Thursday, July 19, 2007

the car saga

Ok, so it really is a long story, and I wish I could spare you most of the details, but my purpose of this post is to totally discourage you from buying your car from one place, and in turn completely encourage you to buy from another! Here's our tale!

A couple of weeks ago before our car settlement came in, we found a 2000 Honda Odyssey at Big Bell Kia on autotrader.com. At the time, it was listed at just under $7,000. Well, when we first got there, we told them we had $8000 to spend and so we needed to find a car that would fit in that price range, including tax, title, license, etc. We liked this one, test drove it, and found that it had an odd noise, but not a consistent one. We actually put money down on it to 'save' it. We warned them of the noise, told them of a couple of other little things that needed fixing (the radio, the alignment) and over the next couple of weeks we went back several times, while waiting for our money to come in. Finally it did, so we went in with the rest of the money and went to make our deal.

We were adamant about no car payments and about NOT haggling. We had a check for $8000 already written out (plus the $500 we'd already put down) and we weren't going to budge. At first, they wanted to haggle a bit, wanted $500 more than we were willing to pay. So we got up and left. Of course they called us back, said they could give us the deal as long as we told everyone about Big Bell Kia. (Don't worry, I am!)

We felt OK about it all, but found out the alignment and radio hadn't been fixed yet (grr), so we left it overnight with the plan of coming back in the afternoon. We came back--the car was not out front, the radio still was not fixed, who knows if the alignment ever was?, there was no gas in the van, but they said to take it home, bring it back on Monday, and they could fix the radio then. Well as soon as we drove it off the lot, the odd noise was back. We immediately turned around, took it back, got them to work on the noise, and left. A couple of days later we called to check how things were going...the radio had still not been fixed, and we were told that the noise was due to the fact that it needed two new tires. They said because they gave us such a great cost on the van that they couldn't eat the money of the tires, but we could buy the tires at cost if we wanted.

Let me say here that Danny had LOOOOOOONG been frustrated by this dealership. I kept giving them the benefit of the doubt about the radio, the alignment, their complete lack of being 'on the ball', returning phone calls, etc. But at this point, I just couldn't take any more. I told them that there was no way were were going to go for this deal! The manager said we could either take the deal or they could give us our money back. I told them we'd pick up our check in the morning.

So immediately, I went onto autotrader.com, put in my search for the Honda Odyssey, and immediately found this very same ad from Kia for our van, but they had knocked off $1000!! See it here. I couldn't help myself: I called them back and pretty much had a yell fest with the manager. How could they be willing to lose $1000 on a new sale, but not be able to buy me 2 new tires?? He said that we could take it or leave it. I said we'd like our check back and that we'd immediately hand over this new ad and want the new price and then we'd get a better deal and go buy our own tires! He claimed that he didn't know anything about this new ad <----which by the way, at the time of this posting is still listed for $1000 less than we were going to pay. Basically, he would not budge on our deal. We decided we did not want to do business with someone so dishonest, promised to spread the word about BIG BELL KIA and left.

The next day (Tuesday)We looked for ads again, found another with same year/model, less miles at a little dealership called Camelback Discount Center, just a hole in the wall place at 22nd Ave and Camelback just east of I-17. I called about the car, told him we wanted to spend no more than $8000 out the door and was told they could definitely take care of us. So that morning I loaded all the kids up and we test drove cars. We found that the car was actually listed for $8400 without tax, title, etc... hmmm... Jason at this lot was very nice, very friendly, promised if we came back with cash that we could get very close to the $8000 out the door. Well, the car was great, the dealership impressed me--all used cars, but he claims that 75% of their sales are repeat business...any repairs needing to be made on this car for the next 5-10 + years could be done for free or at cost, he really wanted us to become repeat customers! The car had 10,000 less miles than the Kia one, it was cheaper, and had perfect tires!! Pluses all around.

So that night we came back and bought the car with cash. We got a better car, less miles and paid less than we would have at the crappy Kia place. Later we found out that Jason is a less-active member of the church. Danny worked on the guy a bit and hopefully we can pursue that relationship and encourage him to get his butt back to church. =)

So in summary, Big Bell Kia = bad customer service, lying sales managers, unfulfilled promises, and won't get your repairs done in any kind of timely manner!

Camelback Discount Center = family owned and operated, they'll keep their word, make you a good deal, want and appreciate your continued business, honest, kind, and each customer means something to them!

Here are some quick pics: by the way, this is the EX model so it has the electric sliding doors. The kids love it!


9 comments:

Mrs. Matkin said...

I'm so glad you finally got a car! Don't you just want to punch those guys ! I had a terrible experience at a dealership on I-17 and Bell. Bell Road Whatever (toyota, chevy, etc.). I felt like a hostage and finally was able to walk out thanks to other customers that told me not to be afraid to walk out on a crummy deal. Thank heavens for that lady!! I hate buying cars. So glad everything worked out, that you warned about that dealership and spread the good word on the other one! I do the same thing! Enjoy your new car!

Delfina said...

Wow?! What an experience you had with that dealership. I'm glad you found a better place. I looks great and hope you guys are enjoying.

Christine said...

So does it smell new? Try almonds in the granola. And you can find the wheat germ at Sprouts. I also have a honey almond recipe that is great!

Ashley Harris said...

How fun for you! I love paying cash for vehicles. Makes life so much simpler, don't ya think!? Well glad you got what you wanted in the end!

The Bluths said...

Our bad car buying place is Sunset Ford on Bell road. They didn't give Ethan's truck a spare tire which is supposed to come standard on brand new cars/trucks. So he took it in and told them and they had the nerve to say it was probably stolen! (Inorder to steal the spare tire you have to get under the truck and crank this thing down and then crank it back up when you are finished.) Ethan parked in the garage and a gated garage at work. I doubt anyone stole it. Good car buying place: Power Chrysler Jeep and Dodge off Bell and I-17. Glad you finally got the car you wanted for a good price.

LIZZEE said...

Great car Amie.. It sounds like it all worked out in the end.

The Goofy Gardner's! said...

Woohoo!! That's great you finally got what you needed and were looking for! Things always happen for a reason! Better deal, better price, HONEST dealership! Pretty car, by the way! (Don't you just love the electric doors! They're great!)

Becca said...

hey this looks great!! crazy story!
car shopping is such a pain!

AnnMarie said...

Dang it Amie, that stinks! We bought our KIA Sedona from the Peoria KIA right before we moved. On the move we noticed that one of the seatbelts doesn't retract back into the car right, it gets stuck. Bottom line, I need to take it in to have it looked at and now I'm a little nervous.