Pin It Undoubtedly, many of you are wondering just what happened in regards to the letter I sent a few weeks ago to a certain car dealership, and what the subsequent results were to it.
To answer this question there are two ways in which I could go about it…the long way, or the short way.
For those of you who are in a rush I will provide you with the ‘cliff notes’ version – as well as the unabridged version for those of you with inquiring minds that really just want to know.
Pick your poison...
Reader’s Digest Version:
I received an apology from the manager on duty the night I’d gone in - as well as one from the regional manager. I was sold the car I wanted for a price that was a little bit more than I wanted to pay, but significantly less than what they were originally asking. Everyone went away as better people and lived happily ever after.
As you know, a particular manager at a local car dealership treated me somewhat badly. It was when I was driving home that I decided that I’d not return to that business. However, the next morning I felt that I needed to make my voice be heard. I try to call attention to others when they go out of their way with exceptional service so that their efforts are not unsung – it was at this point that I knew that I should also do this when superior service is just not the case. I sat down and spent nearly an hour writing and rewriting a letter I would send in. After sharing it with a few friends (as well as my dad) I emailed the letter to my sister so that she could fax to the dealership.
Three days went by, and I heard nothing.
It was mid-afternoon on Monday that my cell phone rang. It was the dealership. I was promptly issued an apology – much to my surprise and relief. After all, I really did want that particular vehicle they had, but I’d made the decision that I wasn’t going to purchase it if it wasn’t going to be on my terms.
I was told that the letter I’d sent in had made it to the desk of the regional manager and he wanted to ‘make this right.’ I was then asked if I would be able come in to discuss another deal; I opted to wait a day to make sure that this was something I really felt like doing. I told the salesman that I’d come in tomorrow. So it was on a Tuesday afternoon after a riveting day of summer school I found myself driving to the dealership.
I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous. After all, today could either be the day I got the car I wanted, or I’d be back to searching – something I’d been doing for several months so it wasn’t too terrible.
The same salesman I’d already worked with, Rien (pronounced Ryan), met me at the door with a smile and I was informed that my offer was ‘nearly there’ but not quite.
A new deal was worked, which was met by both parties in mutual agreement – I’d gone up by $1,000 and they’d come down $3,500 from what I’d originally been told by the manager on duty that particular night before I wrote the letter.
I felt that this was fair.
The regional manager came down from his office. He introduced himself. He apologized for how I’d been treated the night before. I was impressed.
Soon after this, another individual approached me as I was shooting a quick text message. When I looked up I immediately recognized him as the manager on duty when I’d come in the previous week. He extended his hand and apologized, saying that sometimes he needed a check on his behavior - and how he doesn’t realize from time to time how some of the things he says comes out. He told me that he had no hard feelings for the letter I’d written, and again thanked me for bringing his behavior to his attention so that he could improve.
I didn’t know whether he was being sincere or not, but regardless, the sentiment was appreciated, and I chose to take his hand and we shook to bygones being bygones and new beginnings.
Once-again, I was impressed.
I stayed at the dealership for a few hours as papers were drawn up and my new car was washed and polished. I looked out the window at my old vehicle, thinking of a decade of memories I’d made with it. I thought about the night before when I’d emptied it out and drew up a parallel to when I transferred schools and emptied my classroom just a few years ago.
It was a melancholy feeling. Thinking that my car was soon to become someone else’s vehicle. It’d been a good friend, a confidant, and a mode of transportation to get me from one place to another.
After the papers were signed and keys were exchanged, I walked out to the back lot to sit in my car for one final time. I said goodbye. It was the end of an era. I closed my eyes and allowed the memories to seep into me. The familiar smells of the desert lingering in the upholstery filled my nostrils and filled me with a flood of good times – as well as the bad.
I closed the door one final time as I climbed out – the sun winking over the distant eastern mountains – closing the door on an era of my life.
I then turned and climbed into my new vehicle, playing familiar music so that it would feel a bit more like home. I started the ignition and pulled from the parking lot, pointing my front tires for the new adventures, which are now lying ahead.