So the car dealer called on Friday afternoon, said our original finacing deal fell through – but he got us a “better” deal – at a higher interest rate. My wife has to field this nonsense – because I’m at Saguaro Lake “working”.
Saturday afternoon, then, we go in ready to swap keys backfor our Buick (which still sits on the lot in front of God and everybody). This has all the markings of a Spot Delivery Scam – and I’m fairly hostile at the dealership. Not shouting obscenities hostile – but in no mood to just relax while someone finds the manager.
After I chase the first few lackeys away (one was actually shocked that I would be angry) we get the sales manager, and go a few rounds on the new contract. He keeps playing games, but the numbers keep going down until finally the amount at a higher amount is sufficiently less than the original purchase price that we actually save a couple grand from the priginal deal.
(I should point out that what actually separates my experience from the classic scam is that he was pretty motivated to close the sale. In the scam, the dealer threatens the customer with the key swap. It may be when I opened the conversation saying, “Our sale is apparently void – I want my Buick back…” that disarmed whatever scam they may have been hatching. But I’m going to be generous and say they underestimated how paranoid we have become of dealer financing.)
I told the guy that I knew for a fact my credit union nixed the original deal on Tuesday – and had he called us then, we’d have gotten to the same place faster, and with a lot less acrimony. If you wait until Friday – just as the banks close – that’s going to smell like a scam. Any guy who’s been doing this for 28 years should know that. He didn’t argue.
Mostly, I suspect, because we signed the papers, and took the keys to the equnox back off the desk.
There’s a theft deterent called VIN Etching, where the etch your Vehicle ID number into every window. It actually costs less than $100 if you have an outside shop do this for you. The dealership originally priced it at $800 dollars. “No wait…” I said several times, “It’s not $800. It’s $800 dollars at 9% interest over 75 months…” He eventually lowered it to $599, but was more willing to lower the price of the car than lower the Etching charge – so I suspect there’s some real, if evil incentive for the lot people to push this ridiculous charge.
If you get pre-approved financing from a credit union – don’t forget to ask what they expect as a down payment. That’s a crucial little fact to know.
Anyway, we now own the pretty blue 06 Equinox for real and certain (actually some credit union we had never heard of owns it) – for as far as it takes us through this life. I’ll post a picture if a functional camera and daylight coincide.) And I’m actually paying less for it than I agreed to a week ago, which is why I’m not naming the dealership – even though an $800 VIN Etch is a brazen rip-off.
One last thing: The Science News Cycle. Enjoy.
Now You Know.