week later, they found one.

Call 4:
<span class="me">Me:</span> Hey, I got a message that you found an Eclipse?
<span class="them2">Dealership Guy #2:</span> Yeah, when would be a good time for you to come down and take a look.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Well, it depends. It's a manual, right?
<span class="them2">Dealership Guy #2:</span> No, it's an automatic.
<i>(hair... raising... anger... rising)</i>
<span class="me">Me:</span> I'm not interested in automatics, told you twice already.
<span class="them2">Dealership Guy #2:</span> Oh, well we have 9 dealerships, I can take you to each one and we can look for Eclipses.
<i>(Is he for real?)</i>
<span class="me">Me:</span> Um, no. I'm not interested in driving to each of your dealerships looking for cars you might have, and I'm not interested in any automatics. I called to see if you have a certain car, I'm not going to come down there if you don't have it.
<span class="them2">Dealership Guy #2:</span> Ok, I'll do all the footwork and see what we have.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Thanks.

I guess that was only his second chance, maybe I should give him a third. Nah. I just don't understand, why are car dealerships a haven for shady screwball salesmen? Is there some kind of reality-show style test where each candidate needs to backstab the others and the winners become car salesmen? Would make sense to me.

One really puzzling thing to me; is it normal for a business with 9 different locations to have to physically drive to each one to see what's in inventory? He repeatedly stated this is what he had to do. The first guy mentioned calling the other ones on the phone, and then switched his story to driving to each one. I asked if they had an inventory system that simply lists everything; the first time they said yes but it's not working right now. Second time they said yes, but they sell so many cars each day that it's never up to date. It sounds like a very screwed up business, but I'm not sure if that's completely true. It may be a very good business with lying salespeople staring at clear printouts of every car on every lot they own, not wanting to say "We don't have that car" and instead "Come down and I'll find you something" ie. something I don't want.

Screw that. I'll just get scammed by a local instead, thanks.


After thinking for a day, I thought about how it would be if other businesses tried the same tactics.

<i>(walking into the starbuck's lobby, after looking at a poster I decide to order)</i>
<span class="me">Me:</span> Hey, I'd like to get that pumpkin frappuccino, decaf please.
<span class="them">Register Boy:</span> Oh, we don't have that one anymore. It's seasonal.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Oh, can I get a normal frappuccino in decaf then?
<span class="them">Register Boy:</span> Hmm... I don't think we have any decaf here.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Oh, do any of your other stores have decaf?
<i>(saying this since, as we know, in any given city block there are about 3 starbucks)</i>
<span class="them">Register Boy:</span> Oh, I'd have to run to the one across the street and ask.
<span class="me">Me:</span> What, you don't know? Isn't there a menu or something?
<span class="them">Register Boy:</span> Oh we have one, but it got destroyed (espresso machine accident) and I can't read it right now.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Oh really?
<span class="them">Register Boy:</span> Actually, our offerings change so often that a menu would never be able to keep up.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Umm...
<span class="them">Register Boy:</span> Here, let me look and see if we have that drink.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Uh, ok.
<i>(15 minute pause, many other customers get their drinks)</i>

<span class="me">Me:</span> Hey, is that other guy around? He was looking for a drink for me.
<span class="them2">Register Girl:</span> I'm sorry he didn't get back to you, what were you looking for?
<span class="me">Me:</span> Oh, I wanted a decaf frappuccino.
<span class="them2">Register Girl:</span> I'll see if we have that.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Thanks.
<i>(2 minute pause, only 1 very indecisive customer orders their drink)</i>
<span class="them2">Register Girl:</span> Oh hey, we have this drink. It's a Cinamon Dulce latte, it's only available during Christmas!
<span class="me">Me:</span> Is it decaf?
<span class="them2">Register Girl:</span> No, it's not.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Oh, I need to get decaf. Can't take any of the normal stuff.
<i>(pause... she looks confused)</i>
<span class="them2">Register Girl:</span> Well, hey, look... I think I can add enough caramel to make you overlook the caffeine.
<span class="me">Me:</span> What the... No, Decaf only. I don't want a normal one.
<span class="them2">Register Girl:</span> Oh, ok. Let me ask my manager if we have any.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Thanks.
<i>(3 Minute pause, manager comes out and walks over to me)</i>

<span class="them">Manager:</span> Good news, we found you a drink.
<span class="me">Me:</span> Oh good.
<span class="them">Manager:</span> It's a mocha chip frappuccino, it's got little bits of chocolate.
<i>(Shakes the cup a little, pauses to let the choco-bits swirl for effect)</i>
<span class="me">Me:</span> (Sigh) Is it... decaf?
<span class="them">Manager:</span> Oh, no it's not.
<span class="me">Me:</span> I want a decaf.
<span class="them">Manager:</span> Oh. Well let me run around to every store on the block, we've got 12 in this mall alone! I'll find out if we have any decaf for you.
<i>(He strikes a superman pose and then takes off out the door, dodging customers as he goes)</i>

Screw that. I'll just get a bubble tea.

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