Archive for September, 2013

How does the car industry fail at UX and still make so much money?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

So, after dealing with the Corey Fairbanks Mazda dealership all weekend, I am now absolutely certain of one thing.  Lengthy police interrogations can cause innocent people to confess to even the most heinous of crimes.

I walk on the lot looking for a vehicle in the 10k to 12k range. After about an hour and a half of working with a salesman and going through EVERY used car they had on the lot, I determined they didn’t have anything in my price range.  No harm no foul, I’ll just look elsewhere no big deal.  Everything was low pressure up to this point.  So, just as I was about to walk, as expected, they brought out the next level of salesman.   Okay fine lets see what he says.  Again I explain that I’m looking in the 10-12 range and that he didn’t have anything, but if he’d like to take my information and they can call me if they find anything.  “yeah, sure. Let me get a pen and paper” he says.  The game was now ON.  Ten minutes later, as I was walking out the door, he runs up to me with, “hey we just got a trade in! Just now…  I think we can get you in it for what you’re asking.”  He marches me to the back of the lot, where apparently he tries to sell me his co-workers car… Then when he realizes the mistake, we march back up to the front where he shows me the actual car in their “just traded in, cleaning area”.  Now I’m standing there looking at a car that I really liked, and wanted.   I should have walked an hour ago.

I questioned the accuracy of his information, “You can get me in this car, for 12k?”

He looks me in the strait in the eyes and says, “My boss says we can work this out. I got the keys, let’s take’r for a test drive.” You’ve really got to pay attention to the words people use.  Nowhere in that sentence did he say, “YES.” Up to this point I was doing just fine. I had refused test driving everything they had thrown at me for the past two hours. Accept this one. The worst part is, I totally knew I was getting taken for a ride.  I could tell he was full of shit, yet I did nothing to stop it.  I was prepared to walk but didn’t. Why? No idea.  Instead I took the car home to “think about it.” Who was I kidding?  I knew what that meant, I knew what they were pulling, and I still didn’t walk away. Did I think that by my going into the situation trying to be overly nice, that suddenly they were going to have a change of heart, and actually be upfront with me? Or at the very least, stop trying to screw me? You know, that old adage about catching more flies with honey, or something like that. That was a naïve idea. When did I think that was actually going to happen? I knew they were putting on a show, I could smell the Bullshit every time they opened their mouths or smiled. Yet there I stood, waiting for the transformation that was NEVER going to happen. Flies don’t like honey. They like shit. And no matter how many times the salesman said, “Dude, I’m fight’n for ya on this.” I knew his words were acid, and he was burning me alive.

The next day was a marathon of abuse.  Over five hours, promises were made, and repeatedly altered.  I was in the thick of it now.  I’d come this far and against all better judgment I was determined to see it through. I was convinced I was going to get the upper hand, and trying not to let angry Chris come out. He would have blown the whole deal and started calling out the liars in parliamentary style fashion.  No, he would have ruined my chances.  And I wanted that car. Hell, I needed that car, my car was in its death throes.  It was tearing me apart.

In the end, I felt horrible, defeated, degraded, and simply torn down. And although I still got the car for 2k less than Kelly Blue Book, I feel like I have been cheated and let myself and my family down.  I can only hope that I didn’t make it easy on the sales staff, but I’m pretty sure those soulless bastards are laughing at my misery.  

Though I love the car, this experience has tainted my enjoyment of it.