Sunday, 24 October 2010

Time well wasted

I'm not liking Car Salesmen.  Almost as much as I've come to not like Estate Agents or Insurance People or anybody else who thinks it's their job to sell you something you need at an over-inflated price you can ill-afford.

'Mr P'
Take for example... oh, let's call him Mr P... whom we met with the other day.  For an appointment.  A proper, pre-arranged appointment we'd made about 3 days previously.

We arrive 5 minutes early and we're asked to take a seat as Mr P is busy with somebody else at the moment and would we like a tea or coffee?  No, we wouldn't,  we've just had one.  We'll just sit and wait for 5 minutes.

15 minutes later, we are asked if we'd like a cup of tea or coffee and that Mr P has had to re-schedule so we'll be seeing another Mr P (they're all made of the same transparent material anyway) when he's finished with his customer.  Would we like a cup of tea or coffee?

No, we wouldn't.

I would like some Panadol, something to eat, and to get to Sainsbury's before sunset please.

A further 20 minutes later, during which time we have read all there is to know about every model and shade of car post-1914 and I've lost a few challenging games of 'BallBreaker' on my phone, Mr P strides up and shakes the Husband's hand meatily, not even glancing my way.  I could kick him.  *I'm on tablets, I'd have every right.  I roll my eyes, sigh and follow the Hunter-Gatherers to Mr P's desk.

'So what are we doing today?' Mr P asks our expectant faces.  Clearly he hasn't the first idea.  And the other Mr P hasn't had the professional foresight to enlighten him.  *I sigh again and probably roll my eyes again too.

I let the Hubs explain (in case I lash out which is very probable as my stomach is now turning on itself) that although we bought our current car from them a scant 5 months ago, that it's not really working out for us.  i.e. it looked great with it's top off in the sunshine but we didn't realise it had such a voracious appetite for fuel, that it drives like you're taking a dead dog for a walk and it costs more in road tax than it does in insurance - and that's not cheap.

Upshot is, this car was clearly a mid-life-crisis panic purchase (don't look at me, I was a quivering wreck who never wanted to get behind the wheel of another car in my life) we can't afford it and we want something more economical.


That's why we're here. Which is what we already told the nice receptionist lady when we made this appointment in the first place.

Mr P takes out his forms and starts filling them in.  Name.  Address. Telephone.  Drone.  Drone.  Drone.  Why the hell couldn't this have been done BEFORE our appointment?  We've been here nearly an hour and we've got PRECISELY nowhere.
And when Mr P realises our current car is in MY name, he finally decides to recognise that I exist.

Would we like a cup of tea or coffee?

No, we'd really like to find out how much we've got left to pay on the finance agreement with this car and sort out what our options are with a more sensible car.  That's what we'd like to do.

All through the inane form-filling process I am acutely aware that the only thing Mr P is interested in is trying to persuade us to buy a totally brand new car - even to the extent that when we're shown the car he HE wants us to buy (probably been on the forecourt too long and needs shifting) and we walk past a cute, cheap little Citroen, he steers us right past it, ignoring my "coo-ing" and "aaahh-ing"  (it's such a lurid colour that NOBODY would miss me on the roads). And we again end up facing him over his desk.

When he's finally worked out  how much deposit our current car WON'T make, that if we sell our respective souls on E-Bay to scrape together a down-payment, we are told that repayments will be more, we'll be repaying for longer and at the end of the term we'll still have a final settlement figure nearing £6,000.

You what?

And this helps us HOW?

I have to ask him how he sleeps at night and he looks a little curious. I explain that although his little scenario might earn him some top commission, it doesn't help us in the slightest.  If we were looking for a way to increase our debt and push us into more money misery, then by involving much more interesting things than a heap of metal with wheels, we could handle it ourselves thank you very much.
'I love my job,' he tells us.  'I wake up every morning with a thrill, knowing that this day is going to be more exciting than the last.  I've been doing this for nearly 20 years and I wouldn't want to do anything else.'
I smile charitably.  Bless his poor, sad, deluded heart.  He knows no better.   So I decide to turn the other cheek.  And if I don't get to Sainsbury's, I will eat his forms without ketchup.

'Can we book a test drive?' I say kindly, standing to leave.
'Absolutely,' he says, pound signs "ker-ching-ing" in his eyes, and excitedly scampers off to put us in his diary for... oh about three minutes ago.

I know it's *childish, but it made me feel slightly better.

1 comment:

Talli Roland said...

Oh, this sounds awful! I hate car dealerships - that horrible feeling of being shove aside because apparently women know nothing about cars. I feel your Panadol pain!