I just scored a new car this past weekend — had to do it. (Hey, I live in L.A., the land of cars and when it’s time, it’s time). But what is so remarkable, is that the salesperson lied to me and I still bought the car from him.
And not just one salesperson lied to me — at every dealership I visited, I was lied to. No matter make, type, design or whatever, I’ve just experienced firsthand how it’s an industry filled with people who believe that they are allowed to tell their customers half-truths and self-serving semi-falsehoods — they say what they feel they need to say in order to make the deal — and then when you call them on it, they tell you it’s nothing personal, you shouldn’t take their words literally, that’s not what they meant, it’s just the way that business is done, blah, blah, blah…
For example, the salesperson uses a lot of words like “best” and “most”. I was given the “best” possible price. But then, after 25 minutes of silly haggling, I was given the real “best” price. And then another 20 minutes after than, I was given yet another “best” price.
Their best keep getting best-er… and then, when I offer them a number I am willing to pay for the car, they acted insulted. As if I were taking food out of the mouths of their children. They had the nerve to quote me a “best” price that was thousands of dollars over the “best” price that they offered me 50 minutes earlier and then when I counter-offered with a reasonable price, well… at the end of the day, it all felt oily to me.
And the truth is, even if I got a good deal, I still feel as if I were taken to the cleaners. It’s as if getting them to say yes to a purchase price means I screwed up somehow because they somehow got me in a way I still do not know and I overpaid for my vehicle.
And of course, car buying is an industry that has felt this way for decades. So what is going to cause this industry to change? I mean some have tried it but obviously, it hasn’t yet caught on. At least that’s the question that I asked myself as I signed all the final papers. (You know, the ones where the literal definitions of words actually matter for the first time in the car buying process since they are on binding legal documents).
But ironically, just as I was thinking this, the finance guy, in order to fill the space of the room with some small talk as he typed, told me, “So you’re a teacher huh? Boy, talk about a system that needs to change. What is up with our schools?”
Goodness, how low have we sunk when people who spend their lives trying to deceive others to fleece them of as much cash as they can get look down upon us for the work we do in our classrooms as if all educators are a bunch of charlatans trying to pull one over on the parents, community, government and kids the way that car salespeople are trying to pull one over on legit customers who only want a fair shake?
I mean when the New Car Used Car Salespeople think they can take the high ground over teachers, geesh… what in the world is going on?