Sometimes, as we all know, things can go very wrong, despite the best efforts of all concerned. The following tale of woe does actually have a happy ending but the whole sorry mess could easily have been avoided had attention, as always, been applied to the detail.
The story begins with an enthusiastic car buyer (we’ll call him Mr. Smith) spending quite a few hours on his computer looking at used cars. He’d done all the right things, he’d drawn up a short list with pros and cons, worked out how much he could afford, the potential running costs and what were his “must haves” and at the end of the process he felt he had located the perfect car for his needs.
The mileage was right, the provenance was good, the colour was his first choice and all the “must haves” were present and correct. Mr Smith certainly had all his ducks in a row. All that was left was for him to make the call to the dealership and make his purchase; such was Mr. Smith’s conviction that this was absolutely the car for him.
The call was made and Mr. Smith arranged to visit the dealership the following day. Unfortunately the next day happend to coincide with a snow deluge which was accompanied by its trusty sidekick “travel chaos”.
Mr Smith made it to the dealership though which is more than can be said for the salesman he had arranged to meet. Luckily because of the weather the showroom was not exactly overrun with customers so Mr. Smith was able to find someone else to assist him. Sitting at the desk with the salesman Mr. Smith made it quite clear he had already chosen the car he wanted and the salesman could clearly see the printed web pages in Mr. Smith’s hands and so, quite rightly, assumed this particular sale was going to be somewhat of a formality.
The weather outside was truly miserable and neither of the two parties really wanted to leave the warm and comfortable surroundings to venture outside and take a closer look at the snow covered car (yes it happens) but, of course, this was a big mistake. On the strength of the (admittedly very good) web description and imagery of the car concerned Mr Smith signed on the dotted line and arranged to come back the next day to collect his new car.
Oh dear what could go wrong? Well unbeknown to the salesman and Mr. Smith the car he had just purchased had actually already been sold to someone else. Had the original salesman that Mr. Smith spoke with on the phone already known this and wanted to get Mr. Smith to the showroom to sell him something else? Perhaps and had the two men been brave enough to venture outside they may have seen a “sold” hanger through the windscreen but the fault probably lies with the salesman who sold the car and didn’t update the necessary records and tell the relevant people.
Needless to say when Mr. Smith discovered this unpleasant piece of news he was far from happy. In fact it’s safe to say that he was beside himself with rage. He didn’t feel he’d done anything wrong in not actually setting his own eyes upon the car before handing over his debit card and held the dealership entirely responsible.
Of course the sales manager held his hands up and gave Mr. Smith a full refund of his deposit but sadly this wasn’t enough for Mr. Smith as he insisted that the dealership provide him with the actual car he had “purchased”. It was explained to him that, of course, this was not possible because someone else (i.e. the owner) was driving around in it as they spoke and that they would try very hard to find him something similar. But that was not enough. Mr Smith wanted the car (his car) and if they wouldn’t provide him with it he would have to “take steps”.
The sales manager hoped that once Mr. Smith had calmed down he would accept the genuine mistake for what it was and move on with his life. He accepted that perhaps Mr. Smith would not be buying (another) car from them anytime soon but as no one had actually been hurt and no money had been lost he figured that was probably the end of it.
Mr. Smith didn’t think that at all, however. Three days later he was back at the dealership but this time he was holding a handmade placard which said, in big black marker pen “DON’T BUY FROM (dealers name withheld) THEY ARE LIARS!!!”
Now any one will tell you this sort of thing is not good for business and the dealership could not afford to have but a single potential car buyer put off by Mr. Smith’s one man protest. So the sales manager asked the affable and pretty receptionist to go and offer Mr. Smith a (gourmet) coffee and invite him in for a chat.
It turns out all Mr. Smith really wanted was to be “loved-up” as we say in the trade. Flowers were ordered for (the probably long suffering) Mrs. Smith and the five star treatment given to Mr. Smith and after about two hours guess what happened? Yes Mr. Smith brought another car!
The moral of the story? Well number one dealers always update your stock straight away and Mr. Smith if you’re going to spend that sort of money at least have a look at the car before you buy it (and we don’t just mean a photograph!)
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