buying a car is like burning in hell
If you plan to special order a Mercedes in Sacramento, you might end up waiting more than a year for delivery. In fact, the process might leave you sputtering, Dude, where is my car? This is a true story that is even more remarkable because it is true. Many of you read the blog describing my experiences when I had decided to special order a 2016 Mercedes GLA last October from Van Housen Mercedes in Sacramento. At the time, the salesperson Matt, who has long since been fired (they say) told me he had a car on order for November and he would switch the order to my vehicle, customized to my specifications, and I would receive the vehicle in January.
Three months was not that long to wait. Sure. I’ll be back from our trip to Cuba by then, after my wor-cation to Big Island for 3 weeks, so it’s not like it would be torture to wait. The dealership made it easy to special order a Mercedes. Barbara Dow from the Elizabeth Weintraub Team accompanied me to help to pick out the upgrades. It was a little like buying a new home and choosing options. Tremendous fun. Especially for Barbara because it felt to her like she was buying a new car without spending any money! Almost every option, Barbara would say, “Sure, get it.” But seriously, I do NOT need a star to light up on the front of the vehicle at night, which is embarrassing to admit is an available option.
Come January, no car, and Matt is pretty much gone. New guy Charlie takes over. Charlie says my car will come with Apple integration, one of the first in the country. Charlie says a lot of things but my car never arrived. Months fly by, Charlie leaves the dealership, and an energetic new guy took over. He called a few days ago to say my vehicle had arrived. His voice began to squeak: “Aren’t you excited; won’t you love, love, love it?” Did he get that out of a sales book? Bear in mind I have never met this individual. Any joy I may have felt is unavailable to him, and he was intrusive assuming it. This is why the public do not respect salespeople. It couldn’t have been any more disgusting than if he had handed me a paper bag containing an open bottle of Two Buck Chuck he had already swigged from.
My Wait to Special Order a Mercedes Is About to Repeat Itself
I asked how much my 2011 Porsche is worth as a trade in, just a ballpark, to determine how far apart we might be, based on my own research. New guy demanded my VIN. It was clear I needed to speak to someone else. Enter Jose, super nice guy, down-to-earth, amenable, the sales manager. He could offer more off my new vehicle to make it work. We agreed on my price, even though a fellow from San Jose had called just the night before to make a full-price offer. That’s how things go. We asked Jose to fill out the paperwork while Barbara and I ran across the way in the rain to check out my new Mercedes GLA, which they had pulled into a rain-free spot.
I was thinking to myself how smooth and easy this had been, even though I had to wait 6 months for my car. My car buying experience at Mercedes Benz of Sacramento was nothing like the horrible experience at Thompson’s Toyota in Placerville (of all places) when we bought my husband’s Prius. I seriously could not conjure anything worse, not even a root canal. I had written a blog titled Buying a New Car is Like Burning in Hell about that horrific day. My husband might need to drive that Prius until he dies . . .
We jumped into the car and Barbara shot a few photos. The interior was beautiful, the burl walnut wood dash, ash-colored seats, large navigation screen that will display my iPhone contents and talk to me. How do you open the panorama sunroof? A large button with a picture of a sun, that must be it. Nope. I got out of the vehicle, climbed up on the rail to examine the top. I did not see a sunroof. Barbara and I poked around but it soon dawned on me that even if the roof did slide back, the sun visors would go with it, and that’s not how it is supposed to work. The power of observation.
Even though I thought this was my special order Mercedes GLA, this was not my car. ¡Yo no he pedido esto! Obviously, the vehicle had not been verified by anyone at Mercedes Van Housen to make sure it had the options installed against the original “build order.”
The 2017s will arrive in August / September, Jose says, or, as my husband puts it, next January.