Thursday, May 5, 2016

Different experiences...

Interesting, and somtimes frustrating, the way different companies do business.

We have been busy the last couple days.  I contacted the nice folks at Emerald Guitars in Ireland about ordering another carbon fiber guitar.  A week or two ago, I saw a post from Emerald on Facebook about an absolutely gorgeous carbon fiber guitar with a cocobolo wood veneer.  Generally, my tastes with carbon fiber are to let that cool carbon fiber show, not cover it up with paint or a wood veneer.  This was a very special custom.

Yes, Emerald can make me the smaller size guitar I want, with a cocobolo veneer... it will take approximately 4 months.  That would be sometime in September, and we plan to be land cruising at the time.  I couldn't imagine waiting that long, then not having an address for where to ship the guitar.  I mentioned to Sean at Emerald that the cool black version is what originally attracted me to the guitar... He said, "I have one of those in stock - I can have it on its way to you tomorrow."

"How long will it take to get from Ireland to the very southern Tip of Texas?"  He estimated 7 to 10 days.


Yes, I know things could get held up going through Customs, but this is a guy who listened to what a customer wanted, understood my time frame, and made the purchase easy.  He also added, "When you have more time to wait, we can do another guitar for you with that custom cocobolo; maybe in a different size?"


Contrast that with some shopping we have been doing yesterday and today... we are looking for another vehicle.  Big Red has been a champ, but with nothing heavy to tow - and it being too heavy to tow behind the motorhome -  well, it is time for something else.

I contacted a dealer up north.  That was on Wednesday, I am still waiting for an estimated trade price.  To be fair, the salesman did say that Thursday is his day off.  He asked if we had any photos of our truck - I had them on the way to him less than an hour later.

Today, we went to two different dealers in the Valley.  The first one was very friendly, listened to what we were interested in, had us do a test drive, then had a manager take our truck for a drive to determine how they'd trade.  The manager came back and said, "We have to make some calls - that is more vehicle than we generally handle here (they are not a truck dealer).  I should have an answer for you shortly."

He did.  It was a workable number.  Then, he hedged his offer.  He left, came back, and said, "The place we'd be selling it to said I misunderstood him, and the offer would be ... a couple thousand $$ less."

We thanked them and said, "When you get back to a realistic number, give us a call.  If we haven't already bought something, maybe we can do business."

I wasn't particularly happy about how it ended, but it wasn't far from what I expected here.  You tell them you don't want to play "the game," and they still want to play "the game."

We went to the second dealership.  Looked, then drove a car.  The salesman was nice enough, but didn't speak great English.  That happens a lot here, too.  When it came time to talk numbers, they were WAY low.  I had pointed out that there is a very small door ding on one side and a small dent in the rear bumper.  The manager said we had "withheld damage information," and seriously low balled us.  I resented the low ball, and REALLY resented the insinuation that I wasn't being forthright.

"Give me my keys, and we'll be on our way," I said.

"Just a minute, let's talk about this," the manager said.

"Keys!  NOW!"

"What are you upset about?"

"Get my keys now, or this is going to get really ugly!"

The salesman handed me the keys.  The manager said, "We can come up a thousand dollars on your truck!  Let's talk about this."

We left.  When we got home, I called that dealership and spoke to the manager.  "First off, I apologize for losing my temper with you, but I don't like having my integrity questioned.  Second, I told your salesman I wasn't interested in playing the 'you make and offer, I'll make an offer game'.  Knowing that, you still did it.  If that is how you chose to do business, I don't want to do business with you.  And this is important: I came into your dealership with a chip on my shoulder.  I tried to do business with your truck dealership when they first opened.  They quoted me a price that was 50% higher than the book rate for an oil and filters change... then laughed when I said, 'No thanks.'  I thought I would try again, but this is apparently company-wide how you do business."

"We would like to earn your business."  Then, knocked off another $2500 dollars.  "Tell me what number it will take." 

I said, "I guess I will explain it once more, then wish you a nice life: don't jerk me around - give me a price that is your best.  If I like it, I will buy it, if I don't, we would have parted company amicably.  When you go to the grocery store, do you dicker for every item in your basket?  That would be exhausting.  I get that you are able to take advantage of people by getting them to say 'a number'.  I thought we could have an intelligent discussion, and I can see I was wrong.  I feel like I need to take a shower after dealing with people like you.  Have a nice life."

Yeah, I think I need a shower.

I gave him a ridiculously low number... "Don't like being insulted like that, do you?"

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