Aug 172018

We all know that’s a recipe for disaster, don’t we? The majority of car salesmen and RV salesmen have one thing in common – if their lips are moving, you can pretty much assume they are lying. And before you start jumping on me telling me that you know a good car salesman, note that above I used the word “majority” in describing the bad ones. I say that not just as a consumer, but as somebody who once spent some time as a car salesman in my often regretful past. Yes, there are some good ones out there, but in my experience from both sides of the sales desk, the sharks outnumber them at least 10 to 1.

As it turns out, you can’t trust a lot of the people working the car dealership service departments, either. Yesterday we had to take Terry’s Chrysler Pacifica minivan in for two recall issues, and at the same time we needed an oil change, filter, and tire rotation, which are included in our extended warranty.

We bought the minivan at a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealership in Daytona Beach, but since then they have opened a second location in New Smyrna Beach, which is a lot closer to us. Hoping to avoid the longer drive and save some time, I called them to schedule the work.

When I made the appointment, the lady told me it should take no more than 90 minutes to complete everything. Okay, that’s not bad.

We arrived yesterday about 10 minutes before our scheduled 12:30 appointment, and they immediately took our keys and sent us into the customer lounge to wait, saying they would be back with us shortly. So we waited. And then we waited some more. And then we waited some more after that.

Finally, at 2 PM, 90 minutes after our scheduled appointment, we looked outside and the van was still parked right where it had been all along. I found one of the service writers and asked what was happening and he said he would check and get back with me. A couple of minutes later when I walked by his office again he was shooting the bull with two other company employees.

A few minutes after that, one of the service writers came up and told us they were just getting the ready to pull the van into the garage for the recall work, which would only take a few more minutes. I asked what was taking so long, and he said they had already changed the oil and rotated the tires. Terry asked how that was possible, since the van was still sitting in the parking lot where it had been since we arrived. He told her they did that kind of work outside where it was parked. I kind of doubt that when they have a huge indoor, air-conditioned service facility available.

So we waited, and then we waited some more, and half an hour later the same guy came along and handed me the paperwork, and said the van was almost done and they would be pulling it around in just a moment. Finally, at 3 o’clock, I tracked another employee down and asked where the hell my van was. He said he would find out, and a couple minutes later they did pull it into the pickup zone, more than an hour past the last predicted time for the job. I noticed that we didn’t get our complementary carwash, which is supposed to be included with every visit to the dealership, but I wanted to get home in time to watch a TV program at 8 PM, so I didn’t say anything and push my luck.

We really have no idea if they actually changed the oil and rotated the tires in the crowded, hot parking lot. But I do have a sticker in the windshield reminding me of my next scheduled oil change. I guess I won’t be going back there to get it done.

I think I’ve probably already told you before about how I talked myself into my first job as a printer’s devil at a small town newspaper when I was about 8 years old (it was a different world way back then). I knew even back then that I wanted to be a newspaperman and a writer someday. I was always fascinated by the huge, heavy old 4×5 inch Speed Graphic cameras that newspaper photographers used in those days and always wanted one of my own.

Last week I bid on two different ones on eBay and actually won both bids. Both cameras date back to the late 1940s to mid-1950s.The first one arrived today. It came with the original case, half a dozen film magazines, and a bunch of accessories. I think it looks pretty cool with my antique cabinet radio and wall phone. As for the second one, I’ve got two cabinet radios and two wall phones, so how could I not have two Speed Graphic cameras?

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Burning, the sixth book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – I have to stop chasing my dreams due to a restraining order.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “Never Trust A Car Salesman”

  1. And here is our story on the car we bought last May.:
    Only reason it got 1 star because you have to start wit 1. In actually take about 2 to 3 stars away. After looking online through out south central Pa. this dealership was the only one that had a FWD CR-V on the lot.
    Our buying experience was through Tony Longo and it was a very good experience and went down hill fast after that. The financial dept. ran packages at us that we didn’t want and or need, and only after when we got home did we see that the interest rate we got was out of the roof.
    When we test drove the car it had some rattles and were informed it would be repaired while we did the paper work. Soon after that we were told that they needed to order some parts and to bring it back for repairs on another day.
    About a week later we returned for the repairs only to sit in the waiting room for 3 hours for the work to be done. At that time the service manager said he had went to lunch and the paperwork got buried in other jobs on his desk and he only found it, and we were told that we still needed additional parts to repair the job and to come back at another time.
    A few days later we returned to have this work done and we sat in the waiting room for 2 + hours. We were than told that we needed a new headliner and to set up a date that world take a day to repair.
    At that time as we were driving home we pulled into a rest area and phoned them to cancel the appointment and that we were not going to return and more.
    This dealership is an hour+ drive from our home and the best way is to take the Pa. Turnpike at a cost of $6.00 one way.
    So as you see it was time and money that we lost and the repair job was never completed by this service dept.
    My wife and I did than repair the issues for under $15.00 and less than 2 hours of work.
    We do not ever plan on returning to this dealership.
    We have dealt with another Honda dealership and that was also horrifying.
    We do love the car and are glad that we bought it, but dealership leave a lot to be desired.

  2. And also a Second Honda Experience.:
    Took our 2015 Honda CR-V in for an oil change, was informed that we should also have the oil changed in the rear differential (do they think I am stupid, as it is a Front Wheel drive and doesn’t have a rear differential). Also told to spend about $140.00 to have a charging system diagnostics done for possible problems, they even showed me a chart that all was working fine.
    Was told that I should replace the rear tires as they have less tread than the front (I do agree that the wear is more on the rear than the front, but not to the point that we need new tires). About two days later we get a tire warning light, and I checked the tire pressure and all of the tires were at least 5 lbs. below recommended pressure ???. Filled to the proper pressure and took a 2600 mile trip with NO PROBLEMS. I did check the oil when I got home and they did fill it properly. I went here one time and I will never return.

  3. As a kid I used to watch superman you remember Jimmy the photographer used to have the same camera a 4 x 5 graphics the one that you get is the same style that we used . when I was in the camera club in high school and then we had to develop the plates the only thing I see missing on that camera is the flash attachment
    That particular camera makes an excellent portrait camera you on the bed future is I don’t think you could find anybody to develop the film,
    as for your car at the dealership you probably need to put a door sticker on the side that says you’re a consumer advocate dealership reporting agency For the Mercedes Benz research development corporation .

  4. My car place is close enough to home to walk back and forth if something is going to take a while. Nice cameras

  5. When i take the car in for service I always mark a couple of tires to make sure it has been moved. I don’t trust service centers or car salesmen. None. Never!

  6. Really like your antique corner. Nice finds! Sorry about your wasted day. I just don’t know about dealerships any more. While in Rapid City last week we took the Keep in because the tire light was on. It had been flakey and the air was perfect in all tires. They replaced the sensor and we were on our way in just about an hour. We drove 5 miles and the light was back on. :(. Back the next day, 45 minutes and they admitted they forgot to reset the computer thingy. Now 300 miles later no light so I guess they did ok. No complaints about the waits or the very friendly staff or the hiccups. No one is perfect I guess. Liberty Jeep in Rapid City SD.

  7. In the parking lot? I highly doubt it!

  8. I think to be on the safe side I go pull the dipstick to check if it’s clear,they changed it if it’s not clear, they didn’t change it. if it’s not there they (well you know ) up

  9. I agree with comments 7 & 8. They DO NOT do that kind of maintenance in the parking lot. Check the dipstick and filter. If not clean and new looking, go to the GM at the dealership.

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