Adventures in Car shopping

Lemme tell ya’ll, I had a very fun weekend. And that’s only partly sarcastic!

You probably all are aware of my idea for getting a new car. It’s really time, honestly. Chupa (I’ll explain later) is gettin’ up there in years, miles, and her exterior doesn’t look too hot either. While she does run very well at this time, there is no guarantee how long that will last, so I want to trade her in while she does.

So I been doing a little research. I settled on a Toyota car (almost all of their vehicles always get great marks in Consumer Reviews), and I was leaning towards a Prius, though still wanted to consider a Camry. The Prius’ hybrid-synergy drive is not only fantastic technology, it has apparently had every significant issue with it resolved in the more recent models. And the gas milage gets as high as 60mpg on the highway! Talk about saving money on gas! However, I am a bit cautious with new tech like this, so in addition to doing all this research I wanted to test drive it and see how it felt. Plus I wanted to test drive a Camry as well, in addition to getting an idea of price, packages, options, that sort of thing.

So Mom and I set out on Saturday with the full intention of doing this. We knew of 2 Toyota dealerships nearby: Vandergriff Toyota in Arlington, and Toyota of Fort Worth. We decided to try Vandergriff first.

So we arrive at Vandergriff, and Mom is expecting to talk to someone right away, because a car salesman is usually on you as soon as you’re in the door. Well, that didn’t happen. So, we walked the showroom. No one came up to us. Finally we pulled a manager aside and asked to talk to someone. He directed us to the salesman he was talking to at the time, some gentleman named Gary, I believe. We tell the guy we’re out shopping for a car and ask to test drive the 2 above-mentioned models.

He gets all hesitant and says “Well…you know…test driving on a Saturday…I mean, this is a 2-acre lot, y’know? Tell me, is there anything that would prevent you from buying today if you did like the car?”

I’m somewhat perplexed at this point. I’m obviously not interested in buying like right then and there. I think we told the guy something like that it was a possibility. He directs us to a general area outside the showroom, gives us vague directions as to where the Priuses and Camrys are located, tells us to look around at some we like and he’ll be right with us.

So we go out there. We find 1 Prius. No Camrys. Just a bunch of Scions. We stand out there in the heat. The Prius is unlocked, so we get in there, sit in it, and look around a bit. We get tired of waiting, go back into the showroom and look around for him. No sign. It’s been about 45 minutes at this point. We head back outside to see if he’s looking for us. Nope. Fine. To hell with this, we’re outta there.

We’re both furious by this point, obviously. So we go get some lunch, talked to a REALLY nice waitress who told a hilarious story of her car buying experiences, and decide to go try out Toyota of Fort Worth, up on Camp Bowie.

Night and Day, I’m telling you. A gentleman named Larry met us at the door, we told him what we were looking to do, and within 5 minutes, I was inside a Prius getting a little presentation of all the features. We did a great test drive on both models, he was very talkative and engaging, and treated us both very well. I could not believe the difference. It was phenomenal. I left there with very good impressions and some information literature on both cars. I’m actually thinking I’ll be getting a new Prius.

So I have no idea what the crap was up at Vandergriff, but this is about the worst customer service I ever experienced, especially in light of the excellence of Toyota of Fort Worth. First of all, what the crap does “This a 2-acre lot” have to do with anything? So what, you’re a huge lot. Are you telling me that you don’t give a crap about customers if they aren’t in there to buy right then and now? Do you have any idea of the concept of “Developing new business?” This is going to be my first new car, you morons. I’m hella nervous about it. I want to test it, go home, consider my options, take a look with financing through my bank, and all that. This is a big decision for me and I’m not about to make it right then and there. And I guess you just don’t care. Or you can’t figure that out. Well, then I suppose I don’t care about taking my business elsewhere. And publishing this lovely review of your craptastic treatment of me online. I have no idea if it’ll lose you any other business (besides my own) but I sure as hell hope so.

In Fort Worth? In the market for a new Toyota? Go to Toyota of Fort Worth. They actually know what they are doing. And they do it well.

Anyway, after that, I ended up getting new bedding from Bed, Bath, and Beyond as well (also long overdue). So now I have a very confortable new comforter and some new sheet. I slept durn good the past couple of nights.

I went up Sunday to Denton to see David and Holland (yes David does live in Houston now, but he’s visiting!). Holland is practically locked up in the business lab finishing up her last class (which is apparently a bit of a beating) so David and I hung out all day after church (which I met up with him to go to). We saw Ratatouille, and I have to say I liked it a lot. Plotwise, it’s not my favorite Pixar film, but visually, the animation is about as stunning as I’ve ever seen. It’s a good story, but other Pixar films just have better ones (especially Cars and The Incredibles). Definitely worth viewing.

Holland, by the way, is an amazing cook. She made us roast, green beans, and rice for dinner. Was very yummy.

So yeah, that’s the story of my weekend. It was a blast, once I got the hell outta Vandergriff of course.

Other tidbits of note:

Veronica Belmont has left CNET’s Buzz Out Loud podcast to pursue other opportunities. I’m a fairly recent listener, but I think I am in agreement with many fans that she will be missed. She’s a lot closer to my age than the other 2 hosts, so her perspective is one that I usually found myself viewing the news from. She also did a couple of guest appearances on the Scott Johnson family of podcasts (notably Extralife Radio and The Instance), which is how I even heard of Buzz Out Loud in the first place. Good luck Lady V. As for the rest of you peoples reading this, go add Buzz Out Loud to your podcast feeds! It’s freaking free and you get great tech news in about 30 minutes!

For that matter, go add Extralife Radio! It’s about an hour discussion of a weekly nerd topic from three webcomic artists and very funny gentleman. Plus you can hear me in an Old Man voice at the opening of the show (usually!) with something funny every week! You can’t beat that, amirite!

To those asking when I’ll be back in Waco again: the answer is soon. And you can all check out mah new ride when it comes!

To those who tried to get in touch with me about my last entry: Thank you. I’m better. Just had a rough night trying to deal with life and where I’m at in it. I’m working on it. Just trying to be somewhat disciplined with this when there aren’t many people close by who I can talk to face to face is hard.

I imagine this entry is long enough, so we’ll call it good for now. Til’ next time, you people behave yourselves, DERNIT!!

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    • godzwarrior
    • July 24th, 2007

    “In the US, the Internal Revenue Service approved a series of tax deductions and credits that amount to a $3150 tax credit for cars (certain hybrids) purchased between January 1, 2006 and August 1, 2007. At this time there are no plans to renew the credit.”–source: the almighty wikipediabetter hurry up bro

    • Josh
    • July 27th, 2007

    Hey! So, if you’re planning on coming down to Waco, don’t come down the first weekend in August (3rd-5th) as I will be in Arkansas and I want to see you when you are here! How are you enjoying your birthday present? Call me sometime!

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