This may sound like a sponsored post. But it is not! I did not receive any compensation for it. I just got my problem solved and am very grateful.
I feel a surge of strength, in a “don’t mess with me” kind of way. Having to walk through some difficulties, and then through extreme sadness with the loss of Brianna, my priority system had a shake-up and I don’t want to deal with any crap. This translated into a new found bravado this week as I went car shopping. All I knew is that I wanted to replace my current VW minivan with a minivan. One that fit our bicycles in the back like this:
VW doesn’t make them anymore and so I had to switch brands. That was hard for me as I have had a VW for at least ten years.
Joe, the boys, and I went to Kendall Toyota in Miami. It’s quite a trek from our home but we were around the area and thought to check on the Sienna. The trunk fit the bill so I asked Andy, the sales guy, for a quote. He came in nowhere near what we were thinking. Thanks but no thanks.
In true car salesman fashion he asked:
“What would it take to make a deal today?”
I told him.
He came back with a close offer, but still slightly over. I said no.
This is VERY unusual for me. So unusual in fact that Joe looked at me with eyebrows raised. It seemed like a good deal. I told Joe “we have two weeks … I can look at other cars we don’t HAVE to get this car and I don’t know what the other brands will offer me.”
I then turned to Andy and asked how long he could honor the quote for. I have no idea where my bravado was coming from, as my standard behavior is very much to people please and play nice with the dealer.
He went to check on the answer.
Much to my surprise, he came back with the deal I asked for number for number. I was shocked. I would end up paying less than I am currently paying, and getting more miles on my lease.
I felt triumphant! Little ole me stuck to my guns and got what I wanted.
Joe rationalized “let’s just get this thing done” and we signed the papers with a promise of a delivery Monday afternoon or Wednesday morning.
I was so impressed that I tweeted out to the world (again, as if it meant anything) how great Kendall Toyota was and how happy we were to now be a Toyota family.
There was no public transportation to get me to Kendall Toyota and their shuttle service did not cover my area. Joe was going to travel and so I made all sorts of convoluted arrangements to get the Sienna on Wednesday morning as agreed.
When I called Andy to confirm, he told me “Que pena … the car won’t be ready until Friday.”
“Que pena” is one of those sayings in Spanish that drives me up the wall. When someone uses it, in this way, it makes me want to punch them.
“Que pena” means “what sorrow” or “how embarrassing.” You use it like this:
“Que pena that I won’t be here for your birthday party next weekend.”
“Did you see how he face planted after he missed the curb? Que pena.”
So my new courageous self said “Que pena contigo, (what sorrow for you) because our deal was to have the car on Wednesday at the latest and I need it Wednesday.”
“You need to figure this out,” I told Andy. He said he’d call me back and when he did, Andy told me Thursday was the best he could do. “Que pena.”
I was livid. So I did the only thing a self respecting blogger could do. I turned to twitter for solace and posted this:
Now this is where social media is powerful. I got this response:
That began a conversation with Jenny, who sounded like she was going to help me out. I told her how impressed I was she answered, and she explained Kendall Toyota just entered social media and wanted to provide great customer service. After some back and forth in my new found, no nonsense, voice, she told me she would have my car ready on Wednesday afternoon. She added it would be delivered since I had no way of picking it up.
So of course I took to Twitter and posted this:
And guess what? On Wednesday, Andy showed up with my car. He was ten minutes early and there was no delivery charge.
The moral of the story is this: if you are not a doormat, you are not treated as one.
Sounds so simple. I am not saying you need to be rude, mean, combative or even aggressive – I am no saint and I have been those things in the past especially with big companies who think that waiting all darn day for a service call is acceptable.
But on something thing like this, I was firm and got results. Could I have waited until Friday to receive the car? I could’ve re-arranged things (again) and most likely figured it out. However that was not the deal I made when I purchased the car.
I CAN stay firm and ask for what I want, especially when I can walk away. I might have made a mistake in getting the Toyota without looking at their competitors. I am sure the other brands have equally good minivans especially since my requirements were so broad. However, we are the kind of family that dislikes shopping intensely. Shopping for cars on a weekend is the equivalent of asking us to walk into a torture chamber. So when we got what we wanted, at the price we wanted, the way we wanted it … we took the risk.
If Kendall Toyota was not on social media, and was not concerned about customer service, this whole example of standing your ground and being firm but not obnoxious wouldn’t make sense. So kudos to them for their commitment. And I am sure there will be times that I will stand my ground and find myself knocking on the door with no one answering.
In fact, right now I am waiting for the plumber in an “emergency visit” and he is an hour late. Ask me how brave am I feeling?