I Hated Buying Cars Until I Met JJ
December 3, 2018
I hate buying cars. In fact, I hate dealing with major automobile sales, service, and other people of automobile organizations of any type at any time. I had just moved from the Mountain West to NC and needed a new car. We had had my wife's Cadillac serviced at another dealer when we first arrived and paid over $600 for a 60,000 mile service and they didn't even catch, much less replace the torn windshield wiper blade we had. I put off walking into another dealers to look for a new car for 2 months. Finally, I searched online for a car the would fit my personal needs. I settled on an Impala and put the word out online. Offers came in from area dealers. Dreading the interaction I picked Hendrick Southpoint first (it was closest), set up an appointment and went in. Things did not start well, JJ is a Dallas Cowboys fan, I root for the Washington Redskins. To ward off my rising anxiety, I told JJ that I was not looking forward to the interaction and the BS that would come. I said I had walked out of many places in my life because of the hassle of purchasing major items, especially cars. He said, "I understand." I thought, "well, there's BS #1." He offered a test drive right away and afterward we got down to specs and dollars. I told him that I didn't want that car I drove at that price and described what I wanted. It wasn't on the lot. Instead of trying to sell me one on the lot, JJ went looking for the car nearest to my specifications that he could find. We reviewed it on paper going over every detail to make sure it met my desires. Then I gave him a price, he took it to his manager (of course, part of the system I hate) but the manager came out and talked turkey right away. Clearly JJ had told him that I wouldn't hesitate to walk if I thought there was too much BS. He started calling other dealer GM friends of his to find a car that matched as he couldn't find one in the area. He located one in Delaware and traded a truck for it (I could hear the gulp outside his office). The finance guy didn't give me any hassle either -- no this warranty or that support system. When we were through I wasn't even charged a destination fee so I bought the "optional" $199 oil service "plan" as a sign of good will. The one problem was getting the car over Christmas weekend. It took them a few days longer than promised, but it made sense--who wanted to give up their Christmas to drive 400 plus miles to get me a car. JJ kept me posted on things and when I reminded him that Hendricks had my money, car unseen for a week, he found a way to make up for it. When we first saw the car, it was gorgeous, especially the interior, with most of what we wanted and little of what we didn't. Another customer group coming through the show room saw it and literally gasped. They loved the color and design. JJ was true to his word, worked hard to meet my fairly inflexible demands, dealt well with his colleagues and made sure I got what I wanted. Over the week that this purchase activity went on I was receiving calls, texts, and emails from other dealers in the area, but their offers were no where enticing enough to get me to drive over their way. In the end, thanks to JJ and the Hendricks team behind him I actually enjoyed buying the car. I even found an excuse (not enough air in the tires) to go back a week later and say hi to everyone. The service people were as responsive and nice as JJ, plus they didn't root for the Cowboys. Every time I look at the car I smile at the fun it was making the purchase.