Notice: Capitalist Elite People’s problem ahead
Last night, I went to check out the orange car I have been dreaming about getting. Let me say right up front that the place had a big gong on a stand and somebody got to bang it while I was there, so that was pretty cool. Really. It was. Also, the dealership was right next to the new Dress Boutique location. sigh
But other than that, the whole excursion was a disappointment*. I was obviously too early. The 2013 models arrived just this week and the salespeople didn’t know a thing about them. I was obviously the first one to test drive it. Plus, they had no brochures yet so they couldn’t answer my main questions.
Here’s my list of must haves:
- in-dash navigation
- auto-dimming mirror
Here’s my list of absolute no-nos:
- leather seats
Anything else I could take it or leave it. Sure 12-speaker surround sound would be nice but I won’t wither without it. Panoramic sun roof? I have a sun roof in my current car and you know what happens when I open it? THE SUN SHINES RIGHT ON ME. Ew. So I never open it. Heated steering wheel? Heated seats? Never gonna use them. When will they offer cooling seats? That I might invest in.
Now I think that we’re all pretty much resigned to the idea of packages – bundling of features that you have to buy in in order to get the thing you really want. But here’s a new twist: for this car if you want the package that has the navigation in it, you are required to get the package that has the leather seats. Is that bullshit or what? And there’s no getting around it.
So my main question was: if I get the model with cloth seats, can you install the navigation into that one? Answer: yes. Well, I don’t know. Maybe. Probably. We have to check. Then the floor manager had to get involved and suggest that I get a just go out and get a Garmin Nuvi for myself instead.
[Okay. Let’s pause here to ponder the personal journey of Suzette. I always believed the folk tale that car salesmen were slick and too skilled in manipulation for you to get anything except what they want to sell you. Top that off with the patriarchal bullshit that women are sitting ducks for extra charges of because they are car-dumb so don’t even try it, lady. Turns out that’s not true. I wasn’t even trying to match wits with them. I was only going to nail down the model and features I wanted and to make sure I like the shade of orange. Once that was done I’d go home and I’d send in Mr. Born In The Shadow of The Khan Kalili And I Don’t Mind Keeping You Here Haggling For Five Days to talk money.
Now in all honesty, I’m not much to look at. On a good day you might say that I upgraded my look to “unassuming”. I came wobbling in with my cane, didn’t even have my giant-but-believable QVC diamonique ring which I sometimes wear to quietly intimidate people and I wasn’t wearing any make-up. So I guess I came across as the type of person who doesn’t understand the difference between a built-in 8″ touch screen and the must-have Walmart bestseller of 2004. Maybe I brought it on myself. After all, I willingly appeared to be mildly astonished as the salesman explained how I could hook up an iPod to “play my favorite music anytime I wanted to hear it” but this was too much.
In a not-unpleasant way, I let them know did my field research on countless rental cars so I knew exactly what I wanted. I didn’t really want to burn let alone scorch anything so I stopped there but I can’t help it if my natural expression is the Unblinking Lithuanian Stare-Down. Hell, THEY should have been wearing makeup to see ME. In the end, I gave them two action items and a target date to get back to me. BOOM. How you like me now?]
The salesman went out to check the price of an after-market navigator and the manager came back with an option for a fancy oversized rear view mirror that had a navigator on 1/3 of the mirror. Like ok, if you go to a restaurant and ask for Chateaubiand and the chef comes out of the kitchen to say they don’t have it but here’s a nice meatball – that the same thing, right?
In the end, the price of an added navigator – if they could even do it – came back to be more than the on-line MSRP of all the packages together. I do not have total confidence in the competency of that sales team. Maybe they were just tired and didn’t really need my business. Next time, I’m going to a different dealership early in the day. And I’m going to wear the ring.
* Not really. I was thrilled by the tight little turning radius. That is a thing that’s very important to me because I don’t like to back up** unless I really have to so I do A LOT of tight turns. And curb jumps. Whatever. At least I’m not backing up.
** or turn left. I do it if I have to but I try to arrange things so that I don’t have to. It’s just how I am.
Also, the orange color turns out to be Copper Canyon. And it is the dullest, most sedate orange that you can get and still be orange.