Ever felt like the car salesman was taking you for a test-drive before you even got to touch the car?
I need a new car fairly quickly, and a Mini Cooper S is at the top of my list. Unfortunately, yesterday I had the worst car-shopping experience of my life at Affinity Auto in Vancouver.
[ update Jan 10 2008 ] See comments at the bottom of this page – there have since been some changes at Affinity which bode well for customer service. BTW, here’s the Mini I did buy …[ back to regularly-scheduled programming ]
Affinity Auto is obviously a niche car lot … not a dealership, but focusing pretty intently on higher-end vehicles. There were a few BMWs, some Audis, 3-4 Porsches, and a couple of other higher-end vehicles on the lot. And, of course, the Mini – an ’04 S model with 25K klicks, leather, and a sunroof.
So obviously I was not looking at the higher-end merchandise, and boy was I made aware of that fact. (Which is interesting, considering that I can afford any vehicle on their lot – if I choose to spend that much on a vehicle. I don’t, of course!) It’s amazing what impression you can give with selective attention, delays before answering questions, and so on …
Then the salesman, Cornelis Bobeldijk, wanted to start negotiating price with me before I actually took the car for a test drive! Quite clearly he was wondering if I was his kind of customer.
Eventually I managed to satisfy him – I had driven half an hour to check out this vehicle, and it’s the closest one to what I want available right now in the Vancouver area, so I really wanted to check out the car.
The irony of the matter is that by the time I had finished the test drive I was in no mood at all to do business with this salesperson and this car lot … so that even though the car is just about exactly what I want, I don’t think I’ll even make an offer.
Life is too short to spend with people like that … and there are too many other businesses out there that are courteous and enjoyable to work with to reward one like this for nasty behavior.
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