Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In which a mommy goes mini-van shopping

I went car shopping tonight. It was an interesting experience. For both me and for the sales staff.

We're hoping to get a new mini-van. Right now I drive, primarily, a temperamental 15 passenger van with 175,000 miles on it. Truth is, I love my van. But I also hate it. I hate that every time it makes a new sound, a new smell, or runs 'differently' my heart drops into my stomach and I get an adrenaline rush wondering if we'll finally be stranded by the side of the road.

What we'd really like to do is sell it for $2500 and buy a friend's high-mileage, but wonderfully maintained, mini-van to get us through another few years. The reality is, we probably won't be able to get what we want for our van and will have to take out a loan on a used one from a dealer. Ugh, right? But that's what we get for not being more financially responsible.

While parked at a McDonald's tonight I spotted several mini-vans in the used lot next door. Unloaded Little Louie and proceeded to hop down the retaining wall to take a look. My six year old son and I studied exteriors and computer printouts in the windows for a good 10 minutes without contact from sales staff, so I figured they were closed. No big deal. We head back to our car.

Then someone pulls another minivan to the front of the line -- we get out of our car, hop down the retaining wall, and walk right past this employee. We again examine the minivans, in full view of TWO employees now. I notice the hours. They're still open. Huh. So I call hubby, give him the vin numbers, he looks them up. Still no salesperson. One standing outside, one surfing the web inside and neither of them come to see if the mom looking at the mini-van has any questions.

Finally, after about 15 minutes more I get pissed. I stalk into the dealership and wait patiently for someone to notice my presence.

After a full 60 seconds, slimy father-figure stands up and asks, "Can I help you with something?"

Me: "Sure. Do you sell to women?"

S.F.F.: (jovially) "Why sure we do!" (The "Little Lady" was implied.)

Me: "Interesting. Because I've been out there for a half-hour and no one came to see if I had questions."

S.F.F.: "A half hour! Well, we were JUST out there!"

Me: "Exactly. You walked right by me."

S.F.F.: {{{silence}}}

Me: "Just so you know, I was pretty interested in the Pontiac. But there's no way on this earth I'd ever buy from this dealership. You've just successfully lost a sale."

S.F.F.: {{{silence}}} (He was probably thinking, "BITCH!" Hope that thought tastes good with your smaller commission check!)

Anyway, I felt much better after taking advantage of that little teaching moment. I hope it sticks with those jack-asses. Think it might, because as Little Louie and I made our way across the lot to our car, the three employees were lined up at the window watching our money walk away.

I guess it just pisses me off because I KNOW it was due to the fact that I didn't have a man along with me. But, not that this would make it right, but it wasn't like I was looking at a Porche or a Miata with my six-year-old in tow. I can see how they'd figure I was just window shopping or whatever. But I was looking at a FREAKING MINI-VAN. A used one. Don't know many women who go window shopping for a used mini-van. Usually, if we're looking at something like that, we are looking to buy. Turn on the charm, treat us like human beings, and SELL us a car!

1 comment:

  1. Way to go. There are so many times I want to have 'teaching moments' with people but usually chicken out. Good on you!