New Car

Posted by barb on Jun 21, 2004 in Random Thoughts |

I’m still not through mourning for Arthur, but I’ve at least recovered enough that I can share a bit more about our experiences on Saturday in pursuit of a new car for me.

We started at Koons Tysons Toyota, because they were the closest dealership with a manual transmission Corolla. I took it out for a test drive, and chatted with the salesman a bit. He layed out the cost of the car, nad I told him that I felt that I needed to test drive at least two different kinds of cars before putting down that kind of money. He was very understanding, and did bring the manager over before we left, but even the manager seemed to understand that buying a car is a big deal.

Our next stop was Rosenthal Honda, just a mile down the street from Koons. Now, we had actually been to a Rosenthal Honda before and not been happy with the experience*, but this was a different branch and we were looking at new rather than used, so we were hopeful that the experience would be different. We looked up the sales person from the e-mail they had sent, she found the keys for one of the 2004 Civics with manual transmission, and we had a pleasant test drive.

When we got back to the dealership, she brought us up to the office and gave us a price. I responded by saying that it was a big decision and that we would need to go to lunch and talk about it. She went to get the manager, who tried to get us to commit to buying the car right now, to which I responded (possibly more than once) that we would need to go to lunch to discuss the decision. At this point the manager seemed annoyed that we wanted to *gasp* think about the decision. I can’t believe that this attitude can win this manager many sales…maybe I’m just naive.

We did talk over the decision over lunch, but frankly it was a one-sided decision. (Though, Andrew did try to play devil’s advocate.) Did I like the Corolla $1500-worth better than the Civic? Perhaps not. Did I like the Corolla and the dealership that was selling it $1500-worth better than the Civic and the dealership that was selling it? Definately. It seems like a simple rule — treat your customers the way you want yourself to be treated. Or better yet, treat your customers the way you would want your mother or best friend to be treated.

That’s about it — it did take a while to actually drive home with the car, but that’s the way it always is when you buy a car. I did cry on the way out of the parking lot because Arthur was still sitting there, looking at me. And yesterday, while we were out Panda Hunting downtown, I kept seeing Tercels and would feel a twinge of nostalgia and guilt. But I am starting to bond with the new car (which has not revealed it’s name or gender to me yet).

* We went to the Fairfax Honda used dealership last June when we were looking for cars for Andrew. I told the salesman outright that this was our first day out and that we would not be buying. We just wanted to get a feel for what was out there, and we realized that the exact cars may not be there the next time we came in.

He proceeded to show us cars, questioning why we wanted a certified pre-owned car, and insisting that we would never find a certified Honda or Toyota in our price range. (That last part we knew was a lie, because we had already test-driven a certified Toyota Echo in our price range.)

He ran into the dealership to get something to write some information down about us, so he could call us when something came in that we might be interested in. When he came back, he told us that his manager had said that he must be doing something wrong if we weren’t ready to buy after the cars he’d shown us. Excuse me? That’s right, we are manipulated that easily.

This salesman just kept pushing, and asking what he was doing wrong, and what could he do to get us home in a car today. Finally, I looked him square in the eye, and said, “I’ve already told you that we aren’t buying today. You could offer us a car for a dollar, and we won’t be driving it home today.” I think he finally got the clue.

Needless to say, we did not buy Andrew a Honda.


Jun 26, 2004 at 12:15 am

I came across your web site while searching for information on Koons Tysons Toyota (K.T.T.). If I read your entry correctly it looks like you bought your car from K.T.T. If you did, I hope you didn’t get screwed like I did. Back on 1/9/2001 I bought a 1997 Toyota Corolla. Unfortunately they “forgot” to tell me I was buying a previously wrecked car. I thought I had covered all the bases, I asked the salesmen if the car had ever been in an accident, I was told – “No.” I was given a completely clean CarFax Report as proof the car had not been in an accident and with the Koons name behind them I bought the car. I now have a $10,600 salvaged vehicle.
Unfortunately I’ve now found out the “everyone” that signs a Buyer’s Order to purchase a vehicle at K.T.T. forfeits their right to sue the dealership if they have “any” kind of problem. You’re striped of part of your Seventh Amendment Rights by a binding arbitration agreement buried in fine print on the back of the Buyer’s Order.
I discovered all the damage not disclosed to me at the time of sale on 4/20/2002. I’ve been fighting for justice ever since. Since I can’t take K.T.T. to court, I’m trying to get them into an arbitration hearing but they keep playing games and I still haven’t been able to get an arbitration hearing to get some resolution.
I’ve put up a web site to help educate the public about the dangers of binding arbitration:
If you’re interested, go to the web site, on the left hand side is a menu. Click on the “News Media Email” tab to see a brief rundown of what’s transpired between K.T.T. and myself.
If you’d like a good laugh, click on the tab “K.T.T. Experience.” It’s my cartoon page of my K.T.T. experience.
Anyway, good luck with your car.

Jun 26, 2004 at 5:37 pm

Micheal –
I’m sorry you had such a bad experience at KTT. One of the main reasons I bought a new car was because Virginia has little/no protection against buying a used lemon. My second choice would have been a certified pre-owned car, for that very reason.
The problem was the Rosenthal Honda employed pressure sales tactics, which I will not buy into. At least at KTT, if they screwed me, I felt good about it. Plus, with a new car, I don’t have to worry about previous accidents, etc. I’ve never trusted used-car salesmen…


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