Deal Me In…

Buying a car takes on a whole new level of epic dread and fear, when you’re bringing twin 4yr olds along to the dealership.

After Hurricane Irene did a number on my husband’s car, we are now in the unenviable position of having to get a new/used car for him.

The last time we went car shopping, it was for my mamavan, and despite the dealership touting itself as child-friendly, with snacks, a widescreen tv (which they allowed me to play my own dvds on – rather than the ultra-violent pseudo-kiddie crap they usually put on), and a smallish (though rather damp) enclosed (except for the roof) outdoor playground, painful was an understated way to describe the experience.

You know car salespersons, they think that by frustrating you, making you wait and wait, and having to ‘consult their manager’, that they can make you sign anything, rather than give up on all the time you’ve already wasted on their premises.

We were armed with the ad for the exact car we wanted and the exact price we weren’t going to budge from.  And they still did every time-wasting tactic they could think of.  They also tried to separate my husband and I by telling me I could go with the kids to the ‘kiddie area’, hoping to play on his not being a native speaker.

We both knew what language they were speaking:  Something Fishy.


And all of this was going on while we tried to restrain our shrieking, grabbing, office-equipment-destroying girls.  They played ‘catch’ with the salesman’s family pictures in frames on his desk, they tried to climb on the desk, they tried to root around in his trash can.

Then they saw the electric pencil sharpener and tried to sharpen PENS in it.  I could see the gleam in their little eyes as they weighed the possibilities of using the stapler to bash a hole in the salesman’s computer screen. (That’ll teach him to ‘consult’ with his manager one time too many!  Hah!)

And then the girls wanted to play Tag while dodging in and out and around the cars (the expensive ones) on display inside the showroom.  They even dragged a chair over to the cars so they could peek inside them (and incidentally scrape the paint on the outside) but luckily I caught them.  By this time, though, the staff had caught on that we were tiring of restraining our kids and putting up with their (the dealership’s) nonsense and that we were coming to the point where we’d happily sit back and enjoy our children’s innocent joy in wanton destruction.  So they stopped ‘consulting’ every five minutes.

Then when it was time to finally sign the papers, they even tried to slip in some (high-cost) extras that required me to put my foot down and show my own xerox of the original agreement papers (that they suddenly needed to have new ones to replace – complete with aforementioned extras.).  Sigh…

Then, a week later, when it turned out there were serious, potentially life-threatening defects in the car that they had obviously been covering up, which required MULTIPLE return visits to their service center, having the twins along did not make the process any easier.

So this time, blatantly and shamelessly wielding my twins as a potential threat, I’m trying to get the dealers to talk turkey over the phone first.  “Answer my questions before I come in,” I said menacingly, “and I won’t have to unleash my twins to stage a live re-enactment of the Sack of Rome upon your dealership.”

I was very clear about this.  I said those words literally.  I even emailed them a wikipedia link about the Sack of Rome, so they would get the right idea:

Do. Not. Dare. Waste. My. Time.

So what have I gotten so far?  5 calls from the same dealership to which I answer:  “Do you have the answers to my questions?  No?  Either get them before you call again, or I can come down there and unleash my twin engines of destruction to lay waste to your office while you dick around wasting my time.” (except I didn’t really say ‘dick around’, since I’m basically a nice and decent person who gets along with most people under most circumstances.   Really.)

Finally, I got the dealership to call me with their ‘Customer Retention” manager.  He’s promised me he’ll have me in and out of his office within 20 minutes.

I figure this’ll be as good as it gets.

I can always just sit back and enjoy watching my twins take apart his office if he goes even one second over the 20 minutes.

In fact, I’d relish such a thing.

Especially if I give the twins juice boxes.  They do diabolical things with juice boxes.  Things that would give you eternal screaming nightmares and a therapist’s bill totaling well over six figures before everything got worked out.

I kid you not.

Some nights I lie awake, unable to sleep because of the twin-induced uncontrollable full-body twitching.

This is proof positive that the maternal instinct exists, because I love my girls so extremely, super-de-duper, very much!

But I wouldn’t bet on that dealership having maternal instincts.  Therefore: She who wields the twins, has the power!

Suddenly I feel like She-Ra or He-Man (who came up with those names, anyway?) in really bad drag.

I am ‘Mama’, hear me roar!  Quake before me, puny dealership!

One can only hope.

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2 thoughts on “Deal Me In…

  1. Thanks for the laugh. I needed that. I could picture the kids totally wrecking the car deal’s office.

    One trick that I learned that actually worked the last time we bought a car was to go to the dealership about 20 minutes before they close.

    Once they see you are actually interested in buying, they will bend over backwards to complete the sale right away. I am convinced it helped me get a better deal on the car and it helped reduce all the B.S. of back and forth from the salesman.

    Got a good price on the car – in and out. That was by far my best experience with a dealer.

    My brother uses a different technique. He actually goes in and tells the salesman that he has no respect for anyone who sells cars for a living. He starts off by being a jerk so that they don’t want to haggle. He makes one reasonable offer. They always reject it at first. When he goes to leave, they grab him and make the deal.
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