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Thread: I'll sell any car for sixty nine ninety five

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    Default I'll sell any car for sixty nine ninety five

    So I sold my car recently, actually - sold it it right at the end of the lease. I had paid so much money on it that the residual - what I owed at the end of the lease - was actually less than than what the car was worth. A first for the automobile industry - they actually miscalculated when it came to making certain my car was worthless at the end of my loan.

    Anyway, not the point of the story.

    But the point being - that here I am carless - which means, in less fancy terms - no car. And here I am renting cars just to get to work and around.

    So naturally I am looking for a good deal, and I definitely need a car.

    And then a car appears. A great deal of a car. I am watching television one night and slave that I am to Madison Avenue since I still don't own a TiVO, I can't help but be intrigued by a commercial that purports to offer a car for $6995. True, a Kia, and a bare bones model I am certain, but - how can I lose for under seven grand. As I drift off to sleep I make a mental note - a jagged definitive one - to be sure and follow up on this deal.

    The next day, from work, I phone the car dealership. I work in Orange County, and the car dealer is in Tustin - not far from me. I ask the lady who answers about the commercial I saw - the car for $6995.

    It seems that I am transferred awfully quick to a salesman, but no matter. Time is money. Although, the fact that she didn't even give me a perfunctory, "One moment please" (nasally or not), did seem a bit odd.

    But in any case a moment later I am talking to Bo. I made sure to get his name. "How are you doing Bo?"

    Of course I didn't say anything like that. No salutations, no small talk, just, in essence, "Listen Bo, I want that Kia for sixty nine ninety five."

    And Bo appears more than ready to sell such a car to me.

    "You're sure Bo? You're sure you have that car still available for me."

    "Absolutely." I've always loved that word - reminds me of a greasy banker I knew putting his arm around me as he walks me to the door while assuring me that I am his number one V.I.P. and that he'll take care of anything I might ask for. "Absolutely." Bo seemed to say it again (or maybe it wasn't my imagination, and he really did say it again).

    In any case, the gist of the conversation was Come On Down, Yes We Got One, Just For You, and Make No Mistake About It.

    Still, the doubter in me (named Thomas or not) wanted to make Absolutely sure.

    "Now Bo, I'm coming down there after work. I'm going to have to deal with traffic. I want to make 100% sure you got that car for me."

    Oh yes, he assured me. No problemo.

    One more thought came to mind. Bo had mentioned that he had only four left and, I had to hurry. (Really it was more like: I Had To Hurry, but whether in a form of CAPS or not, the message was clear.)

    I decided to ask, "What color do you have them in?"

    He had several colors it turned out. I told Bo okay, "I'll take the white one."

    "Just one more thing," Bo said. I clenched, waiting for the not so funny punch line. "I'll just transfer you to my secretary who will schedule your appointment for you."

    But, the transferred call and the making of the appointment turned out to be oh so routine. The lady took down my name and number, which I hesitated giving until I realized that hey, I was going down there to buy a car; they would have all my personal information, and more, within a matter of hours anyway. I set the appointment time for 6:15. This gave me over an hour to get there. It was a twenty minute drive - but with traffic, I knew it would be murder.

    And describing the drive in terms of a major felony involving bloodshed turned out to be an understatement. It was bumper to bumper all the way there. I needed every minute of the hour and fifteen just to travel twelve miles. L.A. and Orange County at five o'clock always made me think of crows, and how they could fly.

    When I finally arrived, I was a little tired, but the thought of my new car kept me going nicely. Think of it! I said to myself. No more rentals. No more forty dollars a day for a car that I could buy for a third of that in finance payments. Within a few hours I would have my own car again.

    I walked up to the front of the lot and immediately located someone who looked like, well looked like someone who ought to be named Bo. And, it turned out, was Bo. But Bo, it seemed, or so he claimed, did not know me.

    The exchange went something like this:

    "Are you Bo?"

    "Yes I am, how can I help you."

    "Well I'm Samuel. I spoke to you on the phone a couple of hours ago? About the Kia for $6995."

    A pause. Not a very long one, but a definite pause for anyone who might have been timing the cadence of our conversation.

    "I've never spoken to you."

    "Bo? Your name is Bo isn't it? I talked to you - about the Kia. The one for $6995. The white one, you set aside for me. I recognize your voice. You do have a Kia for $6995. don't you?"

    This time there was no pause detectable, not even for someone with a split second chronograph.

    "Oh yes. Right here."

    I shrugged. Whether he wanted to acknowledge the fact that he and I had spoken two hours ago or not, he was taking me to what I wanted to see. And buy. A Kia for $6995.

    And there it was. A number of them actually. Bare bones models to be sure. But Kias. And, from my perspective, and my immediate need for quick dependable transportation, worth every bit of $6995.

    Now, I'm not the type that looks a gift horse in the mouth. Or assumes that a good deal must have a catch. I have also always been a quick decision maker. I didn't have to think further, or even consider making any further offer. I knew that $6995. was a good price, for most any car, brand new, with full warranty. I didn't need any more time to think.

    "All right I'll take it."

    "Right this way." The red carpet rolled. I was on my way to inking, closing, the deal, I was certain.

    I was happy. I was set. Until I heard what came next.

    "What?" I exclaimed.

    Yes the deal was good. And yes the price was $6995. But only if I bought two of them. If I wanted one, the price was $8995.

    I told the story the next day to my cousin. He listened patiently, and made a suggestion.

    "Well, why not buy two? Couldn't you sell one of them for $6995.?"

    "Actually, yes, I probably could." I had said to him. "But, first of all, I'm not in the car business. Secondly, after paying tax and license on both of them, I'd probably end up losing at least eight hundred dollars, provided I could sell one for seven grand. And I don't even think I could get financed for both cars. In this economy, the way banks are, no way."

    "So what did you do?" my cousin had asked me.

    First off, I left the lot. I didn't have the time, energy or patience to continue my diatribe with this Bo character - who probably would disavow any knowledge of my existence as soon as I left his sight, short of my leaving a tangible proof of my having been there, such as a tire iron mark across the side of his head.

    But that night, all I wanted to do was get away from that crooked lot and their cheap tricks. I was done with car salesmen, at least for that evening.

    The next day, I had my friend James call them. James was my ex-girlfriend's stepfather - practically a father-in-law to me even though Jennifer and I never got married, and if there was one thing James liked to do, it was talk. And talk. The man could fuel an old steam locomotive across more than a few sets of tracks once he got going with his rap.

    And that day, he told me he went straight to the top, got hold of the general manager, who assured him that he in turn would get a hold of the owner, and have someone call me. Which of course never happened. No one ever called me, not even the saleslady who had taken my name. That last did-not-call treatment puzzled me the most - why did they bother to get all my particulars, knowing that I would show up and leave disgruntled, if they didn't plan to ever call or SPAM me again anyway?

    In any case, the manager would not budge. He defended their actions to the end. No way, no how, was he going to admit to their having done wrong.

    And his final rationale for doing what they did? His justification for misleading advertising?

    "I'd rather have an angry customer in here than no customer at all."
    Last edited by lval; 07-28-2009 at 08:27 AM.

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